Julie James’s FBI/US Attorney series gets its fourth installment this month with the release of Love Irresistibly, and the series continues to stay as strong as when I first fell in love with it.
These books center around the men and women of the FBI and US Attorney’s office in Chicago, aggressive, hard-hitting heroes and heroines who have no trouble holding their own. All of the agents and lawyers in this book are driven men and women who love their jobs. They are fiercely competitive—both the men AND the women—and totally unapologetic about it. The rivalries are genuine, no punches are pulled, but when it comes down to it, they pull together as a team. That commitment gives all the characters so much life that they practically leap off the page. They are dedicated and passionate, workaholics even. But that creates some problems in romance department. Let’s face it, for an agent undercover months at a time or a lawyer with her eyes on billing enough hours to make partner, it’s hard to maintain much of a love life. But never fear! They find a way to make it work.
The series starts off with a bang. Something About You has a murder that possibly involves a senator and a couple with really good reasons for their really bitter feelings about their past. Disgraced agent Jack Pallas is back in town. No sooner has he arrived, then they are thrown together when she is the only witness to a murder. It doesn’t start off well.
You go find this agent, whoever he is, and tell him that that the fussy woman in room 1307 is through being jerked around. And tell him that I would appreciate it very much if he could wrap up his little power trip and condescend to speak to me himself. Because I would like to know how long he expects me to sit here and wait.”
“For as long as I ask you to, Ms. Lynde.”
The voice came from the doorway.
Cameron had her back to the door, but she would’ve recognized that voice anywhere—low and as smooth as velvet.
It couldn’t be.
She turned around and took in the man standing across the room from her. He looked exactly the same as he did the last time she’d seen him three years ago: tall, dark, and scowling.
In the second book, A Lot Like Love, agent Nick McCall coerces heiress/wine store owner Jordan Rhodes into helping him in an investigation while they ignore a mutual attraction. From their rocky start, the pair reluctantly develop a mutual respect that quickly tumbles into something more. This book highlights the characters' smart-mouthed, sarcastic dialogue. These are my people.
“Okay. What’s going on? Why would you suddenly be more comfortable driving?”
“We’re not supposed to stand out, remember? We’re still undercover. And I expect that ritzy places like this are accustomed to seeing the man driving. People are going to think I’m your assistant or something.”
She pointed. “Now that would be a fun cover. Let’s do that one for a change. I get to be in charge, and you have to call me Ms. Rhodes all weekend.”
“I’ll even get you a little notepad, and you can follow me around taking dictation.”
Jordan’s brother ex-convict and computer genius Kyle Rhode is up next in About That Night when he meets a woman he almost had a relationship with a decade earlier. The fact that Rylann Pierce is an assistant US attorney is, shall we say, awkward. You see, Kyle was dubbed the Twitter Terrorist by her office after he shuts down Twitter for two whole days. But she doesn’t stand a chance against the charming blonde. One of my favorite things about this book (besides the delish sexual tension between Rylann and Kyle), is her friendship with one of her coworkers, Cade Morgan. A guy. Who is straight. And unattached. That is a very unusual thing in a romance novel and I loved their easy, Starbucks-and-work-chat relationship.
The newest release, Love Irresistibly, is the story of former football star Cade and Brooke Parker. The sparks that fly in their first meeting aren’t just sexual.
“Hmm.” He stretched out in the chair, looking effortlessly handsome and every bit the successful trial lawyer in his tailored gray pinstripe suit. “Now, normally, this would be the point when I’d have to give you the tough-guy speech about how, if you were to reveal to anyone the confidential nature of the information I’m about to give you, you could be charged with obstruction of justice and face a possible felony conviction and imprisonment.” He flashed her a dashing grin. “Luckily, though, since you’re a lawyer and obviously know that already, we can skip over the tough-guy stuff. Which is nice, because that part of the conversation can get really awkward.”
Maybe it was the fact that Brooke, admittedly, was having a bad day. She’d been dumped by the Hot OB, had just spent three hours on the phone haggling with the Staples Center lawyers over every tiny, miniscule part of their hospitality deal, and had done it all on two measly bites of a chicken taco and a melted strawberry-mango smoothie. She was tired, hungry, and had, up until ten minutes ago, been looking forward to the first weekend in a long time where she did not have to work. So, yes—she was, perhaps, feeling extra-cranky because of circumstances that had nothing to do with anyone sitting in that office right then.
But Cade Morgan was seriously beginning to piss her off.
He’d come to her office, seemingly to ask for her help. Now he was threatening her with obstruction of justice charges—and most annoyingly, he was doing it with a smile.
So she returned the favor. “That is nice, Mr. Morgan. Because in response to your tough-guy speech, I, in turn, would’ve had to give you my tough-girl speech, about where, exactly, federal prosecutors who come to my office looking for assistance can stick their obstruction of justice threats.” She smiled ever-so-charmingly. “So I’m glad we were able to sidestep that whole ugly business. Whew.”
Julie James is hard at work on the next book, but she hasn't yet revealed who the hero and heroines are. There are so many to choose from. That FBI office is like a smorgasbord of manly goodness. Vaughn would be fun. Or Wilkins. I like him. I’ve heard Ford’s name floated around. Isn’t Rae a lawyer too? Ooh, the possibilities. Anyone else have ideas?
Have you tried Julie James? What do you think?
Julia Broadbooks writes contemporary romance. She lives in the wilds of suburban Florida with her ever patient husband and bakes ridiculous amounts of sugary treats for her teens' friends. Find her on Twitter @juliabroadbooks.