by Julie Garwood

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#1 New York Times bestselling author Julie Garwood’s trademark mix of dazzling love stories, unforgettable characters, and riveting suspense never fails to keep readers turning the pages late into the night. In red-hot Sizzle, she turns up the heat even higher. 

Lyra Prescott, a Los Angeles film student, is closing in on graduation and dives into work on her final filmmaking assignment: a documentary transformed by a twist of fate into a real-life horror film. While working on her project, a rash of mysterious incidents convince Lyra that she’s trapped in a sinister scenario headed for a violent ending. Running scared, she turns to her best friend, Sidney Buchanan, whose connections bring devilishly handsome FBI agent Sam Kincaid into Lyra’s life. As the noose of intrigue tightens, the passion between Lyra and Sam escalates with dangerous intensity. With the rugged FBI agent beside her, Lyra must learn to let down her defenses and follow her heart—even if that leads to deadly peril.

“Sizzle most satisfying . . . If a book has Julie Garwood’s name on it, it’s guaranteed to be a meticulously written, well thought-out, and thoroughly engaging story.”—Sun Journal

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780345500786
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
Publication date: 01/25/2011
Series: Buchanan-Renard , #8
Pages: 384
Sales rank: 112,840
Product dimensions: 4.20(w) x 6.80(h) x 1.10(d)

About the Author

Julie Garwood is the author of numerous New York Times bestsellers, including Fire and Ice, Shadow Music, Shadow Dance, Slow Burn, Murder List, Killjoy, Mercy, Heartbreaker, Ransom, and Come the Spring. There are more than thirty-six million copies of her books in print.

Read an Excerpt

Chapter One

They called him a hero for doing his job. And if that weren’t bad enough, damn if they weren’t making him talk about it.

Special Agent Samuel Wellington Kincaid received a standing ovation when he finished his lecture. He gave a quick nod then tried to leave the podium and the auditorium, but he was pulled back by another FBI agent who insisted that, as soon as the cheering and clapping stopped, Sam answer questions.

Knowing he should cooperate, he nodded again and waited for the audience of cadets and future FBI agents to quiet down. Like most people, Sam hated giving speeches, especially those concerning his work in intelligence, but this was a training seminar and a goodwill mission, and he had been ordered by his superiors to talk about his role in the dramatic capture of the notorious Edward Chester, a radical white supremacist and one of the most elusive criminals in many years.

Despite his reluctance, Sam had been scheduled to conduct five of these seminars around the country. He’d already completed the first in D.C., and this one in Chicago was the second. Next week he would fly to Seattle for the third and then on to Los Angeles. His final stop would be at the naval base in San Diego where he would address Navy SEAL trainees. Inwardly, he groaned at the thought of three more appearances in front of inquisitive audiences who wanted only to hear sensational details of the capture.

This particular audience, however, also wanted to hear how Sam, while helping out on another case, saved the life of Alec Buchanan, a local Chicago FBI agent. The incident had happened six weeks ago, and since then, a few stories had been circulating. Agent Buchanan had been on medical leave, so they weren’t able to get any facts from him. Before Sam was introduced to the crowd, he had been warned about their curiosity and the questions he might face. Was it true Agent Kincaid had gone into a blazing house to get Buchanan? How many gunmen were in the house when he’d broken in? Had he carried Buchanan out seconds before the house exploded?

What happened was a matter of public record. Sam still didn’t want to go into it, but now that he stood at the podium, he was trapped by a group who wanted all the gory details.

Yet the first question Sam was asked had nothing to do with the Chester case or Alec Buchanan. It was the same one that was asked almost every time Sam was introduced. “Agent Kincaid, I couldn’t help but notice your accent. Is it . . . Scottish?” a female cadet asked.

“Yes it is.” Sam was accustomed to people’s curiosity about his background, and so his answer was polite but brief.

“How is that possible?”

He smiled. “I’m from Scotland, and that’s probably why I have a bit of an accent.”

The cadet blushed. Not wanting to embarrass her, Sam continued, “What you really want to know is how someone from Scotland could become an FBI agent, right?”

“Yes, sir.”

“I have dual citizenship,” he explained. “I was born in the United States, but I was raised in the Highlands of Scotland. I did my undergraduate work at Princeton, my postgraduate work at Oxford, then moved to D.C. to get my law degree. I started with the FBI just after I passed the bar.”

