Saturday, November 1, 2014

Romance Review: Something About You by Julie James

  • Release Date: March  2, 2010
  • Length: 10 hours and 3 Minutes
  • Genre: Contemporary Romance
  • Publisher: Berkley Sensation

For the past few weeks I have listened to an embarrassingly large amount of the Dear Bitches Smart Authors podcast hosted by Sarah Wendell of the romance blog Smart Bitches, Trashy Books and Jane Litte from Dear, Author. At first it was just something bookish to have on in the background, but soon I became fascinated by the expansive and complex world of romance novels, including what's almost a sisterhood between readers and writers across generations.

I decided to dig into my library's romance audiobook selection for something to listen to while I was pulling up weeds. There weren't many options that were first in a series, but I eventually settled on Something About You by Julie James. I didn't know anything about it, but I thought the cover looked fun and figured  FBI Agent / US Attorney would be a fun subgenre.

When Chicago prosecutor Cameron Lynde is the only witness to a fleeing murderer, she is put under police surveillance until the killer is caught. To make matters worse the lead detective on the case is Jack Pallas, infamous for telling the local media she had "her head up her ass" for not prosecuting his undercover bust 3 years ago. Feelings flare as they try and catch the killer--assuming they don't kill each other first.

I've started and put down a lot romance novels, but I really enjoyed this one. It actually made me laugh and it's always fun when a book does that. I felt like Cameron and Jack had great chemistry and there were a lot of fun supporting characters. I'm learning that the uber-Alpha male protector is a popular romance trope and it always feels a little weird to me.  However, James added a vulnerability to Jack Pallas that made him feel more real. He was often out of his element or uncomfortable and Cameron was there for him as much as he was there to protect her.

Although I didn't understand why the entire murder plot was revealed in a relatively early chapter in the killer's POV.  It  kind of took away the tension because the reader knows who the killer is and why they did it while the protagonists are trying to figure it out.

The audiobook narration by Karen White was good, but not a favorite. I liked her inflections and the way she did banter but her voices weren't working for me. Her voice kind of sounded like an old fashioned actress with a mild transatlantic accent and it made the characters sound old.

I enjoyed this book and I've recently heard good things about the newest book, so I can't wait to get to to it. I've already started book 2,  A Lot Like Love. It features a different male FBI agent from the Chicago field office.

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