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Mean Streak

Mean Streak

4.2 299
by Sandra Brown

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From #1 New York Times best-selling author Sandra Brown comes a heart-pounding story of survival, that takes the age-old question, "Does the end justify the means?" and turns it on its head.

Dr. Emory Charbonneau, a pediatrician and marathon runner, disappears on a mountain road in North Carolina. By the time her husband Jeff, miffed over a recent


From #1 New York Times best-selling author Sandra Brown comes a heart-pounding story of survival, that takes the age-old question, "Does the end justify the means?" and turns it on its head.

Dr. Emory Charbonneau, a pediatrician and marathon runner, disappears on a mountain road in North Carolina. By the time her husband Jeff, miffed over a recent argument, reports her missing, the trail has grown cold. Literally. Fog and ice encapsulate the mountainous wilderness and paralyze the search for her.

While police suspect Jeff of "instant divorce," Emory, suffering from an unexplained head injury, regains consciousness and finds herself the captive of a man whose violent past is so dark that he won't even tell her his name. She's determined to escape him, and willing to take any risks necessary to survive.

Unexpectedly, however, the two have a dangerous encounter with people who adhere to a code of justice all their own. At the center of the dispute is a desperate young woman whom Emory can't turn her back on, even if it means breaking the law. Wrong becomes right at the hands of the man who strikes fear, but also sparks passion.

As her husband's deception is revealed, and the FBI closes in on her captor, Emory begins to wonder if the man with no name is, in fact, her rescuer from those who wish her dead - and from heartbreak.

Combining the nail-biting suspense and potent storytelling that has made Sandra Brown one of the world's best loved authors, MEAN STREAK is a wildly compelling novel about love, deceit, and the choices we must make in order to survive.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
At the start of this solid novel of romantic suspense from bestseller Brown (Deadline), heiress Emory Charbonneau, a successful Atlanta-based pediatrician, disappears while training for a marathon; the police, along with her colleagues and husband, are soon engaged in efforts to locate her. Awakening after a painful collapse, Charbonneau finds herself in the remote cabin of a handsome, nameless man. While he doesn’t restrain her, he does refuse to drive her to her car, citing inclement weather. She’s distrustful of the claim that he has no phone and begins to question his motives. A parallel plotline involving FBI agent Jack Connell’s search for a man involved with a deadly incident intersects with Charbonneau’s predicament, casting further suspicions on her captor. Florid prose and problematic power dynamics render sex scenes more troubling than titillating, but Brown ends her gone-girl narrative with a surprising denouement that hits the reader like a well-aimed blow to the back of the head. Agent: Maria Carvainis, Maria Carvainis Agency. (Aug.)
From the Publisher
"DEADLINE is both a breathtaking and heartbreaking story; one that will stay with the reader long after the book is finished."

"Deft characterizations and eye for detail make this a winner...Satisfying, vintage Brown storytelling."
Kirkus on DEADLINE

"Sandra Brown meticulously develops a stellar cast of characters, weaving them into a tense, gritty thriller that offers numerous plot twists leading to stunning revelations and a nail-biting conclusion....I'm now wondering why I waited so long to enjoy this talented author's work. I highly recommend Brown's Low Pressure. Its multilayered, intricate and suspenseful storyline is enriched with vivid descriptions and crisp dialogue. If you enjoy romantic suspense, Low Pressure is a book you'll want to read in one sitting."—USA Today on LOW PRESSURE

"A good old-fashioned thriller, and a winner..."—Kirkus on LOW PRESSURE

"Sexual tension fueled by mistrust between brash Denton and shy Bellamy smolders and sparks in teasing fashion throughout."—Publishers Weekly on LOW PRESSURE

"Hair-raising . . . a perfect mix of thriller and romantic suspense."—USA Today on LETHAL

"Pulse-pounding . . . a relentless pace and clever plot."—Publishers Weekly (starred review) on LETHAL