Sam evaded disclosing anything more about his personal life by calling on another eager cadet whose hand was raised, and for the next twenty minutes he was bombarded with questions.

Toward the end of Sam’s lecture, Agent Alec Buchanan and his FBI partner, Jack MacAlister, slipped into the room and took seats near the rear door. Alec, still recovering from the wound to his back, shifted forward to find a comfortable position. Neither federal agent had seen Sam for a few weeks, but during the time they had spent with him in D.C., he’d become a good friend.

Jack leaned toward Alec to whisper. “He really hates doing this, doesn’t he?”

Alec grinned. “Yeah, he does.”

“We ought to mess with him a little bit.”

“What have you got in mind?”

“I could raise my hand and ask him a couple of questions about his sex life.”

Alec laughed. A woman in front of him turned around to glare but changed her mind when she saw him. Instead, she smiled.

Jack lowered his voice again. “How long is Sam going to be in Chicago? I forgot to ask when I picked him up at the airport.”

“Two nights. He’s staying with Regan and me, but I had to promise him that my wife wouldn’t cry all over him again.”

Giving an understanding nod, Jack said, “She’s a crier all right.”

“I believe your fiancée shed a few tears at the hospital.”

“True,” he admitted. “Will Sam join our poker game tomorrow night?”

“That’s the plan.”

“Can he play?”

“I sure hope not.”

“Man, listen to that brogue. He’s really miserable up there. Should we save him?”

Alec took a second to watch Sam, who was turning from one questioner to another, and replied, “Nah.”

The two agents thoroughly enjoyed watching Sam squirm in the limelight. Although he looked composed, it was apparent he was nervous because his Scottish brogue got thicker with each sentence he uttered. Alec also noticed that, during his lecture, Sam never used the word “I” when describing his accomplishments. He was humble, self-effacing, and impressive. As Alec had discovered firsthand, Sam was also as hard as steel and as unfeeling as a machine when it was necessary.

Sam was a skilled agent, proficient in gathering intelligence and carrying out missions, but his real expertise was in languages. Truth be told, the only languages he couldn’t translate were those he hadn’t been exposed to. As he had explained to the cadet who was curious about his accent, most of his childhood was spent in Scotland. What he had not mentioned was the fact that, as the son of career diplomats, he had either lived in or traveled to almost every country of the world. Languages came to him easily.

It was this linguistic proficiency that had saved Alec Buchanan’s life.

The Chicago office had sent Alec and Jack to D.C. to follow a lead on a suspected arms dealer. A low-level informant was ready to give them the names of men who, for a price, could help them. While Jack headed off to get background information on a couple of people, Alec planned to make contact with the informant to gain his trust. There was no guarantee that anything would come from the meeting, but the D.C. office insisted on sending along audio equipment to record the conversation anyway. And even though the informant spoke some English, they thought it would be prudent to have a translator on hand.

What was supposed to be a quick meet-and-greet turned into a nightmare.

Sam Kincaid happened to be in the D.C. headquarters at the time finishing a case report. He was reading the last page on the computer screen when the director called him into his office. He asked Sam for a favor. An agent from Chicago was in town to question a possible informant, the director explained, and the translator, who was sitting in a van a block away from the house where they were meeting, was having difficulty.

The director handed Sam a file and said, “This has all the information on the case thus far, along with photos of those involved.”

Sam quickly looked it over and handed the file back.

“The safe house is real close,” the director told him. “Shouldn’t take long. It might even be over before you get there.”

Fifteen minutes later Sam was sitting in the van with the driver, Agent Tom Murphy, and the translator, who introduced himself as Evan Bradshaw. Sam took one look at the perplexed young man at the console and summed up the situation immediately: rookie. Evan handed Sam his earphones and moved aside to give him his chair. “They’ve been talking for about an hour.”

Sam slipped the earphones on and listened for a minute, then turned around to find Evan sliding the van door open to leave.

“Hey . . .” Sam called.


“They’re speaking English,” he pointed out, trying not to sound exasperated.

“I know, I know,” he answered. “But every now and then the guy says a sentence or two in a dialect I’ve never heard. I can’t make heads or tails of it.” He got out of the van and, before he pulled the door closed, said, “I think Agent Buchanan ought to pull the plug on this one. I hope you can understand what the man’s saying. Good luck.”

Only Murphy and Sam remained. For several minutes Sam listened to the conversation, which continued in English. Suddenly he heard two men burst into the house and begin barking orders in another language. Sam understood every word, but he only needed to translate one sentence to know that they were planning to kill the informant and Alec, then blow up the house. The charges had already been set.

“There’s a bomb in the house. Call it in and stay in the van,” Sam shouted as he ripped the van door open. He hit the ground running, pulling his Glock from its holster. He leapt over a fence and raced across the yard. At the sound of a gunshot, he increased his stride and, using his forearm to protect his eyes, crashed through a bay window.

He landed on his feet and took in the scene all at once. The informant, blood oozing from a bullet wound to the head, lay crumpled on the floor. Agent Buchanan was slumped in a chair, his white shirt covered in blood. A gunman running toward the front door whirled around in surprise when Sam crashed through the window. Another gunman stood behind Buchanan’s chair. He raised his gun to the back of Alec Buchanan’s head and shouted, “If you—”

Those were his last words. Sam fired his gun. His bullet struck the man between the eyes. Sam spun to his left and fired several times in the vicinity of the second gunman, forcing him to dive for cover. In a rage, the man rolled, then sprang to his feet. Sam shot him as he was bringing his weapon up.

Not wasting a second, Sam rushed to the unconscious Alec Buchanan, lifted him over his shoulder, and carried him out of the house. He managed to get him across the street and behind a huge oak tree when the house exploded. The force was so great the trunk of the tree shook. Fiery debris rained down on them.

Seconds later, the van screeched to a halt in front of them, and Murphy leapt out to help get Alec inside. While Sam applied pressure to Alec’s wound to stem the flow of blood, Murphy threw the van in gear and sped away from the fire, stopping at the end of the street to summon an ambulance.

Sirens screamed in the night, and within minutes two paramedics were transferring Alec into the ambulance. He had been stabbed in the back, just above the right kidney. They worked quickly to stabilize him. Sam rode with them to the hospital, and though it was only a couple of miles away, it seemed to take forever to get there.

“How’s he doing?” Sam asked once they were well on their way.

