Just the Sexiest Man Alive

 
Something About You
by Julie James
(Sensation, $7.99, PG-13 ISBN 978-0-425-23338-2
****
Julie James is making a name for herself as the author of witty, sharp contemporary romances.† This, her third book, is a bit of a departure as it can best be categorized as romantic suspense rather than romantic comedy.† But if it lacks the laugh out loud character of Just the Sexiest Man Alive and Practice Makes Perfect, Something About You has lots of sparkling dialogue and humorous† situations.† It also has a† tough, brainy heroine, a coolly macho hero, and a great cast of secondary characters.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Cameron Lynde simply wants a nice hotel room to retreat to while her newly refinished floors dry.† She could have picked any hotel in Chicago but she chose the Peninsula.† She could have been given any of the thousand or so rooms in this luxury establishment, but, just her luck, she finds herself next to a couple who are having a noisy sexual marathon.† As the clock moves towards four AM, she finally calls the desk and tells them to make it stop.† She then goes to her own door and peeks through the peep hole to see a man in a hooded sweatshirt leave the room next door.† When security arrives, they find a womanís body.† They also find a mini camera which filmed the whole episode.† And the man having sex with the prostitute turns out to be a U.S. senator.

The FBI are called in, but with Cameronís luck, it is not just any FBI agent in charge of the case.† No, it has to be Jack Pallas and they have a history.† Three years earlier, when Cameron was a new assistant U.S. attorney, she had been given an important drug case.† Jack Pallas had been an undercover agent, seeking to break up a vicious drug cartel.† He had almost lost his life during the operation and really wanted to get Roberto Martino.†

But Cameronís boss told her to drop the case, claiming there wasnít enough evidence.† Jack was really pissed and blamed Cameron.† His understandable anger got the better of him and when a TV reporter asked him what he thought, he let loose: ďI think the assistant U.S. attorney has her head up her ass, thatís what I think.† They should have assigned the case to somebody with some ****ing balls.Ē

Said comment was played over and over again on television.† Jack was disciplined and sent to Nebraska.† Cameron was embarrassed, but she didnít really blame him for being mad.† Now the two have been thrown together and the sparks fly.

Cameron hadnít seen the murdererís face, but she had seen enough to determine that the senator had not killed the victim.† This puts her in danger.† James does not hide the murdererís identity.† The reader quickly discovers that he is the senatorís head of security, who had been part of the blackmail plot and who had killed his partner when she tried to cut him out and blackmail him in turn.† Grant Lombard had thought he was home free, that the tape would convict the senator.† When he discovers that there is a witness, he knows that he has to take her out.† The suspense element arises from the need to protect Cameron from a trained and ruthless killer.

Three years earlier, Jack and Cameron had been inching towards attraction, but circumstances had put an end to any potential romantic relationship.† Watching the two dance around their feelings is lots of fun.† Jack, in particular, has to overcome his feeling that she had betrayed him.† Cameron has to decide when and how to come clean about what happened.† She also has to decide how to deal with the strong feelings he evokes in her.

James provides humor as well as suspense, both through the back and forth between the hero and heroine and through the secondary characters.† In the midst of all the tension of having witnessed a murder, Cameron has to deal with her best friend Amyís† obsessive wedding planning and her other best friend Collinís romantic problems with his significant other, Richard.† Cameron has a lot on her plate.

Something About You is an entertaining novel that succeeds in combining suspense and comedy, something not always easy to achieve.† It has attractive characters and a hot romance.† James is a promising new romance author.† I am looking forward to watching her career develop.

--Jean Mason


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