"DEADLINE is both a breathtaking and heartbreaking story; one that will stay with the reader long after the book is finished."
"Sandra Brown meticulously develops a stellar cast of characters, weaving them into a tense, gritty thriller that offers numerous plot twists leading to stunning revelations and a nail-biting conclusion....I'm now wondering why I waited so long to enjoy this talented author's work. I highly recommend Brown's Low Pressure. Its multilayered, intricate and suspenseful storyline is enriched with vivid descriptions and crisp dialogue. If you enjoy romantic suspense, Low Pressure is a book you'll want to read in one sitting."
"Hair-raising . . . a perfect mix of thriller and romantic suspense."
Library Journal
With her husband slow to report her disappearance in the North Carolina wilderness (they'd been quarreling), pediatrician and marathon runner Emily Charbonneau wakes up the captive of a man who won't reveal his name. But he could be her rescuer; there's something suspicious about that husband.
Kirkus Reviews
The perennially best-selling Brown checks in with another “woman-in-peril–hunky-guy-to-the-rescue” romantic thriller.Emory, a wealthy Atlanta-based pediatrician who runs marathons, is training for an upcoming race in a remote mountainous region of North Carolina. She's left behind her self-centered husband, Jeff, with whom she’s had one of their frequent arguments; that’s fine with Jeff, who plans to spend Emory’s absence with his mistress. But then Emory’s plans go very wrong. She wakes up injured and disoriented in a strange cabin with a tall, gorgeous man who refuses to divulge his identity. The mystery man tells her she had an accident on the trail and he brought her back there to recover. Emory suffered a head wound and is both woozy and mistrustful of the stranger, but after a day or so, when she feels well enough to leave, she discovers the mountain road is covered with ice, socked in with a pea-soup fog and not at all navigable, so she heads back to the cabin without even trying to get home. As Emory falls in love with the tall stranger, her petulant husband comes under scrutiny by two small-town police detectives who believe he might not be telling them everything about his missing wife. Brown throws in some steamy sex, a mysterious mistress and an FBI agent who's searching for the mystery man. Brown knows how to pace her stories so fans will keep turning the pages, but while her prose is clean and efficient, readers searching for characters who rise above the stereotypical will be sorely disappointed in this plot-driven entry.Brown’s novels share several qualities: They’re entertaining, competently written, full of twists and turns, but ultimately forgettable.

Product Details

Grand Central Publishing
Publication date:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
5.90(w) x 8.30(h) x 1.40(d)

Meet the Author

Sandra Brown is the author of sixty-eight New York Times bestsellers. There are over eighty million copies of her books in print worldwide, and her work has been translated into thirty-four languages. She lives in Texas. For more information you can visit www.SandraBrown.net.

Brief Biography

Arlington, TX
Date of Birth:
March 12, 1948
Place of Birth:
Waco, Texas
Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters, Texas Christian University, 2008

