Saturday, June 6, 2009

Just the Sexiest Man Alive by Julie James

Book Description:
Nothing fazes Taylor Donovan—- not in the courtroom and not in her personal life. So when she's assigned to coach People's "Sexiest Man Alive" for his role in the next big legal drama, she refuses to fall for the Hollywood heartthrob's charms. Even if he is "the" Jason Andrews.

Oh. My. God. I loved this book! I was utterly drawn into it from the beginning and loved every single word of it! I haven't been so entertained in ages!

This is the story of Taylor Donovan, smart, pretty, uber lawyer from Chicago sent to LA to work on a particular sexual harassment court case (her specialty) for her firm. Much to her chagrin, she's also been delegated to become a lawyerly acting coach with the world's sexiest man, Hollywood heartthrob actor, Jason Andrews.

Pardon my presumption, but I was convinced Jason was George Clooney the whole time I was reading - and I just happen to luuuuuurvve George Clooney! So, to say the least - I was in love with Jason from the get go!

Taylor and Jason get off to a rocky start. The repartee and dialogue between the two is priceless, including a great cross examination she puts him through in a mock courtroom scene about why he stood her up for two appointments - I couldn't get enough of it. It was so clever and well done! The book was filled with great come backs and insults and witty conversation - I'm in awe of Miss James - she is a master at this! Ms. James sets the scene in Hollywood perfectly, she knows this industry and the business of law - it shows in her writing. Everything sounds authentic. Taylor doesn't like Jason at first, she doesn't trust him, in fact she's just plain pissed off that she has to help this egomaniac pampered movie star be a lawyer for his current movie role. She's busy with her own upcoming trial and has better things to do.

Of course Jason is immediately intrigued by her and can't believe she's giving him the brush off! It was delightful to read how he feels and how this is all so new for him! No one says no to Jason Andrews!

Eventually, they become friends and he's trying every chance he gets to make some headway with her. I loved his urgency that develops - he must see her - he must speak to her, he's actually calling her on his cell phone himself, rather than having his assistant do it! He's interrupting her at her office in front of her boss, he invites her to his house for a spur of the moment lavish party he's planned as an excuse to see her again outside business, he even gets to be her knight in shining armor after she has a car accident - he's falling for her! He's changing too for the better, though there is a learning curve he's facing. Taylor, cool lawyer that she is, handles the attention - and Jason - well, getting her clever digs into him whenever she can, bringing him down a notch (which he loves, btw). To avoid being besieged by papparazzi one night while coming out of Mr. Chow's, he bribes her by getting her to agree to "one night" with him. Not that kind of a night, but a date. She reluctantly agrees and he takes her out - to Las Vegas no less! (I couldn't believe the coincidence since I'm going there in less than two weeks myself! *jumping up and down in excitement*) He flies her there in his private jet and they have a great night together. He teaches her how to play craps in the VIP rooms at the Bellagio (hilarious, btw) and they have a romantic near kiss on the hotel's balcony overlooking the fountains - until it's spoiled by screaming fans.

Taylor thinks of the interruption as a close call. They have many of these sort of close calls. He's getting to her, but she's hesitent - in fact downright fearful - she knows what a reputation as a womanizer he has. She's just recently coming off the break up of catching her ex-fiancee in the act of cheating on her, so she's in no rush to get involved with the man her ex aspired to be like! What's a girl to do? Talk to her girlfriends of course! They come for a visit - and it's an hilarious moment when they meet Jason for the first time - I was laughing and giggling throughout the whole scene - this is such a funny and great book - it made me giddy! I laughed through much of it and even had tears in my eyes towards the end - I wanted to be Taylor Donovan so much! I really liked Taylor, I was rooting for her all the way. By the end I was crying for her!

Meanwhile, the fly in the ointment is another actor, Aussie Scott Casey who is super jealous of Jason Andrews. Casey wanted to the sexiest man alive. Casey figures out how to get to Jason by way of Taylor, but Taylor eventually sees that he's not her match. Some aspects of this storyline reminded me a bit of Pride and Prejudice and the Darcy/Elizabeth Bennett/Wickham storyline. In fact there were a couple of lines in the book that made me wonder if they were tributes to Ms. Austen. Upon review of her blog, she wrote the following which confirmed my suspicions.
As I mentioned in the interview with the Sun-Times, in many ways Austen’s novels inspire my own writing. Just the Sexiest Man Alive was written as a modern, romantic comedy homage to P&P: the story of a smart, witty heroine who vows to resist the affection of an arrogant, sought-after man who, in turn, learns to become a better person in order to win her over.
It made me love the book even more, since P&P is one of my favorite books as well! Surprisingly, this romance had no sex in it, some four letter words and innuendo, but it was remarkably clean and didn't suffer one bit for lack of it. It was refreshing without it!

