THE THING ABOUT LOVE by Julie James: Review & Excerpt

Posted April 17, 2017 in Reviews / 0 Comments

THE THING ABOUT LOVE by Julie James: Review & ExcerptThe Thing About Love by Julie James
Published by Berkley
Publication Date: April 18th 2017
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 368
Source: Publisher
Format: eARC
Buy Online: Amazon  B&N  Kobo

Disclaimer: I voluntarily reviewed a copy of this book. All opinions stated are solely mine.

Two undercover FBI agents can hide who they are from everyone but each other in the latest novel from the New York Times bestselling author of Suddenly One Summer.

FBI agents Jessica Harlow and John Shepherd have a past. The former lawyer and cocky Army ranger clashed during their training at Quantico, gladly going their separate ways after graduating from the Academy. Six years later, the last thing either of them expects is to run into each other again–assigned to work as partners in a high-profile undercover sting.

For both of them, being paired with a former 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 as a team–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 whole lot more complicated.




If you’re in the mood for a lighthearted romance filled with witty dialogue, palpable chemistry and very enjoyable characters, then this is the book for you. Julie James writes the perfectly romantic enemies-to-lovers story, low on drama and high on fun and entertaining scenes. It’s like comfort food, familiar but still a new experience every time.

FBI agents Jessica Harlow and John Shepherd found themselves locked in competition from their very first day at the FBI Academy and were very glad to part ways at the end of their training. Six years later, the rivals are reunited as partners in an undercover investigation, much to their chagrin. The timing couldn’t be worse, with the personal issues they are each dealing with but the long-simmering, unacknowledged attraction between them starts to heat up again, especially as they have to spend a lot of time together on their undercover assignment. But with John scheduled to leave the FBI after this assignment, is it wise to start something with a definite end date? Can John and Jessica walk away without any regrets?

One of my favorite things about this author’s writing is her characters. They are strong, sexy, intelligent and really, really likable; the kind you wouldn’t mind being friends with or hanging out with. And her females are proof positive that you can be successful with beauty and brains, and really great shoes and clothes!

Jessica and John really complement each other, both in professional and personal capacities, once they get past their rivalry. I love that John respected Jessica’s abilities and was comfortable with her taking the lead where needed. I also liked that John wasn’t just a hunk of brawn, but could hold his own against Jessica’s smarts, rapier wit and sass. They were equals and it showed in their interactions.

Their chemistry is amazing and they make a dreamy couple. Their shared careers mean that they understand the pressure that comes with the job and the sacrifices required to be successful. The ability to balance work and life is a big part of this story and I loved it.

If you are looking for a law-enforcement themed romance without the usual suspense, intrigue and action, this is the perfect book to start with. I can’t get enough of this author’s writing and hope we won’t have to wait too long for more.





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.



About Julie James

New York Times bestselling author Julie James practiced law with one of the nation's largest firms for several years until she began writing screenplays. After Hollywood producers optioned two of her scripts, she decided to leave the practice of law to write full-time. Her books have been translated into nineteen languages and Julie’s ninth novel, THE THING ABOUT LOVE, hits bookstores everywhere on April 18.

Julie James lives with her husband and two children in Chicago, where she is working on her next novel.

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