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Mean Streak 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 299 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Loved it. Story was riveting, kept your interest even though you think you have it figured out. She is just such a good story teller. There are only two who compare. Nora Roberts and Linda Howard. I go back and forth between the three of them. As soon as I think I like one better, I read one by one of the other two and change my mind. As you can tell, this is the latest.. so, now I' ll try Nora and see what I can find..
NYCreadergirl More than 1 year ago
Keeps you guessing up until the very last chapter - and then when you finally think you know whodunnit, you dont! Page-turner - finished in a day!
sharon1JT More than 1 year ago
Sandra Brown has come so far from her earliest books. You’re drawn into this story right from the very beginning with the mystery and intrigue. There are so many surprises that this may be one of her very best yet.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Just read it. You wont be sorry!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Suspenseful, fast paced! I couldn't put it down. Sandra Brown never disappoints! One of her best.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great book
Caroles_Random_Life More than 1 year ago
Another solid Sandra Brown story! I received an advance reader edition of this book from Grand Central Publishing and Net Galley for the purpose of providing an honest review. 5 Stars! I have been a fan of Sandra Brown's work for quite some time. I even stood in line to have her sign my book a few years ago. I have read many of her recent novels but still need to catch up with a few of her recent work as well as much of her older works. When I saw a this book on Net Galley, I requested it right away and was so excited to be approved. As I was reading this book, I wondered why I don't read Sandra Brown more often. I was completely sucked into this book and simply could not put it down. That is exactly what I am looking for when I pick up a book. I am looking for that story that will knock my socks off and make the rest of the world go away for a few hours. This book was really that good. Emory wakes up to find herself in a strange cabin with a man she has never met. She has suffered a blow to the head and while the man cares for her he will not allow her to call for help. This man will not share even the most basic information with her, such as his name. Emory came to the mountains to train for an upcoming marathon. Her husband does not report her missing until several days have passed causing the police to suspect that he may have been involved in her disappearance. Meanwhile, Emory is beginning to trust the man in the cabin to some extent. When he asks her for help in caring for a young girl, Emory, a physician, quickly agrees. This book was extremely well written. I found the characters to be believable....for the most part. Of course with any work of fiction, some characters will have exaggerated traits which is to be expected. There were characters that I loved and others that I really disliked which is what makes for an excellent story. There were plenty of plot twists and I found myself guessing right up until the end. I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a book full of twists and turns. I plan to keep reading Sandra Brown and catch of on a few of her older titles.
XXXOOOBookwormOOOXXX More than 1 year ago
Pediatrician Emory Charbonneau’s love for long distance running has been a bone of contention in her marriage for quite some time now but that won’t deter her from heading off a hundred miles into the mountains on a training run. In fact, it’s just the weekend break she needs to take a breather from the latest argument she had with her husband. Things were looking more and more bleak in her marriage and she would deal with it…when she got back. Unfortunately that wouldn’t be on Sunday as she had planned. Emory sets off on her run and wakes in a small cabin with a gash on her head, a headache from hell, and a stranger taking care of her. Her immediate reaction is one of fear and confusion but almost as quickly as those feelings settle in she senses this stranger wouldn’t hurt her and with bad weather rolling in and no way to contact her husband or friends, she would be stuck with him for a day or two. Hopefully her second set of emotions ring true and this stranger won’t be putting her in danger while she recovers a bit and tries to figure out how she ended up in this situation in the first place. Was she attacked? By this man? Did she fall? By the time her stay in the mountain cabin is over she will be warring with too many emotions to name and will have to reconcile with the fact that maybe the people she has trusted aren’t the ones she should and maybe this stranger was…. You all know I read. A lot. And every once in a while a book comes along that touches me on a different level and when it happens it’s magic. This was one of those books. While there are a few things I can’t give away, I can tell you that this is without a doubt a book you need to have in your library. Emory’s story starts off with quite a bang and doesn’t let up until the very end. There were so many twists and turns and questions along the way and it all had me glued to this book. Emory’s husband was suspect from the start and I didn’t know if he was the one behind her accident or even if it was an accident. Ms. Brown did an amazing job with giving the reader warring emotions when it came to him. There was also the stranger to consider. Emory’s savior…or was he? I will tell you that from the time we meet him you just know the story behind him is going to be emotional…good or bad, it was going to be rough. He is one of the most memorable and incredible characters I’ve ever read. No, he doesn’t speak a whole lot. No, we don’t know his name until the last few chapters. No, we don’t find out his story until the very end but that didn’t make one bit of difference. His actions and mannerisms said more than words. He is rigid and tough, living simply but has a soft side he shows only a few times in this story. But still we are left to wonder if he’s dangerous or if he’s one of the good guys. We are lead to believe from the hints he gives of himself that he isn’t exactly one of the good guys but it didn’t matter to me…I loved him anyway. Of course, while Emory is in the woods, her husband and friends are looking for her and that leads to more than a few revelations that had me gasping audibly more than a few times. I can’t give anything away but be ready for a heaping spoonful of “I never saw THAT coming”! Just trust me when I say this is a book you need to read. Suspense, mystery, and high emotion are just a few of the facets that make Mean Streak one of the best books I have ever read.
