Friday, April 24, 2009

Recent Read

Otherwise known as 1 down, 4 to go.

Practice Makes Perfect by Julie James

Why this one: I really enjoyed her debut book and this one also got great reviews so….

Blurb: When it comes to the laws of attraction, there are no rules The battle between the sexes is about to make these two lawyers hot under the collar. Opposites collide when two lawyers try to make partner at the same firm. Payton Kendall is a feminist to the bone. Cocky J.D. Jameson was born privileged. But when they are asked to join forces on a major case, they gain a new found awareness of each otheras personal assets. The partnership spot will be offered to only one of them, though. The competition heats up. Sparks fly. Let the games begin.

Steam Level: OK – this one isn’t going to burn your tongue – but that’s a good thing. Who wants a burned tongue all the time?

My Thoughts: First off – I’m still upset that this one isn’t on the shelves here. Because those spur of the moment buyers are missing out. I ordered this one online a while ago and I just checked and this one still isn’t available – in fact it doesn’t seem to be in any of the Chapters or from now on, more aptly named Most Hated Chain Store (MHCS) anywhere across the country!! Arrrgghhh I’d love to have the job of ordering romance books for MHCS.

I wasn’t very far into this book when I realized I was a hypocrite or a sexist or whatever term is more apt. While I loved Payton, I thought J.D. was a jerk. And if this had been reversed – J.D. a nice guy and Payton a character I didn’t like, I would have wanted to throw the book against the wall and probably not continued reading. I mean – how fair is that??? That’s not right is it? Why am I like this?

But because it was the way it was, I kept reading. And I’m happy to say that J.D. gets much better as we get to know him and I really enjoyed this book. Payton Kendal and J.D. Jameson have both been working hard at the same law firm, aiming for partner, for eight years and can barely tolerate each other. Payton resents J.D. because he has an edge due to the ‘good old boys’ network and J.D. thinks Payton has an unfair advantage due to initiatives to eliminate the ‘glass ceiling’ that is still so evident in society. When they have to work together to try and lure a new client, they slowly start to get to know other sides of each other. But a monkey wrench is thrown in when it’s announced that only one of them can make partner and each is determined that they will be the one.

I really enjoyed this book. Payton was tough when she had to be – which was most of the time – but in a very appealing way. Although it took her a while, she was willing to rethink her bias towards J.D. and after the reader gets to know him better, he really was adorable in a stuffed shirt kind of way. There were many LOL moments and I always enjoy that in a book. When they get to talking about how their animosity began, I really loved why J.D. was hurt – such a dufus guy kind of thinking.

I quite happily recommend this one and if you are living in Canada and order online, make sure to add this one to your list. If you don’t, then pick up those signs and picket MHCS until we start getting the same chances to buy good books as our neighbour to the south!

Grade: 4.5 out of 5

For those who are interested, she has a great television interview posted on her blog. She makes a great spokesperson for the genre.

And in other news - obviously I wasn't able to stay away long. The situation at work continues to be difficult and I've been advised by the union to 'sit on it' for a few days. Once it's been resolved I will be less cryptic.


Phyl said...

I loved every minute of this book. With just 2 books under her belt, Julie James has really impressed me with her talent. I love the smart, quick dialogue between her characters. I can't wait to read more by her.

Glad you felt up to blogging, too.

azteclady said...


Here's sending you good energy.

[can't comment on the book as I haven't read it yet]

AnimeJune said...

Hope the situation at you work gets better! (hugs)

This sounds like a great book, though - I loved her first book, and totally didn't notice there wasn't a fully-described sex scene in it because the story just felt so complete already.

I feel for you on the weird sexism of reading romances. We're able to tolerate dick heroes who redeem themselves so much more than bitch heroines who redeem themselves! I hated Jo Beverly's Hazard because the heroine manipulates people and how often do heroes do that? Weird.

nath said...

I thought this was a good book :) But LOL, I was actually rooting for J.D. ^_^;

Lea said...


I hope things resolve swiftly at work.

I'm reading Practice Makes Perfect now and loving it.

I read JTSMA last weekend and spewed coffee laughing so hard - great reads.

I too will be reviewing Julie James' books (for what it's worth).

Best Regards

Stacy~ said...

Kristie, I'll be thinking of you and hoping that everything turns out okay for you. Just remember we're hear if you need to vent.

