Pros: Great witty, spicy chemistry between the hero and heroine.
Cons: The plot left me feeling like I’d read it in several other books.
Rating: 4 out of 5
Review book courtesy of Penguin Group
Nick McCall, an FBI agent, is after a money launderer for the mob. His problem is that the only way to get close enough to collar the crook is through Jordan Rhodes. She’s the daughter of a billionaire, with a wine shop that caters to society’s upper crust. The only reason she agrees to help Nick is to get her brother out of prison. The two of them pose as a couple to give Nick an opportunity to complete his mission, but as business starts to turn personal things between them start to heat up.
I have to admit, the main reason that I picked Julia James’ A Lot Like Love up was because I was craving a witty flirty exchange between a hero and a heroine. My oh my, did Ms. James deliver! I couldn’t stop giggling as I read, because just when I thought the humor was done, someone would make a comment that would have me chortling all over again. (There was a comment about chardonnay that had me nearly in tears!)
The plot didn’t stand out to me as much as I think it could have; I felt like I’d read variations on it before. I found myself predicting plot elements before they happened, and that detracted from my enjoyment of the book. What did make the plot unique to me was the way that Jordan’s wine business was used. Admittedly, I’m a bit of a budding foodie and so I got a real kick out of it, but the wine-related elements did put a unique spin on a fairly common storyline.
I was also curious to see how Jordan’s brother doing prison time would be handled. What was his crime? I was actually very impressed at the crime he committed, both because it was conceivably worthy of a jail sentence and because it still left him the ability to be a sympathetic character. (It’s also a crime I could see someone trying to pull in the real world, ending up not unlike Jordan’s brother.)
Readers who are looking for a book with a procedural approach to crime may not enjoy this book as much as those who are looking for a comedic dynamic between Jordan and Nick. In fact, that warm snarky humor was the best part of the book for me, peeking out from some unexpected places. It certainly made it a fun read for me, despite the plot being pretty predictable. If you’re willing to look past that, Ms. James’ humor transforms the story into a charming, funny, heartwarming read. I’m going to have to track down her other books, because I want to see what the other FBI agents in Nick’s office are up to!