Review: Friction by Sandra Brown

Format: E-bookfriction
Read with: iBooks for iPad
Length: Novel
Genre: Contemporary Romantic Suspense
Series: Standalone
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Hero: Crawford Hunt
Heroine: Holly Spencer
Sensuality: 3.5
Date of Publication: August 18, 2015
Started On: August 19, 2015
Finished On: August 22, 2015

“You don’t have a claim.”
His eyes narrowed. “I kinda do.” He started walking toward her, and for each step forward he took, she took one back until she came up against her desk. “That unreasonable, unrefined fuck on your sofa gave me a claim.”

Sandra Brown is one of those authors that I always look forward to reading. Since Ms. Brown publishes just one novel a year of late, her stories have become that much more coveted. Because in a genre that is overburdened with stories that don’t really make the cut, Ms. Brown still manages to deliver highly readable ones, worth every penny they cost you.

Texas Ranger Crawford Hunt is pursuing the battle of his life, i.e. the battle for custody of his daughter Georgia. On the day of the verdict, like a nightmare that you can’t wake up from, a lone gunman bursts into the courtroom, firing his weapon, not giving much of a consideration at who might be hit. Acting on instinct, Crawford saves Judge Holly Spencer’s life, the woman who actually stands between him and the custody of his daughter.

Unwillingly, Crawford is drawn to the investigation surrounding the lone gunman, a hero to the public owing to his fearlessness, a person of interest to the lead investigators on the case, all because of a personal grudge with Crawford. To make matters more complex, Crawford and Holly’s reaction to one another definitely goes beyond a matter of “conflict of interest”, made that much more vexing by Holly’s campaign for renewal of judgeship.

With a multifaceted cast of secondary characters that gives the story an added richness, Ms. Brown throws all your senses haywire, the mystery behind the shooting turning taking more puzzling turns as the clock ticks. I had my theories about where the story was headed. Whether Holly was the target as initially thought to be or not. It’s always a delight when an author juggles multiple characters with fascinating aspects to them that gives a story that ultimate grandeur making it unputdownable. I like a book that makes my brain whirl around, trying to put the pieces together and Friction did that for me. 

Holly and Crawford’s reaction to one another was the coup de grâce for me. All of it was nothing short of hot and all consuming! From the very first time these two get together; and I was ready to throw iPad at the wall thinking Ms. Brown had cheated out on us by just referring to the brazenly hot quickie, I was a goner. Holly the judge whose job makes her see things in black and white and the big bad Texas ranger who always colors in between the black and white and operates with his own set of rules. Both are characters you fall in love with from the very start and that’s how you convince readers of the fact that they belong together, even though they seemingly have nothing in common and have insurmountable odds stacked against them. Ms. Brown is a wizard at delivering just the right touch, where its needed.

Crawford deserves a few lines of his own if you ask me. So effing hot. No two ways about it. Just the kind of hero that Ms. Brown is famous for delivering, in almost all her stories. Tall, grey eyed, commanding, handsome and the list goes on; Ms. Brown creates heroes of the kind that you fantasize over, over & over again. Crawford’s brand of seduction works – works so well that I definitely craved for more! Georgia’s character too deserves a mention. Adorable is the word I would use to describe her and I believe no reader would be left untouched by the charm her character delivers to the story.

Fear not if you think that Friction might have the sort of ending the story Lethal did. Friction delivers a well rounded ending to a tale that had my gut churning from all the nervous anticipation, not to mention the moments of fear upon facing the sheer evil that drove Crawford to the lengths he had to go to. In other words Ms. Brown, splendid, as always.

Definitely recommended. For fans of suspense with that bite of romance, commanding heroes & long lasting love that defies everything!

Final Verdict: With Friction, Sandra reasserts her mastery in a genre that she continues to dominate!

Favorite Quotes

“No problem. Better now?”
She nodded and when she did, her forehead brushed against his chest and then rested there. His hands stilled on her shoulders, then moved to encircle her neck, his fingertips gently kneading the back of it. She set her hands at his waist and leaned into him. A deep inhale caused her whole body to shudder.
“Shh.” He hugged her closer and sent his fingers up into her hair until he was cupping the back of her head in his hand. His other slid down her back and began stroking her spine. On one downward trip, it slid past the small of her back and settled on the curve of her hip. And stayed there.
Suddenly neither of them was breathing.
After what seemed an endless time of absolute stillness, she tilted her head up.
Crawford looked down into her brimming green eyes and thought, Oh fuck.

