The Thing About Love by Julie James

The Thing About Love

Julie James

"Julie James writes books I can't put down."—Nalini Singh, New York Times bestselling author 

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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


Advance Galley Reviews

I've never read Julie James before, but I will definitely be reading more from her. The Thing About Love felt like a perfect beach read. I love "hate-to-love" books and this was one was so much fun. I do want to note, that if you are a romantic suspense reader, you might be a tad disappointed. It is a romance first, with a small crime fighting element. The undercover case was very weak and obviously just included as a means to get this couple together. I'm not complaining though, I loved the book, so it worked for me. I'm not sure why I liked this book so much other than it just made me happy. I couldn't put it down and found myself smiling as I read it. I still wish I had read this a couple of months later, so I could have enjoyed it while lying on the beach. The great thing about finding a new author is that there is a backlog of books for you to enjoy. I'll probably pick up one of those up for any beachy adventures this summer.

I really enjoy Julie James's novels. This book was fun and I loved the romance between Jessica and John. She always crafts steamy romances and this one does not disappoint. The beachfront resort setting creates a sexy backdrop for their undercover operation. It is a perfect beach book!

This looks like a book I'd really enjoy. Unfortunately time just got away from me before I had a chance to read it.

Another fantastic edition to Julie James' FBI romances. Jessica was brilliant and sharp, but she met her match with John. Not only was he he super alpha-military strong, he had a quick mind too. Gorgeous, strong and smart...where do I sign up??? This was a second-chance at love romance, with a strong focus on the FBI case they are currently working together. There were plenty of flashbacks to the academy and their respective perspectives on their interactions, which I really enjoyed! They were both right and both wrong...but mostly, I just fell in love with John Shepherd on each page. These are smart and exciting romances with plenty of sexy fun times. I highly recommend this author. I received a copy from the Penguin First to Read program in exchange for an honest review

This is the first book I have read from Julie James and I very much enjoyed it. She has great attention to detail and I feel like I have a good understanding about what it might be like to work as an FBI agent. I like the romance intermingled with the intrigue and suspense in the novel. The author does well with acquainting her readers with the characters and making them come to life. I would definitely read another book by James and am looking forward to doing so.

Julie James never lets me down! I was so excited to receive this early copy because James is one of my favorite romance authors. Her female characters and always strong willed and believable and the male characters are not too domineering (which I personally find obnoxious and overdone in romance novels these days). I'm only sad now that I have to wait so long for the next one :)

This was my first Julie James book and will definitely not be my last. It was just so good. There was not a boring moment in this entire book. I could not put it down until I finished. Between the undercover operations and the sizzling chemistry between the undercover agents as well as the drama and misunderstandings it was so well written. There literally was not a boring moment. I will definitely be checking out some of this authors other books.

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. ---------------------------------------- Excerpt: "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.

Julie James has delivered another great romance. The plot of the undercover operation was interesting and a great backdrop for showing the chemistry between the hero and heroine. The book contains all the snappy, fun dialogue I've come to expect from James. The Thing About Love is one of my favorites of 2017 so far and I expect it will still be on the list by the end of the year.

The latest Julie James novel, The Thing About Love, was not what I expected. Don’t get me wrong, it was still classic Julie James with a smart and snarky heroine, frenemy hero and heroine, sexy FBI agent, cameo appearances by old friends, and a believable plot that keep everything moving. All the usual elements, but there is just something different and it is wonderful. A slightly different energy gives this novel a fresh, new feel. The words rat-a-tat off the page like a classic Bogart and Bacall (those of you that are too young to know who they were, Google). Then there is the cover! I have such cover love for this one. I wanted nothing more than to curl up with this book from start to finish, sadly that didn’t get to happen. I always look forward to a new Julie James and I definitely was not disappointed. Except when I turned the last page and realized I had to wait for the next one. If you like smart, snarky, sparkling storytelling pick this one up as soon as you can. I voluntarily reviewed an ARC of this novel.

This one is worth the wait! John and Jessica are great characters with sizzling chemistry. Their competitiveness and witty banter is entertaining. I really liked the he said, she said perspectives of the flashbacks to their time at Quantico. I loved how strong of a heroine Jessica is and never backing down from a challenge. There is a nice mix of suspense thrown in with their investigations and I am always intrigued by the insight these realistic investigations provide. I also liked that characters from other FBI books make appearances. I have enjoyed all of Julie James' FBI books to date and this is another one that did not disappoint.

