Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Mini-Reviews: Practice Makes Perfect & Just the Sexiest Man Alive by Julie James


Title: Practice Makes Perfect
Author: Julie James 
Rating: 5 Stars 
Payton Kendall and J.D. Jameson are lawyers who know the meaning of objection. A feminist to the bone, Payton has fought hard to succeed in a profession dominated by men. Born wealthy, privileged, and cocky, J.D. has fought hard to ignore her. Face-to-face, they're perfectly civil. They have to be. For eight years they have kept a safe distance and tolerated each other as coworkers for one reason: to make partner at the firm. But all bets are off when they're asked to join forces on a major case. Though apprehensive at first, they begin to appreciate each other's dedication to the law—and the sparks between them quickly turn into attraction. But the increasingly hot connection does not last long when they discover that only one of them will be named partner. Now it's an all-out war. And the battle between the sexes is bound to make these lawyers hot under the collar. 
Practice Makes Perfect is my favorite of all Julie James's novels - and I've read all of them. Seriously, this is just perfect. Perfect. I can't remember the last time I gave an Adult Contemporary Romance novel a solid 5 Stars, but this story was just too good. It starts out as an office rivalry between Payton and J.D., both highly successful lawyers for whom there is only one promotion spot. Yet, what neither of these two expect is to start to fall for each other and from then on, its a battle to push aside their feelings and simply survive their war. Both J.D. and Payton are incredibly well-developed and realistic characters, both of whom have excellent reasons for being as ambitious as they are. At the same time, however, they get along splendidly and harbor a secret admiration for each other which slowly comes to light as they get to know each other better.

I love that the romance in this story is the perfect slow-burn type, with J.D. and Payton truly getting to know each other, their families, and their lives before finally committing. Furthermore, they have their own hurdles on their path to romance, more than just their professional lives, so when they do admit their feelings for each other, it is more than a little rewarding. Especially since their chemistry is simply sizzling. J.D. too is my favorite of all the men that James has written about. I honestly can't find any flaws with him, despite his flawed and realistic persona. In fact, I can't find any faults with this novel as a whole. It was extremely funny - possibly James' most amusing novel, it was extremely romantic in a very sweet and sexy manner, and it was extremely well-written and engaging.

I can't recommend this novel enough. If you decide to pick up exactly one Julie James novel, let it be this one. It has one of the most satisfying endings ever and I can already see myself re-reading this time and time again, swooning over J.D. every time! ;)


Title: Just the Sexiest Man Alive 
Author: Julie James 
Rating: 3.5 Stars 
Nothing fazes Taylor Donovan. In the courtroom she never lets the opposition see her sweat. In her personal life, she never lets any man rattle her—not even her cheating ex-fiancé. So when she's assigned to coach People's "Sexiest Man Alive" for his role in his next big legal thriller, she refuses to fall for the Hollywood heartthrob's charms. Even if he is the Jason Andrews. Jason Andrews is used to having women fall at his feet. When Taylor Donovan gives him the cold shoulder, he's thrown for a loop. She's unlike any other woman he's ever met: uninterested in the limelight, seemingly immune to his advances, and shockingly capable of saying no to him. She's the perfect challenge. And the more she rejects him, the more he begins to realize she may just be his perfect match.
Just the Sexiest Man Alive is one of the most un-put-down-able novels I've read in a really long time. I simply could not stop reading it and the romance was simply adorable. As with most Julie James novels, the strength of this novel lay with its characters. Taylor was a woman I instantly connected with for she was ambitious, focused, and determined to let nothing stand in her way. After she caught her fiance cheating on her, she's closed herself off to men, which is precisely why Jason, literally the Sexiest Man in the World doesn't even begin to faze her. Okay, maybe a little. It was incredibly amusing to see Jason attempt to win Taylor over and their love story was so sweet.