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Sizzle 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 480 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Honestly, I was hoping this one would be great, because Sam Kincaid namesake - Alec Kincaid's story was FABULOUS!!! (The Bride). I think another reviewer mentioned it, the contemporary stories are falling short; the characters need more development, the plot is predictable and flat and you are left wanting more. I NEVER felt that way with the historical romances, til this day, I re-read those stories. The pages on those books are barely held together. I have no desire to re-read Sizzle, I was so dissapointed. I just didn't get the characters - what was their story - other than they are both gorgeous and thrown together for a matters of days - DAYS!!! Where is the complexity seen in the Bride with Jaime and Alec, or my goodness the depth in Ransom with Gillian and Brodick or in Castles, or The Gift... I could go on and on.
chrislovestodance More than 1 year ago
Not what I expected from Julie Garwood. I had to make myself finish this one.
Robynn More than 1 year ago
I wish Julie would stick with writing the beloved historical romances which she mastered and we all have adored. Every since she moved into contemporary writing, it just isn't as good. This was one of her better works yet I reread her historical romances over and over. Sam and Lyra had chemistry but it took awhile to ignite and Milo was a stupid distraction. Read her earlier works and just sigh.
harstan More than 1 year ago
In Los Angeles film student Lyra Prescott decides as her final project in Professor Mahler's class to make a documentary on Parisso Park, a dumping ground filled with broken bottles, dirty disposable diapers, old newspapers, and an assortment of other discarded trash. Near the "land filled" playground is a beautiful garden oasis that contrasts to the toxic dump. On her way home, Lyra stops at a yard sale in which Mrs. Rooney is giving away all her husband's things. Lyra takes the CDs and tapes; unaware that crime boss Mr. Merriam wants his foot soldier Milo to snuff out the Rooneys as they have something that could put him away for a long time. His goons go to collect the evidence, but it is not where it is supposed to be. They learn Lra might have what they ar seeking. Two men are holding Lyra's roommate Sidney Buchanan prisoner waiting for her arrival. The two females escape and Sydney uses her contacts to get a bodyguard to protect Lyra. FBI agent Sam Kincaid arrives to do the job, but is stunned by his attraction to Lyra, who knows she can easily fall in love with her protector. They are shot at, her house is trashed, and a bomb is set under her car. Sam vows to risk his life to keep her safe though neither knows what the perpetrators want. Sizzle is the appropriate name for this action-packed romantic suspense thriller as the relationship between Sam and Lyra never cools down. Fast-paced from the moment the hoodlums arrive and never taking a tension breather on the romance or suspense fronts, fans will be stunned to learn who is calling the shots and what the villains seek. Although the escapes especially the pre Sam getaway seem unlikely, Julie Garwood provides her fans with a great taut thriller with everyone (except the bad guys) rooting for this couple to not just survive but to make it together. Harriet Klausner
Jenn5 More than 1 year ago
As Julie Garwood is probably my most favorite writer, I am probably biased! But I own all of her books and think she is wonderful. This particular book is a spin off of the Buchanan's story, so if you have ever read any of those, you can tie this one to the family. This would probably be a good one even if you have never read any of the other Buchanan family books but I would suggest starting in this order: Nick Buchanan's story: HEARTBREAKER Theo Buchanan: MERCY Alec Buchanan: MURDER LIST Dylan Buchanan: SLOW BURN Jordan Buchanan: SHADOW DANCE then read: FIRE AND ICE that spins off characters you meet in Alec's story and SIZZLE is about the best friend of Sidney Buchanan - the last Buchanan we are still awaiting an awesome story about! There are a lot of characters throughout the series that are in multiple books with how they tie to the family and it is great to read about each one of them. And don't forget about FIRE AND ICE, I could only add 5 to the recommended list!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
i was anxiously awaiting this book and for the first time ever i put a garwood down without finishing it. it took me 2 days and i still had to push myself to continue to the end. what happened? very disappointing.
HEDI09 More than 1 year ago
Special Agent Samuel Wellington Kincaid and Los Angeles film student Lyra Prescott...Love interests... Sam doesn't want to experience the pain again that he felt when his wife of three years died. He tries to deny his feelings for Lyra, but... their powerful first kiss leads to more. He begins to share more about himself and the beauty of The Highlands in Scotland where he hopes to return one day. There is no turning back for Sam when their sexual chemistry makes it impossible to deny. Great humor and fun to read!
ACG More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed this book. Its a great read for Julie Garwood fans. If you never read Julie Garwood before I would start with another one of her novles. This is not one of her best works.
nampatel More than 1 year ago
Having read every Julie Garwood book published, I'm a huge fan. One of her greatest talents is building amazing and witty characters (read Shadow Dance for a good example of this). Mercy is one of the most suspenseful, fun and sexy reads. All that said, I can't believe Julie Garwood actually wrote this book. It reads like a non-writer putting together a long story outline as if it was dictated. The characters are so unsympathetic and not whole. The sexy leads were anything but. The dialog was stilted and didn't do much to show the story. The plot was so predictable that a reader could figure it out 50 pages in. For those who are fans, this is not a typical Julie Garwood book. For those that have never read her, don't judge her by this book. I still keep wondering who wrote this book.
veteranBP More than 1 year ago
I read all books in order to understand events as they came. This was a very good read and as usual the might fall (men determined to remain single). I'm not much into mysteries, but since love was involved and a family unit I enjoyed these books very much.
