Publisher's Note:  

#1 New York Times bestselling author Julie Garwood’s trademark mix of dazzling love stories, unforgettable characters, and riveting suspense never fails to keep readers turning the pages late into the night. In red-hot Sizzle, she turns up the heat even higher. 

Lyra Prescott, a Los Angeles film student, is closing in on graduation and dives into work on her final filmmaking assignment: a documentary transformed by a twist of fate into a real-life horror film. While working on her project, a rash of mysterious incidents convince Lyra that she’s trapped in a sinister scenario headed for a violent ending. Running scared, she turns to her best friend, Sidney Buchanan, whose connections bring devilishly handsome FBI agent Sam Kincaid into Lyra’s life. As the noose of intrigue tightens, the passion between Lyra and Sam escalates with dangerous intensity. With the rugged FBI agent beside her, Lyra must learn to let down her defenses and follow her heart—even if that leads to deadly peril.

“Sizzle most satisfying . . . If a book has Julie Garwood’s name on it, it’s guaranteed to be a meticulously written, well thought-out, and thoroughly engaging story.”—Sun Journal


by Julie Garwood

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Overall Review:  

In Sizzle, Julie Garwood presents the reader with a story of mystery, family, and romance. This romance, however, is somewhat devoid of any sizzle, and the romantically involved characters seem to have more inner turmoil than they do chemistry for each other. The progression of the relationship feels like a foregone conclusion, forced because it’s where the author wants the story to go rather than a reasonable conclusion of natural attraction or sizzle.

The characters in this book have some interesting traits, but they are not very consistent. Some of them do things that are so contradictory to other things they have done earlier in the story or that the author has told us about them that those actions seem unbelievable.  There are some characters and subplots that seem to be shoe-horned in simply to add length to the story by adding subplots that feel superfluous.

The overall plot of this story is predictable in places, and in other places the events are so coincidental that they are unrealistic. As with the romance portion of the story, the mystery portion contains plot elements that seem to happen simply because the author wants things to happen that way. Obviously, every story is written the way an author wants it, but with most stories, the author’s hand is behind the scenes and the story flows in what seems like a logical pattern. In this book, it seems more like the plot is led by its nose to its expected conclusion, and the journey to get there is not engaging for the reader to enjoy being led along.

Content Analysis:  

Profanity/language: 18 religious exclamations; 24 mild obscenities; 4 derogatory names; 2 anatomical terms.

Violence/Gore:  A verbal threat; a man threatens to rape a woman; a man threatens another with a gun; a gunshot is heard and suicide is implied, then later reported; a car bombing is averted and the incident mentioned a few times; a few mentions of past injuries from fights; report of gang wars; report of a man hitting a child; report of a fistfight; report of a murder; a character is mildly injured by a cosmetic procedure; a fight with minor injury; a character beats and kicks another; dogs bite a man; characters shoot guns at others; characters are mildly wounded while participating in a sport; a character shoots another to death; a vehicle is vandalized; a character drowns accidentally; a character fatally wounds himself in a fall; a man is shot to death accidentally; a gunfight with death and major injuries (not graphic).

Sex/Nudity:  Characters flirt verbally a few times; characters kiss briefly; characters kiss passionately a few times; men and women consider how attractive each other are (noticing legs, curves, muscles, etc) several times; a woman debates whether to wear conservative pajamas or a sexy nightgown; a kiss on the cheek; a few instances where man is jealous of a handsome man who is near the girl he likes; a few scenes in which a woman pines and mopes about a man leaving; man considers whether he loves a particular woman or not; a young woman considers getting breast implants to be sexier; mention that men only want sex; mention of “casual sex” and “hooking up”; characters discuss a woman’s reluctance to have sex; a man threatens to rape a woman; mention of strip club; a man fantasizes about what a woman would look like with her clothes off (no details described); a joke is made about a character’s sex life; brief discussion about sex and prudishness; man caresses a woman’s leg and neck; a few reports of a men having extramarital affairs; report that a character is a womanizer; report of characters having sex; man remembers having sex with a woman (no details); a character reads “girlie magazines” (no details); a man walks in on a woman sleeping in the nude (she is barely covered by a sheet); a man and woman shower together; characters sleep naked together (but they actually sleep); prostitution is mentioned; a sex scene with passionate kissing, caresses, with climax mentioned (but not many details); a few sex scenes with moderate description of nudity, caressing and kissing places normally covered by a bathing suit.

Mature Subject Matter:  

Murder, including murder for hire; death; suicide; loan sharking; theft; child abuse (mention); vandalism; prostitution (mention); death (spouse).

Alcohol / Drug Use:  

Adults smoke tobacco and drink alcohol; used needles are scattered at a location.

Reviewed By Calinda
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