The Thing About Love by Julie James (FBI/US Attorney #7)
Released: April 18, 2017
Reviewed by Mandi
First I have to say, what is up with this cover? At first glance, or from far away, it looks bloody! But it’s a broken lollipop? Not my favorite cover, and not my favorite book by Julie James. She writes meticulously detailed FBI agents – you can tell she puts hours, and hours of research into her stories. Some books, an author just slaps on the title of FBI to their characters and keeps writing, but James makes them genuine and as a reader I appreciate that so much.
However, I had a hard time getting pulled into this one and I think it’s partly because of the tremendous amount of details. Yes, I am fickle! It’s so meticulous, at moments I just didn’t want to read every little detail about their life or job. Which sounds horrible to say but it’s just what I honestly felt while reading. It dragged the book down for me.
Jessica and John are both FBI agents who trained together at Quantico. Jessica is a former lawyer, and John is a former Ranger. They are both very competitive and had more of stubborn, comptetive relationship at Quantico, rather than friendly. After their training is complete, Jessica heads to the L.A FBI office where she meets someone in the film industry and gets married. But her marriage will eventually fizzle out and she will find herself wanting a fresh start. When an opening in the Chicago office becomes available, she takes it.
Since John was a Ranger, he is primed to be in the FBI’s elite Hostage Rescue Team (or HRT). But instead of trying out, he goes deep undercover in Detroit on a big case for a couple of years, during which his long-term girlfriend starts having an affair with his friend. He too moves to Chicago for a new start.
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 though HRT tryouts had been hell.
Since Jessica and John both have undercover training, they are put on the same case…which means these frenimes are reunited and forced to work together. They are sent to Jacksonville, Florida undercover as “shady Chicago business entrepreneurs” to try to catch the mayor taking a bribe from them. As they work together, their enemy status turns more romantic.
When John talks about joining the HRT again, and we learn about the admission process and what goes into it, I was very engaged. And when Jessica goes on a different undercover mission, I was very engaged. I was not so engaged in the mayor who is taking bribes from city officials. It just wasn’t that exciting or interesting to me – although it doesn’t weight the story down too much.
Jessica and John reunite, and there are definitely some cute moments because they are both so smart, and stubborn – and so competitive, they try to out-do each other at first. They have cute banter, as only Julie James can write and it definitely made me smile at times. But they fall into bed and a relationship pretty easy in this one. There isn’t a lot of sexual tension or a lot of passion. It’s a sweet romance but there wasn’t a lot of fire or fuel behind their relationship. They sleep with each other while in Jacksonville and by the end of the book they are in love. I feel like I needed something more.
I really liked John’s character – he is super sexy. A little more gruff because he has that Ranger background, compared to Jessica’s sleek lawyer vibe – that worked well for me.
“With all due respect, sir, I’m a Ranger. If I wanted to put badass on my résumé, I think I’m set.”
Overall I liked this book, but it didn’t stand out as others have in this series.
I enjoyed this one more than you, but with so much FBI research included I’ve been wondering if Julie James is edging away from full on romance? Because the cover branding (I thought it a strange choice) certainly isn’t romance.
I’m in agreement about the cover art; I thought there was a puddle of blood before looking more closely. I’m about halfway through the book and am enjoying it.
I liked this one a little more than you. Maybe not an A but a solid B, for me. It was very sweet, and I actually liked that. I feel like the Julie James books I’ve read in the past, the H and h have been a little more combative with each other and maybe even rude. The history with John and Jessica made sense to me and while they were competitive, it was also obvious they really respected each other. I really loved John. So gruff and sweet awwww
I did like John a lot – his gruff/sweet worked well for me too.
I always appreciate how mature (not whiny etc) her characters are