Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication Date: 2 June 2015
Format: Paperback, 304 pgs
I love a light, cozy romance once in a while and Julie James' latest release, Suddenly One Summer, comes into mind. I've always enjoyed reading her books; not only her heroes are sexy and her heroines are smart and witty, too. The dialogues between the characters made me giggle at times, and I know I could always rely on James' books for a perfect escape read.
Suddenly One Summer is a story about two different people coming together and falling in love unexpectedly. Victoria Slade is a successful lawyer dealing in divorce cases; she also owns the firm and as much as she is single and attractive, she has seen enough unhappy marriages to not committing a relationship with its ultimate path to a marriage. On top of that, when she was ten her father left her and her mother for a younger woman and started a new life, leaving her mother into depression and almost died from sleeping pills overdose. That fear and the anxiety still linger in her mind all the way to her adult life, and that feeling has worsened after some burglars broke into her house one night, forcing her to move out from her home and look for another.
Her new neighbour, Ford Dixon, who's also in his thirties and an investigative journalist, thinks Victoria is attractive but off-limits since a few occasions they've encountered have left a bad impression in each other's eyes. Nevertheless, that didn't stop Victoria from helping his sister, Nicole; after learning that she's a single mother with a four-month-old baby and is ditched by the man who'd got her pregnant in the first place.
Despite Victoria's unwillingness to team up with Ford initially, she wants to help Nicole and she knew through her legal expertise, she will fight for Nicole's rights but before that, they need to find the man. On the other end, Ford knew there would be sparks flying, good or bad, but he is confident that they will nail down the guy very soon through his resources working with the Tribune. Plus, Victoria is great when it comes to roles playing during their 'missions'.
Playing amateur sleuth with Ford isn't what Victoria has expected in the first place. She thinks clashes and snarky comments are unavoidable when Ford is concerned, but as the more they work together she noticed a softer, vulnerable side of Ford which she finds irresistible and sexy. Likewise, Ford sees Victoria in a new light that under her confident, businesslike personality she is simply an ordinary woman who has her woes like any other women. Witnessing her panic attack on a subway has unleashed the protective streak in him and allows him to think again of their relationship, but Victoria is skeptical of relationships and marriages, considering the cases she's dealt with and seeing her own parents' marriage crumbles until it finally struck her how miserable and foolish she has been after turning Ford down for good.
Although the premise isn't new, what I liked about this book (in fact all Julie James' books) is the heroine and the witty dialogues which have become her signature elements. I like reading stories about relationships which start from friends, and also relationships whereby both the hero and heroine dislike each other initially but how their feelings have changed as the time goes. These premises always interest me and I find Ms. James is good in writing them (though I've to admit it's always her writing style which have made me a fan of hers.) Highly recommended if you love a good contemporary romance with a combination of great dialogues and sizzlingly romance.
Here's my thoughts on other Julie James' books: