Sunday, May 18, 2014

Review: It Happened One Wedding by Julie James

This book has the perfect beginning. I loved it! Sidney Sinclair is in the middle of a date gone bad when Vaughn Roberts, FBI agent and first class player, hits on her. First she profiles him down to a "t" and then gives him the heave-ho in two seconds flat. Sidney is looking for Mr. Right, she's not up to dealing with players no matter how gorgeous, particularly after she was burned badly by one just like him! Sidney leaves happy because she got rid of one more player and Vaughn upset because she made him and recognized all his moves. The surprise comes when five minutes later they meet again at a restaurant where Vaughn's brother Simon and Sidney's sister Isabelle announce they are getting married and want their siblings to be best man and maid of honor.

The wedding has to take place in three-months time, and Sidney and Vaughn will be seeing a lot of each while they help their siblings prepare. Oh boy! The relationship begins on hostile terms, but James uses that hostility to stoke passion, and contact to develop a strange kind of friendship that leads these two oblivious people to fall for each other.

Early on Sidney decides that Vaughn will do as Mr. Right Now but throughout most of the story continues to go on dates looking for Mr. Right, and that's when things get hot and confused. Vaughn talks himself into believing that he is fine with the arrangement since he remorselessly enjoys the single life, and Sidney is convinced that, great sex notwithstanding, Vaughn is not the right man for her -- but what about the intimacy, understanding, and friendship that develops as a result of all the time shared and hot sex?

For most of the novel there's this snappy, witty dialog and humor that keeps the story moving forward -- fabulous texting bits and phone calls between Vaughn and Sidney, personal interactions, hot sex, and conversations between them and secondary characters. The pacing is only interrupted during those times when Sidney is at her job or Vaughn is at his. But these scenes are few and far in between, as romance trumps outside focus in this fifth installment of Julie James' FBI/U.S. Attorney series. This focus is most apparent in the contribution made by secondary characters which James utilizes, along with their story lines, to deepen characterization and relationship building for our couple. Simon and Isabella, parents and friends, are there to push and help our protagonists process feelings, but do not distract from the relationship.

It Happened One Wedding by Julie James could have done with a few extra scenes at the end to cement the love and happy ever after because let me tell you this is one oblivious pair. Having said that, I thoroughly enjoyed reading this contemporary romance -- it is fun and sexy -- and ended up loving Sidney and Vaughn as well as the secondary characters. Highly recommended.

Category: Contemporary Romance
Series: FBI/U.S. Attorney
Publisher/Release Date: Jove/May 6, 2014
Grade: A-

Visit Julie James here.

Something About You, #1
A Lot Like Love, #2
About That Night, #3
Love Irresistibly,#4 (read, not reviewed)
It Happened One Wedding, #5


  1. Oh, this one sounds pretty awesome, I'm going to give it a try, thought I need to read the previous one first.

    1. Hi Alex.

      I really liked this one. And no, you don't need to read the previous book at all. This installment is pretty much disconnected from the ongoing FBI/US Attorney series. Of course there are a couple of characters that make an appearance to give this book continuity, but the romance takes place outside of that "circle." I hope you enjoy it.

  2. Glad you enjoyed it, Hils :) Everyone's been raving about this one and while I agree that it was well-written... for me, it was missing something. Solid read, but nothing out of the ordinary :(

    1. Aww, sorry it wasn't a great read for you, Nath! It was different for me. This book has a lot of what I enjoy about Julie James's romances, and very little of what I don't. I still had a few "wishes" at the end of the book, but nothing major: a longer ending with a more established HEA (that's a given). I believe a few extra scenes with Sidney and Vaughn showing "the love" would have gone a long way. :)

  3. I agree on the longer ending. I thought Vaughn's proposal kind of came out of nowhere.

    1. That was definitely a minus for me in this novel, and it has been a minus for me in other James novels too. :)


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