Sunday, March 7, 2010
There's something about Julie James...
Staying overnight in a luxury hotel, Assistant U.S. Attorney Cameron Lynde overhears a high-profile murder involving a U.S. Senator. Special Agent Jack Pallas is assigned to the investigation-the same Jack Pallas who still blames her for nearly ruining his career three years ago. Now the pair will have to put their rocky past behind them, focus on the case at hand-and smother the flame of their sizzling-hot sexual tension.
Upon downloading this book on my kindle I was floored by how quickly I got into it, from the first few words I was hooked. I'm still amazed at how quickly I sped through it, despite not being able to read it every living minute, due to a busy week at my daytime job. Julie James is probably my favorite contemporary romance author, and it never ceases to amaze me how tight and concise her writing is. No unecessary verbiage and background fodder, it's all to the point, pertinent to the plotline and compelling all the way through. I loved every word and was stunned when it was over - I didn't want it to be over! I wanted the sexy wordplay and blistering edginess to never end. Long live Cameron and Jack! I couldn't get enough of them!
This was a slight departure from Ms. James' previous romances, Just The Sexiest Man Alive and Practice Makes Perfect- two of my very favorite contemporaries. This romance is more suspenseful, it involves a murder with lots of danger and tension and not just of the criminal variety - the sexual tension between Cameron and Jack is delectable. It was still definitely a romance, in fact I had to fan myself more than once due to the steamy sex scenes between Cameron and Jack - Ms. James has eclipsed her last books in this regard - hotter and sexier. I never thought I'd get over Jason Andrews (the hero in Just the Sexiest Man Alive) but, alas, move over Andrew, there's a new sheriff in town - Jack Pallas - and I want him. Now.
Jack is sex on a stick - everything I love in a hero. Tall, dark and handsome, which goes without saying. But, he's built. Strong and muscled - but not overly so. He can wear a suit gracefully (he's an FBI agent afterall), but he also wears that oh-so-delicious facial scruff as well. The kind that grows back within hours of shaving - ummm. Just right... The kind that after he's kissed you a few times - thoroughly, I might add, the telltale redness appears on your lips and surrounding areas to indicate to all, who may be attune to these sort of things, that you've been kissed - thoroughly. Yup, that's why I love scruff. And Jack has it in spades. There are loads of other things I love about him, but a few that stand out for me are, he wears a blazer and bluejeans (I love that look), rides a motorcycle handily, he's gentle when he needs to be, and he's rough when it's called for (in or out of bed). He appreciates a sense of humor - and he is not hung up about dating someone who can order him around, careerwise, or who lives in a house bigger than his. Oh, one more thing - a few scars don't hurt - I seem to have a penchant for men with scars on their bodies. Weird, I know, but it's a bi-product I seem to have picked it up from my love for Jamie Fraser in Outlander. A man who has been tortured in the past, yet has had the ability to overcome it. He has that vulnerablility with honor and nobility mixed in that gets me everytime. I'm a sucker for it.
Don't worry, I'm not ignoring Cameron. I really loved her, even if I was a tiny bit jealous of her. She's smart and beautiful and - she has Jack! She's quick thinking and sensible. I was glad that she wasn't some wilting lily who fell to pieces in tense situations, in fact she was amazingly resilient, bullet wounds and all. She didn't do the usual "I don't need your protection" line when she's told she's going to require constant surveillance since she has overheard a murder, and most likely the murderer is going to come after her. She takes it in stride and accepts it, despite the fact that Jack must move into her house. Cameron is no idiot, she knows she's attracted to him and she doesn't shy away from it - which leads to all sorts of tantalizing scenarios. Besides that, she is a professional afterall and the daughter of a cop. She knows the score. I liked that in her. I also liked the fact that she doesn't keep the truth from Jack about what happened in their past three years earlier. She tells him about it as soon as he moves in with her. She too has an honorable side to her that I admire. On a quirky note, one thing that I'm in awe of is how she can wear high heels all the time! We're talking 3" and up! How do her feet stand it? But, no matter how she does it, she wears them well - and with aplomb. There's this one scene with silver heels and a black silk thong... well, you get the picture. Wow!
That's reminds me, I must make note of the cover of the book - it's fantastic! Plus, it's a cover of Cameron and Jack - and she's actually wearing a noteworthy dress from the story! I am impressed! Ms. James must have a good amount of clout with her publishers to pull this off! Brava!
Not only is the story gripping with suspense all the way up to the end, but it has it's comedic moments and a nod to one of my favorite all time movies, It Happened One Night starring Clark Gable. Jack Pallas has that certain je ne sais quoi about him that Gable's characters had as well. Rugged, strong, take charge men that are softies when it comes to that one woman that was meant for them. I've always loved Gable, so this was a perfect comparison for me.
Do yourself a favor and read Julie James' latest offering - it is so worthwhile! I loved every word and felt like reading it all over again as soon as I finished it! This is a definite keeper (as are all her books). The top notch writing, snappy dialogue, well thought out plotline with a murder, wedding and a heart stopping finale makes it the most entertaining book I've read this year! Don't miss it! This is an author to keep an eye on - an automatic buy for me always!