by Julie James
“The Thing About Love” is book seven in the ‘FBI/US Attorney’ series by Julie James. It’s an enemies-to-lovers story about two highly competitive people, both of whom refuse to ever yield in their individual quests to be the best. Although it’s part of a series, this is a standalone story.
Jessica and John are FBI agents with a past; six years ago, they attended and graduated the agency Academy in Quantico together. They’d gone into the Academy as a former lawyer and Army Ranger, respectively. Although the book is set in the present day, flashbacks give us extended samples of their acrimonious interactions while at the Academy. After graduation, they go their separate ways to field offices in different parts of the country. Now, they’re both coming off terrible experiences in their respective personal lives, when the last thing either of them expects happens … they are partnered together on a high-profile sting operation. They must work closely together and that also includes periods of forced proximity. Neither of them has any interest in starting a relationship right now, after each of their previous relationships ended disastrously. Plus, Jessica is trying to prove herself in a new field office and wants to maintain a pristine reputation for being a professional. And John is on his way out the door – instead of being part of a field office, he’s becoming a member of the FBI’s most elite rescue team. Like I said, not a good time to start a relationship. But over the course of their current interactions, their previous animosity evolves into something much more than either of them expects.
I thought this was an entertaining story with compelling characters. Some parts were a bit repetitive, which slowed the pace a bit. The dual POV was valuable for this story, and really added to everything nicely because it made their mistakes and misunderstandings clear. I enjoyed the dialogue, and the hate/love chemistry between them felt authentic. I appreciated the well-researched window into how some FBI operations are conducted. I liked the ending, although I admit it was startling because one of the characters acts in a way that doesn’t seem to fit with that character’s personality. I later realized that the character had an epiphany, I just wish it had been a little clearer.