Unfortunately, it was also extremely cliche and predictable. While that never detracted from the plot, what did make me lower my rating for this novel was the lack of depth that Jason had. Taylor was a very well-fleshed out character and while Jason had his own share of depth, being a far more caring and loyal person than the tabloids gave him credit for, he was still rather flat as far as romantic interests went. Furthermore, there was way too much drama in this novel. In some stories, drama is necessary, but there were waaay too many misunderstandings in this novel to be realistic and the romance simply dragged. I simply wanted it to be over by the end and even the last chapter was a bit of a cop-out with the slightly abrupt ending.

Nevertheless, if you're looking for something fun and romantic, with just a touch of depth, Just the Sexiest Man Alive is the book for you. It is compulsively readable and is a novel you most certainly will not regret having spent hours glued to!

13 comments:

  1. OK, I'm not a romance reader AT ALL, but the summary of Practice Makes Perfect sounds pretty amazing. I was on board even before I got to your review!

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  2. We share the same sentiment about both books. PMP is also my fave from all Julie James' books and I read all of them too!

    And you're absolutely right about JtSMA. Too much drama especially at the end. I think Jason has to do more groveling LOL

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  3. Oh, Keertana, you temptress! I've added Practice Makes Perfect to my tbr and I fully intend to read it this weekend, when I don't have to worry about work and the kid is too busy with her ballet classes to pay any attention to me. I ove that it's a slow burning romance, that is SO SO rare both in adult and YA contemporary. It sounds wodnerful. I know it'll be right up my alley.
    Thank you, hon. I'll let you know what I thought.

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  4. Ahhhhh! I'm so behind on Julie James books Keertana! And 5 stars for the first one? MUST READ! I don't even mind that the second one is cliche and predictable, usually with adult contemporary romances that's what I'm looking for, and as long as it's an entertaining read which it seems like it is, I'm good to go. I need to download these on my Kindle immediately!

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  5. I must read these!! I love Julie James and with your high recommends I can't get to them soon enough. Wonderful mini-reviews, Keertana!

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  6. I hardly ever read adult contemporaries, but they're great when you're in a certain kind of mood. I am definitely adding PMP to my list for the next time that happens! I remember reading raves about her FBI book, but a five star review for PMP means I have to check this one out first.

    Wendy @ The Midnight Garden

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  7. I think you've noticed that I've been picking up more contemporary romances recently so I shall definitely have to add Julie James to that list. She sounds like an author I would like and since you so highly recommend her I know she has to be good.

    Wow. Five stars. I have to say, I can't recall myself giving an adult contemporary romance five stars.. I'm much more likely to do so with my favourite paranormal romance authors, but not contemporary.

    Practice Makes Perfect is going on my wishlist.

    Thanks for the awesome reviews and recs dearest! Swoony-worthy reads here we come. J.D. Sounds incredible! ;)

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  8. I've read Practice Makes Perfect and I love it! The sexist theme was done so well. JD & Payton have the hottest chemistry and now I can't stop thinking about it. I might have to reread it soon.

    Just the sexiest man alive is in my tbr, sometimes i do enjoy cliches romance, so that might work for me. Overall, I love Julie James and her books rock!

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  9. FIVE STARS fro you for a Contemporary Romance? WOW I've never read any of this author's novels, but I need to change that immediately! Can I read them in any order? Or do they cross over with each other? I need some more swoon in my life!

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  10. PERFECT, you say? I am intrigued! Practice Makes Perfect sounds adorable and well, perfect.

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  11. I've intended to read Julie Jame's FBI/Attorney series, but I have to admit after your love of Practice Makes Perfect, I really want to start there (because yes, 5 stars for contemp romance is HUGE). Just the Sexiest Man Alive seems a little less appealing due to the predictability, but sometimes I really don't mind that at all if I'm really in the mood for the romance. I like mini reviews for romance! Think I'm going to do the same thing when I catch up on the current romance series I'm on. =)

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  12. Even more adult books to add to my list! Honestly, the first thing that drew me to Practice Makes Perfect's well premise was the fact that they're lawyers. I know it's stupid but I want to be a lawyer and I thought it was cool. Yes, I am super weird. But it sucks that first book was so much better then the second one.

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