A Review of Julie James’s Love Irresistibly-and a GIVEAWAY!

Julie James is one of my favorite contemporary romance writers, and I consider her one of the best. San Francisco Book Reviews has described her as having “cemented her place as one of contemporary romance’s superstars,” and I couldn’t agree more.   I honestly don’t remember when and how I got introduced to Julie and her books, but boy am I glad I did!

Julie’s books and characters are known for being lively, smart, witty, sassy, and fun-all words that describe Julie herself.  Her FBI/US Attorneys series is full of yummy heroes who you can’t help but fall in love with, and fabulous heroines who you immediately relate to and root for. Love Irresistibly is the latest book in the series, and it’s another winner by Julie.  Here’s the blurb:

LOVE IRRESISTIBLY

FBI / US ATTORNEY SERIES, BOOK 4

HE’S USED TO GETTING WHAT HE WANTS

A former football star and one of Chicago’s top prosecutors, Assistant U.S. Attorney Cade Morgan will do anything to nail a corrupt state senator, which means he needs Brooke Parker’s help. As general counsel for a restaurant company, she can get a bug to the senator’s table at one of her five-star restaurants so the FBI can eavesdrop on him. All Cade has to do is convince Brooke to cooperate—and he’s not afraid to use a little charm, or the power of his office, to do just that.

AND WHAT HE WANTS IS HER.
A savvy businesswoman, Brooke knows she needs to play ball with the U.S. Attorney’s office—even if it means working with Cade. No doubt there’s a sizzling attraction beneath all their sarcastic quips, but Brooke is determined to keep things casual. Cade agrees—until a surprising turn of events throws his life into turmoil, and he realizes that he wants more than just a good time from the one woman with whom he could fall terrifyingly, irresistibly in love . . .

Julie’s inspiration for Cade. All I can say is YUM!

When I found out that  Assistant U.S. Attorney Cade Morgan was the hero of Love Irresistibly, I was immediately sold. I mean, how can you NOT love a hero visually inspired by Matt Bomer, of White Collar fame? We first got introduced to Cade in About That Night, as the AUSA who argued the government’s case during Kyle’s original trial. Right off the bat, you knew he was a smart, confident, charismatic, ambitious, and experienced prosecutor who was on the fast track to the top. We still see that side of him in Love Irresistibly, but Julie delves deeper and paints a more complete and complex picture of Cade and what motivates him. A college football star whose career was cut short by a bad injury, Cade has always been driven to succeed. He has simply turned his focus from football to the law. But this success has come at a price. Cade has little time for anything outside his work, and all his relationships have crashed and burned because he wasn’t willing to be emotionally open and available.

It’s more than his dedication to his career that has Cade keeping people at a distance. He carries scars and emotional baggage from his childhood. Abandoned by his father at a young age, you quickly see how his father and the loss of his football career shaped him into the man he is today. Even though Cade thought he’d put this all behind him, his world is turned upside down when he meets his half-brother Zach.  Cade and Zach’s interactions are some of my favorite parts of the book-for example, I LOVE the scene when Cade is determined to help Zach get some game and get a date with Paige, a girl Zach has a crush on. Julie does a great job of using Cade and Zach’s growing relationship as brothers as a vehicle for Cade making peace with his past and moving forward. I loved the realization that Cade comes to-keeping people at arms length may prevent you from getting hurt, but a life without trust, true emotional connections, and intimacy is no life at all. I fell completely in love with Cade after seeing what was underneath the confident exterior, and I guarantee you will too. Julie put Cade through quite a bit throughout the book, but he came out the other side a stronger and better person.  Cade really is the whole package-a intelligent, gorgeous, successful, kind, and fair man who is tough when necessary, committed to his job, and looks out for those he cares about.  And he can cook! What’s not to love?

We first get introduced to the heroine Brooke Parker, when Cade goes to her office with a cadre of FBI agents to “ensure” her cooperation in a sting operation. Smart, hardworking,  talented, loyal, dedicated, and in possession of a fabulous shoe collection, Brooke is the quintessential Julie James heroine. Julie has said that her test for her heroines is if she would be friends with the heroine, and go out and have a drink with her. For me, Brooke passes the test. I admired her work ethic, confidence, and that she made no apologies for the fact that she’s put her career first. I particularly enjoyed her unconventional friendship with her best friend Ford. Ford’s constant reminder “Your best friend comes with a penis” cracks me up. Every. Time. But Brooke has a problem.  None of her relationships seem to last beyond the 4 month mark because none of the guys are willing to put up with her insane schedule, and don’t see her as the settling down type. Sound familiar? Obviously, she and Cade have so much in common and are made for each other.

