ARC Review: The Thing About Love by Julie James

Sometimes, you need a book that makes you laugh. A joyful read that keeps you turning the pages, one you finish in one sitting. The Thing About Love by Julie James is a wonderfully crafted masterpiece of a romance and has me wanting more!

27246123Jessica Harlow transfers back to her hometown of Chicago after her marriage goes sour. She has her first assignment in public corruption–a mayor taking bribes. All she needs is to meet her partner.

John Shepard comes home from a months long, deep undercover assignment to find his girlfriend doing the dirty with his best friend. In his own bed! It has him signing up for admittance in the Hostage Rescue Team. In the meantime, he’s assigned to a white-collar investigation. What he doesn’t expect is for his partner to be none other than his FBI Academy training rival, Jessica.

They were at each others throats from the beginning, and both of these characters are strong and upfront and in your face. I appreciate this so much. Jessica is in top form with negotiation and keeping her cool, while John is the physical guru. Opposites, but they were hellbent on showing each other up. Let’s just say things didn’t go so well for either one.

“Hey, look at me, watch me fly through his obstacle course with one hand and two feet tied behind my back. This is child’s play to what we did in the Rangers, bitches!”

This he said/she said story structure just works. For me, backstory usually holds the plot from moving forward, but in this case and with this story, it is needed. It gives us a glimpse of each character. My notes were filled with laughing emojis and “just hilarious!” comments.

The FBI aspects were well-researched too. James herself has a law degree, so I have come to expect smart and savvy characters and scenes. The juggling of personal and professional lives propels the story forward. Them having to travel alone on assignment leads to awesome tension and the first intimate scene is super spicy and unexpected.

“And then there was the thing with the pen.
He couldn’t even with the pen.”

I am so happy John–despite being the alpha male and trying out for the Hostage Rescue Team–has so many layers. He’s caring to his brother and so loyal. Same with Jessica. There are some great secondary characters I also hope they get a book themselves.

The Thing About Love is pure fun! I giggled and sighed and laughed. I plan to reread this over and over again.

*I received an ARC via NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review*

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