I’ve been looking forward to this book for a while because Julie James is now on my autobuy list. I won an ARC of this book through sheer luck in logging onto twitter just was @DearAuthor was giving away some copies. See.. twitter isn’t just a time suck.
The Premise: Cameron Lynde is an Assistant U.S. Attorney who decided to give herself a little break by staying overnight at the Peninsula Hotel in San Francisco while she waited for her hardwood floors to be sealed. Unfortunately she has a very bad night when her neighbors in room 1308 engage in a loud sex marathon until 3am. Noises cease for about half an hour and then loud banging and squealing start up again and she calls the front desk. Things get worse when hotel security finds a dead woman in the room and Cameron is the only person to have caught a glimpse of the murderer through her peephole. After that the FBI arrives and Cameron discovers that Jack Pallas is in charge- and he blames her for being disciplined and shipped off to Nebraska three years ago.
My Thoughts: Julie James’ style of writing has a lot of focus on dialog. It feels like I am reading something that I can picture in my minds eye as a romantic comedy on the big screen, with a lot of banter and cute situations. I had a good couple of chuckles over some of the talks among the men (cops and FBI agents) discussing Cameron’s “Meet-Cute” with Max, her date, or telling Jack that he “glowers”. I think after reading three of her books I trust this author to deliver a contemporary romance of a certain level of writing and she doesn’t disappoint in giving me something that I know I’ll enjoy.
As in her last two books, Practice Makes Perfect and Just the Sexiest Man Alive, the heroines are lawyers and the author writes about the profession with authority. Jack’s job as an FBI agent seems realistic as well although I feel like the author took some liberties with it because I had to suspend my disbelief a couple of times in the book (especially when their relationship became more heated and no one admonished Jack for his behavior). I think the liberties were taken to push the couple closer, and it wasn’t something I thought that jeopardized Cameron’s safety, so I was able to accept it that way.
I think it’s a matter of taste whether you’d prefer this over the more relationship conflicted earlier books. I think I prefer less sexiness in my stories, and this book feels a lot more “sexy” than the other two. There’s more focus on each other’s bodies and in the sexual tension between Jack and Cameron than on the conflict keeping the two apart romantically like in the last two books. I felt like the conflict was lower here because the couple were more concerned about the killer who may be coming for Cameron.
The suspense is a big part of the story. We know early on who the killer is and what his motivations are. Cameron and Jack both do smart things in handling the situation – Cameron listening to the FBI and doing what they tell her, Jack covering all bases in protecting his witness and investigating leads. Despite this, the killer is pretty smart too, and he did some things I found unexpected that made the story more exciting to read. I was particularly impressed by the big finale.
Overall: This is a sexier book with more suspense in it than the last two, and these are things I don’t necessarily prefer in my contemporary romance, but it has the Julie James level of quality and overall I enjoyed it although it’s not my favorite one.
Bookbinge – 4.75 out of 5
Babbling about Books and More! – B
The Book Smugglers – 7 (Very Good)
Angieville – positive review:”You can count on a good time with a Julie James book and that’s what I love about them. ”
Dear Author – A-
Tempting Persephone – “There wasn’t really anything I didn’t enjoy about this book.”
Read, React, Review – positive review
Christina Reads – postive review