Review: A Lot Like Love by Julie James

Format: E-book
Read with: Amazon Kindle
Length: Novel
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: FBI, Book 2
Publisher: Berkley Sensation
Hero: Nick McCall
Heroine: Jordan Rhodes
Sensuality: 3
Date of Publication: March 1, 2011
Started On: March 2, 2011
Finished On: March 3, 2011

Holy smokin’ hotness! Julie James just keeps getting better and better and has delivered on all aspects with her 4th contemporary romance and has totally blown me away with the sinfully mouthwatering Nick McCall. This was exactly what I needed after my last read which I had similar high expectations which ended up being a huge disappointment and in euphoria over how well this one turned out, I just might end up blowing a couple of kisses  through Twitter to Ms. James because simply put, she just rocked my world with this one!

Special Agent Nick McCall works in the FBI Chicago field office and is one of the top undercover agents in the agency. Coming from a family of 3 brothers of whom Nick is the eldest, their father having served 30 years in law enforcement, Nick and one of his brothers had followed in their father’s footsteps and become law enforcement professionals. Six years working vice for NYPD had seen Nick restless for more and he had ended up training to become an FBI agent and the undercover work keeps Nick on his toes providing him with a challenge that he relishes in when it comes to his job. A man who likes his drinks fiery and hot, Nick is a man who doesn’t do relationships – ever. That is until his one on one encounters with his latest undercover stint leaves him wanting & feeling much more than he should and sees him breaking every damn rule in his dating guide for bachelors who wants to maintain their bachelorhood status.

33 year old Jordan Rhodes is a billionaire heiress and one of the richest women in Chicago. The proud owner of the DeVine Cellars, Jordan is not your typical rich woman as she and her twin Kyle has always been taught to make their own way in the world regardless of how rich their father might be. Stunningly beautiful with long blond hair, a svelte figure and Caribbean blue eyes, Jordan is not at all prepared when Mr. Tall, Dark and Smoldering himself walks in requesting her assistance in an undercover mission making her an offer that she would never be able to turn down.

Once Jordan makes the deal to help the FBI along in nabbing Xander Eckhart who has been laundering large sums of money for Roberto Martino who had run the largest crime syndicate in Chicago for years and had just recently being arrested, its puts her in close proximity to Mr. “Sex on a Fucking Stick” as her friend Melinda puts it, and there is no turning back from the fact that Nick manages to get under her skin unlike any other man that she has known.

Nick’s plan and assignment is a simple one. Assist the agent in charge with his first undercover assignment until inevitable circumstances end up with him playing out the designated undercover role. Prepared to dislike Ms. Rich Princess all the way, Nick is surprised and a little bit wary to find out that there is more to Jordan than that meets the eye and underneath all the media frenzy and public image is a sassy, kick-ass woman who makes him lose his senses – all in a good way.

Whilst Nick and Jordan both try to forget and fight how they start feeling about each other, the smoldering attraction that flares and heats up refuses to let go of its hold making this an immensely enjoyable read. And amidst all this, the villain makes evil plans of his own, driven to the brink of insanity by the way in which he has been betrayed by a woman who he trusted and had set his sights on before his world had started crumbling and crashing down on him.

All in all, a very satisfying read with a hotter than sin hero that I would just love to find wrapped in one of my birthday presents this month! Well a girl can always hope, can’t she?

List of things I loved:

1- Nick McCall. He is smoldering sensuality rolled into a very enticing package with a bad boy scuff around his angular jaw from time to time which makes me just want to run my hands all over him. Julie James can certainly create the heroes hot; hot enough to make this girl’s salivary glands work overtime throughout the story.

2- Jordan Rhodes. She is smart, beautiful, down-to-earth, loyal to the boot and entirely lovable. She is just sassy enough with the sarcastic quips that she exchanges with Nick, exactly what Nick needs to stand up and notice that his life as a bachelor was going through its very last stages with her in his life. I loved everything about Jordan and found her to be just perfect for Mr. Tall, Dark and Smoldering!

3- How the relationship between Nick and Jordan unfolded. It wasn’t lust at first sight which has both or either the hero or heroine panting after each other before the first couple of pages are through. However, the attraction that smolders and leaps into the pages comes out subtle at first and then kicks the reader’s ass making this book so very worth reading. And Nick when he decides to stake his claim does it so very well that I wouldn’t mind being pressed up against a red brick wall and shown just how much he would love to claim me! *winks*

4- The rest of the cast of characters that lent a rich feel to the story. They didn’t steal the limelight (thank God for the fact!), but lent interesting tidbits to the story that makes me want to find out more about for instance the romance between agent Jack Pallas and the US Attorney which is hinted at throughout the story.

