Julie James could write about the periodic table and I would buy the book, read it and totally enjoy it. Yes I am a big fan of Ms. James and yes she is that good. My one complaint? I wanted more. I needed the story to go on. I wasn't ready to say good-bye to these characters *sniffle*. And now the long wait begins until the next Julie James offering is available *sigh*.
Her latest release A Lot Like Love is her fourth book and she just keeps getting better. This book features a beautiful, sophisticated, refined, wine shop owner and billion heiress (well she will be one day) Jordan Rhodes and a don't [...] with me (and he has a really good face to go along with it too!), scruffy, just finished an undercover assignment, take charge, Cro-Magnon FBI agent Nick McCall. You can see where this is going right? Oil and water? Opposite ends of the spectrum? No matter how different Jordan and Nick are it doesn't take long before the sparks are a-crack-a-lacking between these two.
Jordan would do anything for her twin brother Kyle who just happens to be incarcerated and that includes getting "into bed" sorta speak with the FBI if it means getting an earlier release for her brother. How hard can it be to carry on a "fake" relationship for one evening? Harder than you think Ms. Rhodes!
I, like Nick don't know anything about wine, care nothing about wine and all it subtleties and when he was asked how an expensive glass of wine smelt - he replied like I would: "Like wine". Ms. James takes the wine world and makes it interesting and so fun with her sarcastic dialogue and witty storytelling. She takes a simple scene about educating Nick in the fine art of wine tasting and makes it totally sexually charged...with no sex at all. Spit or swallow anyone?
Nick is gruff, rough around the edges and puts his don't [...] with me face to good use whenever he thinks it will get him what he wants. But we also get to see a gentler side of him when he has to explain to his old world Italian Ma why he can't make it to her sixtieth birthday party and then there's a small crack in his armour when the "fake" boyfriend routine with Jordan starts to get on his nerves. It was fun to see the big, I'm-in-charge agent get taken down a notch when he realizes he wants more from Jordan than a "fake" anything. It's something he's never experienced before in his relationships and it was good to see him have to work through his feelings for the beautiful heiress.
Ms. James uses pop references in her books that make me laugh. This time in A Lot Like Love she incorporates Twitter and breaking it for 2 days, she references the character Sawyer from the TV show Lost and then the coupe is mentioning Dancing With The Stars (in Something About You it was The Bachelor). These are all things I, as a reader relate to and love. These small mentions really enhanced my reading enjoyment and I am sure I had a perma-grin on my face the entire time I was reading A Lot Like Love.
And finally Julie James provides the answer to that age old question of why men really do watch Dancing With The Stars with their significant others. Makes me wonder if Mr. James enjoys the Monday/Tuesday night viewings?
I am a great fan of James's writings. However, this book was a disappointment. The individuality, independence of the female lead was the reason I bought her books. This one misses that. It seemed a bad copy of her previous "something about you". Julie please write something original again