Julie James is one of those authors and in my opinion, James' books keep getting better. They're funny, they're sexy and they're always well written. Oh, and they're all set in Chicago. Basically, Julie James nails it on every front. Love Irresistibly, the fourth book in James' FBI/U.S. Attorney series, was published last week and it's one of those books you'll devour in one sitting — I did that last week sitting (fittingly enough) at Starbucks.
Summary: A former football star and one of Chicago’s top prosecutors, Assistant U.S. Attorney Cade Morgan will do anything to nail a corrupt state senator, which means he needs Brooke Parker’s help. As general counsel for a restaurant company, she can get a bug to the senator’s table at one of her five-star restaurants so the FBI can eavesdrop on him. All Cade has to do is convince Brooke to cooperate—and he’s not afraid to use a little charm, or the power of his office, to do just that.
A savvy businesswoman, Brooke knows she needs to play ball with the U.S. Attorney’s office—even if it means working with Cade. No doubt there’s a sizzling attraction beneath all their sarcastic quips, but Brooke is determined to keep things casual. Cade agrees—until a surprising turn of events throws his life into turmoil, and he realizes that he wants more than just a good time from the one woman with whom he could fall terrifyingly, irresistibly in love...
My thoughts: Everything clicked in Love Irresistibly. Julie James deftly tackles the major dilemma so many women face — how to balance a demanding career with a rich and satisfying life — and she does it with humor and a damn fine romance. Brook Parker is a take-no-prisoners corporate attorney who can manage everything but a successful romance. Even her friendships suffer from the demands of her working life and though she wants to fix this, she isn't quite sure how to make everything fit. I think many women will be able to relate to Brooke and see something of themselves in her.
As for the hero...Cade Morgan is something else. He's smart, he's athletic, he's witty, he's genuine and he's hot (at last week's Lady Jane's Salon in Naperville, Illinois, James said she imagines him as Matt Bomer from "White Collar"). He's initially attracted to Brooke because she challenges him, but it quickly becomes clear that these two are well matched. It's just going to take some time and rearranging on both their parts to get there.
It's worth reading Love Irresistibly if only for James' dialogue, which is some of the best being written in contemporary romance. In fact, her dialogue is what made me keep reading her books in the first place. Whether it's clever, flirty or serious, every line is part of James' character development. At last week's event, James attributed her talent with dialogue to her early experiences writing screenplays, but wherever she gets it from, it's golden.
Personally, I also adore that James uses so much of Chicago's character and geography in her books, though I know it may not appeal to those who don't love the Windy City as I do. She uses real-life restaurants and locations, and even Brooke's company is based on a real Chicago restaurant group. Then there is the beer-drinking and flirtation at a Cubs-Sox game at Wrigley Field. Folks, it doesn't get much more Chicago than that.
Truthfully, there wasn't anything I disliked about Love Irresistibly and I know it's one I'll reread from beginning to end. As a side note, James mentioned last week that she frequently worries her books are getting too hot. My opinion: Keep it coming!
Publication Date: April 2, 2013
Length: 304 pages