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REVIEW: Something About You by Julie James

Dear Ms. James,

Cover image for Something About You by Julie JamesHow do I like this book? Let me count the ways. I do like contemporaries and even the occasional romantic suspense but rarely do they combine as well as you’ve done with “Something About You.” And wow, even the cover model kinda looks like she’s wearing the dress you described. And how often does that happen?!

I’m going to be mega lazy after a hard day at work and just borrow your blurb.

FATE HAS THROWN TWO SWORN ENEMIES. . .

Of all the hotel rooms rented by all the adulterous politicians in Chicago, female Assistant U.S. Attorney Cameron Lynde had to choose the one next to 1308, where some hot-and-heavy lovemaking ends in bloodshed. And of all the FBI agents in Illinois, it had to be Special Agent Jack Pallas who gets assigned to this high-profile homicide. The same Jack Pallas who still blames Cameron for a botched crackdown three years ago-’and nearly ruining his career-

. . .INTO EACH OTHER'S ARMS

Work with Cameron Lynde? Are they kidding? Maybe, Jack thinks, this is some kind of welcome-back prank after his stint away from Chicago. But it's no joke: the pair is going to have to put their rocky past behind them and focus on the case at hand. That is, if they can cut back on the razor-sharp jibes-’and smother the flame of their sizzling-hot sexual tension-

Jane said the book was good but she didn’t say how good. It’s great. Lessee, a heroine who is smart, acts smart and when she’s told she needs to be under protective custody, she doesn’t fight it with the same old stupid plotting I’ve seen with this kind of novel. She doesn’t think it’s fun to escape her police escort, she agrees to have them come along for a bridal party at a nightclub and ends up telling them all about her friends and the wedding she’s going to be in. They like her and she likes them. She’s good at her job and follows her professional principles even when she has to come to Jack’s rescue. And even after he loses control and tells the world she had her head up her ass during a previous case. Bliss.

And then there’s the hero who is portrayed as being as sinfully delicious as a double fudge chocolate cake with chocolate chips on top. And whipped cream. Jack’s initially not thrilled to have Cameron back in his life – just as she’s not too thrilled with him, but he takes her protection and her involvement in the case seriously and treats her with professionalism. He explains why she needs to be under protective custody instead of just strong arming her then he’s willing to protect her at any cost. Bliss, bliss.

The dialogue is fantastic. Smart, snappy, funny yet realistic. I can’t count the number of times I laughed while reading the book. The scene of the two CPD officers and the two FBI men talking about Cameron’s dating life is a sceam.

"So- for some reason we thought you were the guys assigned to Ms. Lynde's surveillance. Guess we were mistaken?"

"Nope, you got it right," Kamin said. "We do the night shift. Nice girl. We talk a lot on the way to the gym."

"Oh. Then I guess Agent Wilkins and I are just curious why you two are here instead of with her."

Kamin waved this off. "It's cool. We did a switcheroo with another cop, see?"

"A switcheroo- right. Remind me again how that works?" Jack asked.

"It's because she's got this big date tonight," Kamin explained.

Jack cocked his head. "A date?"

Phelps chimed in. "Yeah, you know-’with Max-the-investment-banker-she-met-on-the-Bloomingdales-escalator."

"I must've missed that one."

"Oh, it's a great story," Kamin assured him. "She crashed into him coming off the escalator and when her shopping bag spilled open, he told her he liked her shoes."

"Ah- the Meet Cute," Wilkins said with a grin.

Jack threw him a sharp look. "What did you just say?"

"You know, the Meet Cute." Wilkins explained. "In romantic comedies, that's what they call the moment when the man and woman first meet." He rubbed his chin, thinking this over. "I don't know, Jack- if she's had her Meet Cute with another man that does not bode well for you."

Then, there’s when they’re standing outside Cameron’s house and exchanging information, and awe, at the bachelorette party game going on inside.

"What do you think the pink bags are for?" Wilkins asked. His voice was filled with wonder.

Phelps stood next to him, similarly wide-eyed and awestruck. "It's a game. Each girl buys a pair of underwear, something she would normally wear herself. The bride has to guess who brought which pair. If the bride guesses wrong, she has to do a shot. If she guesses right, the other girl drinks."

"Cameron was afraid Amy would think the game was tacky, but the cousins insisted, see?" Kamin said.

Jack glanced over. "You guys sure are getting into all this."

