Sunday, April 15, 2012

Review: About That Night by Julie James


Though Rylann Pierce tried to fight the sparks she felt for billionaire heir Kyle Rhodes the night they met, their sizzling chemistry was undeniable. But after being stood up on their first date, Rylann never expected to see him again. So when she finds herself face to face with Kyle in a courthouse nine years later, she’s stunned. More troubling to the beautiful Assistant U.S. Attorney is that she’s still wildly attracted to him.


Just released from prison, Kyle Rhodes isn’t thrilled to be the star witness in a high-profile criminal case — but when Rylann comes knocking at his door, he finds she may be the one lawyer he can’t say no to. Still as gorgeous and sharp-tongued as ever, she lays down the law: she doesn’t mix business with pleasure. But Kyle won’t give up on something he wants — and what he wants is the one woman he’s never forgotten...
The Twitter Terrorist! Yes, the fact that this is Kyle Rhodes' romance is what really made me rush to read Julie James' About That Night as soon as it released. I loved his witty character in A Lot Like Love and couldn't wait to have him all to myself during this read.

Well, the romance begins well with Kyle and Rylann Pierce meeting when they were in college years ago. It's obvious that they had chemistry and could have easily fallen in love, but key events got in the way of their planned date and their lives took different paths. By the time they meet again, Rylann is an Assistant U.S. Attorney (AUSA) and Kyle is the infamous Twitter Terrorist and an ex-con who also becomes her witness in a related case. The chemistry is still there and so is the possibility for more, but Kyle's poor choices and Rylann's position make it impossible for them to act on their feelings. Or does it?

Kyle needs to use the reset button and start over again after making a total mess out of his life because a woman pricked his pride. The last thing he expects is to become obsessed and fall in love with Rylann. It's interesting because for most of the book Kyle comes off as a boy/man who needs to grow up and is trying hard to do so  -- I mean he's way past the frat boy age and in many ways he and his friend still act like frat boys. Thankfully by the end of this book he shows growth on the maturity scale, and the level of maturity is higher than when we first meet him in A Lot Like Love.

On the other hand, on the surface Rylann seems a mature, responsible woman who plans every single step of her life and doesn't make allowances for impulsive acts or self-indulgence. She's getting over the break-up of a long-term relationship that she thought would end up in marriage. She has worked hard to be an AUSA, so her career is most important to her. And who can blame her, really? But Rylann has the hots for Kyle and eventually acts on that desire, pulling Kyle into a secret, steamy, affair. She ends up lying to everyone, including herself and Kyle, about her personal activities and real feelings.

When Rylann decides to have an affair with a man who had been her witness, she has real reasons to worry about the career that is so important to her. That I understand. I also understand that the idea is that Rylann is finally acting on impulse and this is supposed to be romantic. Yet, I never really bought the premise because first she constantly makes negative assumptions about her man of choice and ends up showing little concern for his feelings. And second, her credibility as an AUSA is immediately shot when she lies to her boss by omission at the beginning of the book about knowing Kyle in the past. In the end Rylann really ends up coming off as the one who devolves into an immature character. I never got over that.

The chemistry and sexual tension between Rylann and Kyle keeps the romance going, and as feelings grow emotions take over, particularly Kyle's. Although I still wonder what it was about Rylann, besides the physical chemistry, that pulled him in with such force. There's some banter, but the amusing, witty lines that I loved in A Lot Like Love are sorely missing from About That Night and that surprised me! I expected more on that front from Kyle's character. However, taking into consideration Rylann's mostly sober and sarcastic personality it is understandable.

Overall About That Night turned out to be an average contemporary romance read for me with a couple that has some good sizzle and burn moments. James keeps the focus firmly on the main couple with secondary characters, both those from past installments and newly introduced characters, making good contributions to the overall story, and Rylann's case investigation ending with a whimper. Although this is not a memorable read, I seem to be enjoying this series by Julie James and I look forward to her next contemporary romance.

Category Romance: Contemporary Romance
Series: FBI/US Attorney
Publisher/Release Date: Berkley/April 3, 2012, Kindle Ed.
Grade: C

Visit Julie James here.

Something About You, #1
A Lot Like Love, #2
About That Night, #3


  1. Hey Hils!

    I think it was unfortunate this one wasn't the winner everyone wanted it to be.

    I don't feel that Kyle needed to grow. His stupid mistake with Twitter aside, that's what he was doing. Trying to get into a committed relationship, etc. Also, I think that business-wise, he's been very mature.

    I agree with you about the why was Kyle so attracted to Rylann? I just didn't like that she was trying to play it cool with him, more often thinking negatively of him :(

    ah well, we'll see with the next one. At least now, it's really contemporary romance :)

    1. Hey Nath, I agree that it is unfortunate. Kyle is sweet and a great businessman, but hmm... I did think he needed growth in his personal life -- not just because of the Twitter thing. Anyway, yeah... there was something about Rylann that didn't quite mesh for me, and she just didn't seem right for Kyle. I don't know... But you are right! I'm loving that as the series has progressed it has veered more toward contemporary romance and it has less of that chick lit(ty) feel. I'll be reading the next book. :D

  2. Ohh, I'm sorry this didn't turn out to be better for you.
    I've yet to read it but I loved Jordan and Kylie in A Lot LIke Love - it was one of my favorite reads of last year.
    But I don't know, the more I hear about Rylann the less excited I'm to read this book

    I'll have to bite the bullet and read it sometime soon, I guess. :P

    Thanks for the review.

    1. Alex, me too! I also loved Jordan and Kyle on A Lot Like Love, and I really enjoyed that book last year!
      Kyle is still a character that I enjoyed in this book, even though I Rylann didn't turn out to be a favorite.
      But read it, maybe you'll like it more than I did. :D I'm looking forward to the next one on line.

  3. "There's some banter, but the amusing, witty lines that I loved in A Lot Like Love are sorely missing from About That Night"

    This makes me sad. :( And your review only confirms that it will be Kyle that makes this book for me. I'll still read it but the need isn't as strong.

    1. Leslie, yeah... sigh... It's not the same. Kyle is still cute, but it's not the same. :( I guess I expected some of that same great chemistry, and wit and stuff that Nick and Jordan had on A Lot Like Love, particularly because Kyle was just such a fun cutie pie and that wasn't there.

      But as I said to Alex, read it and you might enjoy it more than I did. There's always that! LOL!

  4. This one is still sitting on my TBR shelf. I'm sad to hear that Kyle didn't quite live up to what he was in A Lot Like Love.

    1. Hey Samantha, Kyle isn't what "I" expected, but give it a shot! Maybe he'll live up to your expectations. *g* Please know that even though he's not as witty as I expected, he's the one character who made this book enjoyable for me. :)

  5. Oh no. :(
    I'm still going to read it because I adored Kyle in A Lot Like Love... but I'm keeping my expectations neutral.

    1. Christine, definitely read it! Kyle is a cutie pie, and you should keep your expectations neutral and make up your mind. You like Julie James and so far, I think you've enjoyed these books more than I have (going by grades), so read it and enjoy! :D


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