Friday, April 22, 2011

A Lot Like Love by Julie James

Jordan Rhodes is invited to all of Chicago's best parties, but there's only one the FBI wants to crash. To get her brother out of jail, she agrees to take Agent McCall as her date. But when the mission gets botched, requiring their "relationship" to continue, it starts to feel less like an investigation-and a lot like something else.

Okay, so this is not YA. Worse, it's one of those embarrassing covers that naturally repel me (with a title to match).


I am a fan of Julie James and her rom-com  and romantic-suspense novels  and recently read her newest release... I managed to make it past her cringe-worthy covers and titles and am glad I did ~ her books are a perfect way to spend a relaxing afternoon:

Things I love about Julie James novels: 

witty/snarky banter between the two main leads
the dual POV which adds to the experience
the build up of sexual tension/attraction which ends in some HOT (but not too smutty) bedroom scenes
the rom-com feel
the fact that it's a light breezy smiley kind of read
it's fun chick-lit vibe without being too chick-litty...

HOWEVER this book did not live up to my expectations... 

This is my least fave Julie James novel so far. I still enjoyed reading it and breezed right through it ~ but I was disappointed (even shattered, having expected greatness). Ultimately, it was just an okay read for me.

I don't mind a cliché set-up: the love/hate vibe between two main characters, the typical rich but misunderstood herione, the "alpha male" FBI persona, etc. I actually can go into a book looking forward to those ingredients making it a fun ride. 

BUT the characters fell flat for me. 

Jordan was fairly bland. She lacked the snark or feistiness and pizazz of Julie James' other female leads such as Taylor in Just the Sexiest Man Alive or Payton from Practice Makes Perfect

Nick lacked the charm of some of her former male leads ~ so that there wasn't much too him other than him being hot, buff and an aggressive, horny male. (although, you know, he was still hot :) 

The book gets off to a slower start and I felt a bit bored wading through the set-up. While I liked the premise, I was waiting for sparks to fly and, sigh, they never really did. Most of the romantic tension (which drives a lot of the book) relied solely on lust and sexual temptation. The flirting, rather than being character driven banter, relied mostly on sexual innuendo (this may appeal to some people in a light read but I need more substance, even in a light rom-com)

PLUS: I do remember being pleased in her former books at the tastefully done sex scenes ~ which were just heated enough to satisfy the build-up of the sexual tension ~ but never turned into a smutty play-by-play. Not so in A Lot Like Love. The sex scene arrived with a BANG and laboured for a good chunk of more detailed content which may satisfy some readers but makes me either scoff, chuckle or roll my eyes (sometimes all three). I much prefer the thrill of tension rather than the actual nitty-gritty of characters "finally succumbing", haha. 

Despite my mostly negative sounding review ~ I still did enjoy this book (a smidgen) for what it was but I would recommend her earlier books as a much more fun and satisfying read. My fave of hers is Practice Makes Perfect. (which I loved. It was also my first Julie James experience. I chose Practice Makes Perfect to read first purely as it was the least cringe-worthy title and cover combo out of her books)*. I have recommended Julie James to a fair few friends who read in this genre and they have all universally loved her. 

Recommended: Ahh, well I don't know what to add here in summary (I think you get the gist from my review). I do recommend Julie James. Absolutely. But I wouldn't start with this title :) I recommend Practice Makes Perfect and Something About You as my favourites of hers. Despite not loving this one I am still going to give her next books a go (they are all trade paperbacks and quite cheap)

* sorry if you love her covers :D

Also ~ this is not my preferred genre of reading ~ so my reviews purely reflects my experience with the book. I think most people who read a lot in this genre rate Julie James among the best

A Lot Like Love @ goodreads (where everyone else loved it a lot more than me, haha)


  1. Aww Nomes, so sorry to hear that this one didn't work out for you. I enjoyed reading it because it had the same rom-com feel as Julie James' other novels but I could see where you're coming from. It IS a bit different from her earlier novels but I still liked Jordan and Nick. You're right though, it's not as good as the others. I still have high hopes for Kyle's book.

  2. Aww, I'm sorry you didn't like it more.
    This one is in my dock to read soon. I do love Julie James' books, but I have to admit my favorite is Practice Makes Perfect. I didn't like the one before A Lot Like Love all that much (can't even remember the name!)

  3. I am sorry that the book didn't work for you. I haven't read many rom-coms. So I will be definitely reading Julie James' other books.

  4. Hahaha...he has on her butt on the cover. I would be embarassed with it in public :)

    Great review. I really need to get some of her books although I think kindle download so I don't have to deal with the covers. Actually I think this might be the perfect holiday read for me.

    Thanks again for all the awesome recs.

  5. I agree. This one really did not live up to her previous novels, especially PMP & JTSMA. Nick often got on my nerves due to his grumpy nature and his constant obsession with getting into her pants. But romance isn't exactly my preferred genre either so others may like that facet of his personality.

    And *sigh* I really do miss all the less detailed sex scenes. It's nice to have something left to our imaginations.

  6. I'm gonna add this author to my to be read list, but of course not this title, haha. Great review! Romance novels you sometimes just have to pick it up and not look at the cover and title all together! :)

  7. not for me, but appreciate the honesty hun.

  8. Well thats a shame that this book didnt work for youi, i might try out her others that you suggested if their better!

  9. Characters are so important. Thanks for your honest review doll!


Thanks for the commenty love :)