Phelps grinned. "When a girl like Cameron talks about underwear, you listen."

"How about you, Jack? Could you do it?" Wilkins asked.

"Do what?"

"Twenty pairs of underwear. Think you could figure out which pair belongs to Cameron?"

Jack had been interrogated at knife-point, gun-point, pretty much at all-points a man could think of, but hell if a question had ever made him squirm as much as that one.

Because now he was thinking about her underwear.

"I don't see why I'd have any particular insight into that," he answered gruffly. "Think you could figure it out?"

"No, but I didn't try to kiss her three nights ago," Wilkins said.

Jack glared at Kamin and Phelps. "You two tell all sorts of tales, don't you?" He nodded to Wilkins. "We should get going."

Wilkins shook his head. "No way. We came to show Cameron those photographs, and that's what we're going to do."

Jack pointed to the house. "You can't seriously be thinking about going in there."

Wilkins's eyes sparkled with excitement. "Oh, I'm going in all right. And you are, too, partner."

"You thought that going into a purse was sacrosanct? Infiltrating a bachelorette party is way beyond that."

Wilkins rubbed his hands together eagerly. "I know. And I'll never have an excuse like this again."

"You're an FBI agent, Sam," Jack reminded him.

"I'm also a single man, Jack. And inside that house are twenty gorgeous women who are drinking and showing off their panties. It's a no-brainer." He pushed off the car and headed toward the house.

The heroine’s Gay best friend isn’t a stereotypical Gay Best Friend. Thank you for no mention of “Project Runway,” interior decorating (at least in relation to Collin), or squeally moments. The plot just seemed to flow and I didn’t notice your authorial hand jerking the characters’ strings to get them to move as you want them to. Bliss, bliss, bliss.

The villain isn’t a serial killer! So his POV of course doesn’t lovingly detail how much he likes to kill people. Sure, he did commit murder and does need to go down, but I can almost understand the situation in which he found himself and what made him kill. What’s the saying? Everyone could kill under the right circumstances. Then he stays a professional and methodically tries to cover his tracks. It was almost fun to watch him delve into why the crime didn’t have the outcome he’d expected. Still blissful.

Let me mention again how much I enjoy watching Cameron and Jack work this case. Despite a rocky start…

Before he could call her bluff, Cameron grabbed her purse and headed for the door. The hell with her stuff, she'd get it later. "It was nice catching up with you, Agent Pallas. I'm glad to see those three years in Nebraska didn't make you any less of an asshole."

She threw open the door and nearly ran into a man standing in the doorway. He wore a well-cut gray suit and tie, appeared younger than Jack, and was African American.

He flashed Cameron a knock-out smile while precariously balancing three Starbucks cups in his hands. "Thanks for getting the door. What'd I miss?"

"I'm storming out. And I just called Agent Pallas an asshole."

"Sounds like good times. Coffee?" He held the Starbucks out to her. "I'm Agent Wilkins."

…they quickly start meshing together. They listen to each other, respect each other professionally – now, mull over the other person’s ideas and suggestions and when someone higher on the food chain than the killer is contemplated, there’s no immediate dismissal that “this couldn’t possibly be right.” Cameron does do one slightly silly thing which no one would think might bring a killer to her house one day and because she didn’t go out once and try and track down and bring in the killer, I’ll forgive it. She also ends up doing something Jack calls “fucking brilliant” to aid in capturing the killer. I’m almost in a haze of bliss.

I did end up marking the book down slightly because I just felt the ending kept on going and going. The last chapter felt tacked on and was somewhat of an anticlimax but other than that, this is one book I can totally recommend. A-

~Jayne

This book is the subject of a new Save the Contemporary campaign. Come back tomorrow to hear about the details to win a new iTouch and a bottle of Stags’ Leap Petit Syrah which is a wine featured in the book.

| Julie James’ Website | Kindle | Amazon | Nook | BN | Borders | Fictionwise (eReader/epub) | Books on Board (epub/PDF)

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.

47 Comments

  1. Susan Mallery
    Mar 01, 2010 @ 14:17:14

    What a wonderful review! I so appreciate a reviewer who takes the time to share specifics of why she enjoys a story but without spoiling the surprise. The clips you included are great. Very funny! Sounds like a wonderful book!

    ReplyReply

  2. Shiloh Walker
    Mar 01, 2010 @ 14:26:09

    Oh, I LOVED SOmething About You. Julie let me read it a few months ago and I think I’ve already read it like twice, at least. Is awesome. She’s making me love contemps again.

