Monday, March 16, 2009

Review: A Julie James 2-fer

I had the great pleasure of meeting local author, Julie James this past weekend.  She is just as lovely in person as she is online!  I love that I can say that and also say that she is one fabulous writer. Seriously.  Do you like a straight up Contemporary Romance? Then she is a must read.  Having recently finished reading her two releases, I have added Julie to my auto-buy list.  Yes, her books are that great.

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.
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 that she may just be his perfect match. . .
Taylor is a Chicago girl temporarily living in California.  Midwest sensibilities meet Hollywood glitz.  She is smart, driven, sassy, sarcastic. Jason is the hotest man in showbiz, recently named Sexiest Man Alive for the third year in a row.  Better than Brad Pitt (according to Ms. James.) He is cocky, arrogant, expects women to fall at his feet.  Then he meets Taylor.  She was having none of that.  Sure he is good looking, but does that mean she has to put her life on hold for the man? Hell no! Instead of blushing and stammering, Taylor puts Jason in his place, much to his confusion and his best friend's enjoyment.  Each time they meet sparks fly, verbal sparring ensues.  Taylor vows not to let the Hollywood playboy get under her skin.  Jason is determined to get Taylor underneath him.  But what happens when they start to realize that they like more than the challenge, they like each other?

Payton Kendall and J.D. Jameson are lawyers who know the meaning of objection. A feminist to the bone, Payton has fought hard to succeed in a profession dominated by men. Born wealthy, privileged, and cocky, J.D. has fought hard to ignore her. Face to face, they’re perfectly civil. They have to be. For eight years they’ve kept a safe distance and tolerated each other as co-workers for one reason only: to make partner at the firm.
But all bets are off when they’re asked to join forces on a major case. At first apprehensive, they begin to appreciate each other’s dedication to the law—and the sparks between them quickly turn into attraction. But the increasingly hot connection doesn’t last long when they discover that only one of them will be named partner. Now it’s an all out war. And the battle between the sexes is bound to make these lawyers hot under the collar . . .
Payton and J.D. never have a sincerely nice word to say to one another.  Competitive, philosophically and politically opposed, they have rubbed each other the wrong way from day one.  It is quite a bumpy road getting from there to rubbing each other the right way, but boy is it worth it!  Payton and J.D. snipe and snarl, spark fly and heat rises.  Legal libraries will never be the same.  They are battling one another for a partnership in their firm, while battling the feelings they have for one another.

It has been a long time since I have enjoyed a straight up contemp as much as I did these two books.  Let's put it this way, I was up until 3AM on Saturday night reading. I was completely hooked on these characters. Here's the unique part, I was hooked on the heroines!  I am a hero kind of gal.  When I finish a book I usually remember details about Lord or Mr. Hotness. The heroine usually comes in second.  Julie has managed something that very few others have done, made me love the heroine as much or more than the hero. These ladies are spunky, smart, sarcastic, flawed, independent, hopeful, and real.  I can imagine actually knowing them.  I may be terribly jealous (hey, they're gorgeous and own shoes I could never justify on a teacher salary!), but these are the type of women you are friends with.  I have not connected with a heroine in the same way since Jane in Mr. Perfect.  And you all know how I feel about that book. Best ever!

You know the best part of it all? Julie is as nice as she is talented.  And we Chicagoans get to claim her as one of our own. :)


Barb said...

I am going to have to get on the library waiting list for these!

Anonymous said...

Thank you, Shannon! It was wonderful to meet you this weekend! And thanks for the great reviews of both JTSMA and PMP. I'm thrilled that you liked the heroines! Okay, so I haven't read Mr. Perfect yet, but I bought it a couple weeks ago and I can't wait to check it out. (My TBR pile is soooo ridiculous these days.) So here's the question: what comes first in your rankings: Mr. Perfect or Dreaming of You? : )

Shannon said...

Barb- Do it! They really are great books.

Julie- OMG, you are asking me to choose between DoY and Mr. Perfect? I'm not sure I can do that. Mr. Perfect is my perfect contemp. The hero, Sam, truly is Mr. Perfect in my world (hence why I chose him for my hut on the DIK island.)The book gives you sharp dialogue and a crazy, creepy stalker. Dreaming of You and Lord of Scoundrels are my top historicals. DoY has the non-peerage hero. Both heroes are tortured rakes. The very best historical heroes, IMHO.

I suppose you would have to choose based on what you are in the mood to read. I'm sorry, I just can't say one is better.

Stacy~ said...

Great re-cap Shannon. I am so jealous that you were at the signing! But what you say is true - Julie is a total sweetheart and we sure are lucky she's one of us *g*

~ames~ said...

Aw, I'm jealous you got to meet Julie! She's an awesome author - I really enjoy her books. And I'm with you on being a hero girl, I love heroes, but Julie's heroines are awesome.

Can't wait for the next one!