Tag: Julie James

Julie James Comes to Los Angeles! (+Giveaway)

Posted May 1, 2017 by Rowena in Promotions | 11 Comments

The minute Holly and I found out that Julie James was coming to Los Angeles, we made plans to be there because if you know us…we love us some Julie James. Our love for Julie James was established in 2008 with the release of Just the Sexiest Man Alive. I adored that book to pieces. I adored it so much I forced Holly to read it, and have not missed a release of hers since. We’re just as much in love with her stuff now as we were then.

Friday night, Julie James was in town chatting with People Magazine’s Kara Warner at The Ripped Bodice in Culver City and our book nerd asses were over the moon. If you haven’t been, you really must make The Ripped Bodice, the only exclusively romance bookstore in America, a stop when you’re in LA. Sisters Leah and Bea have created funky, fun atmosphere where you can relax, browse new (and used!) books and be with like minded women who love romance as much as you do. Not to mention spend time with Fitzwilliam Waffles, the shop dog (https://www.instagram.com/fitzwilliamwaffles/). I live about 15 minutes away from The Ripped Bodice, but I don’t get out there nearly as much as I’d like. Which is a bummer, since they offer writing workshops, book signings and all manner of reader/writer events (check out their events page here to see what’s coming up).

It’s funny that we were much more excited about seeing Julie James than we were about People Magazine being in the house but well, I guess that’s not such a surprise considering our book nerd status. Having People Magazine there was just an added bonus.

Leah, Bea and their crew turned The Ripped Bodice into an awesome venue with a Chicago flair and we definitely appreciated their efforts (along with the refreshments, of course. :P). Julie James was welcomed with a good sized crowd. She regaled us with stories of her writing adventures, background on the books she’s written and her inspiration for The Thing About Love. She also took some questions from the audience, then signed some books. It was an all around fabulous book signing, even though my Dodger loving heart was a bit bummed that the Chicago Cubs game was playing in the background. Ha!  (H: Sometimes I don’t even know how we’re friends. CUBS 4EVER!!) If you have a chance to attend a Julie James signing, you really must. She’s a wonderful storyteller in person as well as in print. Holly and I enjoyed ourselves immensely.

To celebrate the event, we’re giving away a signed copy of Julie Jame’s The Thing about Love to one lucky winner. Please use the rafflecopter widget below. Good luck!!

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Thanks to Julie James, Kara Warner of People Magazine and everyone at The Ripped Bodice for a fun night. It was one for the books and I will definitely be making more time to visit the best bookstore in the entire universe! 🙂

Guest Review: The Thing About Love by Julie James

Posted April 18, 2017 by Jen in Reviews | 1 Comment

Guest Review: The Thing About Love by Julie JamesReviewer: Jen
The Thing About Love by Julie James
Published by Penguin, Berkley
Publication Date: April 18th 2017
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 368
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
four-stars

Two undercover FBI agents can hide who they are from everyone but each other in the latest novel from the New York Times bestselling author of Suddenly One Summer.

FBI agents Jessica Harlow and John Shepherd have a past. The former lawyer and cocky Army ranger clashed during their training at Quantico, gladly going their separate ways after graduating from the Academy. Six years later, the last thing either of them expects is to run into each other again–assigned to work as partners in a high-profile undercover sting.
For both of them, being paired with a former rival couldn’t come at a worse time.

Recently divorced from a Hollywood producer and looking for a fresh start, Jessica is eager to prove herself at her new field office. And John is just one case away from his dream assignment to the FBI’s elite Hostage Rescue Team.

In order to nail a corrupt Florida politician, they’ll have to find a way to work as a team–a task that becomes even trickier when they’re forced to hole up at a romantic, beachfront resort as part of the investigation. Suddenly, the heat behind their nonstop sparring threatens to make the job a whole lot more complicated. . .

It’s actually been a loooong while since I’d read a Julie James book, but something about this one sparked my interest, so I picked it up. Good choice, Past Jen!

