I read it in one sitting. Upon finishing it I googled the sh*t outta Julie James, read the archives of her blog, and ordered the only other book she’s written (Just the Sexiest Man Alive). All these signs point to —> I really reeeally liked this book. I wanted to immediately read any other words Ms. James had written.
And not just because Ms. James is from Chi-town-what-what and set her book there (although I am always partial to peeps and books from my hometown). But because of Payton, the story’s heroine whom I have a huge girl-crush on, and the laugh out loud moments throughout the whoooole book!
Katiebabs was kind enough to give me her signed copy of Practice Makes Perfect at RWA and I read it immediately, it had been on my wish list ever since I’d seen some great reviews from both her and the Booksmugglers earlier in the year.
I don’t read a lot of contemporaries so I was shocked at how much I adored this book, they are usually just not my cup of tea.
WHEN IT COMES TO THE LAWS OF ATTRACTION . . .
Payton Kendall and J.D. Jameson are lawyers who know the meaning of objection. A feminist to the bone, Payton has fought hard to succeed in a profession dominated by men. Born wealthy, privileged, and cocky, J.D. has fought hard to ignore her. Face to face, they’re perfectly civil. They have to be. For eight years they’ve kept a safe distance and tolerated each other as co-workers for one reason only: to make partner at the firm.
. . . THERE ARE NO RULES.
But all bets are off when they’re asked to join forces on a major case. At first apprehensive, they begin to appreciate each other’s dedication to the law—and the sparks between them quickly turn into attraction. But the increasingly hot connection doesn’t last long when they discover that only one of them will be named partner. Now it’s an all out war. And the battle between the sexes is bound to make these lawyers hot under the collar . . .
As I mentioned I have a crush on Payton. I don’t think I have a “type” of heroine that I typically gravitate towards, I like variety in my romantic leading ladies and Payton was a fresh character for me. Her lawerly smarts, confidence and taking good care of her looks, embracing and discarding some of her mother’s hippie liberal ways, and her highly-charged sharp rejoinders when sparring with J.D. all combined into someone so unique to me.
And unique to J.D. too. She was so special he just HAD to have her! Don’t get me wrong, J.D. was a great hero, but this time around I had the proverbial hots for the heroine.
Even in the heat of The Moment when Payton and J.D.’s sexual frustration is about to culminate in consummation, she jokes about checking his condom for a “polo pony logo” in homage to his ultra-conservative-country-club-name-brand ways.
Just like all the other reviews I’ll say that the snappy dialogue was super impressive and hilarious. I got really into it during all the bantering scenes, my eyes flew across the pages, slight smile on my face, waiting for that one ZINGER. When a point really hit home and was hurtful I also REALLY felt that, I got a bit of a physical heartache on Payton’s behalf when J.D. took one of their bantering matches too far and told her she was using low-cut shirts to get ahead with male clients and team members.
And the dialogue wasn’t the only part that was well written, take this quote for example, from J.D.’s thoughts:
Frankly he was fed up with all of the things that constantly came between them, like work and Chase Bellamy and client dinners. And clothes.
Simply put, I thought PMP was clever all around and simply made me smile. Often. What more could you want in a romantic comedy type book?
I just wish PMP had been longer! The paperback is 291 pages. The romance novels I usually read clock in more around 400 and I think it was a combination of my enjoyment of the book and my reading habits that made me wish it were longer. Plus some of the conflicts like J.D. trying to win his father’s approval could have been fleshed out more. And while the ending was definitely a happily ever after I wouldn’t have minded seeing some of those “after” scenes since the last scene ended on such a dramatic note. I also wouldn’t have minded finding out J.D.’s real name (for a while I was stupidly confused and thought his first and last names were both Jameson) or maybe a secondary romance plot following J.D.’s friend Tyler finding a HEA for himself. Someone he could share a blanket and a pot of Earl Grey with while reading P&P…
The love-making scenes were at a “gentle simmer” level and very much alluded to or totally off stage, so I would recommend this book for chick-lit lovers and romance novel lovers looking for a great contemporary.
*yes i spelled willpower right today. thank you.