The Thing About Love by Julie James
Publication Date: April 18th 2017
Source: I received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review
The New York Times bestselling author of Suddenly One Summer blows the covers of two FBI agents who can’t hide who they are from each other…
FBI agents Jessica Harlow and John Shepherd have a past. The former lawyer and cocky Army Ranger clashed during their training at Quantico and gladly went their separate ways after graduating from the Academy. Six years later, the last thing either of them expects is to be assigned to work as partners in a high-profile undercover sting.
For both of them, being paired with an old rival couldn’t come at a worse time. Recently divorced from a Hollywood producer and looking for a fresh start, Jessica is eager to prove herself at her new field office. And John is just one case away from his dream assignment to the FBI’s elite Hostage Rescue Team. In order to nail a corrupt Florida politician, they’ll have to find a way to work together—a task that becomes even trickier when they’re forced to hole up at a romantic beachfront resort as part of the investigation. Suddenly, the heat behind their nonstop sparring threatens to make the job a lot more complicated…
It’s been a long time since I picked up a Julie James novel (even though I don’t know why, because I’m a big fan of her work), but reading The Thing About Love reminded me of all the reasons why I love her and her books. She writes such fantastic contemporary romances starring FBI agents in a realistic, believable light. If you want contemporary romance done right, plus a little enemies-to-lovers trope and suspense, The Thing About Love will be the perfect read for you.
Six years ago, Jessica Harlow and John Shepherd first met at the FBI Academy in Quantico, where they ended up with the wrong first impressions of each other and clashing from the get-go. To say they didn’t get along would be an understatement, so it was a relief to graduate and go their separate ways. But now, when John moves back to Chicago after leaving his cheating girlfriend and receives what might be his last undercover assignment before joining the FBI’s Hostage Rescue Team, he is paired up with none other than his old nemesis, Jessica Harlow.
“John,” she said, her light blue eyes widening in surprise.
Nearly fifteen thousand special agents in the FBI, spread throughout the United States in fifty-six field offices, and she had to show up in Chicago for what was quite possibly his last undercover assignment.
As his new partner.
And here he’d thought HRT tryouts had been hell.
Newly divorced, Jessica is also looking for a fresh start in Chicago. She’s not happy about John being her partner, but she’s determined not to let their past get in the way of their assignment. But the more she’s around John and the closer she gets to him, she finds that her first impression of him might not have gone the way she thought it did. She gains a new perspective on John… and it’s one she finds herself falling for. But with John joining HRT and leaving Chicago in a few weeks, can they make a relationship between them work?
“Do you know how long I’ve waited for you to look at me this way?”
She assumed he was teasing her. “What are you talking about? You didn’t even like me for most of the time we’ve known each other.”
He bent his head before turning to go, his voice low and confident in her ear. “Or may I’m just that good of an undercover agent.”
I absolutely adored this book. The Thing About Love was sweet, funny, kickass – I had the best time reading it. Jessica and John had me grinning and giggling in spades. My heart was honestly so happy the whole time I was reading their story. I loved both their characters and how they made me laugh and swoon. Their banter is the absolute BEST – I loved it! If you’re ever in the mood for something light-hearted and fun about two undercover FBI agents who hate to love and love to hate each other, I highly recommend this book!
Quotes are taken from the arc and are subject to change in the final version.
Now here’s an excerpt from The Thing About Love! ❤
Steeling himself, John turned around and smiled as Jessica approached. “Yes, Agent Harlow. How can I be of service?”
In response to his dry tone, she threw him a glare so cold it could’ve frozen all nine circles of Dante’s Hell. Fittingly, just nine of the many places he would rather be than stuck working with her on this investigation.
“Look, I’m not thrilled about this, either.” Keeping her voice low, she came to a stop next to him at the elevator bank. “I thought you were supposed to be on the Hostage Rescue Team already.”
“And I thought you were supposed to be in L.A.”
There was a quick flash in her eyes before she shrugged off his question. “Change of plans.”
The elevator arrived at their floor, and they both stepped inside. She hit the button for the seventh floor, where the public corruption squad was located. Standing on the opposite side, he pressed the button for floor five.
They faced off as the doors shut. She folded her arms across her chest and studied him with those crystalline blue eyes that could so cleverly mask her emotions.
As he knew well.
“We’re going to have to figure this out,” she said. “We’re supposed to be business partners in this.”
Thank you, yes, being a professional, he was aware of that. He took a step closer. “It’s called “undercover” work, Harlow. If I can pretend to be a gun-buying, murder-for-hire thug, I think I can handle playing some rich investor-type who wants to skirt a few measly zoning laws.” Even a rich investor-type who was apparently masochistic enough to get in bed with the likes of her.
“Measly zoning laws?” she repeated.
Ooh, now he’d gone and pissed her off. How nice it was, really, that they could pick up like this, right where they’d left off.
She drew in closer, tilting her head back to meet his gaze. He was over a foot taller than her, although he noticed that she was heightening a bit with those expensive-looking three-inch heels she wore.
“Our target in this investigation is the mayor of the thirteenth largest city in the United States. That’s a pretty big deal in my book.” She gestured to his facial scruff and hair. “And while I appreciate that this . . . Sons of Anarchy motif you’ve got going might ingratiate yourself with the gun-buying, murder-for-hire, organized-crime thugs of the world, that’s not quite going to fly with this sting operation.”
“’Thirteenth largest city in the United States?’” he scoffed. “Just how many hours did you spend reviewing the case files last night?”
She smiled sweetly as the elevator arrived at her floor. “Enough to get the jump on you.”
Then the doors sprang open, and she gave him a friendly wave, once again stepping into the role of Ms. Congeniality. “So glad we got to catch up like this, Agent Shepherd. We’ll talk again soon.”
He watched her stride confidently down the hallway as the elevator doors closed between them.
Enough to get the jump on you.
Not for long, sweetheart.
Time for him to get cracking on that case file.
Don’t miss Julie James’ FBI/US Attorney series!
Reading Order: FBI/US Attorney series
#1 ~ Something About You: Ebook • Paperback • Audible • Goodreads
#2 ~ A Lot like Love: Ebook • Paperback • Audible • Goodreads
#3 ~ About that Night: Ebook • Paperback • Audible • Goodreads
#4 ~ Love Irresistibly: Ebook • Paperback • Audible • Goodreads
#5 ~ It Happened One Wedding: Ebook • Paperback • Audible • Goodreads
#6 ~ Suddenly One Summer: Ebook • Paperback • Audible • Goodreads
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