Monday, March 21, 2011

A Lot Like Love by Julie James

Book Description:
The FBI wants her cooperation. As the daughter of a billionaire and the owner of the city's top wine store, Jordan Rhodes is invited to the most exclusive parties in Chicago. But there's only one party the FBI wants to crash: the charity fundraiser of a famous restaurateur, who also happens to launder money for the mob. In exchange for her brother's release from prison, Jordan is going to be there—with a date supplied by the Bureau. Agent McCall just wants her. As the top undercover agent in Chicago, Nick McCall has one rule: never get personal. This “date” with Jordan Rhodes is merely an assignment—one they're both determined to pull off even if they can't be together for five minutes before the sarcasm and sparks begin to fly. But when Nick's investigation is compromised, he and Jordan have no choice but to pretend they're a couple, and what starts out as a simple assignment begins to feel a lot like something more. . .

Another winner by Julie James! 

Julie's books, hands down, are my favorite contemporaries.  A Lot Like Love picks up after Something About You, her previous romantic suspense novel.  In A Lot Like Love, can a beautiful and wealthy wine store owner socialite (who also happens to be the heiress to a billion dollar fortune) mix it up and fall for a sexy, hard core FBI agent assigned to a case where he has to pose as her boyfriend?

Yes, of course! 

Naturally, there are many bumps in the road to love and Nick McCall - the sexy FBI agent - is not "easy."  He's rugged, ruthless and an old school former NYPD cop.  Nick is the kind of guy that's more at home posing as a Mafia hit man than attending lah-dee-dah wine tastings where Chicago's rich and famous mingle over $100+ bottles of wine.  That is until he meets his most recent assignment - Jordan Rhodes.  Such sacrifices one must make for the sake of law and order!  You see, Jordan has something that Nick (and the FBI) wants.  Jordan happens to be friends with a local restaurateur that has mob connections and the FBI is dying to take him down for money laundering and to help capture a mafia kingpin.  Jordan can help with the sting to trap him.  Jordan also happens to have a brother that is in jail (for hacking into Twitter of all things!) and the FBI is willing to spring her brother with Jordan's cooperation in the sting of the restaurateur.    A natural combination. 

As you can imagine, Nick and Jordan come from different worlds yet that doesn't stop them from being attracted to one another.  I loved this story.  Jordan is likable (despite being beautiful and rich) with a vulnerable side to her.  She loves her twin (a dead ringer for a certain handsome rogue on the TV show Lost) and is willing to do anything to shorten his jail time.  Even though she's an heiress, she's her own person.  Normal, responsible, strong and smart.  She is nothing like Paris Hilton!  I really liked her and loved the way she handled herself around Nick who was determined to make her feel uncomfortable at first.  Upon first meeting, he had her pegged as the usual spoiled prima donna rich bitch, but how wrong he was!  Before long he realizes she's special and the sparks fly.  A fake kiss turns into something more and before long he's jealous of any man that hangs out with her - one particularly funny part was when he spies her having a private tete a tete with a man with a scarf in her wine shop after hours.  Nick dispatches him handily!  I love tough, jealous FBI guys, especially when they're marking their territory and Nick does it so well! 

There's plenty of intrigue, danger and lots of canoodling - a business trip to the wine country in Napa Valley turns into something more than just wine tastings.  It was one of my favorite parts of the book.  Yet, afterwards I could have screamed!  I'd fallen in love with these two as a couple.  Jordan and Nick are playing a dangerous game posing as lovers, but what's real and what's play-acting?  Grr!  Neither one of them wants to pull the trigger and say how they feel about the other - I was going crazy reading about these two idiots and how neither one would speak up as they say good-bye after their magical trip to Napa!  I felt like slapping both of them!  Luckily all ends well after handsome Nick saves the day after a nail biting finale while rescuing Jordan.  Nothing like a little danger and a near death experience to put things in perspective.  Afterwards, I loved the moment when he meets Jordan's father and brother!   *grin*

Sorry about the all over the place review, but I always feel kind of "wobbly" after reading one of Julie's books.  I love her characters so much - I almost feel "unworthy" writing about them!  I always feel like I wish they really existed - I want to meet them and hang out with them!  They're real to me!

Do yourself a favor, if you've never read a Julie James book - read one.  Every one of them is great.  Just trust me - A Lot Like Love is no exception.  This is a fun contemporary romance with enough danger in it to keep you riveted, but enough sexual chemistry between the hero and heroine to keep you... interested.  Plus, we see some of our old friends from Something About You (I have a major crush on FBI man Jack Pallas - I was simply giddy at getting to see him again!)  Although this is a sequel to it, it is not necessary to read it before A Lot Like Love.  Julie's books have it all:  humor, fast paced action and dialogue loaded with snappy come backs and sizzling romance.  You simply can't go wrong with her.  A quick, fun read!



Patti (Book Addict) said...

Glad to see you liked this one - I bought it but haven't read it yet...I think I'm going to bump it up to "next", lol. Great review!

Julie at Outlandish Dreaming said...

Patti - I love Julie's books, they are my favorites, read it soon - it's a keeper!

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