Whenever I’m in the mood for a good suspense novel with a gritty romance element, I turn to Sandra Brown. She can usually be counted on to deliver a page turning plot that often keeps you guessing. I also like the way she writes her heroines. They are typically smart women who can keep their head in a crisis and are not the high maintenance, attitude-laden protagonists some romantic suspense authors regularly showcase. In other words, they’re likable. And her heroes are usually handsome, macho and flawed, but not too flawed – just enough to give them edgy appeal.
“Friction” certainly satisfied my craving for a good suspense novel. It begins with a shooting in the courtroom where the hero, Crawford Hunt, is trying to convince judge Holly Spencer (the heroine ) to grant him custody of his young daughter. Crawford shields Holly from the gunman (because that’s what macho heroes do! ) and chases the gunman through the courthouse building. Thus begins a series of events that throws Crawford and Holly together, casts suspicion on our hero’s role in the shooting and had me doggedly turning pages to see who was behind the shooting and why, whether Crawford would get custody of his daughter and, of course, what would become of the budding romance between Crawford and Holly.
Overall, I liked the book. It was entertaining. There were a couple of drawbacks, however. A big one was the motive of the villain who engineered the courtroom shooting. It was a bit of a stretch. But then again, villains are often irrational, so I can roll with it. The other thing was that Crawford was sometimes unlikable. In fact, his social skills were so bad that if Holly had met him at a party or on a blind date, she probably would have kicked him to the curb. But the circumstances in which they met (he saves Holly’s life while fighting for custody of his daughter ) illustrate that he’s a man of substance, whose actions speak louder than words. What woman can resist a hot, brave daddy?
Other books by Sandra Brown that I’ve enjoyed:
– “Mean Streak”
– “The Alibi”
Tell me what you think. What suspense authors or books do you recommend?