Julie James has a lyrical quality to her writing which makes every book flow by too fast. I've read several of her books more than once, because I want to linger in the world of FBI agents and U.S. Attorneys that she's created. John Shepherd, the hero of this book, is drawn with James's usual attention to detail and depth of emotion. We easily get into his head and feel his pain. The heroine, Jessica Harlow, is somewhat less believable. I'm not sure how an FBI agent could be married to a high profile Hollywood producer and still do undercover work, but I'll go with it for the sake of the story. The dialogue as always is smart and clever, and the prickly relationship between the two characters is fun to watch as attraction overcomes resistance. The crisis that finally brings them together is a little weak, but overall this is another excellent story from a writer who never disappoints.

Julie James is back at it with her FBI series. Agents Harlow and Shepherd met as FBI training at Quantico. It was not love at first sight-more like dislike. He has his version of the story and she has hers. Fast forward six years. They are both working in the Chicago office and are thrown together as undercover partners. Neither are looking for a long term relationship-both having been burned by recent events. Can they get past their opinions of each other? Can they work together undercover and still maintain their professional standards once the sparks start to fly? Will her family stop trying to set her up on blind dates? Will John pass the HRT training. Enjoyable fun read.

It pains me to say this, but this is not the best book of Julie James. Yes, there is that well known banter between the main characters, the chemistry, but there is also a little more than necessary information about the FBI, something is missing from this book, that thing that pulls you into the story and you can't stop with reading. Regardless of that I enjoyed reading this story, reading Julie James always is a joy for me, but for me this is not at the same level like the previous books from this author. I will always love JJ books and of course I will continue to read her books :)

When I saw this title on FirstToRead, I kind of hesitated. "The Thing about Love" isn't the most original title. But the cover was interesting enough: high heels crashing on a lollypop heart. So I took the gamble and boy, was I glad I did. We meet Jessica Harlow and John Shepherd. She: a sassy lawyer and he, a former Army Ranger. Their paths had already crossed during the Academy six years ago and during this story we get a flashback to those years. First from Jessica's site, the "She Said" chapter. And then from John's site, the "He Said" chapter. And it is quite hilarious. John and Jessica really were the pair of rivals back then. And the banter and rivalry just keeps on going. But now, there is also the undeniable chemistry between them. You can see the sparks flying, almost literally. And when the sparks suddenly catch fire: Oh boy... Julie James has done an excellent job of describing the rivalry between Jessica and John from both of their point of views. And she paints a picture in which you can feel the heat between them rising. So when they finally lose control, you really need a cold shower. In all: a perfect read, hot and steamy, yet funny and exciting. So, four out of five stars from me.

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!

This was the first book by Julie James that I have read and I was not aware that it was part of a series but it was fine to read as a stand alone since the story really belonged to the main characters. I did enjoy the love/hate relationship angle as I am a sucker for a second chance romance. There was good descriptions of the FBI training but that gave me the expectations that there would be more in the story about solving the case and it never seemed to really build up to that. I did like the character development which is important for me when reading a novel. Overall a quick and enjoyable weekend read.

This was a cute romance about co-workers with an adversarial relationship. It had good heat and decent chemistry with a light action undercover FBI story line.

The Thing About Love is the first book by Julie James that I've read, but it didn't feel that way at all. I felt the way I do when I'm reading two of my favorites, Linda Howard and Karen Robards - like I'm visiting an old friend and it's familiar yet exciting at the same time. There are very few authors who I've come across in my experience that I've been able to say that about and it really speaks to what a superb writer Ms. James is. The Thing About Love was truly incredible and as I was reading it, I had the thought that I would definitely be more than willing to pick it up again someday. Jessica is very professional, she always to be the best she can be, and she tries not to give anyone a reason to doubt her or her abilities. She's cool, calm, and collected, but she's not rigid or stuck-up at all. Jessica is determined and driven and she has so much passion in her. She's fiery and sassy, she can take care of herself and handle any situation you throw at her. Jessica is an amazing, strong, utterly capable heroine and I loved her to pieces! I loved John from the moment I met him and my love for him only grew the more I read. He's so strong and athletic and just a beast when it comes to training, but he's smart and a quick thinker. John is a total alpha for sure - he's protective, commanding, and a little possessive and while I certainly enjoyed those qualities, it was really his playful, thoughtful, and sweetness that made me lose my heart to him. John is wonderful and I completely loved home! The Thing About Love is everything that I love about romance. It was entertaining, sexy, full of passion and fire and I fell in love with the characters and even the story itself. It made me laugh and smile and it melted my heart. It was a delightful, engaging, heartwarming read and I couldn't love it anymore if I tried! The Thing About Love is a standalone, it's told from John and Jessica's POV, and their happy ending left me with a big smile on my face! ~ 5 Stars

