Suddenly One Summer
By Julie James
Author’s Website: http://www.juliejames.com
Brought to you by OBS staff member Andra
Divorce lawyer Victoria Slade has seen enough unhappy endings to swear off marriage forever. That doesn’t mean she’s opposed to casual dating—just not with her cocky new neighbor, who is as gorgeous and tempting as he is off-limits. But once she agrees to take on his sister’s case, she’s as determined to win as ever—even if that means teaming up with Ford…
Investigative journalist Ford Dixon is bent on finding the man who got his sister pregnant and left her high and dry. He’s willing to partner with Victoria, despite the fact that the beautiful brunette gets under his skin like no other woman. He might not be looking to settle down, but there’s no denying the scorching attraction between them. Still, the more time he spends with Victoria, the more he realizes that the one woman as skeptical about love as he is might be the only woman he could really fall for.
This is my first introduction to the writing of Julie James. I am pleased to say that her writing style is a delight to read, comprehensive and it flows easily. At no time at all I was engulfed in the lives of Victoria and Ford…and what an enjoyable ride it was 🙂
Victoria is a divorce lawyer who, as a result of a break in at her townhouse, is moving. Until her new home in the Trump Tower is available, she is renting a condo for the summer. The self-talk with respect to the burglary was priceless and so spot on:
”Yes, she was pissed. She’d been chased out of her own place by the Burglar Dickheads, essentially, and that didn’t sit well with her. On top of that, she’d just bought the townhome ten months ago, so she probably would have to sell at a loss. But she needed to be practical here-she was a busy woman, the head of her firm, and she needed to be at the top of her game when it came to work. And oh my God, she couldn’t wait to finally get some darn sleep”.
As a result of the break in, a panic disorder has emerged and Victoria is engaged in therapy with the top cognitive-behavioral psychologist in the city – Dr. Aaron Metzel. From early on, we can see that Victoria likes to always be in control, so the panic attacks (and fainting spells) she has been having are just not acceptable. Victoria has also sworn off marriage, as she sees the end of marriage day in and day out. When she moves into her temporary home, she discovers her new neighbor is a hunk and a player (from what she can tell).
Ford Dixon is a gorgeous specimen of the male species and like Victoria does not believe in happily ever after. He is a respected and well like journalist with the Chicago Tribune. And he owns the condo next to Victoria’s rental. One evening Ford and his buddies go out partying and Ford sees this gorgeous woman in red but before he gets the chance to introduce himself, she is gone, but not from Ford’s thoughts. Ford is also a loving brother to Nicole and her four month old baby Zoe.
One day Nicole stops by Ford’s home to get his help in tracking down her baby daddy (a one night stand with one “Peter Sutter”), Nicole arrives at Ford’s condo with no warning given to Ford…and thus no Ford in sight. As time passes, Nicole is crying (and so is Zoe) outside of Ford’s door, when Victoria shows up on the floor, going to her condo. Victoria is moved by Nicole’s story and agrees to take on Nicole’s case to get child support pro bono. What Victoria does not know is that Nicole is her new neighbor’s sister….
Ford introduces himself to Victoria one evening after Nicole informed Ford that Victoria has agreed to represent her in the child support case:
“My sister said you offered to take on her case.” “That’s true.” And if he’d come here tonight to tell her he had a problem with that, unfortunately, he’d just have to get over it. She may have stumbled unintentionally into being Nicole’s lawyer, but now that she’d made a commitment, she was all in. “She also said you’d mentioned cutting her a break on your rate.” “Also true.” He studied her. “Why would you do that? You don’t even know my sister.” Victoria leaned her hip against the back of the couch. “She needs help. I can help her. It’s not all that complicated.”…….He stopped in front of her, shifting uncomfortable. “So, if someone with your…seemingly acceptable legal skill” – he looked slightly pained by the acknowledgement – “has decided to help my sister, I suppose I shouldn’t get in the way of that. Even if it does mean we have to work together.”
Victoria’s reaction is priceless. She certainly did not see them having to work together as part of the package. But one who never breaks a promise, they begin to work together tracking down Mr. Sutter.
I loved how both of them are a bit broken, but willing to work on themselves to be the best that they can each be individually. I also enjoyed (very chuckle worthy actually) when they each misinterpreted the others actions – which happened more often than you would think. For a short while, they each seem to forget that communication is key…to solving mysteries as well as developing a relationship.
We are lead through the locating of Peter Sutter, and that particular scenario could have been played out MANY different ways. You will just have to read the book to find out which of the myriad of ways it did play out 🙂
The personal relationship aspect of Victoria and Ford’s life next door to each other went through some very interesting (and HOT) aspects. I do love a good love/lust story.
Throughout this story I was engaged and kept on my toes. The characters had depth as well as a light and playful side. I was glad the story had more than just lust, sex and their relationship. Having characters with real life challenges (panic disorder, commitment issues, family members with children out of wedlock, etc.) made the story more relatable. For all the reasons mentioned earlier…. as well as Ms. James writing style…. has me wanting to read more titles by this author 🙂
*OBS would like to thank the publisher for supplying a free copy of this title in exchange for an honest review*