I believe I’ve said this before, but it bears repeating : Julie James is one of the best contemporary authors that I have read. I love the depth of her characters and relate to them as though they are a part of my extended network of friends and family. I see them as real people, leading real lives. I can close my eyes and see myself having dinner with them or sharing a glass of wine. Didn’t I run into Brooke and Cade when I was out with my friends over the weekend. I’m sure that I did! but those were their doppelgangers who live in Los Angeles, while they live in Chicago – but wait! Brooke and Cade are not real, they are fictional characters who exist between the pages of a great book.
After that lead in, what can I say. Two lawyers in different places. Cade Morgan works for the Department of Justice and while his claim to fame came when he put the @twitter terrorist behind bars, he really has made a name for himself as he eliminates corruption in high places in Chicago. Brooke Parker works for an up-and-coming company as the general counsel, and she puts in umpteen million hours in contributing to the growth of the new start-up that she works for. Both high profile, busy, successful career people who have no time for love or for really building relationships.
It’s chance that brings them together, a matter of being in the right place at the right time. Cade needs some solid proof to help put a high-profile target behind bars and knows that his suspects are going to be consummating a deal over dinner in one of the restaurants owned by Brooke’s company. He comes to her to ask for her help in bugging the table and recording both voice and video as the deal goes down. Suddenly they’re both looking for opportunities to connect with each other. First he needs the favor then she needs one, and, as is the modern way, these conversations happen over drinks, over dinner, or over coffee. And oh boy! Don’t forget those clever, witty text messages that they exchange. Is this love?
If not love, then its the start of a beautiful relationship. They have both been disappointed in their relationships so far and, believe it or not, they are both carrying baggage in their own interesting way. But, really, shouldn’t Brooke have gotten a clue when her best friend Scott and his roommates endorse Cade? They’ve never liked any of her boyfriends, but this one is okay or even better than okay. Cade is grappling with his own issues and he’s really not ready for love, so he needs to back up and put some distance between this friends with benefits which is becoming a whole lot more.
What I believe I enjoyed most about the book, in spite of all the clever wit, is the emotional journey that both Brooke and Cade take in order to finally get to each other. The choices that Brooke grapples with and the need for balance are similar to what I grappled with at one time. I’m so proud of this modern woman as she finally understands what is truly important to her and goes after what she wants. Of course, it helps that Cade goes through his own journey during this same time and is able to meet her halfway.
I absolutely recommend this book. Read it, you won’t be sorry. If this is the first of Julie James’ books that you’re reading, then I also recommend the previous stories that give you insights into the other characters from those books who make their cameo appearances here.
He’s used to getting what he wants
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.
and what he wants is her.
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 . . .