Jessica Harlow (which, incidentally, is a super cool name for a heroine, no?) recently transferred to the Chicago FBI office. Her first case is to go undercover posing as an investor to catch a corrupt politician. The problem is, she’s paired with John Shepherd, her arch rival from the FBI Academy. John has been groomed to join the ultra-elite Hostage Rescue Team since he was first recruited to the FBI, but he’s been dragging his feet on applying. When his current relationship blows up at the start of the book, he decides it’s time to finally to do what he was groomed for and sign up for HRT. Jessica wants her first case in the new office to be a success to impress her new colleagues, and John wants to go out with a win. The problem is, neither one can stand the other. They have to figure out how to put aside their differences, and a pesky case of attraction, to get the job done.

I really loved the “he said, she said” premise of the conflict in this book. While Jessica and John share a history, they definitely did NOT experience that history in the same way! Hearing them each tell their own version of their time at the Academy was funny and very illuminating. Jessica obviously had a bit of a chip on her shoulder, but it felt very justified because she was a woman in a world dominated by hot shot men. She had to be tough, and it’s easy to see how that would make her seem standoffish and unapproachable. John has a very different take on the situation, and to him he was just trying to be friendly while she was the one being condescending. For example, both Jessica and John recall an incident from their very first meeting, where John makes a jokey comment and winks at Jessica. He meant it as a friendly, welcoming introduction, with no other agenda. She interpreted it as flirting and patronizing her. Yes, Jessica seems harsh in that scene, but to me it was such a clear example of how a man might not even consider that a gesture like a wink could seem off putting to a woman used to dealing with misogyny and harassment. For his part, John tries to be open and friendly with Jessica, until she starts obviously competing with him, which triggers his own insecurities about being all brawn and no brain. Both of them had perfectly understandable interpretations of the past, and both of them were very wrong about the other.

As usual, James does a wonderful job making the investigation details seem realistic. Jessica and John are both scarily good at their jobs, and both act like actual investigators would act (or at least how I imagine they would act!). While there’s a little bit of light action at the end, for the most part this book is all about the well-planned white collar investigation, not shoot-em-up high stakes battles. What James does so well, though, is blend the competent job performance and the intriguing personal relationship into an engaging story you want to keep reading.

There were a few missteps, though. First, I felt like the conflict with John’s friends and the kerfuffle over his girlfriend never really went anywhere. There was never any real resolution there, so I didn’t quite understand the point. Also, John leaving to do HRT seemed a little forced. I mean, that was sort of the point because he clearly was clearly conflicted, but I felt like his conflict went on a little too long. I also wanted Jessica to be more honest with John. Some of the end drama would have been resolved by both John and Jessica just having a solid conversation earlier, instead of dragging out the angst.

Still, this story had a unique perspective and characters I liked getting to know.

Grade: 4 out of 5

*I received a review copy of this book from the publisher.

four-stars

Review: The Thing about Love by Julie James

Posted April 17, 2017 by Rowena in Reviews | 5 Comments

Review: The Thing about Love by Julie JamesReviewer: Rowena
The Thing About Love by Julie James
Published by Penguin, Berkley
Publication Date: April 18th 2017
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
Pages: 368
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
four-stars

Two undercover FBI agents can hide who they are from everyone but each other in the latest novel from the New York Times bestselling author of Suddenly One Summer.

FBI agents Jessica Harlow and John Shepherd have a past. The former lawyer and cocky Army ranger clashed during their training at Quantico, gladly going their separate ways after graduating from the Academy. Six years later, the last thing either of them expects is to run into each other again–assigned to work as partners in a high-profile undercover sting.

