Saturday, December 10, 2011

2011 (cbriii) #13 "Sizzle" by Julie Garwood

Another romance novel became available for me on Kindle through the public library, and I picked it up, expecting to be entertained at the very least. Julie Garwood is an author that I've read for awhile and I've really liked some of her books. I wasn't expecting great literature, but I was expecting something more. And I was disappointed.

Sizzle (2009) by Julie Garwood stars Lyra Prescott who is a documentary film student in the Los Angeles area. (I think it would be difficult to spoil this book, but just in case, be warned that I'm planning to discuss the entire plot.) Lyra gets herself attacked, so her roommate's brothers send in some FBI agents to protect them (because they have connections). Lyra ends up with a Scot (or half-Scot?, anyway, he has a Scottish accent) Sam Kincaid. They run around for a little while. Lyra is alternately trying to finish up her studies at school and going into hiding to avoid all the danger she's in--with Sam Kincaid by her side this whole time. Not surprisingly they stay alive, fall in love, and live happily ever after.

Now I am one who can ignore ridiculous plots if something involving the characters or storytelling draws me in. Unfortunately, it did not happen with this novel. The characters were lifeless. Lyra is a beautiful, hard-working student. Sam is a talented FBI agent who is very good at protecting her. His wife and the love of his life died three years ago (in a car accident? or maybe Garwood didn't give a reason?). After Lyra falls for him she assumes, without asking him, that he could never love her because of his deceased wife. Apparently they fell in love because they're both very good looking people, Sam had a sexy Scottish accent, and Sam was her assigned FBI agent.

And then there's the plot. Lyra is simultaneously hunted by: a delusional stalker intrigued by her beauty; a man who thinks she has some damning evidence against him (that she possibly unknowingly picked up when a crazy woman was throwing stuff out of her house); and mob connections who are after her because of one of her documentary projects. Perhaps all these plot twists were to try to make up for the lack of substance in the rest of the novel, but I just found it frustrating.

To be fair, I'm sure there are worse romance novels out there. At least Lyra has a life and isn't helpless. But this novel was flat and boring. It doesn't even compare with other novels I've read by Garwood. I was so disenchanted that when her latest novel became available at the library, I didn't even bother putting it on my kindle.

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