Sting by Sandra Brown
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Synopsis from Goodreads:
“When Jordie Bennet and Shaw Kinnard lock eyes across a disreputable backwater bar, something definitely sparks. Shaw gives off a dangerous vibe that makes men wary and inspires women to sit up and take notice. None feel that undercurrent more strongly than savvy businesswoman Jordie, who doesn’t belong in a seedy dive on the banks of a bayou. But here she is . . . and Shaw Kinnard is here to kill her.
As Shaw and his partner take aim, Jordie is certain her time has come. But Shaw has other plans and abducts Jordie, hoping to get his hands on the $30 million her brother has stolen and, presumably, hidden. However, Shaw is not the only one looking for the fortune. Her brother’s ruthless boss and the FBI are after it as well. Now on the run from the feds and a notorious criminal, Jordie and Shaw must rely on their wits-and each other-to stay alive.
Miles away from civilization and surrounded by swampland, the two play each other against their common enemies. Jordie’s only chance of survival is to outwit Shaw, but it soon becomes clear to Shaw that Jordie isn’t entirely trustworthy, either. Was she in on her brother’s scam, or is she an innocent pawn in a deadly vendetta? And just how valuable is her life to Shaw, her remorseless and manipulative captor? Burning for answers-and for each other-this unlikely pair ultimately make a desperate move that could be their last.
With nonstop plot twists and the tantalizing sexual tension that has made Sandra Brown one of the world’s best-loved authors, STING will keep readers on the edge of their seats until the final pages.”
I loved this book! I didn’t want to put it down from the moment I started until I finished. It was full of suspense and romance with several surprising twists and turns along the way. I was really unprepared for some of them!
This book is much more about the suspense than the romance, and I liked that. I liked that it was fast paced and that the story was about so much more than the personal relationship between the hero and heroine. At first, I couldn’t even see how this book could be termed a romance, and I wondered whether I just assumed there would be romance since the first Sandra Brown book I read was romance (no idea which it was, I just remember having read something of hers). Then, at a certain point, it became clear that there was some romance in there, but I wondered how it could possibly work out.
I really liked that the romance took a back seat to the more interesting suspense plot. There are so many exciting things going on in this book. Every time I thought something would work out a certain way, it didn’t (although I did guess one of the plot elements early on, I hadn’t been quite sure how it would work). I don’t want to say too much about the plot because I hate spoilers, but suffice it to say that it’s very exciting! There are hit men, criminals at large, FBI investigations, missing people, and a kidnapping. Nothing is ever calm in this book, not even for a minute.
Jordie, the heroine, is so easy to root for, even as we’re wondering what secrets she’s really hiding. Does she know something? Is she innocent and just caught up in her brother’s web of lies? What’s happening? It takes a long time to get to the bottom of what Jordie knows, and that’s a good thing. Also good is her ability to stay calm and rational in a crisis and her willingness to go down fighting. No one likes a simpering heroine who waits around to get rescued. She’s complex and strong, and she feels like a real person, someone who isn’t all good or bad. She’s loyal and caring, and I loved that about her.
Shaw is more difficult to figure out than most of the characters. He’s a hit man, but he’s not just out for a quick buck, or so it seems with Jordie. He wants money, and lots of it, but he also seems to have a soft spot for her. He’s got a mysterious scar and a quick wit, and despite the fact that we know we should hate him (hello, professional hit man?), somehow he’s likable, at least at times. He’s super interesting as a character throughout and I really liked that his role changed several times throughout the book.
This book was absolutely unputdownable for me and I gave it five stars. It’s fast-paced and exciting all the way through, leading to surprises and revelations that are, in my opinion, truly shocking. I definitely recommend this one!
*ARC from Grand Central Publishing via NetGalley