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  3. Jayne
    Mar 01, 2010 @ 14:26:58

    I could have picked multiple clips but as Jane reminded me, we can only quote so much in one review. The whole book is filled with stuff like what I ended up selecting.

    ReplyReply

  4. Jayne
    Mar 01, 2010 @ 14:28:46

    @Shiloh Walker: Most of the contemps I read are category but with more like this, I’d read single title ones too.

    ReplyReply

  5. Lily
    Mar 01, 2010 @ 14:38:20

    My copy showed up today and I can’t wait! I loved her other books.

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  6. Sally
    Mar 01, 2010 @ 14:43:35

    Oh Boy! I can’t wait!

    ReplyReply

  7. May
    Mar 01, 2010 @ 14:56:13

    I am so doing happy dance – my copy shipped from Amazon a few days ago. can’t wait to get it!!

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  8. Kati
    Mar 01, 2010 @ 15:02:21

    Jayne – One thing of note about Something About You, Julie turns the heat level on this book up. In a really satisfying way. Jack and Cameron have fantastic chemistry, and Julie gives us terrific payoff.

    The only gripe (and minute it was) about her first two books was that I wished there was a bit more sexy times. And this book is wonderful for that.

    I adored this book. Julie has really established herself as a fantastic go-to contemporary author.

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  9. Angie
    Mar 01, 2010 @ 15:07:33

    What a lovely review, Jayne! I am seriously itching to get my hands on it. My copy is actually sitting at home waiting for me. Stupid work…

    ReplyReply

  10. Jayne
    Mar 01, 2010 @ 16:00:19

    @Kati: This is the first book of hers I’ve read so I wasn’t aware it was hotter than any before. But thanks for mentioning that for the people who would notice it.

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  11. Jayne
    Mar 01, 2010 @ 16:06:10

    @Angie: I hate the way work gets in the way of my reading too. But this book is worth the wait.

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  12. Jen X
    Mar 01, 2010 @ 16:47:39

    I have been on countdown mode for this book for months. Tomorrow!

    I am SO happy to hear that this book is steamier. While I loved “Just The Sexiest Man Alive” the love scenes (or rather the lack of them) was a bit of a letdown. I don’t care so much for erotica but I don’t want it PG-13 either, ya know?

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  13. Jaci Burton
    Mar 01, 2010 @ 17:10:49

    Oh yum. Shannon Stacey was singing the praises of Julie James to me the other day. And this book just sounds like all kinds of fun and awesome. Must go buy right now via the Kindle link above. Great review Jayne!

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  14. Jessica G.
    Mar 01, 2010 @ 17:18:42

    Yay I can’t wait! I was a little worried that she woouldn’t be able to live up to the standards of her first two books, which I really enjoyed. Buying it tonight when it comes up for my Sony :)

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  15. readerdiane
    Mar 01, 2010 @ 17:19:57

    Ok, you convinced me. I just ordered it for my Kindle. I really like contemporaries for a change of pace, especially when there is a great dialogue exchange.

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  16. Robin
    Mar 01, 2010 @ 17:37:42

    I really enjoyed this book, for many of the reasons Jayne outlines. I think James has a very natural rom com style, and this book is no exception.

    There was one thing about it, though, that I wish hadn’t been so prominent, namely what I’d call the “Romance novel format.”

    James’s first two books were definitely Romance to me, but they read a bit more like rom com films. So there was less detail in character development than I wanted sometimes, less focus on motivations and on what I thought were sometimes contradictory impulses in the heroes. This book had much more focus on the characters, I think, but also more of the “cues” I associate with Romance, and a lot more of what I call “Romance language,” especially relative to the love scenes. And part of me wanted it to feel less familiar in some of those moves. Fresher, like the first two books felt to me, but with the increased focus on character motivation and development.

    Also, the scene surrounding their first intimate encounter felt forced to me, like the sexual tension was being artificially drawn out to satisfy a pacing issue.

    None of this killed my enjoyment of the novel, but it landed it more in the B range (maybe B+?) than the A range for me.

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  17. claire
    Mar 01, 2010 @ 17:48:52

    All I can say is wow! Is this only available in eformat? I love the dialogue esp. between the agents. The “meet cute” and the whole bit about the one going into the bachelorette party was very funny.

