Something About You by Julie James

To say that Julie James has an astonishingly - and refreshingly - irreverent sense of humor would be a gross understatement. Just take James' dedication in Something About You for example (yes, I read those beginning pages; you're missing out if you don't):
To the jokers in the room next to me at the JW Marriott San Francisco -- As you kept me awake with your antics; this is the book I wrote in my head.
Since I opened Something About You knowing it was about a woman who inadvertently winds up next door to an enthusiastically *vocal* couple at a hotel, I may have choked back a laugh or two. And then quickly turned the pages to get started.

U.S. District Attorney Cameron Lynde has earned a vacation. Even if said vacation happens to take place at a swanky hotel mere miles from her home for a little R&R, so much the better. So it might be a gross understatement to say that she was mildly displeased when the couple next door began to engage in some seriously verbal, hot-and-heavy nighttime activities at two in the morning while she was trying for some deserved rest. After calling the hotel desk to complain, Cameron peeks out her door to watch the culprits make the walk of shame but only glimpses a man making his solitary way out. Alone. Fully expecting to finally fall blissfully asleep, Cameron discovers her night is about to get a little bit worse when the room next door winds up becoming a crime scene and the lead investigator is none other than her old nemesis FBI Agent Jack Pallas. AKA Agent Hottie. Cameron and Jack share what I will lightly call 'an unpleasant bit of professional history' wherein Jack made some choice comments about Cameron's ability as a lawyer and in the fallout, was transferred to the Middle of Nowhere. Finally back in the big city and on his first assignment, Jack is not remotely pleased to discover that Cameron is his only eye (err...ear) witness in such an important case.

Upon finishing Something About You, I gave a little sigh. It was a happy sigh because I had such fun with Cameron and Jack - highly loyal and competent people both. Their constant circling was non-stop amusing and of course, Julie James had to go and throw in some truly dynamic secondary characters who were experts at keeping the comedy rolling. That said (*deep breath*), for some strange reason I found Something About You to be lacking in what I call the Unique Sparkle Department (I'm trademarking that BTW) which was oh so present in James' previous two books. One reason could be that the novel lies in the 'romantic suspense' genre: there is an obvious villain, whom Jack and Cameron spend a fair amount of time simply trying to keep her safe from. Which in the end doesn't allow for as much time for their devilishly witty exchanges, darn it.

James' element of humor is what had me previously stepping out of my genre comfort zone to pick up her first two romance novels, Practice Makes Perfect and Just the Sexiest Man Alive in the first place. Thanks to recommendations from The Book Smugglers and Angie, I found both to be laugh-out-loud, is-it-possible-to-die-from-giggling-so-much? funny. And also reports that the 'romance' side of the novels was more left to the imagination than not. I'm one of those readers who like to be left wondering about some things... Which is not to say Something About You wasn't a very good book. It was. It just wasn't exceptionally good - but I will still tell people to read it. In fact, I'm telling you right now: Go Read Something About You. Anytime you get me laughing out loud with your dedication alone Ms. James, I'm going to recommend your book.

Because Everyone Loves a Second Opinion:
Angieville review
The Book Smugglers review
Dear Author review
Janicu's Book Blog review
Smart Bitches Trashy Books review
Tempting Persephone review

book source: my local library


Chachic said...

This is the first Julie James book that I've read and I liked it. The dialogue had me laughing in a couple of the scenes. Now I'm excited to read her other books because you're saying they're better than this one.

Janicu said...

Nod, I liked this book a lot, but I liked the first two a bit more. I think because there's more suspense in this one, so the conflict is in that rather than so much in the relationship? So the book is good (and for a romantic suspense - better than others I've read), but the relationship progressed differently.

Michelle said...

Chachic - Yes! Go out and get her previous books because they are just so much fun. She really knows how to write great dialogue.

Janice - Me too - I'm glad to hear I'm not alone on that. And I haven't read much in the romantic suspense genre, but I think I like it when the relationship is given more time to develop without a bunch of external forces working against it.

Chachic said...

I will! I look forward to reading them. Julie James' work kind of reminds me of Jennifer Crusie's because they both do great dialogue.

Brenda said...

I'm not a big romance reader, but since I keep seeing this author and everyone keeps gushing about her, I guess I'll have to try her.

Michelle said...

Chachic - I agree. I should go read more of Cruise's stuff, because I've enjoyed the few I've tried so far.

Brenda - Me either! I'm thinking it's cause she is one of those unique writers that can appeal to a wide audience. But I would start with her other books, I liked them best.

Lenore Appelhans said...

Everyone keeps telling me I need to read Julie James, even though I really don't read contempory romance. Hmmm...

kay - Infinite Shelf said...

A book that makes you laugh is a precious thing! I really need to read one of her books.

Michelle said...

Lenore - I feel the same way, I don't really read romance, but her books are really something special and I made the exception.

Kay - Indeed! They are not to be missed.