This was my first Julie James novel and I enjoyed it. The main characters were likeable and had a nice chemistry, although I was initially put off by the female character when they talk of their time in training. She seemed to be a bit oversensitive, although James does a nice job of making the reader understand where she is coming from. I was rooting for them as a couple which is a must for this genre. While I am glad that this is more of a contemporary romance than suspense/thriller romance, I feel like the result of the undercover assignment was a bit anticlimactic. There seemed to be a focus on it for awhile in the middle of the novel and then it just faded away into the background. It didn't make me enjoy the story any less, but it was something that I noticed. Also, since the female lead character was married to a famous Hollywood director (if I remember correctly) wouldn't it have made it difficult for her to be an undercover agent. I suspended my disbelief that they would allow her to be an undercover agent, but it was always in the back of my mind. Ultimately, I would definitely read another novel by this author and recommend it to those looking for a fun, quick read.

I just finished the book and I have to say it was worth waiting for! Ms James ' has written an amazing enemies to lovers book. Jessica and John first met at the FBI Academy and both were overachievers. Things didn't go well. Fast forward 6 years and they're, horror of horrors, PARTNERS in an undercover operation. Jessica still is competitive and take charge and John is still competitive and hates losing. A match made in book heaven *grin*. I loved seeing their ongoing relationship, their quips and sarcasm. You can tell from the start that it's going to be epic. The secondary characters are well written. They have feelings and personality traits, not one dimensional "people" to just further the plot. This was a romantic comedy that had a great conflict and just made you feel good while reading it. I'll definitely re-read it in the future. PS: We also got to see how older characters were doing which was a nice bonus.

I had never read a book by Julie James but I'd heard good things so I was really excited going in to this one. I was not disappointed! I thought the premise was very interesting and the characters were great. I was a little worried about the characters being in the FBI since I have little interest in that sort of thing but I thought undercover scenes were really fun. What I really loved was how the backstory between the characters was told from both perspectives. It really helped me like both of them more and get a clear idea of what their real problems were. Overall, I enjoyed it and I'll definitely pick up more books by this author in the future.

I really enjoyed this book. Jessica and John both had great chemistry. There were many moments with them that had me grinning at my kindle like an idiot. I loved how their relationship evolved as the story went on and if there's something that I'm a complete sucker for, it's love/hate relationships. Would definitely recommend to those who enjoy a good contemporary romance.

A nice book. John and Jessica were awesome and great competence porn.The background mission would take over the romance at times and then the relationships would take over.I felt this book tried to do too much at once. Enjoyable but forgettable.

This is a definite must read for contemporary romance fans. The chemistry between John and Jessica is what keeps you reading. Add in their sidekicks of Tara and Nate and you just want to continue reading till you see where they are going to end up. I can't wait for the next book from Julie James.

This was the first book that I've read by Julie James. I thought I'd enjoy the premise of it, but one I started reading it, I felt like it dragged on. Maybe if there was a bit more mystery to it.

My 1st Julie James and I liked it. Did I loooove it? No, but it had cute, smiley moments. I absolutely knew where the story is going, but that's ok. I've seen her books with their gorgeous covers and gorgeously clothed handsome couples, but never picked one up. I've been curious, especially as I expected a slightly smarter read with the FBI-Lawyer-etc. like characters. This story actually underwhelmed a bit in smarts and witty banter, but I suspect she's written a lot of better ones beforehand and I hope to stumble on some of those in time.