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  18. Tae
    Mar 01, 2010 @ 17:54:55

    ok, this definitely sounds like it’s worth reading. I’ll have to look up how to get a copy in Korea

    ReplyReply

  19. bonnie
    Mar 01, 2010 @ 18:57:10

    Cool! Another one to add to the list.

    Thanks for the review.

    ReplyReply

  20. Julie James
    Mar 01, 2010 @ 19:24:10

    Thanks so much for the wonderful review, Jayne!! So happy to hear that you enjoyed the book!

    Random tidbit re: the dress… I had originally written it as a black strapless, but then Berkley showed me the cover and I thought–hmm–let’s change it to match. ;-)

    Best,
    Julie

    ReplyReply

  21. Christine M.
    Mar 01, 2010 @ 19:30:51

    Now that sounds aboslutely awesome! I’m buying! =)

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  22. Mary G
    Mar 01, 2010 @ 19:54:54

    Love the review. You captured what is strong about Julie’s books. She’s the only author I know that gets HOT ratings for her books that don’t have tons of sex. She is a master at sexual tension. You can tell she is a talented sceenwriter as well because her books could easily be made into movies with her sharp witty dialogue.
    Smart smart writing. Bliss is the right word. If SAY is steamier that’s icing on the cake.

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  23. Shiloh Walker
    Mar 01, 2010 @ 20:19:25

    @Jayne:

    If I could find more like hers, I’d definitely be reading more of them. :-) I am trying more out than I used to, that’s for sure.

    ReplyReply

  24. Judi L
    Mar 01, 2010 @ 20:25:33

    I was lucky enough to purchase this book yesterday and love it already even though I am only on page 93. I love the banter between Jack and Wilkins and Colin is a hoot also. Jack’s last name (Pallas) has caused a few chuckles..I just keep getting it confused with another P word which is spelt very similarily. LOL!

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  25. Jayne
    Mar 01, 2010 @ 20:31:56

    @claire: It’ll be released in paperback format tomorrow.

    ReplyReply

  26. Jayne
    Mar 01, 2010 @ 20:34:44

    @Julie James: Aaaah, and here I thought the art department had really rocked. Well…I guess they did anyway since we got a great cover and dress description from them.

    ReplyReply

  27. Julie James
    Mar 01, 2010 @ 20:46:14

    @Jayne: Darn it, now you’ve seen behind the curtain. Should’ve stayed quiet. ;-) Yes, the art department did a fantastic job–quite a compliment to them when an author actually changes the story to fit the cover.

    ReplyReply

  28. janicu
    Mar 01, 2010 @ 21:39:45

    I have to read this book.

    ReplyReply

  29. Jane
    Mar 01, 2010 @ 22:08:14

    @claire: I saw that there was a Kindle version but I haven’t been able to find the “nook” version yet.

    I also found it in eReader and epub format at Fictionwise.

    ReplyReply

  30. Olivia
    Mar 01, 2010 @ 22:20:49

    @Jane: Fictionwise will release the epub and pdb versions tomorrow, the 2nd.

    My Nook is ready and waiting.

    I checked B&N and they don’t have the digital version offered yet.

    ReplyReply

  31. Janine
    Mar 01, 2010 @ 22:42:20

    Haven’t read this yet, but I’ve been really looking forward to it after enjoying Practice Makes Perfect, and this review has whetted my appetite even more.

    ReplyReply

  32. Mitzi H.
    Mar 01, 2010 @ 22:55:47

    I’ve had this book on my wishlist for some time and now it goes to my shopping list for next weekend!!! Thanks for the great review!!!

    ReplyReply

  33. Pam P
    Mar 01, 2010 @ 23:50:12

    Loved the first two, will be snapping this new one up soon as I can. I’m more into historicals, paranormals and fantasy, but Julie James now has me anxiously awaiting her next contemporary releases.

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  34. Kaetrin
    Mar 02, 2010 @ 00:29:13

    Jayne, your (good) reviews always make me want to rush out and buy buy buy and this one’s no exception.

    I did enjoy the 2 previous offerings but I’m glad this one’s a bit “steamier” because I felt there was a bit of that missing (for me) in the first 2 books.

    Also love the cover and that the dress appears in the book – no matter how it came to be!

    I’m off to go shopping…

    ReplyReply

  35. Jayne
    Mar 02, 2010 @ 05:04:09

    @Kaetrin: Thanks for the compliment! I love that dress on the cover. And Jack really loves that dress on Cameron.

