REVIEW: About That Night by Julie James
Dear Ms. James,
There’s no easy way to say this so I guess I’ll just come right out and get it over with. The bloom is off the rose. The last second basket rattled off the rim. I don’t love this book the way I’ve loved some of your other books. That hurt me to say it but … well the review will tell.
Relaxing with her friends in a bar after finals are over for their first year in law school, Rylann Pierce is laughing and having a good time. So she doesn’t shoot down the guy who tries to chat her up when she goes to the bar for the next round of drinks. He’s so cute that he just has to be one of those “he knows he’s so cute” kind of guys. But when her friend Rae quickly arranges the exit strategy so that Rylann is stuck alone and Kyle Rhodes steps up to escort her home, she discovers he’s much more than a gorgeous guy and son of a billionaire. But fate intervenes and they miss the planned date the next night thus going their separate ways.
Flash ahead nine years and Rylann is moving back to Chicago following the breakup of a relationship. She’s the newest AUSA in the district which means she opens cans of whoop-ass in Federal cases while working closely with, among others, the FBI, ATF, and Secret Service. Yeah, she’s a Bad Ass Prosecutor. And as an easy opening case that’ll let her get her feet wet, her boss Cameron hands her the plea agreement already worked out with Kyle Rhodes – aka the Twitter Terrorist. No, Rylann never expected to be handed a file folder with “United States v. Kyle Rhodes” on it. Not exactly a meet-again-cute.
Kyle Rhodes arrives in court expecting to see the asshole AUSA who’d railroaded him and called him a cyber terrorist. Yeah, what he did was stupid but when a guy is publicly dumped by his girlfriend in under 144 characters on twitter and then she posts a video of herself frolicking with a movie star, a man might feel the need to resort to some whisky which in turns fuels a dumb hack attack on twitter that shut it down for 48 hours. He eventually sobered up and headed back to face the music and would still be facing another 14 months of it behind bars except for the deal struck for his sister’s help in cracking another FBI case. Imagine his surprise when it’s Rylann Pierce who finalizes his release.
Well, Kyle gets his life back but is ready to act prickly when Rylann contacts him for help about something that went on when he was behind bars for 4 months. Still, he steps up, doing the right thing and finding himself strangely attracted to Rylann as she gets all lawyerly during the Grand Jury hearing. He also decides he wants to discover exactly what she looks like under all her sexy, power suits. So….they date. She does lawyer stuff. And he gets a new business venture started. And they have hot sex. And a few disagreements. And….work things out. The end. Wow.
There is plenty of your trade mark bantering here and I loved it. There’s great best friend dialogue between Rae and Rylann. Rylann exchanges quips with her fellow AUSAs and the tough men in suits she works with as they work to bring down bad guys. Kyle and his sister’s love interest, Nick, do the manly guy sports trash talking. Rylann and Kyle have great interactions even before they get to a bed. This stuff is wonderful. Also, the sex between Kyle and Rylann is smoking.
You do a great job explaining what goes into Rylann’s job. How hard she works, the things she’s up against in her quest as one “who prosecutes on behalf of justice.” I actually liked this part a lot which is saying something because most of the time we see her outside of court and handling paperwork is usually not exactly riveting. Though it is cool to see her go all lawyer on people. Jane does that sometimes at DA when people think they’re going to intimidate us when we post things they don’t like and I always squee and say, “Go, Jane!” Ahem… I have to admit that the parts showing Kyle setting up what he’s going to do are…not so interesting. Actually kind of draggy and skimable. Then there was the weird flashback to what happened to break up their date nine years ago and in the ensuing months after. And that dragged too. And parts got skimmed.
They finally have the talk and work things out but….as I sat reading the book, the unease I had finally crystallized. There’s really very little conflict here between Rylann and Kyle. Perhaps to lawyers, the fact that an Assistant US Attorney is dating an ex-con whom her office prosecuted is a big deal but to a non-lawyer like me, not so much. Maybe it seems like it’s coming close to a line but they never cross over it, nothing is illegal and for me the Klaxon bells and WARNING, WARNING alarms never truly sounded. Even a last minute misunderstanding seemed more made up than anything to worry about.
So, it’s a book with fun and funny dialogue, with two Beautiful People who have great sex as they fall in love and overcome a few tiny speed bumps along their road to happiness. But not much conflict or reason to get my panties in a wad as I wonder how they’re going to finally reach their HEA. C+