This is the first time I've ever gotten to read a Julie James novel, and I went in with pretty high expectations because I've heard great things about her books. I am very happy to say that I wasn't disappointed at all. I'm a big fan of secret agent romances with some suspense, and this one also happens to be an enemies to lovers story so I was really excited. FBI agents Jessica and John meet during training in Quantico and immediately get off on the wrong foot. Jessica is a very hard worker and feels the need to prove herself among all of the men in their training group. John also wants to prove himself, but he is trying to prove that he isn't just a "grunt" and that he has a good brain behind it all. Throughout the training they constantly butt heads and their rivalry begins, always trying to be the better agent. After graduating they both go there separate ways, until six years later they are picked to work together as partners on an undercover assignment. There is still a lot of tension between the two of them, but they both start to realize that maybe it's a different kind of tension this time around. Jessica has just ended her marriage and isn't looking for anything serious. John has also recently left his relationship after catching his girlfriend cheating with his friend. Jessica was a great strong character. I've read a lot of books where they try to make a strong female character but push it a little too hard and either make it completely unbelievable, or just end up making them really unlikable. Jessica wasn't either of those things. She was a hard-working agent, that had some great witty banter with John's character but never came off as a "man hater" type. She was aware that her height and weight had her at a disadvantage but never complained about it and found a different way to overcome the situation. John is a former Army Ranger for whom that has had little to no trouble with the physical aspects of FBI training. John had some struggles early on in the academic department, but he worked harder in those areas, just as Jessica had to work harder to succeed when it came to the more athletic areas of their training. The competitive streak in them both pushed them to work harder and become even better agents, even if they resented each other in the process. John also has a bit of a protective streak when it comes to Jessica, that I found really sweet but not overbearing. When these two first see each other again after six years, they pick up right where they left off with the bickering, and I have to say I loved it! Their banter back and forth was one of my favorite parts of this book, and it continues even after they start to get along. It's more of teasing at that point, but it was cute. I liked watching them working out their problems and work together, and watch those sparks between them build and build. This is a slow burn romance, but it was worth the wait, in my opinion. They had great chemistry together. I've read a couple reviews that talk about the police procedure scenes taking up too much of the story, but I actually really enjoyed reading about that aspect of their work. I thought it was all really interesting. I feel like this was a little bit more light-hearted and less gritty than other FBI/secret agent type of romances that I've read. I really enjoyed this one a lot and look forward to reading more from Julie James in the future.

I really enjoyed this book. Snappy dialogue, great characters. I particularly loved all of the research into the various parts of the FBI and what it takes. The case part was a little thin and predictable, but the main characters made the book so enjoyable.

This was an overall good book, about two FBI agents working a case together and getting to know each other better in the process. Both characters were stubborn, but were relatable in their actions and personalities.

Jessica Harlow and John Shepherd first met during FBI training at Quantico. They were both highly competitive and rubbed each other the wrong way; they certainly didn’t hate going their separate ways after completing training. Six years later, they are both dismayed to find out they have been paired to work together in an undercover sting operation. Both have baggage as Jessica is recently divorced and John recently walked in on his girlfriend with another man. This is also to be John’s last assignment before leaving to join the FBI’s elite Hostage Rescue team. With snappy dialogue, they relive the past and their hate/love/respect feelings for each other and begin to admit the hot chemistry they share. The Thing About Love is a fun, light read that is romantic, sexy and lightly suspenseful. I received an early read through Penguin’s First To Read.

I loved reading this and had trouble putting it down. I loved how realistic and believable the characters and situations were, and I really enjoyed the investigation as well. This was a great blend of romance and suspense, and I'm glad to say that Julie James will be staying on my list of must-read authors.

A special thank you to Penguin's First to Read for an ARC in exchange for an honest review. I tried to be patient while waiting for Ms James new book, but to make us wait two years was torture! I was so excited to be picked for the ACR. I enjoyed the book and would recommend it. I hope we have a new book next year (the sooner the better)!

I really enjoyed this book. I laughed a lot! I loved the relationship between Jessica and John and how it changed/grew throughout the book. It was great to get both characters sides of the story as the book went on. I also enjoyed how strong and competent the female lead character was. This is the first Julie James book that I have read, but it certainly wont be the last!