5- Nick’s “don’t-fuck-with-me” face! Just cracks me up whenever that reference comes up!

6- The invigorating banter between Jordan and Nick. Always a plus point when the conversation is a stimulator in a romance.

7- The cover. I just love the fact that both Something About You and A Lot Like Love has book covers that depict both the hero and heroine attired in outfits described in the story.

A story that earns big, fat 5 stars from this reader, and very highly recommended for fans of Julie James and fans of contemporary romance which features a hot hero, a sassy heroine and a little bit of danger thrown into the mix to give the story an extra edge. Next up is Jordan’s twin brother Kyle’s story. With women swooning all over him over his likeness towards Lost’s actor Josh Holloway, I am all set to enjoy his story. When will that be out is the question of the month. Hopefully Ms. James would answer that before I burst from the innate curiosity that is simmering inside of me right now.

Favorite Quotes

Jordan hesitated before sliding across the seat. She stepped down from the SUV – one high-heeled, leather-booted leg first, then the other. Because Nick held the door open, they stood close to each other.
Thick snowflakes fell around them and tangled in her hair. Her voice was low, her tone as cold as the air. “The next time you want to know something, Agent McCall, don’t bother to sweet talk me first. Just ask.”
“I assure you, Ms. Rhodes, when I sweet-talk a woman, she knows it.”

At first, the kiss was light and teasing as his lips gently brushed against hers. It took Jordan a half second to respond, but then she realized something; he was playing with her. Trying to take control with his whole I’m-in-charge, Mr. FBI Agent routine.
The hell with that, she thought. If there was going to be kissing involved in this undercover operation, she was going to do it right.
She slid her arms around Nick’s neck and pressed closer. She parted her lips and kissed him back, softly melding their mouths together. She felt him freeze- ha, ha, he hadn’t been expecting that — then suddenly —
— He was kissing her. Really kissing her. And wow.With his hands holding her cheek, his tongue circled around hers in hot sweeps that made her breath catch.

“Interesting.” Melinda’s eyes went wide as she slowly shook his hand. “Melinda Jackson.”
Coming in at a flat five feet tall, she let her gaze travel up before she got to Nick’s face. She seemed to take particular note of his unshaven jaw and casually untucked dress shirt.
She turned to Jordan with a grin that spoke volumes. Somebody got la-id. “Now I know why it took you so long to get to the door.”
“Nice, Mel. We were simply …” Jordan looked at Nick for help.
“Trying to start her espresso machine,” he offered.
Melinda raised an eyebrow. “Is that what you kids call it nowadays?”

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Review: Practice Makes Perfect by Julie James

Format: E-book
Read with: Amazon Kindle
Length: Novel
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: Standalone
Sensuality: 2.9
Publisher: Penguin Group
Hero:  J. D. Jameson
Heroine: Payton Kendall
Date of Publication: March 3, 2009
Started On: March 9, 2010
Finished On: March 10, 2010

Finishing this book means that I have read through the list of available books by Ms. James and I would have to say that she is one helluva of a writer, one that I would definitely be on the look out for in the future. It’s too bad that she has published just only 3 novels. Now if there were like 15 more so titles to go through, I would indeed be a very happy bookworm for a couple of weeks.

Anyhow, I have identified that Ms. James likes to write romances that feature lawyers, that factor into the story their busy lives, how they juggle their careers, how stressful their lives actually are trying to become a partner of their firm and of course scenes of the courtroom drama makes it all a more worthwhile read. This book is in no way an exception to this rule.

Payton and Jameson have been working for the same law firm for the past 8 years, during which they have both worked their asses off foregoing everything just so that they would be able to make partner after the 8 year term is up. Never having a cordial relationship between them has boded well for them since they have never had to work together on anything as their branch of law took them in different directions most of the time.

However, fate works towards bringing these two together when a 20 million dollar legal case jumps into their firm’s lap and Payton and Jameson are both assigned to woo this client into hiring their firm for the job. Once this becomes a done deal, however Payton and Jameson both realize that somewhere along the way, the rules of making partner in their firm has been changed and that only one of them would come out as the winner.

