Other Julie James reviews are available in the Archives.

Love Irresistibly
by Julie James
(Berkeley Sensation, $7.99, PG) ISBN 978-0425-25119-5
What a fun book this was - Julie James has delivered an adult romance with two well defined characters that have not been lucky in love but once they find each other, they are smart enough not to let go. The story is character driven with a plot that feels realistic and while it has some emotional baggage that the two must deal with; they do so with maturity and a little bit of pizazz.

Cade Morgan is a U.S. Attorney who needs the help of the general counsel for a major restaurant chain to get his man...a dirty U. S. Senator. Brooke Parker is a savvy attorney who has built her career at the head of a legal department of one working for her friend Ian Sterling. Ian started his restaurant and the fact that it has expanded into multiple buildings, with many different names and is now heading for the catering and concessions at major sports arenas and that Brooke had a lot to do that expansion is a foregone conclusion. Ian is thankful for Brooke every day.

Brooke has dedicated a major part of her life to Ian's company and she has had fun doing it. The fact that she has not been able to maintain a love life is as much about the men she picked as the fact that they always take a second seat to her work. She is beginning to question her methods, given that her only long term relationship has been with her best friend Ford, who she has known since they were both in middle school. Romance is not now nor has it ever been in their future.

Cade, meanwhile has his own emotional issues, primarily due to a father who abandoned both he and his mother and the loss of his promising football career after an injury on the winning play of the only Rose Bowl Northwestern has been in for years. Cade dedicated himself to his law degree and is well on his way to making a big splash in the U S Attorney's office. He is forced to question his own ability to maintain relationships when first Brooke and then a brother he didnít know he had pop into his life and upsets his apple cart.

Julie James has written a story with depth that goes beyond the "oh, he is emotionally unavailable" guy and the "she is too dedicated to her career" girl. Both have issues, but quickly realize that they have fun, can share some stories and have great sex. Who wants to ruin it with a "relationship"...it is more fun to envision that they are doing the casual sex thing. Until that is, they both realize there is more going on. How they resolve their feelings and their insecurities is a pleasure that a reader will certainly enjoy.

James is a new author for me, but I had enough fun with Love Irresistibly that I might have to go read the previous stories. And when I see that other TRR reviewers have found those books equally compelling, I have placed her on my to-be read pile. Fun, laughter, a sexy man and a lovely woman in an adult relationship with some fascinating emotionality...what more can a romance reader ask for?

--Shirley Lyons

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