Julie James is the perfect definition of quality over quantity; I admit that I would love it if she could write one book a month because I really enjoy them, but since that is impossible one book a year would have to do.
In A Lot Like Love we meet Jordan Rhodes, she is the daughter of one of Chicago’s richest men. She is independently wealthy thanks to her business and to a down to earth father who wants his children to earn what they have. Some months ago her twin brother Kyle went to prison, and since then she has been sick with worry about him. So when the FBI offers to release him in exchange of her help to catch a crime lord and one of his associates (who happens to be a client of hers) she accepts. All she has to do is go to a party with an FBI agent posing as her date and distract the bad guy while the agent plants some bugs in the place. But all goes wrong when the nice and easygoing agent gets sick and is replaced by hot-alpha male-obnoxious Nick McCall, and they are forced to keep faking that they are dating when it turns out that the bad guy has feelings for Jordan.
I admit that it took some time for me to get into the book; the first part was a bit slow for me, but oh boy does it gets better. I have to say that is no coincidence this book is titled A Lot Like Love, because that is exactly how I felt about it. The main characters are incredible, Jordan is a great protagonist; she is funny, down to earth, hardworking, loving, and sarcastic. I haven’t enjoyed a heroine that much in a long time. I loved a lot of things about Nick, but the best part was that he had a distinct voice, yes he was a typical alpha male but you could really get him, he wasn’t just another stereotypical hero, he felt like a real person (or as real as someone that hot can be). I think this is one of James' better qualities as a writer -and she has lots of them- every character is perfectly defined. Most of the time when reading a book narrated in third person all the character’s points of view sound a bit alike, more like you are reading the author’s voice than the character’s; this is not Julie’s case, in every POV I felt like I really was inside their heads especially with Nick and Jordan, but also with Xander Eckhart the villain, I was even able to connect with him and actually felt sorry for the guy, not to mention that he also was a fun character.
The other great character was Kyle, James' comedic abilities shined through him, he went to prison after shutting down Twitter, come on! How cool is that? Also, he looks like Josh Holloway and everybody on prison calls him Sawyer. The inmates and prison guards were also endearing.
Jack Pallas and Cameron Lynde, the protagonist of Something About You, play smaller roles on this one, but you don’t need to read that book to understand A Lot Like Love, and if you read this one first there are only a couple of spoilers but they won’t ruin the other book for you.
Now, this book has a bit of suspense, but it really is a love story with a touch of comedy. You always know who the bad guy is, there is no gruesome murder and you are not worrying about the heroine’s life all the time, there is none of that here. So if that is what you think you are getting into you will probably be disappointed. If you have read James' books before (and if you haven’t what are you waiting for?!) then you know exactly the type of story you are getting into, and you also know that you are going to have a lot of fun reading it.
The only reason I don’t give this one a 5 is because the beginning dragged a bit for me, and this was not my favorite Julie James book, that honor goes to Practice Makes Perfect, I read that book a year ago and I still grin every time I think about it, in fact, I think I’m going to read it again right now because I’m not ready to let go of the fun yet.
Oh! And I love that the guy in the book cover is getting a little frisky there with the woman, look where his hand is!
Review by Brie
Jordan Rhodes is invited to all of Chicago's best parties, but there's only one the FBI wants to crash. To get her brother out of jail, she agrees to take Agent McCall as her date. But when the mission gets botched, requiring their "relationship" to continue, it starts to feel less like an investigation-and a lot like something else.
Berkley. March 1, 2011.