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REVIEW: A Lot Like Love by Julie James

Dear Ms. James,

I finally discovered you with the last book you wrote and got all excited when I noticed that Jane had already gotten your newest one, “A Lot Like Love” for us. Jane’s good about that. I can say that from the way I also enjoyed this one, it looks like we’re going to have a long and wonderful relationship. At least, I hope we will.

A Lot Like Love By Julie James FBI agent Nick McCall senses Something Is Up when he gets called into his boss’s office but as long as he can get it done before flying out to New York for his mother’s “surprise” 60th birthday party, all will be good. Only when his boss starts sliding then twisting – and everyone knows twisting means bad – the sleeve on his Starbucks coffee, Nick braces himself. The deal is that Nick is supposed to use his undercover expertise to help the new guy, Huxley – who has sharper suits than Pallas’s partner, agent Wilkins, and who actually wears a sweater vest – with the case Huxley’s been working on for months namely to nail Xander Eckhart for money laundering.

They’ve got a plan to sneak bugs into Eckhart’s swanky restaurant to tape conversations between him and Roberto Martino’s people – all they need is an “in” to get them there. And the “in” is one hot Chicago socialite and wine store owner Jordan Rhodes. For the price of springing her twin brother Kyle, aka the “Twitter Terrorist” from jail 14 months early, Jordan will take Huxley with her to an exclusive wine tasting party during which the bugs will get planted.

Problem is, Huxley gets the flu and Nick gets the job of being Jordan’s date for the night. Since the two get along only about 18% of the time, it’ll be a test of Nick’s undercover skills and Jordan’s desire to see Kyle go free. And then things get worse when a jealous Eckhart puts a PI on Nick’s tail and the one night boyfriend act goes full time. Can Jordan and Nick keep the sarcastic quips to a minimum before morphing into not being able to keep their hands off each other long enough to close the case?

I liked a lot of things about this book. It’s funny, the plot isn’t over the top, Nick is such a guy and Jordan is more than strong enough to match him without being what I know a lot of readers don’t like – kickass. I also like that I can see the feelings growing between these two without Nick suddenly turning into an emo or Jordan becoming clingy. They remain the characters you start us out with even as they fall in love and we get to see them realize their attraction for each other, think about it, rearrange their new reality and act on it. Nick’s never going to enjoy “Dancing with the Stars” for itself and he’s always probably going to prefer bourbon to wine but hey, he can watch some sequins and spray tans if it gets him laid.

He’s also the man on the spot if a girl needs to have a slight breakdown after having a gun held to her head. But Jordan’s no wimp, as Nick points out to the men in her family, and she keeps her cool when it counts plus has a 10 foot tall sense of loyalty to those she loves. I love the way she doesn’t cut Nick any slack and remains fearless regardless of his “don’t fuck with me” face.

I do have some problems with the investigation side of the plot. Nick spouts off a lot of information about what’s just gone down before the investigation is closed and even tells Jordan a teensy bit about his next potential cases. Would this happen in real life? And while I’d love to believe that law enforcement could get his perfect cover into place within 24 hours, this is the government we’re talking about.

Still, I had a great time reading the book and loved watching yet another tough FBI agent meet his soul mate where he least expected her. Poor chief Davis must really fear he’s running a matchmaking agency rather than an FBI field office at this point. And though I’m excited about Jordan’s brother Kyle in the next book, when will we get Wilkin’s story? B


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This book is published by an Agency publisher meaning that the publisher sets the digital book price and there are no discounts.

Another long time reader who read romance novels in her teens, then took a long break before started back again about 15 years ago. She enjoys historical romance/fiction best, likes contemporaries, action- adventure and mysteries, will read suspense if there's no TSTL characters and is currently reading very few paranormals.


  1. Mary G
    Mar 02, 2011 @ 07:52:37

    I’m so looking forward to this one. I’ve loved all her books. LOL funny – can’t read them in public. Such smart writing.

  2. Isobel Carr
    Mar 02, 2011 @ 09:43:38

    I’m so reading this ASAP! I loved her last book, which I bought after reading a review here or on SB . . . she’s on my autobuy list now.

    And they’re doing a great job with branding her covers. Not an easy thing to do.

  3. Jayne
    Mar 02, 2011 @ 11:02:02

    @Mary G: I love the dialogue in her books – and yes, I’ve laughed out loud in public while reading her books.

  4. Jayne
    Mar 02, 2011 @ 11:03:46

    @Isobel Carr: I love the covers! Sexy but not trashy. Smart sexy? Anyway, she’s an autobuy for me now too.

