That title is so bad. As soon as I typed it I realized it sounded dirty and thought I should change it, but I'm not going to because you're reading this review now because I gave it an inappropriate title, aren't you??
Or you're reading because you're just a nice person and I should stop blathering (and judging you). Moving on!
So, Sandra Brown - when she misses with me, it's the kind of miss that makes me question why I continue reading her books. To be fair, all her misses have been her much older work. Her new stuff seems to be my brand of catnip.
Dripping, even, with real asshole characters (pardon my french) that any rational person would be totally turned off by, and I WOULD BE TOO, except that this is kind of her shtick and I know her shtick.
She's going to make you hate everyone so that you're questioning EVERYONE's motives so that she can trick you in the end - and it works. Heroes are villians, villians are heroes, dogs and cats are living together...well, it's not quite mass hysteria, but the plot twits just keep coming.
Friction is 100% pure entertainment for me, it's got a mystery that kept me constantly guessing, suspense that kept the pages turning, and a central character romance that was sticky AND non-obtrusive to the story telling.
Texas Ranger Crawford is trying to regain custody of his 5 year old daughter after voluntarily relinquishing her to his in-laws while he was (destructively) grieving the death of his wife. When a masked gunman enters the courtroom during his trial, he does the only thing he knows how to do, protect the innocent, pursue the attacker. What follows is a roller coaster ride of contradicting evidence, desires and ultimatums.
Really, people that he has to contend with are both unbelievable pricks, and at the same time, very believable pricks (as in, you've met the type before - not over the top mustache twirling, fedora wearing wannabes). For this reason, you can't count anyone out as the killer (or killer's employer).
Plus, Crawford isn't all rainbows and puppies either, especially in the beginning - but then the scenes with his daughter come around, and really, it's just the kind of heart melting stuff that poor schleps like me just eat right up.
Though I'd call myself a fan of Brown overall, that doesn't mean I've liked all of her catalog with the same fervor. I've 1 and 2 starred some and have given no others a 5 star rating. This particular book of Brown's was perfection for me personally because everything ended up the exactly the way I wanted. It may not be a literary masterpiece, but it sure hit the spot.
(Oh, I listened to this on audio and Stephen Lang rocked it.)