Love, Irresistibly, by Julie James

>> Thursday, August 23, 2018

TITLE: Love, Irresistibly
AUTHOR: Julie James

PAGES: 304

SETTING: Contemporary US
TYPE: Romance
SERIES: Set in the same world as several others, but not really a series as such


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.


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...
Cade Morgan is a high-level prosecutor working with the FBI on getting the evidence to prosecute a state senator for corruption. They need to record a crucial meeting, and for that, they require Brooke Parker's help. Brooke is general counsel for the company that owns the luxurious restaurant in which that meeting will take place. Cade's illusions that he can just walk in and tell, not ask, Brooke to help are dispelled within minutes. She's a tough, intelligent woman, and she can negotiate the hell out of any situation.

There's an attraction there and, Cade and Brooke being two single, compatible people, no reason not to indulge it. And as their relationship started, I did wonder if this might not be a little bit too low-conflict. But then the complications ensued, things not necessarily about the relationship, but ones where dealing with them together moved the relationship forward from a hot fling to something that was much more than that. I particularly liked how James brought in Cade's issues with his father (who abandoned him when he was very young) into the picture and how she used them to help him and the relationship grow. That was very satisfying.

It was (mostly, more on that below) a fun book to read, with plenty of banter and humour, and a main couple that felt perfectly suited to each other.

The only reason this is not an A is that I found myself feeling uncomfortable about things that, to the narrative, were tangents and completely besides the point (strap yourself in; I'm about to go on and on about this). There was an episode, clearly there just to illustrate the sorts of things Brooke's work involves, where the manager of one of the restaurants comes to her when he discovers one of his cooks has a conviction for murder. Oops, he was perfectly truthful when he filled out his employee form, and did tick 'Yes' to the question about whether he's a convicted felon! How can we fire him now? I was shocked by this immediate, unquestioned assumption by everyone, including Brooke, that of course, he would and should be fired. There is absolutely no questioning in Brooke's mind, no thoughts about whether someone who's been in jail and, according to the law, paid off his debt to society, deserves to keep a job he's clearly good at (we're talking about someone who works in a kitchen here, not someone hired to work in a daycare centre, or anything like that). There is no interest in finding out the particulars of the man's case. Just: you're a convicted felon, we won't hire you. I lost some respect for her then.

I also saw a lot of unthinking adulation of lavish privilege and high pay. On one hand, yes, Brooke is making quite a lot of money for her company, and she's being compensated for this. Great! It's good to see a brilliant woman confident in demanding to be compensated just as men would. On the other, my instinctive lefty heart finds really high executive pay obscene. I also reacted in what I'm guessing is not the expected way to the scenes where Cade and Brooke are at a baseball game and are invited to watch from the executive box. I suspect I was supposed to think how amazing it sounded, and wish I could experience something like that, but I curled my lip and sneered instead. I'm more of a 'stand in the Kop' kind of person in my preferences, and loathe how sports grounds are becoming all about corporate entertainment and are becoming basically theme parks. Those softies sitting in the executive boxes eating pudding from the cake trolley are taking up space that should be for the real fans, and they're sure as hell not going to generate any atmosphere. Off with their heads! ;)

I've written more about the annoyances than about how much I liked the romance and the book in general, but that doesn't at all reflect the experience of reading the book. Those annoyances were things that took me out of the book for a little while, but I was able to go back in and enjoy the rest. Still, I think the second one, particularly, is one of those things that when seen, cannot be unseen, so will probably be on my mind when I read further books by this author.



Post a Comment

Blog template by

Back to TOP