Julie James hits it out of th park once again with her latest book The thing about love. Jessica and John were classmates at Quantico and rubbed each other wrong constantly. Years later, Jessica transfers offices to Chicago and they are partnered up for a big undercover case. They have to wade through a lot of old bad feelings and misunderstandings about the past to get to a friendship and more! Fantastic Book!

Julie James writes such smart and funny characters. The Thing About Love is no exception. This is a laugh out loud romantic comedy told from alternating viewpoints.

I read Julie James novels for the fun, smart banter and uber-competent heroines and heroes and The Thing About Love was exact this. There is a really fun he/she said aspect to this book that totally reels you in and makes it un-put-downable. If you like smart, strong characters with some hot sexy times this book is definitely for you!

I was thrilled to receive an arc of Julie James' book TheThing About Love. I am a little late to the Julie James party as I just started reading her books last year. I absolutely loved About That Night and this book is right up there with it. Jessica Harlow and John Shepherd were in FBI training school 6 years ago and due to both of them being super competitive towards each other they ended up disliking each other for all the wrong reasons. Fast forward to the present and Jessica is back home in Chicago after her marriage falls apart and ends up being paired up with John in an undercover operation.The two must learn to get along and put the past behind them. My favorite part of Julie James' books are the dialogue and this one did not disappoint. There are also flashbacks to what happened during training from both points of view. The part that makes me sad is that I read it and now I wait again.

Enemies to lovers trope- very satisfying! As always, James' writing is stuffed with smart people, witty dialogue, and sexy FBI goodness. I will read anything Julie James writes.

Loved Jessica and John - two FBI agents who trained together six years ago at Quantico and were fierce rivals. I doubt that either expected to undercover partners in an investigation. The He said/She said portions was a wonderful way to present their backstory. Great weekend read.

Julie James did the world a great service when she wrote this book! It was romantic without being stifling so, with enough action, intrigue, sarcastic commentary (my favorite), and more to keep you hooked to the end. I read this in about five hours, give or take a few minutes. I loved John Shepherd, and i just felt more strongly for him. Jessica annoyed me a little bit as I felt her basis for hating John was not as thoroughly thought out as John's was for Jessica. Regardless, this was a terrific read, and a must read for any romance fan!

I really enjoyed reading as this story unfolded. I am a sucker for a great love story and the he said/she said dimension was clear as well as am effective way to present the couples back story. An easy, gripping read, I was never bored. I would definitely recommend this book to other romance junkies.

FBI agent Jessica Harlow has fought hard to find a place in her male dominated field, and even though she has found some success, she knows she still has a lot to prove. She is hoping that her new high-profile undercover sting assignment will give her the edge she needs to prove to her boss that she can handle whatever he throws at her, but the instant she meets her new partner she begins to have her doubts. Of all the people they could pair her with they chose the most annoying and stubborn one they could find... the unbelievably sexy and oh so cocky ex-Army ranger John Shepherd! Ex-Army Ranger John Shepherd is on a mission to land himself a prestigious spot on the FBI’s elite Hostage Rescue Team, now all he needs to do is come out on the winning end of his new high-profile undercover sting assignment. He has rid his life of distractions, fine tuned his focus, and is ready to tackle this assignment head on... that is until he meets his new partner. When his former Quantico nemesis Jessica Harlow breezes through the door and he learns that they will be working side by side on this mission he just about loses it. She is the most infuriating woman he has ever met, and he is certain that there is no way he is going to be able to find common ground long enough with her to get the job done... or will he? This was my first time reading a book by Ms. James, and I can say with complete certainty that it won't be my last! I enjoyed everything about this book, the story line was plausible, suspenseful and engaging, and the characters came with a very realistic feel, you couldn't help but connect to them! I really enjoyed reading John and Jessica's story, their chemistry was electric, at times I swear you could literally feel the sexually charged sparks between them arcing off the pages. It was also refreshing to read a story with a strong and determined heroine who could hold her own against the alpha hero, Jessica had something to prove and she wasn't about to buckle to John's will!! Hands down one of the best first reads that I have settled down with in a long time!! Highly recommend!!

