Monday, May 12, 2014

It Happened One Wedding, Julie James


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, Sidney is thrown into 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…


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 recently moved back to Chicago from NYC, leaving her old job and an ex-fiance behind. With the help of a friend, she sets up an online dating profile and starts to enter the single scene again. Applying her business sense to the dating world, she's devised a plan to seek out potential candidates, be open to prospects, and be quick to move on when the candidate seemed like a bad investment.  At her first date, she sits at a coffee shop with a date that is not going well.

"Bachelor number one is a no-go. He talked to in Donkey from Shrek too much". 
Also in the coffee-shop is Vaughn Roberts, Special Agent with the FBI. He's watching her, sees this interplay and knows it's only a matter of minutes before she sends her date packing.

"She was smart, attractive, and seemingly single. He could work with this"

Vaughn is "confident, flirty, and drop-dead gorgeous. A lethal combination." He is exactly what she is not looking for...or so it seems. She shoots him down and sends him on his way, only to have to deal with him again an hour later at dinner.
See, his brother is dating her sister! Their respective siblings have arranged the dinner to a) introduce them to each other and b) announce that they're getting married and Sidney is the maid of honor and Vaughn the best man! Now they have to deal with each other until the wedding.

  Of course, Sidney is a challenge - she has no interest in Vaughn or his smooth moves, but decides they can be friends and get through the wedding unscathed. Vaughn cannot stop thinking about her. He tells his friends (appearances by Cade and Huxley here!) about her and of course, they find the encounter hilarious!

"When is the last time a woman rejected you Roberts?"
Vaughn paused, having to think that one over. 
Cade grinned, his point made. "That is why we're enjoying this". 

The snarky banter between the two is what makes the dialogue amazing. As with all of Julie James' women, she is intelligent, snarky, hilarious. She's quick-witted and confident.  He's cocky and she puts him in his place. Despite it all, there is an underlying attraction that they eventually give into, knowing that it's not anything permanent. Sidney accompanies her sister Isabelle to meet her fiance's parents. Of course, Vaughn is there too. The two of them are caught alone and give into their attraction.

 "That look between you and Vaughn...I can't decide if you two should box a few rounds or screw each other brainless in the pantry"
"My god, Trish - his mother is standing right over there"
"In that case, I'd strongly suggest locking the pantry door should you choose option B". 

And....they eventually do hook up. Taking the advice of her friend Trish, Sidney decides to have some fun with Mr. Right Now, while looking for Mr. Right. After a few "encounters" their respective siblings catch them when they come over for an early morning visit. 

She continues dating, in part, so that she won't be attending her sister's wedding alone, and actually asks for his advice as a friend while on dates. She uses her "34 point checklist" to screen men for potential or send them packing. He gives her intel on the true meaning behind her dates cues, breaking the guy-code so she won't get burned. He also teases her about her checklist and finds that it's hard to measure up to all that.

 Those around them can see - they are perfect for each other! Vaughn's brother confronts him about his feelings toward Sidney, and he tries to justify that he's the single guy who doesn't do relationships. Sidney doesn't want a guy like that.

"Maybe what you need to do is convince her that you aren't you anymore"
"And if I'm not me, then who am I suppose to be?"
"The man she deserves".

It Happened One Wedding is a fun, lighthearted romantic novel and unlike her other FBI/Attorney novels, this one doesn't have anyone getting into the line of fire so to speak. I love that there are appearances by other characters from prior novels: Cade (Love Irresistibly) and Huxley (A Lot Like Love, and Love Irresistibly) are on hand to give Vaughn a hard time, and there are brief appearances by Nick McCall and Jack Pallas!

It's an entertaining read, one to add to your summer beach reading list!

Want it? Available on Amazon / Barnes and Noble

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