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...


Advance Galley Reviews

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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