    ReplyReply

  36. SOMETHING ABOUT YOU available today!! « The Julie James Blog
    Mar 02, 2010 @ 08:42:58

    [...] “How do I like this book? Let me count the ways….a heroine who is smart, acts smart… good at her job and follows her professional principles[.]  And then there's the hero who is portrayed as being as sinfully delicious as a double fudge chocolate cake with chocolate chips on top. And whipped cream…. The dialogue is fantastic. Smart, snappy, funny yet realistic. I can't count the number of times I laughed while reading the book…. [T]his is one book I can totally recommend.” –Dear Author [...]

  37. Save the Contemporary: Something About You by Julie James | Dear Author: Romance Novel Reviews, Industry News, and Commentary
    Mar 02, 2010 @ 10:01:34

    [...] About You,” which goes on sale today. You can read Sarah’s review here, or Jayne’s review at Dear Author, or you can get busy and win some fun [...]

  38. Dear Author Recommends for March | Dear Author: Romance Novel Reviews, Industry News, and Commentary
    Mar 02, 2010 @ 12:03:54

    [...] Something About You by Julie James. Recommended by Jayne, Janet and Jane (and part of our Save the Contemporary campaign)’ [...]

  39. Silver
    Mar 03, 2010 @ 08:57:12

    We also love “Something About You” and we have a giveaway contest until Friday, March 5! Check out our review and giveaway! http://tiny.cc/q8w0S

    ReplyReply

  40. Marilyn
    Mar 03, 2010 @ 10:05:20

    I promised myself I would try new authors and this book sounds wonderful. Great review, it’s caused me a trip to B&n today.

    ReplyReply

  41. Randi
    Mar 03, 2010 @ 10:53:34

    I am totally loving this book. Never heard of the author until the reviews here and at Smart Bitches went up, but glad to have found a new author. I’m also glad to hear the previous books are just as good. Glomming, here I come!!

    ReplyReply

  42. Amy
    Mar 09, 2010 @ 23:24:24

    I just finished this book today and it was terrific! Thank you for the review as it introduced me to a new author. Now I’m going to look for Ms. James’ other books.

    ReplyReply

  43. Amy
    Mar 09, 2010 @ 23:31:29

    @Robin:

    James's first two books were definitely Romance to me, but they read a bit more like rom com films. So there was less detail in character development than I wanted sometimes, less focus on motivations and on what I thought were sometimes contradictory impulses in the heroes. This book had much more focus on the characters, I think, but also more of the “cues” I associate with Romance, and a lot more of what I call “Romance language,” especially relative to the love scenes. And part of me wanted it to feel less familiar in some of those moves. Fresher, like the first two books felt to me, but with the increased focus on character motivation and development.

    Another reviewer on Amazon mentioned that the first two books “were contemporary chick lit at its finest.” That, along with your comment, makes me think that I may not like the first two books. I’m not a fan of chick lit. Maybe I should just wait for Ms. James’ next novel.

    ReplyReply

  44. Something About You by Julie James « Janicu’s Book Blog
    Mar 14, 2010 @ 20:19:26

    [...] can count on a good time with a Julie James book and that’s what I love about them. “ Dear Author – A- Tempting Persephone – “There wasn't really anything I didn't enjoy about [...]

  45. handyhunter
    Mar 18, 2010 @ 00:05:42

    [spoilers in this comment]

    I read the book based on this review (hadn’t heard of it or the author before) and enjoyed it a lot! I definitely liked the lack of the damsel in distress/TSTL characters and domineering hero — the set up for Cameron and Jack to get together fell within the genre tropes, but in a way that didn’t follow gender stereotypes, which I greatly appreciate (also the HEA without a wedding or babies at the end! And the motorcycle scene!).

    I liked the banter between all the characters too, not just the main pairing, and the send up of some of the stereotypes of the ‘gay best friend’ and ‘tough black guy’ was awesome! I would love to read sequels for Collin and Wilkins (not that I’m holding my breath, but still, I’d read stories about them as the main characters).

    ReplyReply

  46. “He who believes the past cannot be changed has not yet written his memoirs.” - Southern Fried Chicas
    Jan 19, 2011 @ 16:21:44

    [...] Two-way tie between Something About You by Julie James & Bayou Moon by Ilona [...]

  47. Shriya
    Mar 13, 2011 @ 05:51:21

    Loved the book! My favorite by her.

    ReplyReply

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