For both of them, being paired with a former rival couldn’t come at a worse time. Recently divorced from a Hollywood producer and looking for a fresh start, Jessica is eager to prove herself at her new field office. And John is just one case away from his dream assignment to the FBI’s elite Hostage Rescue Team. In order to nail a corrupt Florida politician, they’ll have to find a way to work as a team–a task that becomes even trickier when they’re forced to hole up at a romantic, beachfront resort as part of the investigation. Suddenly, the heat behind their nonstop sparring threatens to make the job a whole lot more complicated. . .

Julie James has been a favorite of mine since she was a newbie romance novelist with the release of her very first book, Just the Sexiest Man Alive. Every year she has written a book that I absolutely loved and all these years later, she’s still writing books that I enjoy. As a reader, that makes me a happy camper because who doesn’t love enjoying book after book from their favorite authors?

Anyway, The Thing about Love is another fabulous addition to James’ backlist and it follows a couple of new to us FBI special agents who work for, wait for it….Nick McCall who is not a new to us character. 🙂 So while this book doesn’t follow our normal FBI Squad, we do see a bunch of them around and my inner FBI/US Attorney’s fangirl squeed with joy.

So the story starts out with John Shepherd walking in on some bad news at home so he throws himself into work. The best way to get over betrayal is is to drown yourself in work, right? Well, that’s what John does and he also decides that maybe a change would be good for him. He accepts the offer to join a huge task force in Virginia but he’s got one last undercover job that he has to do before he leaves and that job’s got him partnered up with a woman he went to FBI school with at Quantico. The girl that he had a huge crush on but didn’t return so instead of spending some happy time with each other, they spent the entire time trying to one up each other and that relationship follows them to their new undercover gig all these years later.

Jessica Harlow isn’t a fan of being partnered up with John Shepherd on this job but she’s a professional and she can handle him. She remembers John as being the douche canoe from class that was heaps better than everyone at everything and lorded his superior skills around, especially toward her. Especially when she was shooting guns and lagging behind everyone else in all of the physical aspects of the FBI. All these years later, she’s great at every part of being an FBI special agent and he can choke on all of his “encouragement”.

The chemistry between these two from the very beginning was sizzling. I ate every scene up and even when I wanted to pull Jess’ hair (because let’s face it, she’d beat my ass so that’s the extent of what I thought about doing to Jessica Harlow), I loved reading this book. It was fun and the romance was hot so I was entertained which makes the book a winner for me. It took me no time at all to dig into this book and I was invested in both John and Jess from the very beginning. There were times when a lot of the FBI jargon went over my head but mostly, it was just entertaining. I liked it a lot.

I definitely recommend this book if you enjoyed the other books by Julie James. It’s fun, it’s fresh and there’s lots of eye candy (old and new) so what’s not to love?

Grade: 4.25 out of 5

four-stars

Author Interview: Julie James Dishes About the FBI and The Thing About Love!

Posted April 17, 2017 by Holly in Giveaways, Promotions | 10 Comments

Today we’re excited to have Julie James here to answer some questions about THE THING ABOUT LOVE (Berkley Romance, April 18, 2017). If you haven’t pre-ordered it, you must! It was such a wonderful read. Full of witty banter, with an exciting plot, it’s not to be missed.

Author Interview: Julie James Dishes About the FBI and The Thing About Love!The Thing About Love by Julie James
Published by Berkley
Publication Date: April 18th 2017
Genres: Contemporary, Contemporary Romance
Pages: 368
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads

Two undercover FBI agents can hide who they are from everyone but each other in the latest novel from the New York Times bestselling author of Suddenly One Summer.

FBI agents Jessica Harlow and John Shepherd have a past. The former lawyer and cocky Army ranger clashed during their training at Quantico, gladly going their separate ways after graduating from the Academy. Six years later, the last thing either of them expects is to run into each other again–assigned to work as partners in a high-profile undercover sting.

For both of them, being paired with a former rival couldn’t come at a worse time. Recently divorced from a Hollywood producer and looking for a fresh start, Jessica is eager to prove herself at her new field office. And John is just one case away from his dream assignment to the FBI’s elite Hostage Rescue Team. In order to nail a corrupt Florida politician, they’ll have to find a way to work as a team–a task that becomes even trickier when they’re forced to hole up at a romantic, beachfront resort as part of the investigation.

