- Audible Audio Edition
- Listening Length: 12 hours and 15 minutes
- Program Type: Audiobook
- Version: Unabridged
- Publisher: Tantor Audio
- Audible.com Release Date: April 18, 2017
- Whispersync for Voice: Ready
- Language: English
- ASIN: B06XYRN8NT
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank:
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The Thing About Love: FBI/US Attorney Series, Book 7 Audible Audiobook – Unabridged
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Top Customer Reviews
FINAL DECISION: An enemies to friends to lovers story, THE THINGS ABOUT LOVE feels real and dives deep into the complexities of a modern professional and romantic relationship. I loved the characters and their journey to one another.
THE STORY: FBI Agent John Shepherd is just about ready to join the elite Hostage Rescue Team if he gets accepted, but has one last undercover assignment to get through. Just his luck that he happens to be paired with Jessica Harlow. John and Jessica know each other. Six years ago they were in the same class at Quantico and walked away from the experience happy to be across the country from one another. Now, the two have to learn to work together. Both are beginning a new chapter of their lives as they recover from bad relationships. John is planning on leaving Chicago and joining the HRT after catching his girlfriend having sex with one of his friends. Jessica is returning to Chicago after her divorce.
OPINION: This is a beautifully constructed, modern office romance. The story isn't over the top fantasy, but rather real and complicated with no easy answers to the issues John and Jessica face.
The story is properly centered around the characters of John and Jessica and while there is a satisfying and complete plotline, it doesn't overwhelm the romance.
John and Jessica have a history. The two met six years ago during FBI training. While there was an attraction even then, the two rubbed one another the wrong way because they really didn't get to know one another. Both are competitive and their attraction turned to ruthless competition between them. When they are forced to work together, they find out that they actually have much in common.
I loved the portrayal of Jessica who is a woman competing in a world dominated by men. She knows that she has to be more careful than them in how her co-workers see her. That is one reason that John rubbed her wrong six years ago because he made her feel less proficient. In her personal life, Jessica is a woman who has just received her final divorce decree and has been urged by her friends and family to start dating again. Jessica, however, doesn't have interest in the modern dating realities. A suggestion that she find a temporary guy to have hot post-divorce sex seems like a real possibility when the attraction between her and John explodes.
John, too, has had his world turned around recently. When he discovered his girlfriend and friend in bed together, he lost not only his relationship but also some long terms friends. Jessica coming back into his life seems like a miserable topper to his recent misfortunes. The only thing that seems to be going well is his potential transfer to the HRT. But one of the great things about John is that his is challenged and in serious competition with Jessica and her arrival makes him up his game. John is a good man because he treats Jessica with respect and acknowledges her competency as an agent. I really liked how he treats her with complete professionalism even when he is attracted to her.
I really enjoyed how the relationship between these two developed...there are funny moments and intense sweetness and good sexy parts, but the entire story is tied together by the deep respect these two have for one another. Even when they were "enemies" and competitors, there was the recognition of a worthy opponent. I thought that the development of their relationship felt natural and real and I thought the romanticism of the story flowed so nicely from their mutual respect for one another as professionals.
Julie James always navigates the realities of modern office romances so well. This book is no exception!
WORTH MENTIONING: I'd like to read a book about John's brother Nate who deserves to fall really hard for someone!
CONNECTED BOOKS: THE THING ABOUT LOVE is the seventh book in the FBI/US Attorneys series. These books, however, are only loosely connected and are standalones can be read independently.
STAR RATING: I give this book 4.5 stars.
NOTE: I received an ARC of this book via Netgalley in order to provide a review. I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions contained herein are my own.
Jessica Harlow and John Shepard knew each other several years ago as members of the same incoming FBI agent class. Those weeks together did not go well. Fast forward ~6-years to current, and they find themselves working as partners on a case. This happens when Jessica returns to Chicago, her hometown, and joins the office that John is already a part of.
Jessica and John have more in common than their Chicago heritage, being in the same FBI class, and partnering on a case. They have both recently experienced something in their personal lives that was life-altering. When they realize they have this in common, they are sweetly supportive of one another. John has a small self-esteem issue about measuring up to so-called academics, and I loved seeing that vulnerability. Jessica, on the other hand, is a woman in a male dominated field so she has her own issues to navigate.
There's a whole FBI case that is the basis of the book, but I'll skip describing that because others have done so nicely. I would like to share why I loved this book, though. I love that the author has done her homework with regard to Chicago. This is consistent with her previous books and this time she used a landmark that is 4-blocks from me--which I loved. She is also meticulous when describing the fundamentals of agents drinking while on a case or carrying firearms. I learned some things. Huge, huge props for character diversity. Characters in this book are not homogeneous in any regard (other than being well educated and stunningly attractive) and demonstrate levels of diversity--which are reflective of our world--that you just don't typically see in romantic suspense. Kudos Ms. James. While the book is pricey, it is well-written and well-edited. I found one error (or nit, subject to opinion) and that means it is almost flawless. The story changes locations a few times, and has a couple of sequences that are told from Jessica's and John's memory; there are no continuity errors in these "hops", so clearly the author was deliberate in mapping things out. And then there's the heat. Let's just call it tastefully sizzling.
I'm surprised at some of the lower ratings but to each her/his own. As for me, this is the best book that I've read in a while. Ms James remains on my auto-buy/pre-order list.
- You like enemy to friends to lovers
- Anything and everything FBI (It's very detailed and gives you an inside look, almost to a fault)
- You like steady and slow build-up
- You enjoy more of the relationship and tension developing over the sex
The FBI story itself is not particularly juicy, but that's fine as that isn't the story. Some people don't like the he said/she said element, but I enjoyed it because it gives you an idea of why or how people misunderstand each other often. I think it was believable that these two were competitive and could see how it turned to spite. One reviewer said the characters were too perfect, but that was kind of the point. You have two talented people up against each other. They both have something to prove to themselves and to the world. The plot and conflict isn't complex. It's stripped down to the essentials: What are you willing to sacrifice for someone you love? Will you give up your dream job?
And it was honestly the funniest of Julie's books. It's reminiscent of Practice Makes Perfect, but I thought John and Jessica had a great back and forth. They referenced a lot of history into their jabs and that's such a real interaction. Bringing up the pass to tease the people you like, using their own words against them for jest, etc. I laughed out loud a lot. Maybe only one long laugh, but definitely a few audible guffaws. The ending was also very satisfying. It wrapped it up perfectly and her last line was pure perfection. I loved hoe JJ tied everything together. Well done.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is the sixth or seventh book I've read by Ms. James and I have yet to be disappointed.Read more
The Thing About Love is a steamy contemporary romance novel which left me engaged throughout the entire read and very happy that I...Read more