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B REVIEWS B+ Review Contemporary Romance

Review: Suddenly One Summer by Julie James

Publisher: Berkley
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Where did you get the book: Publisher
Release date: Out now

From the New York Times bestselling author of It Happened One Wedding comes a novel about a man and a woman whose summer is about to get very, very steamy…

woman wearing a turquoise dress walking along the beach while holding a pair of shoesDivorce 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…

*blurb taken from Goodreads*

Each year I look forward to the latest Julie James’ release. She never fails to deliver a satisfying sexy romance and Suddenly One Summer is another addition to that ever-increasing pile. Suddenly One Summer is a slow-burn romance and it takes its time for the romance to build between Ford and Victoria. I love an enemies-to-lovers trope, and while Ford and Victoria weren’t enemies, they did get on each others nerves which added to the banter, wit and sarcasm they aimed at each other.

Victoria had a great personality with some great inner POV dialogue with witty remarks. From a terrible divorce between her parents when she was a child (which set off a chain of events leading to a tragic decision made by her mother), and a crappy father who abandoned her, Victoria had a very pessimistic view on marriage. Her job as a divorce lawyer also fed into that narrative. I was worried that Victoria would hold negative cliched views on happy ever afters and would be so negative and down on relationships but that was never the case. Well, it was at times. Victoria was witty, sharp, intelligent but also really nice and I ended up adoring her attitude, especially when she took herself on to fight her panic attacks with the help of a psychiatrist.

Ford is just as sarcastic as Victoria and I adored him like I did her. He’s an investigative reporter and he had his own past history which had left him allergic to commitment. His father was an alcoholic and it’s during the aftermath of his funeral that Ford first met Victoria in a bar. They both shared a moment but it didn’t work out and they became strangers in passing with only exchanging a few glances with one another. Ford’s personality was very similar to Victoria and he gave as good back when they had their neighbour mini-wars which was hilarious.

The conflict is very minimum in Suddenly One Summer and as I mentioned above the romance was very slow-burn which I don’t mind. Victoria and Ford became reluctant partners in crime when they teamed together to find out the baby daddy of Ford’s sister. They became friends and the sexual tensions wound up tighter and tighter until Ford made his first move and boy was it hot! There’s something about James writing that grabs you and doesn’t let go. She has amazing detail in creating characters, especially that of their careers. James has a knack and talent for writing heroines and heroes with high-powered careers that always feel authentic. Ford and Victoria do have small scenes doing their jobs and I loved it when Victoria became Ford’s stake-out partner. Their relationship slowly builds up to where you can see Ford getting in deep.

And this is where I got a little frustrated with Victoria when she drop-kicked Ford after he saw her in one of the worst scenarios when she had a panic attack. She literally dumped him and while they weren’t boyfriend and girlfriend, it was incredibly harsh and I side-eyed her pretty hard. But James made it work when she made Victoria miserable until she finally realised what she and Ford had and she was screwing her own happiness up. So the big black moment was frustrating for me, even though I understand the mechanics of why it had to happen. I did enjoy the side-story of the reveal of Nicole’s one-night stand and father of her baby girl, though I was kinda hoping it had played out differently but that’s the greedy romantic in me.

Suddenly One Summer was another great installment in this series and now the year-long-wait for the next book beings!

B+

By Lou

One thing that Lou loves most is her HEA in romances.

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