Published by Penguin on 2015-06-02
From the New York Times bestselling author of It Happened One Wedding comes a novel about a man and a woman whose summer is about to get very, very hot...
Divorce lawyer Victoria Slade has seen enough unhappy endings to swear off marriage forever. That doesn't mean she's opposed to casual dating—just not with her cocky new neighbor, who is as gorgeous and tempting as he is off-limits. But once she agrees to take on his sister's case, she's as determined to win as ever—even if that means teaming up with Ford....
Investigative journalist Ford Dixon is bent on finding the man who got his sister pregnant and left her high and dry. He's willing to partner with Victoria, despite the fact that the beautiful brunette gets under his skin like no other woman. He might not be looking to settle down, but there's no denying the scorching attraction between them. Still, the more time he spends with Victoria, the more he realizes that the one woman as skeptical about love as he is might be the only woman he could really fall for…
FTC : I bought this book.
Julie James writes amazing contemps and I always end up pre-ordering her books so I can get to them quickly. I love her strong heroines and dreamy heroes and, although this felt a lot slower paced than the last few of her books, the characters remain as like-able and engaging as ever. Unfortunately, although I liked the characters, the slow place made this book a little disappointing.
Ford and Victoria get on off to a bad start. She thinks he is an insensitive playboy and he thinks she is an uptight bore. I love this kind of set up (it reminds me of the old Doris Day films) but the dislike just continues on a tad too long and I wondered how the hell I was going to believe they liked each other. The change happens with the addition of Ford’s little sister and baby niece. What follows is a bit of a silly adventure which involves a lot of stake outs in confined spaces and awkward conversations that pass the time. I actually loved those parts they just, again, progressed the relationship a little too slowly.
Victoria is a typical Julie James heroine. She is smart, successful and independent; I should have loved her. She is a woman who is truly trying to move past a difficult stage in her life and just get back to normal. Then she meets Ford. For some reason, Victoria became a bit of a dick when she was dealing with Ford at the start of the book and she was a little unlikeable. Of course, she mellows towards him but the fact she had that kind of judgmental attitude towards him made me think a little less of her and I took a while to warm to her. I liked that she was a strong, successful woman who wanted to work on her flaws and she is the kind of heroine that I actively look for in my romance reading. Unfortunately, none of this was apparent until far into the book because she just seemed….prissy.
Ford I liked from the start (even though he was doing the unthinkable and trying to sleep with another woman at the start of the book AFTER clapping eyes on the heroine). He was a different kind of hero for James (I’m used to Law types) as he was a bit smoother than the rest of them seem to be and a bit more of an accomplished player. I like this kind of hero, even when they are being jerks, because I know they will come out well when they decide that the heroine is “the one”.
The romance takes just a tad too long to start and this just made the book drag a little. It didn’t help that there was also a lot of page time dedicated to stuff that just didn’t seem relevant to the romance. I found my attention wandering a lot during this book and I think it is because, for me, I expect my contemporaries to be completely focused on the couple and the HEA and I just didn’t get that feeling here.
I think I expected something from this book that I didn’t get. I loved all the suspense angles in the last few and this just didn’t have that element of excitement. I loved the time that the H/h spent together on page (well, after the initial contempt had passed) but there wasn’t enough else to keep me hooked. I will keep Julie James on the auto-buy list as her writing style is fabulous. I’d recommend this for fans of easy read contemporaries.