I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.The Thing About Love by Julie James
Published by Berkley on April 18th 2017
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 368 pages
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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. . .
The Thing About Love is my second Julie James book but I have all of her books on my TBR. Especially her FBI/US Attorney series. After reading The Thing About Love I had a feeling that Nick McCall, John’s boss was a possible main character in one of the books from that series. He is the hero of the book 2, A Lot Like Love so I will definitely be binge reading/listen to the series since I own all of them on audio.
The Thing About Love is a great romance where the heroine, Jessica and the hero John have a past where they don’t really like each other. Six years ago they went through the FBI Academy where they had different ideas about their ‘relationship’ as classmates. John though they had a chemistry and Jessica thought he was an army ground making the moves on her. Jessica was up tight but she had a reason to be. She was only of one or two women in the class so any kind of attraction she had for John she could not act on for fear that she would be looked down on as a woman in the program. John didn’t know she had that chip on her shoulder and thought she was a snob and cold hearted.
Fast-forward to their time together now and they are both coming off of long term relationships, she a divorce and him a two year relationship where he lived with his girlfriend. Both are looking for a fresh start in their personal lives and that leads to them making changes with their jobs as well. Jessica moves back to her home town Chicago, which just happens to be John’s hometown he is returning to as well.
The part are forced to work undercover with each other on a case and their past issues come up in some funny and sexy ways. Jessica and John work through their past and learn that their views of what happened while they were in the Academy was a classic story of “he said” “she said” which Julie James breaks down in two different chapters titled “She Said”, “He Said” giving the readers a look into what was going on with each character six years ago.
If you are looking for a fun romance where the couple starts out in a “hate” relationship and ends up in love with some funny one-liners, swoon-worthy declarations of love and some great secondary characters then pick up a copy of The Thing About Love by Julie James.
Steeling himself, John turned around and smiled as Jessica approached. “Yes, Agent Harlow. How can I be of service?”
In response to his dry tone, she threw him a glare so cold it could’ve frozen all nine circles of Dante’s Hell. Fittingly, just nine of the many places he would rather be than stuck working with her on this investigation.
“Look, I’m not thrilled about this, either.” Keeping her voice low, she came to a stop next to him at the elevator bank. “I thought you were supposed to be on the Hostage Rescue Team already.”
“And I thought you were supposed to be in L.A.”
There was a quick flash in her eyes before she shrugged off his question. “Change of plans.”
The elevator arrived at their floor, and they both stepped inside. She hit the button for the seventh floor, where the public corruption squad was located. Standing on the opposite side, he pressed the button for floor five.
They faced off as the doors shut. She folded her arms across her chest and studied him with those crystalline blue eyes that could so cleverly mask her emotions.
As he knew well.
“We’re going to have to figure this out,” she said. “We’re supposed to be business partners in this.”
Thank you, yes, being a professional, he was aware of that. He took a step closer. “It’s called “undercover” work, Harlow. If I can pretend to be a gun-buying, murder-for-hire thug, I think I can handle playing some rich investor-type who wants to skirt a few measly zoning laws.” Even a rich investor-type who was apparently masochistic enough to get in bed with the likes of her.
“Measly zoning laws?” she repeated.
Ooh, now he’d gone and pissed her off. How nice it was, really, that they could pick up like this, right where they’d left off.
She drew in closer, tilting her head back to meet his gaze. He was over a foot taller than her, although he noticed that she was heightening a bit with those expensive-looking three-inch heels she wore.
“Our target in this investigation is the mayor of the thirteenth largest city in the United States. That’s a pretty big deal in my book.” She gestured to his facial scruff and hair. “And while I appreciate that this . . . Sons of Anarchy motif you’ve got going might ingratiate yourself with the gun-buying, murder-for-hire, organized-crime thugs of the world, that’s not quite going to fly with this sting operation.”
“’Thirteenth largest city in the United States?’” he scoffed. “Just how many hours did you spend reviewing the case files last night?”
She smiled sweetly as the elevator arrived at her floor. “Enough to get the jump on you.”
Then the doors sprang open, and she gave him a friendly wave, once again stepping into the role of Ms. Congeniality. “So glad we got to catch up like this, Agent Shepherd. We’ll talk again soon.”
He watched her stride confidently down the hallway as the elevator doors closed between them.
Enough to get the jump on you.
Not for long, sweetheart.
Time for him to get cracking on that case file.
After 17 years I've finally finished my BA in English (no I do not want to be a teacher). Before majoring in English I would not have touched anything labeled "classic", but I have enjoyed a few along the way in my college career.
While I hated to read growing up, I am now an avid book reader and audiobook listener. I love rejecting reality one book at a time. I only read fiction within my favorite (at least to date) genres which include: most romance (paranormal, contemporary, D/s, BDSM, M/M)Urban Fantasy, and a few YA (mostly PNR or UF from favorite adult authors, but I'm slowly stepping out of my comfort zone after enjoying a few contemporary YA novels in adolescent literature class I took).