Jessica Harlow (Pretty, Nerdy, smart, & hard working) and John Shepherd (good looking, ex military & smart) are both FBI agents that originally come from the same town and graduate from the same training class at Quantico. Apparently they were very competitive with each other from the start. So it was a shock to both of them to be suddenly going under cover together for an investigation. They had to learn to work together and use both of their abilities to catch the bad guy in the end. They did end up falling in love but it was a very slow process for the two stubborn people. There was some humor in it and the romance. I did like the book but I think there were a few parts that I felt that the FBI would not really be as cheesy as it was described in the book. It was a good read though and would suggest it to others. I received this book free to read from firsttoread.com in exchange for an honest review. The opinions in this review are 100% my own.

I loved the lower case title, "the thing about love" and simplicity of the title. A nice story, well crafted if a bit underwhelming. I kept expecting some dramatic action to place one or more characters in peril; alas this wasn't that type book. Jessica and John had the typical romance plot...history of animosity, forced to work together, learning to trust, etc. What made this interesting was the FBI training for new recruits and the elite HRT squad. How do I rate it? "The thing about love" is an enjoyable read on that day you need to relax and forget the frantic pace we all seem to live.

I loved this book from start to finish. The characters were quirky and loveable. Julie James did a wonderful job of giving both of the main characters point of view in "he said, she said" type of way. I went out and bought a couple of her books to read!!!!

Six years ago, Jessica Harlow and John Shepherd got off on the wrong foot... repeatedly. What he considered encouragement and motivation she took as insulting and demeaning. Then she might have come across a bit more vindictive than intended, and it all got even more tangled up from there. But Agent Harlow has come home to Chicago after a failed marriage and been assigned to work with the newly single Agent Shepherd on an undercover mission before he leaves to join the Hostage Rescue Team. Working together brings old grievances to light, and gives a chance for explanations and mending. Of course, once they no longer exist in states of perpetual irritation with each other their not-so-latent attraction rears its head. Things proceed about as expected (clothes on the floor and the two of them even sometimes on the bed). Only, John's leaving, which may have assuaged the initial concerns about co-worker romance... but what if they could be something more? Other alternative titles for this book include: "When Two Alpha Personalities Meet" and "Dangerous Yoga Pants." The Thing About Love definitely made for a fun read. It's not particularly surprising, you could tell from the beginning that they were going to fall in bed with each other, but it kept a good pace and a fun level of humor. The story gets sexy, but keeps things overall light. I definitely twitted the book about little things here and there, but I enjoyed it overall. Well written and engaging. If someone likes the idea of sexy FBI agents finding romance with each other it should be a hit.

3.5 stars rounded up (mainly because Julie James's books are so addictive) The Thing About Love is an enjoyable romance with likeable characters and a sweet story. It's the type of book that's hard to put down when you're reading it, but not necessarily one that stands out as compared to Julie James's other very strong books. I liked learning more about the Quantico training program for FBI agents, undercover tactics and the Hostage Rescue Team (which I was unaware of before). The relationship between Jessica Harlow and John Shepherd is a believable enemies to lovers story, though the enemies portion mainly takes place through he said/she said flashbacks to their time in training six years prior. I would have liked a bit more action and suspense at the climax -- there seemed to be a lot of fake outs throughout the story where it seemed like things would escalate, but went nowhere, so that by the time the "big" action arrives it was relatively tepid compared to the build up. Overall, I liked the story and would recommend for fans of the series or anyone looking for a relatively uncomplicated romance that's written very well. Thank you to Penguin-Random House's First to Read program for providing an ARC for review!

First time reading this author and I will, for sure, find more of her novels. Honestly, I thought I had a pretty good idea where it was heading, but then it veered off course and took me totally by surprise. I found myself rooting for these two to figure out their hearts and minds and to do it quickly ... But then ... Anyway, I took this with me to read at the beach and it was the perfect beach read. Sucked me right in and one that I didn't want to put down. 6 years of life had to developed and understood for this story to flow but don't let that scare you - she does a masterful job at melding those 6 years seamlessly together to create a storyline that will keep you reading because you want to know the end result. Definitely would suggest this to anyone to read - as for me I'm off to find some more of her novels.

This is the first book I read by Julia James, and I am glad I did. The book THE THING BOUT LOVE was interesting and keep me reading into the night. I think no one really knows how hard it is to be an FBI agent, but the book shows what it takes in their traning and undercover work. Jessica and John didn't get along when they were in training at the academy six years ago but everything changes when they work undercover on a case. I enjoyed reading this book. I have a new author to read!! I received access to this book through the First to Read program.