Suddenly, the heat behind their nonstop sparring threatens to make the job a whole lot more complicated. . .

 

 

 

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Interview

Is it true that you were once interested in a career with the FBI?
Yes! I went to law school with the thought of possibly becoming an FBI agent. My first semester of law school, I met with an FBI recruiter, and he told me I was ineligible because I didn’t meet the vision requirements. (I’d planned to have Lasix surgery, but back then, that didn’t count—a rule that has since been changed.) While I was discouraged at the time, becoming a trial lawyer turned out to be a good fit for me. And, knowing what I do now, I’m not sure I would’ve made it through the PT part of the FBI Academy. 🙂

What research did you do for THE THING ABOUT LOVE?
I had to do research into the FBI Academy, and the Hostage Rescue Team. The FBI has some information about Selection and HRT on their website, but I also had to rely on news articles about the Team, and I read a memoir written by a former HRT operator.

I also had to do research on the specifics of the undercover investigation in the book, so that I knew what my heroine and hero would actually be doing. The case in the book is loosely based on a real-life case: the mayor of Charlotte, NC was arrested and convicted for accepting bribes in a manner similar to the mayor in my case. For research, I pulled news stories about the Charlotte mayor’s trial, court hearing transcripts, and press releases from the FBI and U.S. Attorney’s office.

Your female characters always have the best quips and comebacks. What inspires your dialogue?
I’m a film buff, and I started my writing career with screenplays. I think my focus on dialogue stems from that. And I think all of my heroine/hero pairings have a dynamic that’s one part Elizabeth Bennet/Mr. Darcy and one-part Princess Leia/Han Solo.

Why do you enjoy about writing about talented, career-focused women who find love?
I write women who are like the women I know. The “finding love” part of those stories comes from being a longtime fan of romantic comedies.

 

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About the Author

WEBSITE | TWITTER | FACEBOOK | INSTAGRAM | PINTEREST | TUMBLR | GOODREADS

Julie James is the New York Times bestselling author of six previous novels. James graduated from the University of Illinois College of Law and clerked for the United States Court of Appeals in Jacksonville, FL. She lives in Chicago with her family. Learn more at juliejames.com, Facebook.com/JulieJamesFanPage, and Twitter.com/juljames.

 

Meet Julie

Retro Review: Just the Sexiest Man Alive by Julie James.

Posted January 18, 2017 by Rowena in Reviews | 18 Comments

Retro Review: Just the Sexiest Man Alive by Julie James.Reviewer: Rowena
Just the Sexiest Man Alive by Julie James
Published by Berkley Sensation
Publication Date: January 1st 1970
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
Pages: 296
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
four-half-stars

No woman could resist him—except the one he wanted most...
Cool, Calm, Collected...

Nothing fazes Taylor Donovan. In the courtroom she never lets the opposition see her sweat. In her personal life, she never lets any man rattle her—not even her cheating ex-fiancé. So when she's assigned to coach People's "Sexiest Man Alive" for his role in his next big legal thriller, she refuses to fall for the Hollywood heartthrob's charms. Even if he is the Jason Andrews.

Confident, Famous, Irresistible...

Jason Andrews is used to having women fall at his feet. When Taylor Donovan gives him the cold shoulder, he's thrown for a loop. She's unlike any other woman he's ever met: uninterested in the limelight, seemingly immune to his advances, and shockingly capable of saying no to him. She's the perfect challenge. And the more she rejects him, the more he begins to realize she may just be his perfect match.

******As part of our 10 year anniversary celebration, we’ll be re-posting old reviews that make us cringe, laugh or sigh all over again.

