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Book CoverLawson’s review of Just the Sexiest Man Alive by Julie James
Contemporary romance released by Berkley Sensation 7 Oct 08

This is the debut novel for Julie James, who seems to have a knack for having things with a legal setting. It also has to do with the always good story of the super famous movie star with a heart of gold. The characters are realistic, especially for being set in Hollywood, the dialogue is snappy and there’s enough sizzle to satisfy that fall sexy craving.

Taylor Donovan is a successful associate lawyer sent from her Chicago law firm to handle a sexual harassment lawsuit, as her specialty is employment law. Taylor is asked by the senior partner to help out a personal friend and advise an actor about an upcoming legal thriller. Though Taylor is under pressure to keep up with the information from her case, she does the favor for her boss to look good for her future with her law firm and becoming a partner. When the actor blows her off, twice, to go spend a long weekend in Vegas, Taylor has no time for him in no uncertain terms.

Jason Andrews has never been told no, at least not since he came to Hollywood. When Taylor refuses to see him after he didn’t show to their appointments, he thinks he can charm his way into getting her do what he wants. Taylor is different than the star-struck women he’s used to, and when she puts him in his place, he’s intrigued. Though he does do some things that would win any other girl, Taylor remains outside his charm.

I liked Taylor a lot. She didn’t let anyone boss her around, even her boss, and she let everyone know she was smart enough and capable of doing anything thrown at her. Though she’s career driven, she still had relationships with her family and three best friends in Chicago. When Jason tries to get what he wants, she effectively shuts him down using logic and intellect, rather than any sort of womanly wiles.

Jason starts off a petulant, spoiled superstar. He knows that he can get any woman he wants, any part he wants and any other thing he wants at the time. When Taylor proves a tough nut to crack, especially after a failed attempt to make her jealous, just being himself is what wins Taylor’s time. He’s loyal to his best friend Jeremy, a screenwriter, who he knew when they were in college together. What shows underneath is a good guy, if someone far to used to getting anything and everything whenever he wants it.

The villain worked well enough in the story, if someone who’s overly ambitious and desires to be famous more than to be respected. The story between Taylor and Jason, weaving her legal career, her case, his movie career, the paparazzi and life in L.A. was a good story. The only problem with the book was a personal grind for me. Though it’s a romance, that doesn’t mean there has to be sex. And there’s not a lot of sex scenes, but with the chemistry between Taylor and Jason, I wanted there to be some horizontal mambo going on. They sparkle and the payoff really isn’t there, but it doesn’t take away from the rest of the story.

lawson-icon.jpgGrade: B+



Nothing fazes Taylor Donovan. In the courtroom she never lets the opposition see her sweat. In her personal life, she never lets any man rattle her–not even her cheating ex-fiancé. So when she’s assigned to coach People’s “Sexiest Man Alive” for his role in his next big legal thriller, she refuses to fall for the Hollywood heartthrob’s charms. Even if he is the Jason Andrews.


Jason Andrews is used to having women fall at his feet. When Taylor Donovan gives him the cold shoulder, he’s thrown for a loop. She’s unlike any other woman he’s ever met: uninterested in the limelight, seemingly immune to his advances, and shockingly capable of saying no to him. She’s the perfect challenge. And the more she rejects him, the more he begins to realize that she may just be his perfect match. . .

Read an excerpt.