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Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Audiobook Review: Practice Makes Perfect by Julie James

Book cover of Practice Makes Perfect by Julie James (contemporary romance)
After I graduated from college, I worked as a financial analyst for one of Chicago's biggest law firms.  I remember looking at the reports detailing the hours worked by associates and being horrified at the thousands of hours they billed (which were often less than the number of hours they actually worked).  Do these people even have a life?  Do they ever get to sleep?  Is making partner really worth it? Reviewing those financial reports was enough to put me off the idea of law school forever.

That ruthless corporate law world is highlighted in Julie James' Practice Makes Perfect, where senior associates Payton Kendall and J.D. Jameson vie for partnership while trying to fight their mutual attraction.  Practice Makes Perfect was my first read from James and to this day it remains my favorite of her books, one I've frequently reread.  My expectations, therefore, were pretty high for the recently produced audio version of the book.  Happily, I didn't just like the audiobook — I full-on loved it.

Synopsis: Payton Kendall and J. D. Jameson are lawyers who know the meaning of objection.  A feminist to the bone, Payton has fought hard to succeed in a profession dominated by men.  Born wealthy, privileged, and cocky, J. D. has fought hard to ignore her.  Face-to-face, they're perfectly civil. They have to be. For eight years they have kept a safe distance and tolerated each other as coworkers for one reason only: to make partner at the firm.  But all bets are off when they're asked to join forces on a major case.

Though apprehensive at first, they begin to appreciate each other's dedication to the law — and the sparks between them quickly turn into attraction.  But the increasingly hot connection does not last long when they discover that only one of them will be named partner.  Now it's an all-out war.  And the battle between the sexes is bound to make these lawyers hot under the collar... — Goodreads

My thoughts: I enjoyed the Practice Makes Perfect audiobook so much that I listened to parts of it more than once.  Narrator Karen White was pitch-perfect throughout and her performance captured many of the things I love about the book.  And, yes, Practice Makes Perfect retains its spot as my favorite Julie James book.  The chemistry between Payton and J.D. is sizzling, and I love how they each come to recognize and respect each other as great lawyers while they falling in love.  Despite the challenges they face and the way they compete with each other, I fully believe in their happily ever after.

The romance between Payton and J.D. is alternately sweet and hot.  James does an excellent job of building the sexual tension between the two, and when it finally breaks...oh boy.  I also appreciate how James deftly uses humor in her books (see my review of Love Irresistibly) and Practice Makes Perfect highlights that.  The partnership drama fuels the competition between Payton and J.D., but there are some laugh-out-loud funny moments that prevent the professional conflict from weighing down the book.

While I love the book, I also highly recommend the audio version of Practice Makes Perfect.  Karen White's narration was completely enjoyable, and I was particularly impressed with her performance of the male characters.  All of the men have clearly delineated personalities and J.D.'s cavalier charm is totally engaging.  It isn't often that I want to commit nearly ten hours of my life to relistening to an audiobook, but I'll definitely make an exception for this one.

Rating: A
Length: 9 hours, 5 minutes
Audio Publisher: Tantor Audio
Publication Date: May 27, 2013
Sensuality: Steamy

Romance novel book reviews by The Brazen Bookworm

Disclosure: I received a copy of this audiobook from the publisher and narrator in return for a fair and honest review.


  1. I've never tried her narration. I should huh? Great review.

  2. Yes, you must. She narrates all of Julie's books, so you can't go wrong with any of them!

  3. Great review! I just added this one to my audible wishlist.

    1. Thanks! I think you'd probably do well with any of the James books read by White, but this one was great. Hope you enjoy it!

  4. I'm going to look for this on audio. Ahh... billable hours being less than working hours. It is what it is. I wish someone would have told me not to go to law school ;)

    1. Oh geez, I just hope it doesn't stress you out more!

  5. Ooh, good to know! I ADORE Julie James and have read all of her books. I've been meaning to reread this one. Maybe I'll get the audiobook instead! I'm terribly picky about my narrators, so it's always nice to have good ones.

    1. Yes, and Karen does a really good job with male and female voices. That's a game-changer for me in audiobooks.


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