Friday, May 10, 2013

Review of Something About You by Julie James

Something About You (FBI, #1)I've admitted time and again that I'm not the biggest fan of romantic suspense. My issue is that I've never been one to get deeply immersed in murder mysteries, and often a mystery is the basis of the suspense portion of romantic suspense. My decision to give this series a try despite my usual preferences was based on the fact that it kept appearing on DABWAHA year after year, making it pretty far in the running, and being praised by readers left and right.

Our heroine, Cameron, is an Assistant U.S. Attorney who, in an unfortunate coincidence, overhears the murder of a prostitute. The murder may be tied to a U.S. senator, and is certainly tied to a scandal. More importantly, the FBI agent assigned to the case is Jack Pallas, a man with whom Cameron has a bit of a history. Jack holds Cameron responsible for nearly destroying his career years ago, and having to work with her and protect her throughout this case puts him in a foul mood. Nevertheless, there is a constant burning attraction between them, and neither of them particularly wants to deny that attraction.

Right off the bat some things frustrated me about the heroine and her relationship with Jack. We are supposed to automatically believe several things about her--she's smart, she's professional, she's morally conscious, and she's not a coward. Yet, the reason that Jack is angry with her is that he believes she chose to drop the ball in a case against an organized crime syndicate, which he had spent years building undercover. In reality, it was her boss that made the call to drop the case, and she did nothing about it because she didn't want to rock the boat at work. While that's understandable on some level, it does not endear me to her. It makes her seem weak, cowardly, and subservient, that she would let such a huge case just drop and take the heat for it just because she doesn't want to lose her job. Any crime that was committed by those bad guys after that point, anyone who died or got hurt? That's kind of on her head. And let's not forget that she ends up in a better position, with all sorts of promotions and success, because she didn't "rock the boat". Perhaps that was not the outcome she intended, but it works out that way, so the whole thing was a bit self serving.

Leaving that aside, I suppose she's an okay heroine. Jack is a hot hero, very tough and very determined. The sexual tension is sizzling, and I could not deny that they fit well together in that respect. The dialogue between all of the characters is snappy and fun. When it comes to actually fighting the bad guy, neither of them is totally brainless, which made up to some extent for my earlier issue.

Plot wise, the whole thing is a bit predictable. I can't say that I was ever fully drawn into it. It's not a mystery at all, because the reader knows early on who the killer is and what his motivations are. In this case that may have been a bad call, since it diffused a lot of the tension for me before the story even really got going.

Overall, I think if you're a fan of romantic suspense this might appeal to you more than it did to me. It had it's virtues, but overall it's not going on my favorite books list. I may or may not carry on with the rest of the series. 3 stars.

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