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A Lot Like Love by Julie James

Narrated by Karen White

Nick McCall is a Chicago FBI agent specializing in undercover work. He’s been undercover for the better part of six years over various cases and has just come off a big assignment where he put a lot of dirty cops in prison. He’s planning a few vacation days to New York to visit his family and to celebrate his mother’s birthday when he is roped into assisting a more junior FBI agent with an assignment that is only going to take a few days. Huh. As if. To be honest, the reasoning behind getting Nick involved in the first place always seemed a bit thin to me, but I went along with it.

Zander Eckhart is a restaurateur who is money laundering for the mafia. The FBI wants to plant bugs in Eckhart’s office but is having trouble accessing the super secure room. They enlist the help of Jordan Rhodes, wine shop owner, daughter of a billionaire, and twin sister of the famous Kyle Rhodes – currently in jail for hacking into Twitter and shutting it down for two whole days  (horrors!). Jordan agrees to help out the FBI in return for Kyle’s early release from jail. Through a series of unexpected events, Nick and Jordan end up having to pretend to be in a relationship and, while they are so engaged, true love blooms.

I liked that Jordan is smart and accomplished. She doesn’t try to be a superhero. She doesn’t try and do the investigating. Which makes perfect sense, because she owns a wine shop. And she does that very well. I’m not a wine aficionado myself, but there was a lot of information about wine and wine tasting (some of it was very funny – many sexy double entendres I’m sure the author and narrator both had fun with!), but it was never boring or overdone.

Nick is a fun character. He’s tough and bold and deliberately not in touch with his sensitive side. He avoids relationships because he’s undercover all the time. But he’s deeply smitten by Jordan, who is not the pretty rich airhead he first assumes her to be. Poor Nick learned a lot more about wine than he ever wanted to – he draws the line at anything pink however. He will never be a rose drinker! I suppose if I wanted to dissect the book, I would be wondering what these two have in common, but I enjoyed the spark and chemistry between them so much I didn’t really care.

The narration started off a little wobbly for me. Ms. White seemed to me to be trying too hard to inject sarcasm into the text instead of performing it straight. There were extra pauses in sentences which made the text appear more snarky than I think it was intended. It took me a little while to warm to Jordan because I thought she was sarcastic all the time and a bit hard. But, happily, as the book progressed, the extra pauses waned and the voices sounded more like I expected they would and more likeable because of it.

Nick’s Brooklyn accent easily set him apart from the other male characters (we had a brief cameo from Jack Pallas and Cameron Lynde from Something About You) and the female characters were differentiated also, though their differences were more subtle. Some of Ms. White’s delivery was just perfect for the humor of the book. The bits where Jordan is scoffing at girls drooling over Kyle and telling them some of the things he used to do, such as fart in their turtle pool and call it a Jacuzzi, were really funny.

Hearing Nick come to the realization that he was in love with Jordan was a lot of fun too. And, I did hear it. Nick firmly believes he doesn’t have a softer side but it keeps creeping up on him when it comes to Jordan.

The “big misunderstanding” near the end of the book had me gritting my teeth a little. I’m not a fan of that trope at the best of times and both Nick and Jordan had been so smart up til then – a little plain speaking was all they needed.

I enjoyed the romantic comedy aspects of A Lot Like Love book more than the suspense aspects. There were a few plot holes for me but there were plenty of laugh-out-loud moments and the romance was certainly satisfying.

Kaetrin


Narration:  B

Book Content:  B

Steam Factor:  Glad I had my earbuds in (but on the tamer side)

Violence:  Minimal

Genre:  Contemporary Romance

Publisher:  Tantor Audio

 

This audiobook was provided to AudioGals for review by Tantor Audio.