Originally published April 16th 2012.
The FBI wants her cooperation.
As the daughter of a billionaire and the owner of the city’s top wine store, Jordan Rhodes is invited to the most exclusive parties in Chicago. But there’s only one party the FBI wants to crash: the charity fundraiser of a famous restaurateur, who also happens to launder money for the mob. In exchange for her brother’s release from prison, Jordan is going to be there—with a date supplied by the Bureau.
Agent McCall just wants her.
As the top undercover agent in Chicago, Nick McCall has one rule: never get personal. This “date” with Jordan Rhodes is merely an assignment— one they’re both determined to pull off even if they can’t be together for five minutes before the sarcasm and sparks begin to fly. But when Nick’s investigation is compromised, he and Jordan have no choice but to pretend they’re a couple, and what starts out as a simple assignment begins to feel a lot like something more.
Julie James has
fallen was pushed stepped down from the pedestal of my unreasonably high expectations. She is, after all, just a woman who writes better contemporary romance novels than most.
This time I knew what to expect. I knew to expect characters that are strong and coherent, and I knew to expect a story that won’t surprise me with its twists and turns but will effectively carry through and take the pressure off the romance. I knew to expect something believable–or as believable as the romance genre is capable of offering.
I like how Julie James does her research and how it shows in the daily details of a lawyer or a wine merchant. I like how Jordan teaches Nick about wine, looking at it, and tasting it. What I would have liked even more, if the passion a person or a character feels for his or her trade had shone through the text. For example, when Jordan explains that a wine’s age affects its hue, she fails to elaborate how it affects it. For someone who works, lives, and breathes the stuff, that little detail should be clear as day and slip out in everyday discussion whether it bores the none wine enthusiasts or not. I know that when I start explaining physics I won’t stop talking and pointing out little details until someone shuts me up or until I reach the limits of my knowledge.
Then there are times when the author should know to shut up. Writing the same word or expression over and over is like repeating a joke after it stops being funny. It’s something I can live with, but I doubt it will ever fully stop nagging at me.
I didn’t notice this, until Alicia pointed it out to me, but James likes to describe clothing and she likes to do it by saying he wore or she wore a lot. So I can say, there are some perks to not caring about everyday fashion–or fashion at all. Except Crocs. Even I won’t wear them.
As to something that didn’t affect the plot, but could have, I’m asking:
Why does Nick tell absolutely everyone that he works undercover and why does he tell absolutely everything about those undercover works of his? Telling his family about working undercover is one thing, spoiler telling a random sex buddy is anotherspoiler. The woman’s confusion over his last name would have been enough to tip off the private detective, because apparently that was her only function. I wonder how such a blabbermouth survived doing that job for so long.
It’s been a while–few days–since I read this book, and I can’t think of much more to say. Other than to thank Alicia for recommending it to me. If the next two books I read from Julie James are as good as this, I’ll be adding another author on my favourite authors list.