A new Julie James book is always a reason for celebration. She is one of my favorite writers and since she takes her time with her books (with good reason!), I have to savor the new books when they come out. AND… when the book features two characters who have an antagonistic past together, well, it’s just more reason for me to dive in headfirst into this book as soon as it is available.
FBI agents Jessica Harlow and John Shepherd don’t like each other. At all. When they are assigned to work together on a short case out of the Florida branch of the FBI, they aren’t pleased but they are both professionals, so they swear anyway. Heading into Florida, they keep trying to one-up each other, making sniping comments about their work and their past with each other. Yes, it was a little reminiscent of a badly concealed college crush, but it worked for me. I love a drawn out antagonism in my relationships sometimes so this worked for me quite nicely.
Once on the case though, Jessica and John are committed to catching this politically corrupt politician. They will stay in character and end this case with another criminal caught.
I liked quite a lot about this book. I really enjoyed seeing how committed both John and Jessica were to their careers. Julie James continues to do her research and the FBI setting in Chicago comes alive. These two characters know their stuff and aren’t afraid to show off to each other just a bit. But they are both some of the best agents in the field because they do the work needed (the research, the questions) to make their cases air tight. Julie James shows that as these two get to know each other again, they clearly admire the other’s work ethic.
One of my favorite parts of the book were the “he said” and “she said” chapters where John and Jessica thought about their past training together to join the FBI. They both have skewed versions of each other because of this.
They are also both facing recent heartbreak. Jessica is newly divorced. John recently caught his girlfriend sleeping with a good friend. Neither is ready to put their heart on the line again needless to say. But sometimes, you can only fight chemistry for so long. Even when that chemistry has a time limit, since John is heading down to Virginia to join an elite Hostage Rescue Team. Even as Jessica and John get closer, they know their days together are numbered.
There is a lot of emotion packed into this book but Julie James handles the story like a typical pro. I fell really hard for both of these characters and came to like and respect them so much. Jessica in particular is a new favorite Julie James heroine for me. I love seeing a woman succeed in a male dominated field and the FBI is definitely that. All of Julie James’ female characters are intelligent and determined. These are no shrinking wallflower women.
The Thing About Love is fun and sexy. There are few authors who can pull me away from my cellphone sometimes but Julie James remains one of those rare finds. She is an author who compels the reader to keep reading. Fully fleshed out characters, exciting character arcs, and sizzling love scenes combine to make for a fantastic reading experience.
The Thing About Love is available now!
ARC provided by publisher.
Tagged: Julie James