I found Brooke’s character journey very interesting. As strong modern empowered women of the 21st century, we are told constantly that we can have it all-marriage, career, family, etc. Whatever it is we want, we can have it. We just have to work hard and figure out a way to juggle and make it work. In Love Irresistibly, Julie explores the idea of what “having it all”  means and what the costs are.  Brooke comes to see that while all of success she achieved in her career was satisfying, it wasn’t making her happy. Her job was taking a toll on her time, energy, and her relationships with friends and loved ones, and it was a price Brooke was no longer willing to pay. I cheered for Brooke when she came to the decision to do what’s right for her and make the changes in her life she needed to gain some balance and happiness in her life. For me, Julie’s heroines exemplify what girl power and  feminism should be-women who are strong, support each other, have the right and power to make the best choices for themselves, and to have those choices respected.

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A Denver omelette. It’s important-trust me!

Julie’s books are known for witty banter and sizzling chemistry between the hero and heroine, and Love Irresistibly is no exception. Sparks fly between Brooke and Cade from the first moment they met. Whether it’s their first meeting where they go toe-to-toe in a battle of the sexes showdown, to flirty texts, to Brooke ribbing Cade about his famous Denver omelettes, their relationship is all about the banter and teasing. The love scenes in the book are also extremely hot and sexy! Despite all that, Brooke and Cade are guarded characters who use sarcastic quips and banter as a smokescreen to keep things from getting too deep and serious.  But Julie does a great job of gradually breaking down the walls Cade and Brooke have put up. Little by little, they begin to open up to each other, let each other in, and put down the “Tough Guy” and “Tough Girl” masks they’ve been wearing. The moment when Cade asks to be a part of Brooke’s life and be part of her “Inner Circle” was sweet, moving, and really well done, as was the scene when Brooke got up the courage to go be by Cade’s side when he was dealing with a tough personal situation.  Both Cade and Brooke learn that while it’s scary to be open and vulnerable with someone, it’s worth it when you find the right person to take that leap of faith for.  Love is worth it.

I highly recommend Love Irresistibly. It’s a fun, fast-paced,  and delightful read with characters who are sure to win you over right from the start. With Love Irresistibly, Julie has really delved into her characters’ pasts and grounded the book with a lot of emotional depth without losing the wit and sexy chemistry that she’s known for. I can’t wait to read her next book. All of the books in Julie’s FBI/US Attorneys series are keepers, and she has long been an auto-buy for me.   I have my guesses/theories as to who the next hero will be. Can’t wait to see if I’m right!

FIVE OUT OF FIVE CUPS OF TEA

Julie James

To celebrate the release of Julie’s new book, I’ll be giving one lucky commenter a Nook or Kindle version of Love Irresistibly, winner’s choice. To enter, just comment below, or tell us: Are you a big football fan?  If you were called upon to assist the FBI in an undercover op, would you rise to the occasion like Brooke, or would you be more likely to crumble under the pressure?

To learn more about Julie and her books, visit her website HERE

You can buy Love Irresistibly at Amazon and B&N

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23 thoughts on “A Review of Julie James’s Love Irresistibly-and a GIVEAWAY!

  1. Seeing that I’m the biggest wuss, I would crumble so fast that you wouldn’t know what to say. I like football, not a huge fan, but prefer it to other sports.

    • Hi Melody,
      Honestly, I’m not sure how I’d react if I were ever put in Brooke’s position. I like to think I would be able to step up and do the job.
      Thanks for coming by and commenting.

  2. I don’t know about crumbling, I’m more likely to just back off altogether. I’m not really into football.

  3. I’d totally rise to the occasion! I’m stubborn that way. Great review, Lisa. As soon as I read it, I grabbed the sample off iTunes so I would get it into my TBR pile. I can’t wait!