This book took me a little longer to get into than previous Julie James books (she's a favorite author of mine). Part of it was a long set up early on and parts that felt like info dumping about the FBI, which isn't something that usually happens in this series so it kept slowing me down. It seemly partly my mood as well, so I set it down for a few days and came back to it, and then couldn't put it down. I always appreciate how grown up this authors characters are. They are set in their high powered careers and are meeting each other on equal footing. This book, in the end, was fun and one fans of James's work will find plenty of what they love in her previous work, but is accessible and easy to jump into for new fans.

This was my first Julie James book and it was really good. Jessica Harlow and John Shepard meet at the FBI Academy and what should have been a good friendship turns sour. Both characters then try to one up the other due to the misunderstanding and their competitive nature. After graduating from the Academy, Jessica heads west and John stays east. Six years later, both characters have personal life issues that have them making changes in their career and ending up in the same FBI office. The two are tasked to work undercover and that is when they really get to know the other. I liked the "He Said" and "She Said" chapters of the book as we got to see each characters perspective when at the Academy. This was a second chance at romance story. Really liked both characters as well as John's brother Nate.

I read this book in 2 days. Disclaimer: I love Julie James' books. I have read them all. She often uses the enemies to friends to lovers trope and is the master of it. This book is about John and Jessica who met 6 years ago. At that time, they definitely noticed each other and ended up not liking each other. Come forward 6 years and they are thrown together on a work assignment and the situation changes. All the characters are beautifully drawn - the hero and heroine, their family and friends. The physical locations are realistic and the story proceeds in a logical, fast, and interesting way. This book is a great addition to the series and makes me what to go back and re-read the whole series. Thank you for the opportunity to read this one early. Another winner by Ms. James!

The antagonistic-lovers trope is Julie James’s calling card, I swear. And it’s done with quite a bit of aplomb in ‘The Thing About Love’ which is pretty much a solid, steady kind of offering that has been a long time in coming. Technically not quite part of the FBI series that James has gotten going, John Shepherd (this guy can easily be a main character from Lost or Stargate with a heroic name like that) and Jessica Harlow work perfectly fine on their own here as first entanglements bring them from oneupmanship to dislike and finally, to mutual attraction years later. The long break between books as well, helps in a way that make the story not feel like a retread, even if characters from her previous books do flit peripherally in and out as reminders of the lawyer/law-enforcement dynamic that has always defined this series. The setup is painstakingly detailed, given the number of pages in this book, even though the research and writing feel like a police procedural at times, but by and large, the story somehow reads like a screenplay—written for readers, yet built for the big screen on Valentine’s day while newly-minted couples cozy up to John and Jessica’s slow burn and capitulation. Despite starting out a little slowly, the delicious build gained momentum and not without several laugh-out-loud descriptions I’ll always come to associate with James’s brand of written romantic comedy. The peaks and troughs aren’t too sharp, and without the pile of angst or false levity that could accompany stories like these, James manages to keep the whole story buoyant and easy to read. I think what I really enjoyed was the fact that I didn’t quite know how things were going to progress—or at least work themselves out—despite being able to guess how the conflict was going to play out when both Jessica’s and John’s career paths looked as though they were moving in opposite directions. Yet both Jessica and John are great in their own way, with pasts they’d rather leave behind but still lacking those extremes that can make or break a character, which, in many ways, do make them quite likeable. Definitely a way more light-hearted read (not that that’s a bad thing) for FBI-type romances, ‘The Thing about Love’ is an unexpected surprise and I daresay, quite worth the wait.

Did not realize the book was a part of a series, but it doesn't appear you need to read the earlier books to understand this one. Good story and characters. Love that it's set in my locale and that the characters work in a similar field to me. Most details ring true and the author has clearly done her research into the issues. Read quickly because I wanted to find out what happened, even though outcome was somewhat predictable. After reading, I ordered all of the author's prior FBI and AUSA books and will be reading them shortly. Thanks for getting me turned onto a new author!

