Friction By Sandra Brown

Friction is the latest standalone romantic suspense novel by a favorite author Sandra Brown. I have been reading her novels from the late 80s, back when I first discovered her books on my aunt’s shelf while visiting her during a summer vacation.

I read probably most of the 70+ books Sandra Brown wrote so far (maybe skipped just a few in between) and while the earlier books are the ones that really drew me into this very genre, her latest books have kept the pace as well.

Friction is the epitome of romantic suspense and very formulaic at that. And let’s just say no one can do romantic suspense just like Sandra Brown.

Unrefined boy meets girl on opposite sides of a quarrel. Both are attracted to each other, although they first fight it with every pore of their skin. Boy and girl act on impulse on said attraction, regretting it instantly afterward. When a girl finds herself in mortal danger by some ruthless enemies, the boy becomes her bodyguard, offering himself to her protection. And by that, I mean body and soul. Boy and girl fight the evil together and live to spend a happily ever after in hot, steamy romance.

This is generally the skeleton of a typical romantic suspense novel, and while the mind knows all this – heck I knew from the first few pages exactly what would be the outcome, – Sandra Brown has a knack of making you forget all this and savor every moment you are reading right till the very conclusion you knew from the start.

Texas Ranger Crawford Hunt has a lot of troubles, and his latest one evolves around a custody battle with his in-laws regarding his daughter Georgia, who is just 5 years old. Holly Spencer is a judge who is incidentally presiding over this very case.

Crawford Hunt is a guy who is always in charge. And this time around, there is a woman, a judge, who has his life and that of his daughter in her hands. That is a situation which doesn’t sit well with him at all. But when a murder happens in the same courtroom, at the very time the lady is about to decide his fate, Crawford forgets all about the case and not only jumps to protect the judge, but also runs through the building without regard to anything else, to find the killer.

Thus starts an investigation which has Crawford reluctantly work together with Holly to find the shooter. And in the process, they develop feelings for each other, feelings which cannot be acted upon unless Crawford wants to lose his daughter for good.

The main characters are well fleshed out, although there were times I wanted to throttle Crawford’s father in law, he was that obnoxious. Holly is an intelligent, intellectual and very strong woman. Crawford, compared to her, seems at times like he’s just come out of a cave.

Now I know that many women find this caveman behavior sexy – I did too several years ago – but these days I do prefer the men to have a tenderness in them that Crawford showed only later on when he was alone with Holly.

Stalking her, forcing her to follow him without a word – several times at that, just to have his say, these are rude traits that irked me a bit – although not enough to find the story irritating in any way.

Regardless of these small nitpicking, the story was fascinating as always, and Sandra Brown managed to deliver yet another great romantic suspense novel that kept my attention right to the end. I actually read the book in one major sitting, one afternoon till late at night.

I’m really looking for her next novel, Sting, which comes out later this year.

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