The Premise: Just The Sexiest Man Alive also has a lawyer for the heroine – Taylor Donovon is an associate at Gray & Dallas who has been sent to the Los Angeles office for a few months to work on a sexual harassment case for a large client. Everything is going well, until Taylor is asked to do one of the partners a “favor” (which she can’t turn down) - meet with super-mega-movie star Jason Andrews to help him prepare for his part as a lawyer in an upcoming movie. Taylor is unhappy enough that Jason is adding to her already busy schedule, but when Jason blows off their initial meeting he ticks Taylor off with his movie-star attitude. It doesn’t help matters that Jason has been voted People’s Sexiest Man Alive three times and has been linked to a long line of female celebrities. Taylor has just broken off her engagement to her cheating fiance and is wary of womanizers. Jason expects Taylor to be instantly smitten and let him have his way like everyone else does, but when Taylor proves impervious to his charms, it only intrigues Jason more.
My Thoughts: As with Practice Makes Perfect I think you can tell that someone with experience in the law profession wrote this book – there’s a lot of references that even as a layperson, I felt that James is an author who knew her stuff. And I don’t know if I mentioned it in my review of Practice Makes Perfect (livejournal / vox / wordpress) but I really liked that the heroines in both books were GOOD at their jobs – really good. It wasn’t just an arbitrary career which gets mentioned once or twice then you see the heroine hardly doing any work; it’s a big part of the plot.
The romance here is pretty sweet. Jason is at first a little too cocky and Taylor puts him in his place. As they get to know each other Jason realizes that Taylor isn’t like the usual woman who runs after him. Fame and publicity isn’t what she wants. Taylor, on the other hand, feels attracted to Jason but she’s wary of men who are known players after dealing with her ex-fiance, and she refuses to fall for another man like that. Of course the two keep seeing each other and feelings begin to develop. Pretty soon the press is all aflame with rumors of Jason Andrews’ Mystery Woman.
Taylor’s introduction to Jason’s life is pretty fun - the paparazzi, and ensuing office gossip, the celebrity parties and Jason’s “people”, but what I really liked was their interactions with their best friends. Jason has his sarcastic best friend, Jeremy, who he’s known since college, and Taylor has her two friends from Chicago, Kate and Valerie. I think my favorite parts involved these secondary characters meeting Jason and Taylor. The scene where Jason tries to butt into the girl-talk about Taylor’s other dates (with another celebrity who made me think of Orlando Bloom as Legolas) was priceless.
Jason does do something mildly stupid in this book (besides starting off on the wrong foot by thinking he can use his star power on Taylor), but it was not enough to turn me off. In this regard I felt I liked him better as a hero than J.D. from Practice Makes Perfect, but he’s not perfect. The way Jason treats women until he meets Taylor was rather jerkish, but somehow he seems pull off not annoying me when I read about it. And whenever he used his charm, it never feels like he’s using others as much as they are delighted to fawn all over him and he lets them.
The ending was quite Hollywood – I can imagine the scene in the end of a romantic comedy, but I was ok with that. The only problem I’d say I have is the cynic in me not really believing a womanizing superstar would be able to settle down, but that’s not the books fault. There is no book that I could read with a famous player and ordinary person falling in love where a small part of me wouldn’t question it. The other thing was Taylor – she’s a size two, never lost a case, amazing at everything – at least she sounded human when she spoke, but the woman is a little mythical sounding.
Overall: A fun book. I enjoyed it and I think this author goes on the auto-buy list, both this book and Practice Makes Perfect were satisfying enough that I trust the author to keep at that level. There is not a lot of sex in this book: most of it is relationship buildup, which I personally prefer in my romance, so I was happy. I recommend this for those in the mood for an enjoyable contemporary romance.