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Review: It Happened One Wedding by Julie James

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It Happened One Wedding
Author: Julie James

Reviewer:
Nima
Rating: B+

What I’m Talking About:

Investment banker Sidney Sinclair has had her heart ripped out.  She is hurt, angry, and doesn’t especially like men at the moment, but—she needs a date to her little sister’s wedding.  If she doesn’t show up with a date, all the world will feel sorry for her, tilt their heads, and ask in that pity voice, “How are you holding up?” She’s so not about to go there.  So Sidney has enrolled herself in an on-line dating site, determined to get back in the game and find a serious contender.  Not to be fooled again, she’s doing it armed with a thirty-four item check-list.  Not surprisingly, she’s having a lot of first dates, but no second dates.

Having just kicked another first date to the curb, Sidney is unaware the she’s being watched.  Special Agent Vaughn Roberts observes the poor guy slinking away with his tail between his legs and seizes the opening.  He lays some of his best material down and does his best to get Sidney to agree to a date with him.  Sidney shoots him down in minutes flat.

It Happened One Wedding opens with Vaughn getting this verbal dress-down from Sidney,

You’re thirty-four or thirty-five, gainfully employed, never been married.  You think maybe you’ll settle down one day, perhaps when you’re forty, but for now you work hard at your job, so you want to play hard too.  You tend to skew more toward dating women in the mid-twenties… women in their thirties frustrate you with the way they all want to talk about marriage and kids by the third date.  You’ll go out with a girl a few times, you’ll have a lot of fun together, and then when she starts pushing for something more serious, you’ll move on to someone else, wondering why it is that women can’t be content to just date without needing a commitment…”

Thirty minutes after this encounter, they discover that they are about to become in-laws as Vaughn’s brother Simon and Sidney’s sister Isabelle announce their engagement.  Vaughn and Sidney are about to be much thrown together as Best Man and Maid of Honor.  Unlike previous books in the FBI/U.S. Attorney Series, this book does not focus on a legal case, but rather picks up on the FBI field work.

Sidney provides no shortage of snarky dialogue.  It seems to flow out of her pain.  Combined with her obvious intelligence and wit, it can be a twisting knife.  Vaughn takes it in stride, challenged rather than put off.  Well matched, he can dish it out just as well, but with more humor that softens his character a little bit,

“No pocket square for you?”

“Not even if I was standing buck naked in the middle of Wrigley Field on a sold-out game day and someone threw me one from the crowd to cover my junk.”

As much as I like her characters, I didn’t like this book as much as the last one I read about Vaughn’s friend Cade Morgan, Love Irresistibly.  (Cade does make several appearances in this story in his capacity as a U.S. Attorney and as one of Vaughn’s close friends.)  All the books in this series to-date have been about attorneys, so I really enjoyed following the undercover case Special Agent Roberts was working on in the background to the love story.  This would have been a stronger read for me if James had found a way to intersect the storylines near the climax, generating physical drama and tension, rather than simply providing character motivation.  I still liked the story a lot and look forward to the next one in the series.

My Rating:  B+ Liked It A Lot

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About the Book:

After a humiliating end to her engagement, investment banker Sidney Sinclair is done with commitment-phobic men. But when her sister winds up engaged after a whirlwind courtship, she’s thrown in to close contact with exactly the kind of sexy playboy she wants to avoid—the gorgeous best man. She’s stuck with him, for better or worse, until her sister walks down the aisle, but that doesn’t mean she has to give in to his smooth advances, no matter how tempting they are…

Special Agent Vaughn Roberts always gets his man on the job and his woman in bed. So Sidney’s refusal to fall for his charms only makes him more determined to win over the cool and confident redhead. Only what starts out as a battle of wills ends up as a serious play for her heart. Because the one woman who refuses to be caught may be the only one Vaughn can’t live without…

Release Date: May 6, 2014
Publisher: Jove
Series:
FBI/U.S. Attorney Series #5
ISBN: #978-0425251270
Genre:
Contemporary Romance
Format(s):
Paperback (304 pgs), e-book, audio
Book Source: Publisher

Purchase Info:
It Happened One Wedding (FBI/US Attorneys #5)

Reviews in the Series:
Love Irresistibly by Julie James (FBI/U.S. Attorney Series #4)

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