  4. I’m more of a casual football fan. I follow the win/loss record of my favorite teams and will watch some games. I’ve been to one college game at Notre Dame. But I watch the Superbowl more for the commercials 😉

    I’s like to believe I would rise to the occasion.

    I’ve got the first book in this series in my TBR pile. I know she does well in DABWAHA every year.

    • Hi Kelly! Thanks so much for coming by and commenting. 🙂 *hugs* To quote CJ in West Wing. “Go Irish!” 😉

      I was definitely rooting for Julie in DABWAHA this year and so happy for her that she made it all the way to the finals!

      I think you’d definitely be able to rise to the occasion too.

  5. Honestly, I don’t know what I would do. I might crumble under pressure, however, I think that if the pressure is on and if a need calls for it… I want to say that I would rise to the occasion. I don’t follow football, I admit. I do watch it if it’s on though. I mean, who could resist when the game is good and the men are hot. Hehehe 😉

    Okay, Lisa, I confess I have yet to read a Julie James book. I know, I know, major loss of points after all the times you’ve told me. XD It’s not that I don’t want to! I do, I really do. Hahaha, it shouldn’t be so hard, I promise, she’ll be my next read and going by your review and the summary of the book, I think I will love it!

    • Carrie,
      Hi! 🙂 Thanks for coming by and commenting! *hugs*

      And I’m going to get you to read a JJ book if it kills me! 😉

      But my thing is-they are so covered up by their helmets and padding and uniforms. How can you tell if they’re hot or not??!! lol

      • *hugs* Just have to wait for when they take off their helmets… And you have to admit, their backsides look pretty damn good XD hahah

  6. Julie James’ books are the best. I think I’d find it interesting to be part of an FBI sting – scary, but facinating.

    While I’m not a football fan, I do enjoy reading books with a backdrop or backstory centered on the sport.

    • Hi Kim
      I definitely agree that Julie’s books are the best!

      If you like sports themed books, have you read SEP’s Chicago Stars books? And I think Jaci Burton writes some great sports heroes too.

  7. Lisa, awesome review! I think you said everything that I wanted to say about this book. I loved the chemistry between the two, and I definitely love the witty banter. You also know from my live-commentary via text how much I loved the humor. Seriously. (Try reading this in a public place.) I was literally shaking, just trying to contain my laughter. I love, love, love all the relationships in this book, but I think you forgot the Cade, Hux, and Vaughn of it all. The golden trio in my head. Anyway. I think LI is my newest favorite Julie James book.:D

    As for football … my brother played in high school, so I had to learn the rules of the game so I can cheer properly, and since I’m from SD, I root for the Chargers. They haven’t been playing really well though, which sucks, but what can you do. I love the excitement you feel when you’re watching a game.

    As for your other question … ugh. Haha. If I were given an assignment and have ample time/backstory to prepare for it, I think I can do it. However, if it happened on the fly … well. How gutsy and resourceful can I be? I wanna say that I’ll be able to roll with it too, but then again, who knows. LOL. The heroine in me has faith that I have the gumption to pull it off . . . 😛

    • D! Thanks for coming by and commenting, sweetie! 🙂 xoxo *hugs* And yes, I had so much fun gushing and dishing about LI with you over text, lol.

      And yes! I totally didn’t mention the Cade/Vaughn/Huxley triumverate. 😦 #epicfail! But this review was getting way to long, so I had to cut something, lol.

      Wow, watching your brother play football must have been exciting! Maybe we’ll have to go to a game together sometime so you can explain it to me properly. Then maybe I’ll get what all the fuss is about. 😉

  8. I am a football…tolerator. I’d rather watch football than baseball, but the only sport I can really get into is basketball. That being said, I think this book sounds awesome. Thank you for the giveaway!

  9. “For me, Julie’s heroines exemplify what girl power and feminism should be-women who are strong, support each other, have the right and power to make the best choices for themselves, and to have those choices respected.” I totally agree. It’s one thing to try to be and do everything that society (or a significant other, unfortunately) expects a woman to be, and it’s another thing to be your own person, and have your opinions and choices respected. I will definitely check out this book! It intrigues me to read how others represent the choices that one makes. I respect that too! 🙂

    • Glad the review intrigued you enough to get the book silimarin! 🙂 Good to know the review did its job.

      And thanks for sharing your thoughts! I agree it’s important we all have the ability to be ourselves.

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