Murder as a love insentive

Something About You - Julie James

A solid romantic suspense, this novel reminded me of Jayne Ann Krentz’s best books. The hero, an FBI agent Jake, and the heroine, a prosecutor Cameron, have a past – a bad one. They haven’t seen each other for three years and glad of it. But when Cameron witnesses a murder, Jake is assigned to the case. Now they must work together despite their mutual dislike. As he protects his sharp-tongued witness, they get to know each other, and of course, love triumphs in the end, and the bad guys get their comeuppance, as befits a romance.

This short and dry summary doesn’t reflect the story’s charm and wry humor. The author doesn’t succumb to the easy temptation of an instant, irresistible attraction between the hero and heroine. Instead, she builds their relationship gradually, makes it develop through stages, as both realize their past mistakes and try to move forward without repeating them.

The pacing is fast, the readers’ emotional involvement deep, and the villain properly dangerous. Unfortunately, the characters are formulaic. It doesn’t make them less delectable though: I loved them both. Jake is a classical alpha male – brooding, strong, protective. Cameron is a typical spunky heroine as well, but the writer’s skills make reading their story a treat. I smiled. I worried. I avidly turned the pages. I rooted for the heroes and was sad, when the story ended.

The mature age of the protagonists – both are in their thirties – contributed even more to my reading pleasure. These man and woman know what they want, there is no teenage angst on the pages, and the grown-ups’ problems seem real and grave.

I haven’t read this author before but I’ll definitely read more of her stories now. For me, she is a lucky discovery, and like any discovery, it fills me with happy anticipation. IMO, Julie James is one of the best romance writers today.

Recommended to every romance fan.