This week, we’re featuring the review of the book that started my love of all things Julie James. Just the Sexiest Man Alive completely rocked my socks the first (and every) time that I read it and I thought it was super cool that Julie James came and commented on my review. If you haven’t read this book, you should. It’s great.*****

This review was originally posted on October 17, 2008
I’m a sucker for those flirty heroes that are cocky and arrogant. You know, the kind of heroes that are bewildered when the heroine’s don’t fall into a puddle of lust at the sight of them. I love seeing them humbled. I loved seeing them so full of themselves in the beginning and then watching as they slowly come to realize that they’re not as great as they think they are. I love seeing them come full circle and wooing their heroines into loving them anyway.

This book was great. It was a fast and funny read and I’m seriously wanting to read another Julie James book. It took me no time at all to read this book and I was sad to finish the story and say goodbye to the characters. They became real to me and I enjoyed getting to know them.

This book is about Jason Andrews and Taylor Donovan. Jason is this big hot shot celebrity actor, think Brad Pitt, a Multiple People’s Magazine’s Sexiest Man Alive and he pretty much got everything that he ever wanted. Women dropped their panties for him at the snap of a finger and people jumped to do his bidding every time he so much as glanced at them. He had that kind of power over people, the celebrity kind of power and he was so used to it that he didn’t bother to think about what other people thought, it simply was and he enjoyed the power he had over people.

Taylor Donovan, on the other hand is a rising star in the law world. She was one of the top lawyers from her firm and she was sent to L.A. from Chicago to help with a big sexual harassment case and she takes her job very seriously. Even if she’s forced to take a job she doesn’t want, no matter who the job is for.

She doesn’t give two flits about Jason Andrews and even though she thinks he’s insanely attractive, she doesn’t see what the big deal about him is, she vows to treat him as anyone else. She was going to treat him like she treats all of her other clients, only he stands her up at their first appointment and then stands her up again for their second appointment. She had cleared her schedule for him and he didn’t even have the decency to call her and let her know he couldn’t make it. He just left her hanging and so she did what any other woman would do.

She got good and pissed. She was so livid with him that when he finally did decide to come in and see her, she didn’t care who the hell he was or anything, she was too busy for him.

That first meeting between Jason and Taylor was the best frickin’ meeting ever. I thought it was hilarious and I loved the way that Taylor handled it. She totally had me crackin’ up and then grinning like a fool, she was frickin’ awesome. The way that she kept putting him in his place always had me laughing my ass off.

The characters were great, the dialogue was easy to follow along with and the plot all made for a really fast and a really fun read. I really enjoyed reading this book, I would really recommend this book to those of you who are looking for a light and entertaining read. This book delivers the laughs, the emotions and a romance that had you cheering the main characters on.

Jason was hawt stuff and I seriously fell in love with him even through each and every one of his boneheaded moves. All of the plans that he came up with to win Taylor over made me want to beat him over the head with something sharp but I never stopped loving the heck out of him. He was such a normal and good guy that with each page that I turned, I fell a little more in love with him until my heart was near to bursting with him. I really enjoyed his character and I really enjoyed his friendship with Jeremy. I hope Jeremy gets his own book, Jeremy seriously rocked my socks!

Taylor was another fantastic character. I don’t really care much for heroines as much as I’m always focused on the heroes and how hot stuff they are but this heroine was strong and she was confident and yet still a little vulnerable. She was everything that I wish I was and she made me want to be a lawyer again. She made practicing the law and researching every little detail of her cases seem so cool and the way that she would not let Jason get away with anything made me love her all the more. She was memorable, not a lot of heroines are like that for me but Taylor was. I’ll remember who she is and I’ll remember how funny, confident and smart she was and I’ll want to read her book again because she was great.

This book is a good one, it’s not a pull your heart strings kind of book but it’s enjoyable anyway. It’s a solid read and I’m so glad that I read it. You guys should definitely put this on your list of books to buy soon and read because I’m sure you’ll enjoy it as well.

This book is available from Berkley Sensation. You can buy it here or here in e-format.

four-half-stars