All the bets are off when slight misconceptions of actions by both Payton and Jameson to one another brings out moments filled with hilarity that I couldn’t stop myself from laughing out loud several moments during the novel. Especially the part where Payton has her naked butt in the air in front of everyone at the court house and the hilarity that ensued is something any romantic comedy lover would definitely love to read.

As much antagonistic and distrustful these two are of one another, they both slowly come to realize that the facade of anger and animosity that they have put up around one another is just a defense mechanism against letting themselves recognize what they actually feel for one another.

Its a journey fraught with misunderstandings, hilarity, passion and sweet moments that definitely makes this book a worthwhile read.

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Review: Just the Sexiest Man Alive by Julie James

Format: E-book
Read with: Kindle
Length: Novel
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: Standalone
Sensuality: 2.9
Publisher: Penguin Group
Hero:  Jason Andrews
Heroine: Taylor Donovan
Date of Publication: October 7,  2008
Started On: March 8, 2010
Finished On: March 9, 2010

After reading the latest novel by Ms. James, I decided to give her other two novels a try cos I liked her writing style and character development a lot. Although the romance factor in this novel is pretty much less compared to her latest novel, the game that springs up between Jason and Taylor right from the start is exhilarating enough to keep the reader avidly interested till the very end.

Taylor moves to a branch of her law firm in Los Angeles from Chicago for the case that’s going to make her career. Someone who has always been career oriented, Taylor has no time for fun and games, especially after what she found her fiance doing with his secretary at his work desk, just months prior to their marriage. One thing that Taylor had learnt early in her age, being the only girl in a household of rambunctious  boys was that no matter what happened, Donovan’s never admitted defeat and never did cry. So holding her head high, although she is hurt, Taylor throws herself into the invigorating case of sexual harassment as the defender knowing full well she is going to win the case no matter what.

Quite unexpectedly Taylor gets dumped with the job of teaching Jason the ropes of courtroom drama for his new movie in production. Jason is everything Taylor is not. Standing her up for the two appointments that were supposed to start off their little project, Taylor is ready to brush off her hands off Jason, though he just might be the sexiest man alive on whom Taylor had laid her eyes on.

Jason is not accustomed to having things go any other way than his. He finds himself intrigued when Taylor doesn’t really care about how famous he is and how he is coveted by the rest of the female population surrounding him. And when Taylor gives as good as she gets during their verbal sparring matches, Jason is hopelessly hooked line and sinker though he refuses to admit his feelings to himself, but rather tries to make Taylor jealous by using other means which eventually in the end backfires on him.

Interesting plot with two likable characters. As I said before though there is not much of a romance till the very end of the novel, it is highly entertaining and one can never go wrong in picking this novel up for a bunch of laughs.

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Review: Something About You by Julie James

Format: E-book
Read with: Amazon Kindle
Length: Novel
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: Standalone
Sensuality: 3
Publisher: Penguin Group
Hero:  Special Agent Jack Pallas
Heroine: Assistant U.S. Attorney Cameron Lynde
Date of Publication: March 2, 2010
Started On: March 7, 2010
Finished On: March 8, 2010

Its been ages since a book has been good enough to warrant that I stay up all night to finish it. Yes, this book was that good. Since I haven’t ever read a book by Ms. James I would have to say she has hooked me onto her writing style which is a mix of suspense, murder, mayhem, red hot passion that sizzles between the two lead characters with a bit of humor thrown into the mix to make a helluva of a story.

FBI Special Agent Jack Pallas and Assistant U.S. Attorney Cameron Lynde had a falling out three years ago. Jack blames Cameron for ruining his career and thinks that she is the one who made the Justice Department send him off to Nebraska after Jack badmouthed Cameron all over the national media.

Now, three years later, Jack is back and Cameron finds herself as the only potential witness in a high stakes murder of a call girl involving a senator. Whilst Cameron only saw the back of the killer, he is not taking any chances to lead all this back to him and he pulls all the stops to eliminate Cameron and wipe her away from the almost perfect crime that he committed.

Though at the beginning Jack is all but pulsating with anger at Cameron, he slowly starts to find out that there might be more than what meets the eye in what took place three years back. And there was that simmering sexual tension between him and Cameron that no matter how hard Jack tries to ignore, seems to blaze hotter and hotter with every encounter.

This is one delicious book for fans of romantic thrillers can never go wrong with. I absolutely loved every fricking minute of it!

Till next time!

P.S. I guess this is one of those rare times when the cover of a book actually depicts something described in the book. The cover filled my head with all these hot images during one  of  the most delicious mouthwatering scenes in the book. *wink* *wink*

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