“I’m as much to blame for that as you.”
“That’s not what you said earlier tonight. You suggested I’d had an ulterior motive.”
“That was wrong of me. I know you didn’t plan it. I know you regret what we did.”
“Hell I do,” he growled. “I only regret what we didn’t.” Keeping his hands on the wall, he pressed into her softness with unmistakable implication, bending his head, and claiming her mouth with his.
For crissake, we didn’t even kiss, he’d said.
He rectified that now, fiercely and possessively, and she let him.

She smiled. “You made rather obvious your aversion to him.”
“What gave me away?”
“You stormed off without a word to anyone.”
He looked angry, then chagrined, then angry again. “He sailed in and acted like he owned you.”
“He hugged me.”
“He held you.”
“What’s the difference?”
“Where he put his hands.”
“He and I were together for a long time. We’re familiar.”
“He’s familiar, reasonable, and refined. But I’ve got a caveman mentality. When he put his hands on you, I wanted to rip out his throat. Mine are the only hands I want touching you.”
“You don’t have a claim.”
His eyes narrowed. “I kinda do.” He started walking toward her, and for each step forward he took, she took one back until she came up against her desk. “That unreasonable, unrefined fuck on your sofa gave me a claim.”

“This plan to ‘cancel it,’” he said, “how’s that working for you?”
“Not very well.”
He placed the heels of his hands on her hip bones and curved his fingers around her bottom. “For me either.”
In a hushed voice, she said, “I wish I still had it to look forward to.”
His eyes searched hers. “Do you remember it the way I do?”
“How do you remember it?”
“To tell you, I’d have to get really graphic.”
“Blushing terms?”
“Gutter terms.” He leaned in closer and whispered, “Wanna hear how tight you were?”
She closed her eyes momentarily. “Crawford.”

In a shockingly short time, she was gathering fistfuls of his shirt, then her hands moved up to his shoulders, where they held on, her fingers digging into the firm muscles. Her back arched and held in a silent plea for one more stroke…one more glide…one more… And she came.
The instant he felt her helpless clenching, he surrendered to his own climax. The intensity of it caused his arms to collapse. He settled heavily on top of her, pulsing inside her, his breath hot and damp against her neck as he groaned, “Christ, christ.”

“Crawford…”
The moaned admonishment was so halfhearted, he continued, kissing his way past her collarbone to her breast. He nuzzled the tip through the damp cloth of her t-shirt.
She exhaled a sharp breath. “I woke up this morning dreaming about it.”
He gently cupped her other breast. “Good dream?”
“Sinfully good.”
“Holly Spencer, bad girl.”
“I think you must be right. The dream was exactly as it happened. I was eager, and you were very…decisive.”
The smile he felt in his heart never quite reached his lips because they were lowering to hers. “I had to be inside you. Just had to be.”

It wasn’t until she groaned his name that he obliged her, but tantalizingly, applying his tongue so softly, so exquisitely that her breaths evolved into moans, and her body drew up tight. Attuned to her, he centered the caresses, concentrated them into ever-shrinking spirals, until the sensations painted onto her coalesced into a burst of pleasure so intense, she couldn’t contain it.
He levered himself up and, with one strong thrust, he was inside her, appeasing her craving to be stretched, filled. He trapped her orgasmic cries inside a kiss and then let her drift down and rest while he sipped at her earlobes, her eyelids, her lips.

He was stingy with the pressure of his thumb on the outside, drawing out the pleasure, holding off until she released a low keening, and then he curled his fingers forward inside her, creating a gentle squeeze between the two pressure points.
She clamped her lower lip between her teeth. Her back arched as she raised her hips and ground against his hand. Into her ear, he poured a litany of love words, sexy words, dirty words. Finally she coasted down, and her lazy eyes fluttered open.
He laid a soft, tender kiss on her lips. “Beautiful.”
“You are.” She reached up and pushed her fingers into his hair. “And much sweeter than you let on.”
“Me, sweet?”
“Hmm. With your daughter. With me.” She outlined the shape of his lips with her fingertip. “You’re not so tough.”
“Say things like that, you’ll ruin my reputation.”

Purchase Links: Amazon | B&N | Kobo | BAM | iTunes

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