Will Taylor discover that Jason is the man for her or go back to Chicago after her trial and say good bye to him for good? Can Jason give up his bachelor career and settle down and be happy with a no-name lawyer? You'll just have to read this fantastic romantic contemporary yourself to find out - IT IS SO GOOD! Go out and buy this book - run to the bookstore or download it to your e-reader ASAP - you won't be sorry!



The_Book_Queen said...

You've been nominated for the Literary Blogger Award on TBQ's Personal Book Palace! Check it out :D


Mandi said...

I srsly need to get this book...I only hear great things about it. My bookshelves lack in contemp romance. I just need to go do it!

Awesome review!!

Julie at Outlandish Dreaming said...

TBQ - thank you, you are so sweet!

Mandi - it really was a great book, and so well done, the quick pace and expert dialogue and authentic Hollywood feel to it make it a real keeper for me - a def. re-read!

Erotic Horizon said...

I agree with Mandi - A shopping spree is so in order..

Love the review - the concept is one that i normally shy away from, but this sounds delicious...


Lea said...

This and Practice Makes Perfect are by far my favorite contemp reads so far this year.

Awesome, awesome read...

Happy Reading

Julie at Outlandish Dreaming said...

EH - oh good, glad I've inspired you - do buy it and let me know what you think!

Lea - I think it was your review of PMP that got me to read this, PMP is next for me, though I'm spacing it out. Does PMP have explicit sex in it? A friend of mine was curious, since she never reads that sort of stuff. I think this is the best contemp I've read this year to date, as you can tell, I loved it!

Julie James said...

Too funny, that you pictured George Clooney as Jason. I hear that a lot. I actually had sort of a suave, Cary Grant-type in mind for him, but I also needed a more modern actor to capture the publicity/papparrazi aspects, so for that part I had a Brad Pitt-type in mind. But so many people picture George Clooney that I now like to joke that in Hollywood terms, Cary Grant + Brad Pitt = George Clooney.

Yes, I'm a huge fan of Jane Austen, particularly P&P. Hmm... what lines of dialogue were you thinking of? This one, perhaps?: "Obviously not busy with anything important enough to tempt ME to miss a weekend in Vegas." ;-) My second book also pays tribute to P&P-- even more so than JTSMA.

Last thing I have to comment on: in addition to having the same first name, we have the same taste in dogs. (I have a seven year-old golden retriever.) Too funny.

Thanks again for the great review!


Julie James said...

Yikes-- the first part of my comment was cut off! I'll repeat it here:

Thank you so much for the wonderful, thoughtful review-- I'm so glad you enjoyed Just the Sexiest Man Alive!


Julie at Outlandish Dreaming said...

Julie! My golden is 7 years old too! Aren't they just wonderful dogs - our Hector is such a big lug, we love him to death! I could go on and on about him!

Oh yes, I recognized from P&P the whole "tolerable" word play, and also the part earning his good opinion, though I think that's from the movie, not the book - I must admit, I was once obsessive about the book and Colin Firth! LOL! Can't wait to identify the ones from PMP!

Thanks so much for replying, I can't wait to read PMP and your most recent one you've completed.

Lana said...

Great catch on the P&P connection, Julie! And I loved the near-kiss in Vegas, definitely smoking. I loved reading JtSMA because it kept me grinning and really just made me feel happy. Always a great sign. I ran right out and bought a copy for my mom!

I really enjoyed your review, so I've linked to you here.

Julie at Outlandish Dreaming said...

Thanks for linking me, I think this is my all time favorite contemporary, I simply loved it - glad you did too!

Carpoolqueen (formerly known as Beth) said...

I saw this review the other day, and was so jazzed because I had this book picked out for a reading challenge that I'm doing. I just finished it and I love it too. Definately George Clooney maybe without the dusting of grey....Yea!!

Julie at Outlandish Dreaming said...

Beth - so glad you liked it too - wasn't it just great! It's one of my very favorites!

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