Sandra Brown is one of my go-to authors. She writes romantic suspense and usually offers up a pretty good balance between the two. I very much enjoyed her latest novel, which was a tad predictable in the romance stakes, but far less so on the suspense side.
by Sandra Brown
Published by Hodder & Stoughton
on August 30th 2016
Source: Hachette Australia
ISBN: 1444791524, 9781444791525
When Jordie Bennet and Shaw Kinnard lock eyes across a disreputable backwater bar, something definitely sparks.
Shaw gives off a dangerous vibe that makes men wary and inspires women to sit up and take notice. None feel that undercurrent more strongly than savvy businesswoman Jordie, who doesn't belong in a seedy dive on the banks of a bayou. But here she is . . . and Shaw Kinnard is here to kill her.
As Shaw and his partner take aim, Jordie is certain her time has come. But Shaw has other plans and abducts Jordie, hoping to get his hands on the $30 million her brother has stolen and, presumably, hidden.
However, Shaw is not the only one looking for the fortune.
Her brother's ruthless boss and the FBI are after it as well. Now on the run from the feds and a notorious criminal, Jordie and Shaw must rely on their wits-and each other-to stay alive.
Miles away from civilization and surrounded by swampland, the two play each other against their common enemies. Jordie's only chance of survival is to outwit Shaw, but it soon becomes clear to Shaw that Jordie isn't entirely trustworthy, either.
Was she in on her brother's scam, or is she an innocent pawn in a deadly vendetta? And just how valuable is her life to Shaw, her remorseless and manipulative captor? Burning for answers-and for each other-this unlikely pair ultimately make a desperate move that could be their last.
With nonstop plot twists and the tantalizing sexual tension that has made Sandra Brown one of the world's best-loved authors, STING will keep readers on the edge of their seats until the final pages.
Interestingly I hadn’t really even considered the setting of this novel until the bayou and swampland were mentioned in the (backcover) blurb above. ‘Place’ isn’t really a big factor here; it’s very much about the characters and plot. Brown’s an adept and comfortable writer so (similarly) the words themselves are pretty seamless and make way with the unfolding story.
It’s hard to work Shaw out. I’m female so naturally attracted to the bad-boy. I think it’s inherent or something. Plus – other than killing a few baddies or those who’ve gotten in his way – he seems like quite the gentleman. He plays things pretty close to his chest however and though we’re in both (Shaw’s and Jordie’s) heads, we’re not quite sure what Shaw has planned.
Things go awry mid-way through the novel however so we know there will be some twist we’re not expecting. And I (most certainly) didn’t see it coming. I wondered early on, but then was easily convinced to play along.
The twist changes the game and the pace picks up yet again.
Brown’s added a few layers to her key characters – not only Shaw and Jordie – but also the lead detective involved in Josh’s case, FBI Agent Joe Wiley, and then of course Josh himself. But EVERYBODY’S lying and at times we wonder if we’ve got the baddies and goodies confused.
There’s some romance… and the sex scene/s not too soul-destroying… though I could have done without ‘the lips of her sex’ (which incidentally was tight but yielding #incaseyouwerewondering), the hairdusted pecs and corrugated rib cage, but I survived those few pages without too much psychological scarring.
I read as I was unpacking my new house and – with a million other things on my mind – this novel kept me glued to the complex but not complicated storyline and (as well as the mid-way change of direction) offered a twist in its tail.
Sting by Sandra Brown was published in Australia by Hachette and is now available.
I received a copy of this book from the publisher for review purposes.