Readers’ Recommendation Review & Giveaway: FRICTION by Sandra Brown

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WINNER UPDATE: Getting good book recommendations is the best, isn’t it? It’s one of my favorite things about our blog!
Random.org chose library addict’s comment to win. Congrats! Check your email for details.
 
 

As we wind down this year’s Readers’ Recommendation Review Week, I just wanted to say a quick “thanks” to all of YOU, our crazy-awesome community of Kindles & Wine readers, for giving us SO MANY great recommendations. Every year, it is so hard to narrow down your favorites from the comments on our Best Reads posts for this feature, but it’s such a good problem to have! 🙂

This year, the SIX mentions of Friction by #1 New York Times best-selling author Sandra Brown easily swayed me to choose this title. Thanks, Leni, Shay, Melissa, Laurie G., Loida Juan, and Vicki P for the rec! Read on to see what I thought of my second Sandra Brown romantic suspense…

FRICTION cover

Publication Date: August 18, 2015
Length: 417 pages
Genre: Romantic Suspense, Crime Fiction
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing (Hachette)
Source & Format: Review copy courtesy of publisher via NetGalley; digital
 
Official Summary
From #1 New York Times bestselling author Sandra Brown comes a gripping story of family ties and forbidden attraction.
 
A Texas Ranger, relegated to deskwork due to past recklessness, petitions to regain custody of his five-year-old daughter, and his case is assigned to a family court judge who is as attractive as she is ambitious. When a masked gunman barges in during the custody hearing with his sights on the judge, the Ranger reacts instinctually and goes after him. But authorities apprehend the wrong man, and the real gunman remains unknown, at large, and a threat. Will this take-charge lawman jeopardize his chances of custody by going after the would-be assassin? And will this unlikely pair be able to deny the forbidden attraction building between them?
 
 

Kindle Gal‘s Review

True to form, I didn’t read the book’s blurb before diving into the story, and I’m so glad I didn’t. I love reading mysteries and discovering plot points as they unfold from the characters’ point of view. It keeps things … well, mysterious. 🙂  So, in that same spirit, this review is going to remain spoiler free. (Sorry in advance for the vagueness.)

Friction started off fantastic! The hero is Crawford Hunt, and he is well-known for being somewhat impulsive. He’s also what I’m assuming many of Sandra Brown‘s heroes are (after reading two books by her and seeing a whole lot of similarities): alpha, broody, sarcastic, ruggedly handsome (naturally), and irresistible (of course).

Crawford is rough around the edges, but it suits him and his line of work. He doesn’t do well listening to authority, but he has his reasons. Not all of them are noble and most are not popular. But somehow, Brown still manages to make Crawford a pretty likable and relatable character despite his acting like an a$$ a decent part of the time.

The heroine is Judge Holly Spencer, and she is all about following the rules and seeking the truth. (Obviously.) I liked Holly’s sass and professional swagger. The woman is not a pushover and has no qualms about stepping in between two hotheads to diffuse a potentially explosive situation. At the same time, Holly is vulnerable in this story, and her imperfections and moments of spontaneity were some of my favorite aspects of her character.

Friction is more crime fiction than romantic suspense, which suited me just fine, although I will say the romance in this story worked far better for me than it had in Mean Streak. I still rolled my eyes a few times at the early insta-lust, but it became less in-your-face as the story went on.

There is a “whodunit” feel to Friction, but the ending and final showdown revealed itself earlier than I’d expected. It was also less complicated than I’d wanted, which was a slight letdown. Still, after a somewhat clunky beginning to the investigation (some of the early dialogue and narrative felt stilted), I thought that the overall mystery/suspense was paced well and compelling.

Bottom Line

If you’re in the mood for a little romance with your crime fiction, Friction is worth a read. After the initial excitement, it took a little time for the investigation to click and the story to flow. But after the shaky start, the mystery/suspense is well-written, and if you’re able to suspend belief a bit, the romance works pretty well too.

Rating: B

Wine/Beverage Pairing: Two fingers of Texas Straight Bourbon Whiskey. I imagine this had been Crawford’s dad’s drink of choice, once upon a time.

Buy Digital:  Kindle  |  Nook
 
Buy Print:  Amazon  |  B&N
  
 

 

More Titles by Sandra Brown

Mean StreakMEAN STREAK mini cover

Kindle Gal’s Review  |  Goodreads
 
Buy:  Amazon  |  Kindle  |  B&N  |  Nook
 
 

 

DeadlineDeadline mini cover

Goodreads
 
Buy:  Amazon  |  Kindle  |  B&N  |  Nook
 
 
 
 

 

Friction Giveaway

The lovely folks at Grand Central Publishing have generously offered to give away a print copy of Friction to ONE lucky Kindles & Wine reader (U.S. and Canadian residents only).

To enter for your chance to win, you must:

  1. Be a follower of our blog (click HERE to subscribe), AND…
  2. As we wrap up our 4th annual Readers’ Recommendation Review Week on Kindles & Wine, hit the comments and tell me about a book you read and loved that you hadn’t heard of before it was recommended to you. Don’t forget to give a shout-out to the person who recommended it! 🙂

Please note: All entrants must review and adhere to our official giveaway policy. This contest will close on Wednesday, April 6, 2016 at 11:59 PM (CDT) and the winner will be notified via email on Thursday, April 7.

 
Sandra BrownABOUT THE AUTHOR
Sandra Brown is the author of sixty-seven New York Times bestsellers. Writing professionally since 1981, Brown has published over seventy novels and has upwards of eighty million copies of her books in print worldwide. Her work has been translated into thirty-four languages.
 
Her episode on truTV’s “Murder by the Book” premiered the series in 2008. She appeared in 2010 on Investigation Discovery’s series, “Hardcover Mysteries.” Television movies have been made of her novels French SilkSmoke Screen, and Ricochet.
 
Brown holds an honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from Texas Christian University, where she and her husband Michael Brown, have instituted the ELF, a scholarship awarded annually. She has served as president of Mystery Writers of America, and in 2008 she was named Thriller Master, the top award given by the International Thriller Writer’s Association. Other honors include the Texas Medal of Arts Award for Literature and the Romance Writers of America’s Lifetime Achievement Award. In 2011 she went on a USO tour to Afghanistan.