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The Thing About Love by Julie James

The Thing About Love (edition 2017)

by Julie James (Author)

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1046171,239 (3.98)4
Title:The Thing About Love
Authors:Julie James (Author)
Info:Berkley (2017), 380 pages
Collections:Your library
Tags:novel, romance, contemporary, detective, chicago, pretend, ebook, 2019

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The Thing About Love by Julie James



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Showing 1-5 of 6 (next | show all)
I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an unbiased review.

Every time I finish reading a Julie James book, I know I'm about to start the "James-shakes" while I wait for the next one. They're just that good. The good news is that this year is ripe with talented authors, so I have a lot of things to fill the void, but man.. The Thing About Love was great!

If you're a fan of the first kiss, hoo boy is this the book for you. One of the best (but short) first kiss scenes I've ever read. I don't want to build it up into this big "thing," but it was tummy flipping goodness of the highest order.

Jessica and John are combustible from the very start, perfect hate-to-love characters. Ms. James even gives us some flashbacks from both POVs. And don't get me started on Jessica's first flashback... I was all like, "oh this is gooooo... WHAT?! WHAT HAPPENED NEXT?!" And then I waited until she laid the rest of the story on me and it all made sense - and I forgave her everything.

It was only their second week of training, and they’d been assigned to the same four-person team in a timed competition. So here she was, running up and down rocky terrain, slogging through mud, jumping over fences, and sloshing through cold, dirty creek water— all the while hoping that her stupid tampon wasn’t leaking since, for extra fun, she’d gotten her period that day— and the entire time, all she could hear was John’s deep, rich voice shouting at her.

Let’s go, Harlow!

Step it up, Harlow!

Grab the rope, Harlow!

Pick yourself up, Harlow! Now move, move, MOVE!

For Pete’s sake, she was perfectly aware that she was bringing up the rear on their team. Did the man really have to keep announcing it to the whole forest?

Needless to say, by the time they got to the cargo net, she’d been feeling a little testy.

“Maybe you’d rather just tie a rope around my waist and drag me the rest of the way?” Unfortunately, the sting of her sarcasm was lessened by the fact that she was panting so hard she barely got the words out.

Not even winded, John shrugged matter-of-factly. “I was going to suggest throwing you over my shoulder, but if bondage is your thing, Harlow, I’m fine with plan B.”

Ha ha, wasn’t he such a riot? She’d glared at him while climbing onto the cargo net. Try doing this with cramps, buddy, and then we’ll see who’s so tough. And then she’d dug even deeper to finish the course as strong as possible.

Yeah that's right, bantery goodness right there. I'm glad I have a huge TBR pile because I'm already jonesin' for the next Julie James book. 5 Solid Stars.
( )
  Aleveria | Nov 21, 2018 |

The Thing about Love is the enemies to lovers story of Jessica and John. I love the way James writes her characters-they are smart, determined, driven, and witty. I will say though, I am not a fan of Jessica. She comes off as immature and bitchy, especially during the flashbacks to how her and John met.

John has been in the FBI for 6 years and before that he was an Army Ranger. He and Jessica met at the academy and it was hate at first sight! Now they have been teamed up for an undercover op and have to get over their past. John recently discovered his girlfriend was having an affair with his best friend and Jessica recently went through a divorce. Both are looking to make life changes: John tries out for the HRT division of the FBI and Jessica moves back to Chicago after years in LA.

The Thing about Love has the classic witty banter James is known for. Jessica and John are entertaining for sure! Jessica is so hell bent on proving herself that I found it difficult to really like her. I wanted her to stop assuming the worst about everyone (especially John!). But, then I have no idea what its like to be in a male dominated profession and perhaps she did have to be defensive all the time. So, I tried to give her the benefit of the doubt. John is a great character though! I loved him and really wanted him to get his HEA! Both of them have struggled with love; neither of their significant others accepted the pressures of being with an undercover agent in the long term. Jessica and John have a unique job that has ruined their previous relationships; sadly, they are so caught up in hating each other and competing, they can't see how similar they are!

The subplot of their undercover assignment adds some drama to the story, but the main focus is on the relationship between these 2 and the sexual tension that has always been present. Their undercover job adds some interesting events that help keep the story moving, but overall, I thought the book felt a bit long.

If you like enemies to lovers tropes, whip smart characters with razor tongues, and steamy sexual tension, The Thing about Love is a great pick! If you have enjoyed James' other FBI/US Attorney books, The Thing about Love is a great addition to the series that you won't want to miss!


  • POV: 3rd

  • Tears: no

  • Trope: enemies to lovers

  • Triggers: none

  • Series/Standalone: stand alone

  • Cliffhanger: no

  • HEA: yes

Sweet Rivalry by K. Bromberg, Pull Me Close by Sidney Halston, Final Exit by Lena Diaz...then you will probably like The Thing About Love!