Thank you to First to Read for providing me with the advanced copy of "The thing about love" by Julie James. This was the first book that I had read by this author. I found it to be a quick, light-hearted romantic read. It was slightly repetitive in the beginning , in my opinion , banging the reader on the head that these two, good-looking ,talented and highly competitive people did not hit it off at the FBI Academy. But , overall, I found the story and the characters enjoyable. It reminded me of Catherine Coulter's FBI series and I believe that readers who enjoy the one will enjoy the other. I felt that Ms James was trying to test the waters as to whether a series would be warranted. Or, perhaps, I merely felt that there could be more.

A benefit of participating in Penguin Random House's First To Read programme is the opportunity to sample genres I don't ordinarily read. THE THING ABOUT LOVE is such an experience as I dip my literary toe into romantic waters. Didn't drown, either. The romance centers on a pair of FBI agents who happen to be hot, hot, hot, hot, hot, ad infinitum. We're talking 'beautiful people' here. They meet, signals get crossed, and when they are reunited as partners the sparks of frenemy-ness fly. So much heat between these hotties, and can Julie James use the word hot too often for her readers? Sweet Jaysus it's the most used word in the book after 'the'. Sexual tension builds as they work undercover on a corruption case, and there is just enough detail to make the work situation interesting to those not overly concerned with character heat index. As the novel progresses there is hot sex and more hot sex, Jessica and John face a split in the relationship due to work-related matters, but then we have to have a happy ending and the author ties it all up quite neatly. I haven't discovered a new love for romance, but if this is your cup of tea, you'll be well entertained. The novel is quite accessible, easy to read, and perfect for a weekend when you want to escape from reality. Perhaps to dream of how hot sex would be if your husband was the slightest bit more fit, to say nothing of US Army Ranger cut. It's all about the dreaming, isn't it, in romance novels?

This book was a nice fast paced and light hearted read- which I've come to expect from Julie James. It's a great vacation read. I would recommend for someone looking for a fun romance.

Jessica had to prove herself while in the FBI academy training. John, an Army Ranger experienced in training, joined the FBI academy. He seems a bit arrogant to Jessica when trying to motivate her to keep up or do better. He thinks she’s stubborn and arrogant when she shrugs him off. Jessica excels academically; John in physical and target range training. It becomes a competition to Jessica and she works hard to prove herself. After academy training, they both move on to working with the FBI but in separate field offices across the country from each other. Over the years, both experienced relationship problems due to their commitment in the FBI. Six years later, the two are paired up in an undercover case. I really enjoyed this story of Jessica and John how they evolved past their misconceptions of each other from their past in the FBI academy. Each side is told by their perspective and how it would come of looking like what the other would perceive. Both were committed to their jobs and knew the consciences it took on relationships. While reading the story, you’re rooting for them to get past their misconceptions of each other and can’t wait until they realize they are so much alike! Jessica holds a lot back because she does not want to appear weak, John holds back as well. It’s like they both have a wall barrier to block their feelings. The wall melts quickly when their sexual attraction between them gets really hot! And it gets really hot! I couldn’t put this book down and when I did finish, it stayed with me. Loved it!

I just finished reading, The Thing about Love, by Julie James and I LOVED it. I just couldn't seem to put it down. The characters were very appealing and seemed real. like people you would like to meet and be friendly with. I liked the parts about the training for their work with the FBI. There were flashbacks, which normally I don't like in most books, but they were integrated well in this book. I'm already looking into reading more books by this author

This was the first Julie James book I've read. I couldn't put it down and finished it in one weekend day. I was fond of the characters from the beginning and was impressed by the technical details of training and work in the FBI. The "work" track of the book, however, wasn't fully baked I thought as it really went according to their plans until the last minute and that never happens. The love story was very satisfying and I wish the ending had taken a little bit more time to wrap up.

A fun weekend read. Easy to follow story, easy to love characters. Thank you!

The Thing About Love by Julie James is a cute story about two old rivals who find themselves partnered for an undercover sting. They must put their differences and distaste for each other aside and work together to bring down a corrupt politician. Despite being rivals, there's a spark of sexual tension that turns into a full blown romance. I loved the way the story was written and the characters were great. I wasn't satisfied with the ending though. I felt like the action parts of the book were on the back burner and in the end it just fizzled out. I would have preferred a more dramatic ending.

 


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