  5. Kim
    Mar 02, 2011 @ 11:41:00

    I’m reading this now and thoroughly enjoying it. A Julie James book always delivers an interesting plot with witty dialogue. Also, besides her main characters, JJ always creates terrific secondary chrarcters. Jeremy (Jason’s friend) from Just the Sexiest Man Alive deserves a story, too.

  6. LEW
    Mar 02, 2011 @ 13:52:41

    This sounds like a book I would love! Going on my list!

  7. sarah mayberry
    Mar 02, 2011 @ 16:58:39

    Buying it now. She’s awesome funny. Her dialogue is great because she’s a scriptwriter. She’s got a fantastic ear for it.

  8. Rossy
    Mar 03, 2011 @ 04:38:11

    @Kim: Completely agree! I was hoping it would be the next book, but it doesn’t look like that will happen yet.

  9. Review A Lot Like Love by Julie James |
    Mar 03, 2011 @ 20:33:59

    […] Dear Author B […]

  10. Kaetrin
    Mar 03, 2011 @ 23:44:30

    I enjoyed Just the Sexiest Man Alive and I really enjoyed Something About You – the love scenes were tame in the first and (I’m happy to say) much hotter in SAY – is the bedroom door open in this one too? (*crosses fingers*)

  11. Jayne
    Mar 04, 2011 @ 06:56:56

    @Kaetrin: The bedroom door is open and the door to the hot tub, IIRC.

  12. Jane
    Mar 04, 2011 @ 07:12:56

    @Kaetrin It’s open. I think that there are two sex scenes in the this book and definitely on par with SAY.

  13. Laura
    Mar 04, 2011 @ 11:50:18

    Does anyone know why A Lot Like Love is no longer available at I was planning to buy it at an actual bookstore over the weekend, but I went over to Amazon to read the reviews. I noticed all of Julie James’ novels are available except this one, so it doesn’t seem to be a case of Amazon fighting with Berkeley or Julie James. Now I’m curious and worry I won’t get my hands on it if my local Barnes & Noble and Borders don’t have it in stock.

  14. Brian
    Mar 04, 2011 @ 12:50:23

    @Laura: Yesterday there was a message about numerous reports of problems with the paperback and that it had been temporarily removed from sale or something like that (sorry, didn’t save the message).

  15. Laura
    Mar 04, 2011 @ 14:54:55

    Thank you Brian.

  16. Pamela
    Mar 06, 2011 @ 19:41:20

    According to James’ website, a shipment of pre-ordered copies from Amazon contained about 30 missing pages. Berkley assured her the copies are now being carefully checked. James’ posted an apology to readers who received books with missing pages and has even posted the missing pages on her website.

  17. Thanking our March Advertisers | Dear Author
    Mar 07, 2011 @ 10:01:53

    […] Julie James: A Lot Like Love has a smart assed wine seller meets hot FBI agent = hijinks ensue (review here). […]

  18. Thanking our March Advertisers | Dear Author
    Mar 07, 2011 @ 10:01:53

    […] Julie James: A Lot Like Love has a smart assed wine seller meets hot FBI agent = hijinks ensue (review here). […]

  19. Laura
    Mar 07, 2011 @ 15:31:06

    Thank you Pamela. I was going to buy a copy of the book today at Barnes & Noble, but decided to wait.

  20. SonomaLass
    Mar 07, 2011 @ 22:14:14

    I had a fun chat with Julie about this book at RomCon, because of the wine connection. I’ve been looking forward to it ever since, and so far (about halfway through), it is really good. It’s nice that the main couple are both acting on their wariness; too often in contemporary (and even historical) romance, I think couples who SAY they don’t trust each other/don’t want to act on their attraction end up in bed too fast. These are smart people, and it’s nice that they’re acting like smart people (so far).

  21. Jayne
    Mar 08, 2011 @ 06:47:25

    @SonomaLass: It's nice that the main couple are both acting on their wariness; too often in contemporary (and even historical) romance, I think couples who SAY they don't trust each other/don't want to act on their attraction end up in bed too fast. (so far).

    YES! In so many ways I totally agree with you.

  22. Madalayne
    Mar 10, 2011 @ 00:30:26

    i keep meaning to try more contmeporary romances out; where is a good starting point with julie james?

  23. christine
    Mar 17, 2011 @ 14:50:20

    I really really liked “Something about You”: Strong characters, great banter, funny, good story line. That the author is a former attn, lent some “inside” credibility to the storyline. I enjoyed “A lot like love” a little less. Then I got to “Practice makes perfect” and I wanted to throw the book against the wall.

    It was as if it the book was written by a different author. Did anyone else have this reaction?

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