The Thing About Love


See full review on The Book Disciple ( )
  thebookdisciple | Oct 9, 2018 |
This was the first book by Julie James that I’ve read, and I really enjoyed it. Jessica and John are two FBI agents who get assigned as partners for an undercover assignment. Twist is, they’ve met before, and they don’t have the rosiest of pasts.

They first met at the training academy for FBI agents. Even though they are both from Chicago, their competitive natures, and some misunderstandings, made them not so friendly towards each other. We get both sides of the story; one from Jessica’s perspective and the other from John’s. It was a great touch, and helped me understand both characters better. After training was over, they went their separate ways. Now it is six years later, and they find themselves at the same field office, assigned to the same undercover job as partners.

I loved how strong and capable Jessica was. She didn’t let the fact that she was a woman, and petite, stand in her way of becoming an agent —> a predominately male job. She did put her walls up during training as a protective measure, which definitely contributed to the tense relationship between her and John.

Speaking of John, what a great guy! I felt terrible for him at the beginning of the book when that very unfortunate encounter occurs. (Leaving it vague so I don’t spoil anything.) I could tell John was a good guy right from the start. Once he’s in the field with Jessica, and their feelings about each other start to change, he struggles with the agent vs the man side of himself. Wanting to protect Jessica, but also knowing she’s capable of protecting herself. I loved seeing that complexity in his character.

This book was heavy handed in FBI talk. Which was somewhat necessary for the reader to understand what was going on, but at times felt like over-explaining. I may have liked the book better if it focused more on their relationship than the case.

I particularly liked how it ended, and where Jessica and John ended up. It was nice that the typical gender roles was changed up. Overall it was an enjoyable and fun read!

I received an ARC from the publisher via the Penguin First to Read program in exchange for an honest review.
See this review and others on Books For The Living.
( )
  BooksForTheLiving | Apr 17, 2018 |
sweet love story where love is above life dreams. the things in life you realize you can do without for the chance at love. ( )
  nibbles_243 | Mar 2, 2018 |
OMG, absolutely loved. Julie James hasn't written anything I haven't liked, but this one? Blew all of the others out of the water! The dynamic between Jessica and John was fantastic, whether they were in their earlier antagonistic phase (or was it antagonistic? Poor John, LOL) or their reluctant let's-make-the-best-of-this-op phase, or their OMG these two are setting the pages on fire phase, they are absolutely fantastic together. If you like romantic suspense that's high on the romance and snark and does a decent job with the suspense, you can't go wrong with Julie James!

(I got a NetGalley copy, but actually listened to the audio from Audible because I love the narrator. She does a fantastic job every time--definitely worth the expense!)

Rating: 4 1/2 stars / A ( )
  beckymmoe | Aug 8, 2017 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Julie Jamesprimary authorall editionscalculated
White, KarenReadermain authorsome editionsconfirmed
Audio, TantorPublishersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Mansicka, ChristinaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Three minutes after the plane took off from the runway, FBI Special Agent John Shepherd knew he was doomed if he didn't act immediately.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0425273776, Paperback)

Two undercover FBI agents can hide who they are from everyone but each other in the latest novel from the New York Times bestselling author of Suddenly One Summer.

After spending six years in Los Angeles—and the last six months wondering how her marriage fell apart—FBI Special Agent Jessica Harlow is looking for a fresh start. When she finds out that the Chicago field office has an opening for an undercover agent, returning to her hometown seems like the perfect answer. But her new partner, John Shepherd, is someone she never expected to see again. Six years ago, the cocky Army Ranger was her top competition at the FBI Academy, and the one man who got under her skin like no other.
Just one assignment away from joining the FBI's elite Hostage Rescue Team, John isn't going to let anything throw him off his game—not even the self-assured woman who once showed him up at Quantico. He'll work with Jessica to take down a corrupt Florida politician, even if pretending to be business partners staying at a beachfront resort means getting closer than they’d expected. For two experienced agents, it should be a simple enough assignment, but the heat behind their nonstop sparring threatens to make the job a whole lot more complicated…

(retrieved from Amazon Wed, 06 Jul 2016 07:50:15 -0400)

"The New York Times bestselling author of Suddenly One Summer blows the covers of two FBI agents who can't hide who they are from each other ... FBI agents Jessica Harlow and John Shepherd have a past. The former lawyer and cocky Army Ranger clashed during their training at Quantico and gladly went their separate ways after graduating from the Academy. Six years later, the last thing either of them expects is to be assigned to work as partners in a high-profile undercover sting. For both of them, being paired with an old rival couldn't come at a worse time. Recently divorced from a Hollywood producer and looking for a fresh start, Jessica is eager to prove herself at her new field office. And John is just one case away from his dream assignment to the FBI's elite Hostage Rescue Team. In order to nail a corrupt Florida politician, they'll have to find a way to work together--a task that becomes even trickier when they're forced to hole up at a romantic beachfront resort as part of the investigation. Suddenly, the heat behind their nonstop sparring threatens to make the job a lot more complicated ... READERS GUIDE INSIDE"--… (more)

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