Suddenly One Summer, the latest entry in Julie James’ FBI/US Attorney series, is another frothy and fun contemporary romance set amongst a bunch of smart and attractive Chicagoans. If that’s your thing, read on…
Victoria Slade is a divorce attorney with commitment issues and a panic disorder. When she moves next door to Ford Dixon (whom we met in Love Irresistibly as Brooke’s completely platonic best friend), she’s instantly both attracted and annoyed by him. Not interested in being involved with her neighbor, she’s determined to keep him at arm’s length. Then she becomes involved in his sister’s case, and they are thrown together. As one might expect, sparks fly.
There were quite a few elements of this book I liked. The treatment of Victoria’s panic attacks and treatment was done reasonably well and didn’t set off my “bad portrayals of mental illness in fiction” sensors, which was a pleasant surprise. As always, James does a wonderful job bringing Chicago to life, and Chicago in the summer proves a great backdrop for Victoria and Ford’s summer fling. The subplot with Ford’s sister had a surprisingly poignant conclusion that got me a little bit in the feels.
All that said, this entry just doesn’t have the same sparkle as some of the earlier books. I don’t know if it’s because she’s drifting farther away from the FBI/US Attorney part of the formula or if James is just off her game or if it’s reader error, but this book just left me a little flat.
Still, I’d recommend to anyone who is a fan of James or the series. For those new to James, I’d recommend starting with one of the earlier books.