Release Date: Mar. 1, 2011
Source of my copy: publisher
Purchase: Amazon Barnes & Noble
Synopsis (from author's website)
The FBI wants her cooperation.
As the daughter of a billionaire and the owner of the city’s top wine store, Jordan Rhodes is invited to the most exclusive parties in Chicago. But there’s only one party the FBI wants to crash: the charity fundraiser of a famous restaurateur, who also happens to launder money for the mob. In exchange for her brother’s release from prison, Jordan is going to be there—with a date supplied by the Bureau.
Agent McCall just wants her.
As the top undercover agent in Chicago, Nick McCall has one rule: never get personal. This “date” with Jordan Rhodes is merely an assignment—one they’re both determined to pull off even if they can’t be together for five minutes before the sarcasm and sparks begin to fly. But when Nick’s investigation is compromised, he and Jordan have no choice but to pretend they’re a couple, and what starts out as a simple assignment begins to feel a lot like something more. . .
There is nothing like reading a Julie James book and it felt like I was waiting for A Lot Like Love to come out. When it finally did and I am able to read it, it reinforced that fact that Ms. James is the queen of fun, witty, smart, humorous (another one of those where I could go on with the adjectives) contemporary romance. If you haven't yet read a Julie James book, you're missing out and you should run (don't walk) to your nearest bookstore and pick any one of her books. You're in for a good time.
Okay, enough gushing... But I seriously LOVE all Julie James books.
The hero of A Lot Like Love is Agent Nick McCall of the FBI. He just came back from an undercover assignment when his boss talked him into a new one that wasn't supposed to take more than a couple of days. But things didn't go according to plan and he was forced to posed as billionaire heiress and wine store owner Jordan Rhodes's boyfriend for the investigation. Nick and Jordan drive each other crazy 75% of the time but Jordan wanted to free her twin brother from prison and that meant cooperating with the FBI. The longer they have to pretend like a couple, though, Nick began to see that Jordan is not the spoiled, vapid rich girl he thought she was and Jordan found that there is more to Nick than the gruff and surly exterior. But with the investigation drawing to a close, do these two have a future together?
I thought Nick and Jordan had terrific chemistry and their banter made for an entertaining read. They were great together but on their own they are interesting people too. Jordan is not a lawyer like previous Julie James heroines but you won't mind at all because she was just as strong, capable, hard-working and as smart as the others but with her own share of flaws. I really liked Jordan from the start and the way she became involved with the FBI didn't sound contrived--I understood her situation and I felt for her. As for Nick, he's a totally sexy FBI undercover agent who calls his mother "Ma" and despite his no-relationships rule, finds himself falling for Jordan. There's nothing more romantic than a tough, manly guy reluctantly but irrevocably fall in love. I rooted for these two and it was wonderful watching them fall for each other.
I thought the other characters were fantastic too, especially Jordan's twin brother Kyle (I can't wait to read his story!) and how we got to see how Jack and Cameron (from Something About You) are doing. The story is mostly set in Chicago which I really liked. Another thing I enjoyed was the whole wine bit--Jordan was a wine store owner and there was a lot of talk about wine and the business side of it. It's really fascinating stuff and I learned quite a bit.
Though the dialogue was not as droll and quirky as Practice Makes Perfect or Something About You, I thought A Lot Like Love was a first-rate contemporary romance overall. Ms. James did not disappoint at all--it had smart characters you fall for, a great setting, a fun plot line and I thought the writing fabulous (love the author's writing style). While this book is not my favorite book by the author (that honor still belongs to Practice Makes Perfect), I tore through the book all the while wishing Ms. James would write faster. A Lot Like Love is a keeper-shelf book and one I'll revisit in the near future to re-read my favorite parts. 4.5 out of 5 stars