Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Review: A Lot Like Love by Julie James

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 fund-raiser 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 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...

Julie James is on my automatic buy list.  And A Lot Like Love is her best book yet. 

Jordan Rhodes is the first of Ms. James' heroines who has no basis in the field of law.  She's normal, well, normal in the sense that she's not an attorney.  Being a billionaire's daughter with a Maserati isn't normal in my neck of the woods.  Overlook those things, because Jordan isn't flashy or snobbish with her wealth.  She's got guy troubles, happy friends, she's overworked at times -- the usual stuff -- except that her brother hacked into Twitter not once but twice, then landed himself in a federal pen. Because she loves her brother, Kyle, she's willing to help the FBI in exchange for his early release.

Nick McCall is coming off a six-month undercover assignment and has no real inclination to jump back into the fray.  When Agent Seth Huxley, Jordan's "date" comes down with the flu, he steps in and has a difficult time stepping out.

That was his fake girlfriend in there. Sitting at the table where they had just shared cheese fries the night before. And if she thought she could throw scorching hot sex-looks to any pansy-ass scarf-boy who wandered into her shop, she had another think coming.

Be it the snappy dialogue, the sexually-charged back-and-forth banter, or the fact that both Jordan and Nick give as good as they take, it was only a matter of time before their fake relationship turned oh-so-real.  And when it does, it is oh-so-good.

Can't there be a new Julie James book every quarter?  That would make me a very happy reader.

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