lovinmybooks More than 1 year ago
I loved this book! My first Julie Garwood read and I'm ready to find another. Loved the characters in this book! What I don't get is the front cover of this book, I don't think it portrays any character in this book at all.
CandaceSalima More than 1 year ago
While I believe Julie Garwood is best writing historical romances, she has improved, book by book with her modern novels. "Sizzle" is the best of these modern novels. Throw in a soon-to-graduate film student capturing something with her final project far beyond her wildest dreams. It is a race to the end to find out who is trying to kill her and it is an FBI agent doing a favor for a friend who rides to the rescue. All the elements of a romantic suspense are evident and "Sizzle" is an enjoyable read.
HarriettB More than 1 year ago
There was a very slow beginning that was not classic Julie Garwood. By Chapter 4, however, the story entered a "can't put it down" scenario which continued to escalate throughout the remainder. In other words, I'd rate the book right up there with all of her other suspense-filled books. Julie Garwood has the ability to make me truly "live" a book. Getting into the mind of her main character, Lyra, and sensing her fears as well as her feelings of compassion and love left me wanting more. I was truly sorry to see the book come to an end.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love Julie Garwood's writing. I have most of the books she has written. I especially like the ones with the Scottish Highlands warriors. This books is great and goes with her other modern day romantic/suspense novels.
KayT More than 1 year ago
As always, Julie Garwood continues to be the author of my choice. The story provides all the elements necessary for page-turning, eye-burning, up all night reading. This is a keeper for my collection.
ljspinks More than 1 year ago
Ms Garwood did it again. I read this book in a day. the story line just flows along. the characters are lovable. cant wait for next book.
BoilerQT More than 1 year ago
If you've followed the story of the Buchannons and their friends, then you're familiar with the story line. While a bit predictable, it's still a delectable page turner. You've got suspense, murder, and romance, what else could you need!? Warning: content may sizzle.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I started reading the sample and was hooked from the start so bought the e-book and enjoyed it very much. So much that I bought 4 more of her books and am enjoying them too. Great story telling. The Milo story line had me in stiches. Loved the main characters Lyra and Sam and the ending. Hope to see them in a future book.
jaybirdJC More than 1 year ago
I have two copies of eveery book Julie Garwood has written one paperback one hardback. I loan out the paperbacks to friends to read the hardbacks I keep on a book shelf. I used to hate reading, but now find my self holding my breath until it's release. I stumbled across her first book by accident, a customer left it in the laundromat. I pick it up and started reading it, nothing else to do until the laundy was done. I couldn't up it down! The lady who left the book came in looking for it, I am ashmed to admit I hid the book until she left. After I read it, I return it to the laundromat the next day. And went straight to the book store to purchase it and any others she wrote. Julie Garwood is a non stop reading machine. If you want a book you can not put down, pick up a Julie Garwood!
Anonymous 4 months ago
98*99*88889*k i 98****9*(99
Anonymous 4 months ago
This is the first book I've read by this and will not be the last. A easy read but alot of intrigue. The humor is really good, Milo needs a book of his own. These is no way that man's dumb luck could possibly last. The other characters are so loveable, Gigi, Sam, Lyra and Sidney. Hope Sidney gets a book and more about Max. Heck, I want a story about all the brothers and sisters in this book. I highly recommend this author and this book. mjw
Anonymous 4 months ago
Loved it!
Anonymous 5 months ago
As usual Ms Garwood tells a wonderful tale of good triumphing evil with a bit of humor thrown in to keep the story fun. I enjoy the twists and turns she includes in her books, it makes them re-readers. Her characters always have strength and rarely are they whiners. I hate a story where the heroine is a whiner. Thanks Julie Garwood for another wonder adventure.
krissa on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I really like this series of books by Julie Garwood. I will say she has started to stretch the concept a little though. The series used to about the brothers in a large family as the main characters love interests. Then she added the sisters. This one the female main character was the roommate of one of the sisters, and the male main character had saved one of the brother¿s life. Still, the writing is enjoyable and easy to read, it has the suspense element which I enjoy, and the plots are always different and interesting. And I have to confess, I did develop a mini-crush on the man in this one. I wonder where she will take this series next, it¿s hard to imagine where it can go, and at the same time, I hope she never stops writing these.
bakersfieldbarbara on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I loved this book, and went right back to the library and got the rest of this author's novels. I have recently been unable to finish high anxiety provoking novels, so was hesitant to start this suspense book. The author uses humor, and interesting characters in a delightful way, weaving and creating scenarios toward a delightful end. Lyra Prescott is a film student in LA, and needs to finish a project to graduate. She stumbles upon a yard sale, and in buying the collectible books and CD's, sets herself up to be killed. How it is being planned and executed leaves the reader smiling, and wondering why all criminals can't be as bungling and stupid. It would make police work so much simpler and allow the intended victims another day to live and love. There is murder, mayhem,explosives and passion, but all done in a neatly-crafted novel. Run, don't walk, to the bookstore/library to get this book. And while there, you might as well order the other books by this author, because she simply is one of the best when wanting a novel about passion, adventure and intrigue. Done lightly.