New Release Review | The Thing About Love by Julie James

The Thing About Love by Julie James | FBI/US Attorney #7
Contemporary Romance
Published on April 18th, 2017
ARC from Netgalley


Book Blurb:

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. . .

| Book Review |

I’m going to preface this review by saying that as this is a Julie James book, I had every intention of loving every bit of it. That’s what has always happened with me in the past, and I expected nothing less from The Thing About Love. The thing is, I didn’t love this one, and that makes me sad. Julie James has been my go to author when I want a sophisticated heroine who has her life together with just a few kinks to work out, and I love that that was something I could count on. But there was something about this heroine that I couldn’t quite connect with, and as far as the story goes, I don’t feel like there was much meat to it. I liked Jessica and John separately much better than I liked them together. And while I can see how years long competition could lead to some hot sex, I wasn’t sold that this particular relationship would lead to more than that.

I thought the beginning of this book was brilliant, as it’s usually the opposite – a woman walking in on her significant other with another lover, so I was sold right off the bat when John walked in on his girlfriend going at it with another man. I even liked the way he handled the situation, with the maturity of a typical Julie James character. It was when Jessica entered the picture that things went downhill for me. The details of her first marriage seemed kind of shallow, and I thought it odd that Jessica and John remembered their conversations from years ago verbatim. I also wasn’t a fan of the way Jessica ‘asserted’ herself at their shared time at the academy. It came off as desperate to me. As I mentioned, the romance was a little thin, and while the case they were working together was interesting, it came to a close in a rather anti-climactic way.

Now the good – the ribbing of John by his co-workers. Oh, man. What a hoot. The way they made fun of him for a previously worn man bun was awesome, as was his rapport with his brother. The banter between the men was really well done. And the families – Julie James knows how to bring a family to life, giving them strong personalities, thereby giving you a strong feel for them without overwhelming the rest of the story, and John and Jessica’s families were wonderfully fleshed out.

Unfortunately the bad outweighed the good for me with this one, and I just didn’t enjoy it. Now this is the part where I forget everything I just wrote, pick myself up, dust myself off, and eagerly await her next offering!

| Rating |

Series: FBI/US Attorney



29 Comments Add yours

  1. Vanessa says:

    I’m not usually a fan of a second-chance romance but this one sounds like an interesting read. Great review Angie 🙂


    1. Thanks, Vanessa! 🙂


  2. blodeuedd says:

    The cover looks very pnr….


    1. I agree, and I meant to mention that in my review! It has a very vampy feel to it.


  3. I’ve seen some mixed reviews for this book! I think most people loved it, but a friend of mine was disappointed (like you). I’ve not read any of Julie James’ books and I don’t think I’d start here, to be honest. I’m sorry you didn’t enjoy this book, Angie!

    Have a lovely weekend. =)

    Alyssa @ The Eater of Books!


    1. Thanks, Alyssa. I wouldn’t suggest you start here. She is such a good writer, and since the first in this series is so good, you might as well start there!


  4. Oh I’m so sorry you didn’t like this one. Agree with you, the opening is awesome and the cover is gorgeous, too. Too bad the whole story is not as good as you hoped.
    This author is new to me so even though I liked the cover, I wasn’t sure. Glad to read your review.
    Anyway, Awesome review, Angie. 👍🏻


    1. Thanks, Geybie.

      I’m sure part of it is because I love the author so much I have high expectations. This one just didn’t work for me. I know a lot of other readers love it, though.


  5. Ksenia says:

    Hi, Angie! Thanks for visiting my blog! I’ve only read the first book in FBI/US Attorney series; it’s been ages ago. I think I should continue with it, a lot of my friends enjoyed it.
    Sorry to hear the romance wasn’t a winner here. For me romance is the important aspect in books, especially with this kind of books, so I get while you weren’t able to enjoy this story more. Though, John’s relationship with his co-workers and his brother sound amazing. I have a soft spot for well-written bromance. Wonderful review!


    1. I do recommend reading the rest of the series. It’s so good!

      Yes – I like the romance to be front and center, too, and I think the author meant for it to be here; it just didn’t pan out the way I’d hoped.

      Thanks for stopping by!


  6. anna@herding cats & burning soup says:

    Oh that’s disappointing. Especially from one of your go to authors. I think it’s probably a good thing I skipped this one for review. It would have been my first of hers.


    1. It was disappointing, but now it means I get to be excited for her next release again! 🙂 Yeah, I’d back up a bit to start. The earlier ones were the best. Especially the first book.


  7. Sophia Rose says:

    Yep, no matter how much I love an author, a character can come along that I don’t connect with and then the romance won’t work for me either. It happens. Yep, dust off and wait for the next installment, Angie. 🙂


    1. I sure will. Now it’s back to the anticipation! 🙂


  8. Heidi says:

    I am sorry this one was a flop for you. I have read some good reviews for this. I am going to hold off for now as my pile is way too big.


    1. A lot of people did enjoy this one, it just wasn’t my cup of tea.

      Oh, yes. Those to be read mountains get out of control so quickly!


    1. Thank you for thinking of me!

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Aw too bad! I hate when a go to author disappoints in that way. At least you got some entertainment out of it. 🙂 Hope the next one rocks.


    1. Thanks, Melissa! 🙂


  10. I am sorry it did not live up to your expectations, I know how disappointing that can be. I hope your next read will be better.


    1. Thank you, Nadene! 🙂


  11. I really enjoyed this one and it was my first time reading this author. So sorry you didn’t feel their connection.


    1. I’m glad you enjoyed this one, Kim! Now you have a whole pile to look forward to. 🙂


  12. Aww, that’s too bad. Especially since she’s usually such a reliable author for you. The goo parts do sound good though!


    1. Thank you, Christy. Yes, there were definitely some good parts in this one!


  13. oh that’s a bummer that you couldn’t enjoy this one darling. I do hate it when that happens with a favorite author too. It can be so disappointing.


    1. Yes, and it makes me wonder if my expectations were too high sometimes. Still some good parts, but an overall miss for me.


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