BBLB More than 1 year ago
I have been a big fan of Sandra Brown and have enjoyed her evolution as a writer over the years. This book was promising for about the first half, then became predictable and just preposterous. As the story progressed there were too one dimensional characters falling into the good or evil categories, making it far too easy to predict the outcome. I strongly disagree with the other readers who found surprises right up to the end. This one was a disappointment.
booksandwine More than 1 year ago
Kept me guessing until the end. I liked the characters, but it did feel like it was a Showtime soft core love story at times. Trashy fun is what I'd call it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The beginning was decent and I thought it would turn into a dark thriller. On the other hand, it turned out in my opinion, to be a far-fetched romance novel.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I really wanted to like this book given the title. The plot was one you've likely read dozens of times which is fine but the story line is preposterous. I was skipping paragraphs to just get to the relevant points. I also find the fact that the main character in the book runs triathlons to be completely unnecessary yet it was rather core to the story. A lot of what was supposed to make up the story line was really just back story, and the author failed to root the characters in what was supposed to have made them the characters they are. If it had been written much darker it might have been a great read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Predictable - Typical story that you would see on Lifetime.  The good people are too good and naive and the bad folks are super bad. The characters are one dimensional.  
FLDrgnldy More than 1 year ago
Reads like a romance novel. Unlikely situations, unreal people.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I am not a fan of the character villain telling how things happened explaining the end away. It is not believable that the main character stood out in freezing temps to hear whey the bad guy was going to kill her for 10 minutes. Silly and hokey and very predictable. I wanted to like it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Damn it, I bought this book for 12.99 per Nook. Predictable story line, Typical ending. Very disappointed. 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Loved this book! RIVETING! Didnt want it to end!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
If you like a story that you can't put down until the end, this book definately does that.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book kept me reading faster and faster just to get to the end. It has many plot twist that keep you guessing until the end. Worth the read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A somewhat lame whodunit murder mystery with a soppy love story thrown in. Lots of holes in the plot that left me scratching my head...give the reader some credibility Ms. Brown. Silliness.
readinrobin More than 1 year ago
Emory drives from her home in Atlanta to a small town in North Carolina and spends the night in a motel, so she can run the next day on the trails in a national park. Early in the morning she's an hour into a long run over mountain terrain. And then suddenly stars explode in her head and she's out cold. When she wakes up, with a killer headache from a nasty head wound, she's in a small cabin with a formidable looking man who says he found her unconscious. He answers her questions tersely or not at all, and won't tell her anything about himself, including his name. He does tell her the fog outside is too heavy for him to risk driving her anywhere on the icy mountain roads, and he has no phone or close neighbors. He disables her cell phone and won't give her the password for his laptop, so she can't even contact her husband or her partners in her medical practice to let them know she's okay.  Meanwhile her husband, Jeff, is canoodling with his girlfriend, and when the girlfriend begins to express worry over the fact that Emory hasn't called him and hasn't been home yet, he says Emory is probably still mad at him after the argument they had the night before she left. Eventually he does also start to worry, calling around to see if anyone's heard from her, and then driving to North Carolina himself to report her missing and hassle the local police for not doing enough to look for her. And of course, being the spouse, he's a suspect. We also meet the deputies investigating Emory's disappearance, an FBI agent, and an assortment of other characters, both good and bad.  So how did Emory get her concussion? I was pretty sure throughout most of the book that I knew who conked her on the head, or who was behind her being conked on the head. Pretty sure, but never one hundred percent.  Lots of books in the romance and/or mystery/suspense genres feature a hero who is a “bad boy”. A dark horse. Mysterious. You know who the hero is as soon as he's introduced, and you know the hero is a good guy. You know that, whatever crimes he's been accused of or actions have been attributed to him, there will be a reasonable explanation, or extenuating circumstances, or a clearing up of a misunderstanding. So I went into this book expecting that. But this guy. I wanted to like him. Did like him. Wanted to fall for him, the way I fall for every Sandra Brown hero. But I was conflicted. Plagued by doubts. Trying to reconcile his good traits with his bad traits. It was an emotional see saw. And that's a testament to Sandra Brown's writing ability. To her characterization.  The plot was so layered I never knew where it was going. And when I thought I did, Ms. Brown threw me a curve ball. The characters are all distinctive, and her descriptions of the landscape or the surroundings always left a clear picture in my head.  I love this book. 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was a 5 star book 80% of the way through. As with many mysteries, once the truth begins to reveal itself, there is disappointment. At the same time, events are very lopsided towards “the good guys” in a Hollywood fashion – would make a great movie. And, just like a prior Sandra Brown novel I read, the physical characterization of the main woman and man are “ideal”. There are several sex scenes so well described that the aforementioned movie would be X-Rated. Regardless, the book is still worth reading and is good overall.
Chrystal54 More than 1 year ago
Unpredictable plot twists, romance, and a shocking climax drive this riveting mystery. 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Incredibly predictable
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The first book i have read by this author but definately nit the last. First book in a long time i couldnt put down. A great suspensful book with some great plot twists.