Rameau’s Review Archive: Something About You (FBI/US Attorney #1) by Julie James

Originally posted on Goodreads April 8th 2012.
There’s something about Julie James… 

Staying overnight in a luxury hotel, Assistant U.S. Attorney Cameron Lynde overhears a high-profile murder involving a U.S. Senator. Special Agent Jack Pallas is assigned to the investigation-the same Jack Pallas who still blames her for nearly ruining his career three years ago. Now the pair will have to put their rocky past behind them, focus on the case at hand-and smother the flame of their sizzling-hot sexual tension.

Something About You (FBI / US Attorney, #1)Something About You by Julie James

This is not a fair rating. I do try to rate evenly independent of genre and solely based on my enjoyment of a novel, but that doesn’t always happen. Sometimes I come across writing of a quality that in itself raises my expectations for an author and I end up being much harsher on them than I would otherwise. Those authors–debut or not–must deliver in order to earn their stars. The last time I can remember having this particular problem was when I read and reviewed Proof of Seduction by Courtney Milan.

It looks like Julie James is going to be one of those authors.

Unlike Milan, James writes contemporary romance and about lawyers especially. The very first chapter of Something About You set my expectations high and for a while it looked like James would deliver. Her writing flows easily and the dialogue is witty. Her characters act like levelheaded adults would in real situations and there aren’t any manufactured obstacles for their star-crossed romance. There is a misunderstanding, but it’s years old and the reasons for it are understandable. There also appears to be a plot.

I admit I was a bit miffed for not getting to play the guessing game of a whodunnit mystery, but that didn’t lower the rating from a solid four stars to a three. Several small beginner’s mistakes did.

First of all, I didn’t really think the killer’s point of view added anything to the story. I think James might have been underestimating her skills as a mystery novelist, but I respect her for choosing not to go down that road. At least she decided to stick with third person limited instead of switching between a first person voice narrative and third limited. The horrors I’ve read.

I was also disappointed with the secondary culprit, the so called leak. This plot point lead to a little too neat bow being tied of those plot threads in the end.

The whiff of repetition. Occasionally James succumbed to writing scenes where a flavour of the month joke or plot point was beaten to death like the famous horse. In someone else’s writing, I doubt I would have noticed these things, but as I mentioned before, Julie James has the questionable honour of my great expectations.

The floundering sex scenes. There are very few people who can write smut that I deem acceptable let alone good. I know I might be asking too much from a starting author, but if Courtney Milan can deliver so can Julie James, with a little practice.

If I made a habit of adding people on my favourite author’s list having read only one of their books, Julie James would be there with Milan and Marchetta. Alas, she’ll have to wait until I’ve caught up with the rest of her works.

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3 Responses to Rameau’s Review Archive: Something About You (FBI/US Attorney #1) by Julie James

  1. It was one big, fat DNF for me. I am glad I am not alone.

  2. I didn't finish this one, either. And I loved her debut novel, too. I've had MAJOR problems with every book she's written since.

  3. Yes, 'major problems' seem to be a perfect summary of James's work. Unfortunately.

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