Rating: 4 out of 5
Every avid reader has at least one author that they turn to whenever they need a guaranteed enjoyable experience--literary insurance, if you will. Romance novelist Julie James is my insurance.
Her latest novel, Suddenly One Summer, is the most recent installment in her FBI / U.S. Attorney series (check out my reviews for her other books: It Happened One Wedding, Love Irresistibly, A Lot Like Love, and Something About You).
Suddenly One Summer features next-door neighbors, Victoria Slade and Ford Dixon: Victoria is a high-powered divorce lawyer in need of a short-term apartment after her home is burglarized, and Ford is an investigative journalist who enlists her services to help his sister locate the man who ran out on her after impregnating her in a one-night stand.
This story has all the elements of a Julie James romance:
Commitment-phobic female lead with an ambitious career and lacking love life
Intriguing circumstances that bring the characters together to seek justice
Sexual tension based on a foundation of initial annoyance
Unlike some of her previous novels, Suddenly One Summer has extremely low stakes. Victoria suffers from panic attacks and PTSD after her break-in, and Ford just wants to save his sister from suffering as a single mom, but no one's life is at risk. I didn't mind the lack of suspense, but fans of romantic thrillers will be disappointed.
Book Club Babe fans know how much I love romance novels for the...ahem, romance...so rest assured, James delivers on the passion. Let's just say that I underestimated the sexiness of sharing both a wall and a bed with your neighbor!
Overall, I enjoyed yet another Julie James novel, but I'm looking forward to trying new romance authors going forward. If you have any recommendations, please share them in the comments!