REVIEW: Sizzle by Julie Garwood
Dear Ms. Garwood:
Sizzle is the latest contemporary offering and it brings to readers Samuel Wellington Kincaid from Scotland. If readers speculate that Sam Kincaid might be a descendant from Alec Kincaid, they would be right, although little is made of this. It’s more of an easter egg than anything.
Lyra Prescott is a grad student making a documentary film for a project in one of her classes. She initially chooses to do a documentary on Paraiso Park to show how idyllic parks are for families (sounds like one of the most boring documentaries ever) but when she goes out to Paraiso Park, she finds it to be a toxic waste dump, abandoned and unhealthy. She sets up a camera to take time elapsed photos of the dumping. She also finds a small, pristine and isolated area in the park that looks like a memorial.
On the way home one day, she drives by a house that is having a yard sale. Upon stopping, Lyra discovers that it is not a yard sale but an angry wife throwing out all her husbands’ belongings including a number of rare books and DVDs. Lyra takes a number of them home with her.
Lyra becomes the target of violence causing her roommate to call her brothers for help. Her brothers, (Buchanans), enlist Sam Kincaid because Sam saved Alec Buchanan’s life once and therefore Sam owes Alec a favor. The mystery is whether it is the park or the rare books that serve as the source of the danger to Lyra. Sam takes Lyra away from her home and installs her in a safe house where he agrees to remain with her until Alec can arrange for a suitable replacement.
Sam had been married once and lost his wife at a young age. He didn’t have any heart left to give a woman, not even one as beautiful, kind, and wonderful as Lyra. Sam wants a replacement but each bodyguard that arrives is flawed. They are too handsome, too lecherous, too soft looking. Even though Sam really, really wants to get away from Lyra, he cannot, in good conscience, trust her safety to these random men. Those were the cute moments in the book:
"A new bodyguard will be there early tomorrow morning," Alec said. "His name is Brick Winter."
"Is he FBI?"
"No," Alec answered. "He's with Mead Security Company out there in L.A. Detective O'Malley recommended him, and I checked him out. He's good. He knows what he's doing."
"Have you got a file on him?"
"Sam, the guy does this for a living. He's been in Iraq, Special Forces, two tours. What's bothering you?"
"I want to be convinced she'll be in safe hands." Sam didn't realize how transparent his words were.
The story interjects the random musings of an incompetent criminal by the name Milo who decides that Lyra is an angel and he must protect her. I felt like these sections were meant for comic relief, but I found them to be a disjointed bore that bordered on the ridiculous. I could have easily had those removed and the story would not have suffered one jot.
There is no sense of urgency or suspense. I think it’s because the characters are all so perfect. They have no layers. Lyra is like a Disney Princess and Sam is from romance casting 101. We know, from the beginning of the story, that Sam Kincaid can do superhuman things; and we know that Lyra is so perfectly wonderful that even the criminals hired to hurt her are drawn to protect her. Evil wilts in the face of the glorious Lyra. Despite the lack of tension and the overall treacly tone of the story, it was a fast read. I will also confess to totally being a sucker for the fact that this was Alec Kincaid’s descendant. Damn me.
For readers looking for the magic of The Bride (Alec Kincaid’s story), I don’t think it’s found in Sizzle. It’s a pleasant diversion but at hardcover prices, it would be hard for me to recommend that as anything but a library read. C-
This book was provided to the reviewer by either the author or publisher. The reviewer did not pay for this book but received it free.