Series: FBI/US Attorney #5
Published by Jove on May 6th 2014
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
Barnes & Noble
SHE KNOWS BETTER THAN TO SAY “I DO”After a humiliating end to her engagement, investment banker Sidney Sinclair is done with commitment-phobic men. But when her sister winds up engaged after a whirlwind courtship, she’s thrown in to close contact with exactly the kind of sexy playboy she wants to avoid—the gorgeous best man. She’s stuck with him, for better or worse, until her sister walks down the aisle, but that doesn’t mean she has to give in to his smooth advances, no matter how tempting they are…BUT HE MAKES IT HARD TO SAY “I DON’T”Special Agent Vaughn Roberts always gets his man on the job and his woman in bed. So Sidney’s refusal to fall for his charms only makes him more determined to win over the cool and confident redhead. Only what starts out as a battle of wills ends up as a serious play for her heart. Because the one woman who refuses to be caught may be the only one Vaughn can’t live without…
Sidney Sinclair has a plan. She’s single again when she didn’t expect to be after finding out her fiance was cheating on her, and this is not how her life was supposed to work out. After a string of bad first dates, she comes up with a list of red flags to look for in a man. Thirty-four of them to be precise. Thirty-four things she considers to be deal-breakers, compiled after spending a weekend doing research in articles. She doesn’t specify where these articles were, but based on some of the items she came up with, I’d say magazines like Cosmo. Some of the items are silly, some are just common sense, some seem contradictory, some seem redundant. For example – if he moves too fast, he’ll leave you fast, but if he moves too slow, he’s not sure about you or he’s still hung up on an ex. It’s a red flag if he talks poorly about his ex, it’s a red flag if he doesn’t talk about her at all. Works too much, isn’t settled at work, lives at home, doesn’t talk to his parents, all his friends are players… the list goes on. Obviously, she’s not having a lot of luck finding a man who meets all thirty-four items on her checklist.
FBI Special Agent Vaughn Roberts does actually meet a lot of the items. But he doesn’t meet one big one – he’s very open about wanting nothing to do with a long-term relationship. Vaughn is a player. He’s very content to play the field and has his own set of rules about the women he sees. Granted, he has a lot fewer than thirty-four rules. No seeing or sleeping with the same woman more than once a week, no more than two or three times overall. No women in their thirties. “You’re jaded. And ornery.” Rules along those lines, designed to keep the status quo. He likes his life the way it is.
When he sees Sidney on a clearly terrible date, he’s immediately attracted to her. He swoops in after the rejected suitor leaves, assuming she’ll be easy pickings. She’s not, so after she thoroughly shoots him down, unflatteringly nailing his personality in the process, he cuts his losses and leaves, both of them knowing they’ll never see each other again.
For men as attractive as you, this city is one big candy store filled with so many shiny treats, you couldn’t possibly choose just one. So instead, you run around with your obviously healthy ego, sampling as many of the goods as you can get your hands on-simply because you can.
But this is a romance novel, so they’re obviously wrong about that. Turns out they were both on their way to dinner with their respective siblings. Who are getting married. Sidney and Vaughn will be maid of honor and best man, so they’ll clearly be seeing a lot of each other. Hijinks will ensue.
Sidney and Vaughn had a lot of heat from the beginning. Their verbal sparring was so much fun to read. Julie James does this so well; it’s always one of my favorite parts of her novels. They were so wrong for each other and so determined to stick with their plans and avoid each other as much as possible. But, since their siblings are getting married quickly, they’re thrown together quite a bit. Turns out Isabelle, Sidney’s sister, and the bride-to-be, is pregnant, and she and Vaughn’s brother, Simon, want the wedding to happen before she’s showing. So it has to be soon. I wasn’t exactly clear on why Isabelle was ok telling Sidney about the baby, but they all felt they should keep it from Vaughn, but he’s not stupid, and he figures it out pretty quickly.
There was less drama in this than I was expecting. I thought there would probably be more danger involved with Vaughn’s undercover operations, or maybe Vaughn would still be dating around, causing all sorts of romance novel shenanigans. But he didn’t. Sidney was still dating, but there wasn’t really any drama with it; she was completely open about it. In fact, several times she texted Vaughn from her dates asking his advice about what was happening on the date. These were some of my favorite parts of the book. But once Sidney and Vaughn realized they wanted to be together, they were. There wasn’t a lot of back and forth and breakup/make up drama.
However. I do have to say that I loved Sidney and Vaughn as friends with benefits. They were fun and believable and hot together. But I didn’t really buy them falling in love at the end. I thought they would be better off as just what they were; two people who spend a certain amount of time together and then move on. But Julie James can do no wrong, so I will happily pick up Suddenly One Summer ASAP.