I loved this book, and I'm so thrilled you enjoyed it. It just put a smile on my face. I would read anything she wrote.

Julie James said...

Hi Kristie!

Thank you so much for the wonderful review! "Such a dufus guy kind of thinking"-- I love that line. So true.

I'm especially honored you posted this review in light of your difficult work situation... I hope that works out soon. In the meantime, I'm glad PMP provided you with many LOL moments.

On a wholly different note... here's what a dufus I am: this whole time I've been visiting your blog I assumed "North and South" was some sort of remake of the Civil War mini-series (wasn't that with Patrick Swayze?) What an American-centric way of thinking, right? ;-) Stacy and Shannon clarified the situation for me, and now I'm thinking I have to check this out...

Anyway, thanks again for the great review, and I hope things at work turn around for you soon.


Kate Diamond said...

I am going to have to check out this author. Thanks for the book rec!

SarahT said...

I really enjoyed this book. Julie James is a refreshing addition to the contemporary romance genre.

Kristie, I hope the union can help resolve your work situation. Sending good karma your way!

orannia said...

Thank you Stacy - not just for the review but for reviewing at such a stressful time! Am thinking of you and hoping things will be sorted out soon, and for the best!


And I like books that make me laugh, so I will try and hunt this down.

VampFanGirl said...

Hi Kristie! Great Review!

I have this book and James' debut. They sound awesome. Now to find the time to read them... :)

I totally agree, James is an excellent representive for the genre. I saw this video on Lea's blog the other week. I was not only impressed with Julie James, but with the interviewer as well. I was on edge, waiting for the inevitable poke at the genre by the reporter, but it never happened. Lea had a good thought about that. Maybe she reads romance. :)


Kristie (J) said...

Phyl: I've been very pleased with both these books too. I love finding new authors

AL: Well I hope you plan to at some point - though I know your TBR pile is pretty big too - cause this one is gooood

AnimeJune: I think you will really enjoy this one too. I think I found it funnier in parts and I always love when a book can make me laugh.

Nath: *laughing* Right from the beginning??? I thought he was a bit of a horse's ass at first with no understanding the struggles Payton had. I worked in an industry with a 'good old boy' mentality where there was no question that men and women who both did the same job were treated quite a bit differently and I thought it was SO WRONG - but then J.D. got much, much better

Lea: I'll be checking in to see what you think :) I always enjoy reading other reviews and think when I do 'Yea, I should have mentioned that part too!'

Stacy: It's wonderful how good she is right from the beginning isn't it?

Julie: Thanks for dropping by! And as the mother of two young men, I can certainly say they can be such dufii at times (I'm guessing that's the plural of dufus *g*)
And oh my are you in for a treat with North and South. I know a lot of people confuse the two series - but they couldn't be further unalike!!!

Kate: She's 2 for 2 so far. Sometimes a second book can be a wee bit of a let down - but not so in this case.

SarahT: Isn't she though? And what really impresses me is how enjoyable her books are without any or very limited sex scenes - and you don't miss them. The books are very enjoyable without them. It was getting to be the case I didn't want to read a book unless it had a few love scenes in it - but she has turned my thinking around on that score :)

Orannia: *chuckle* I'm thinking you mean me - and not Stacy. But Stacy agrees with me :) Julie James really is an author to try!!

VampFanGirl: It was SO REFRESHING to watch an interview where nary a bodice or a ripper or a heaving was mentioned at all. Instead romance novels and their current popularity were discussed intelligently and respectfully by both Ms. James and the interviewer.
And since you have both of them - you'll just have to try and carve out some time *wink* I know from experience though - that can be tough at times.

nath said...

LOL, yes, right from the beginning. The thing is, Payton didn't try to understand J.D. either. She just assumed stuff from him. So what if he is rich, he still worked his butt off.

And no offense, but some of what J.D. said about women working is true. I mean, the "old boy" mentality sucks... but the whole "What man can do, I can do as well" can be very annoying at times too.

AnimeJune said...

Wow, I finally read the book - and I had the opposite reaction to the characters! I really liked JD, and didn't like Payton! They were both strong characters, but Payton's assumptions about JD were just so wrong, wrong, wrong that it was frustrating to relate to her. Generally, though, the book was very good.