Barrie Travis is a D.C.-based journalist struggling to make a life for herself. After a mortifying and professionally-damaging report, Barrie is relegated to working as an underappreciated reporter at a low-budget news television station. When the First Lady calls her with a stunning revelation, however, Barrie is ready to sacrifice her job, her integrity and her reputation to get the story.
Sandra Brown delivers a great read heavy on lust and plot. With a slew of complex and unsavory characters, Exclusive has Brown’s typical graphic descriptions. While it doesn’t have the grittier characters of Unspeakable or The Witness , Exclusive does examine the mercilessness and cruelty of some men and the lengths they will go to conceal their true natures. Plot twists, sexy encounters and the pursuit of a good story propel Exclusive forward, making it both an intriguing and entertaining read.
Plot Overview: Conspiracy, Corruption and Lust
Barrie Travis is in pursuit of a hot story: the First Lady claims her infant son, who died of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, was murdered. As Barrie uncovers layers of corruption and disloyalty, she meets Gray Bondurant, a former friend and confidant of the President. When a spark of attraction flares, Gray and Barrie must deal with their growing lust while trying to solve a conspiracy of Watergate magnitude.
President David Merritt and his wife, Vanessa, are a couple worthy of Camelot; young, beautiful and charismatic, the Merritts rule the White House. Behind closed doors, however, David is abusive and Vanessa is mentally ill. When their marriage begins to crumble, David and Vanessa turn to spiteful, vengeful actions. The result of their feuding leads to a series of events that involve espionage and murder. With Barrie and Gray caught in the crosshairs of the dysfunctional couple, secrets begin to tumble out as lives are threatened.
Criticisms and Compliments
Exclusive is a gripping read, made even more so by Brown’s knowledge of journalism. A former journalist in Corpus Christi, Texas, Brown has first-hand knowledge of the pressure, ethics and fact-finding involved in getting the scoop on a potentially explosive story. Her descriptions of Barrie’s journalistic motives and the newsroom environment are accurate and colorful, and characters Daily and Howie Fripp easily fit the “newspaperman” mold.
Like most Sandra Brown novels, Exclusive is heavy on lust and plot twists. Brown’s particular brand of romance and mystery is fast-paced and exciting, and the quality of her writing is excellent. Exclusive easily captures a reader and promises a fun ride.
- Brown, Sandra. Exclusive. Grand Central Publishing, 1997 ISBN 9780446604232