Thursday, December 11, 2008


A Perfect 10
Berkley Sensation
ISBN-13: 978-0-425-22420-5
October 2008
Contemporary Romance

Los Angeles, California – Present Day

Taylor Donovan is at the peak of her career and getting bigger all the time. As a lawyer specializing in employment law, she has been sent to Los Angeles by her law firm in Chicago and assigned to defend a 30 million dollar lawsuit against her firm's client by the Federal Government and the EEOC. Taylor loves her job; she is dedicated to it, and all her free moments are consumed with being the best she can be, and her rise in the firm is proof of her success. Right at the beginning of the case, her boss, Sam Blakely, head of the California litigation department, calls her into the office. Oh oh, that usually means helping someone's relative with a legal matter or some such busy work. Sam wants Taylor to coach an actor in portraying a lawyer for a movie, and not just any actor, no sirree! Just The Sexiest Man Alive in People magazine, Jason Andrews. Despite all protestations, Taylor makes two appointments with Jason's assistant, but he never shows. Then one morning, she sees on television that he was in Las Vegas. Well, that doesn't go over very well with Taylor; she's a busy lawyer, not Jason's private pet. Then, while in a courtroom arguing a motion for the case before a judge, who walks in but the missing Jason Andrews, and unfortunately he more than lives up to his reputation. He's a beautiful man, and way too dangerous for Taylor, especially if she even gives him an iota of an idea that he appeals to her.

When Jason meets Taylor and she actually doesn't stutter in awe at him he's surprised; after all, he's The Sexiest Man Alive, as proven by every woman he's dated for many years. As we all assume about movie stars, he is rich, totally self-absorbed, and surrounded by paparazzi no matter where he is or what he does. This alone is something that he must deal with every day of his life. But Jason knows he's good looking, a great actor, and...well, a great lover if all the stories are true, and believe me, he knows they are. Jason is a serious actor, and even though he has won numerous awards, it's his astounding good looks and romantic escapades that hold everyone's interest. But Taylor treats him totally different, and he just can't believe it when she alternately ignores him and tries to tell him what to do. Doesn't she know who he is? He's The---yeah we know, Jason. To recount Taylor and Jason's relationship will take all the fun out of it; nevertheless, it's totally believable and heart warming and emotional. But, will Taylor stay and try to build a relationship with Jason, or will she return to Chicago after her case is finished?

Jason finds any reason to spend time with Taylor after the original consultation work, and Taylor soon sees that being with a movie star will involve interruptions and publicity that cannot be avoided. It takes Jason time and several attempts at gaining Taylor's attention -- all which blow up in his face -- he's never had to work so hard for any woman, just ask his friend Jeremy. His friend since college, Jeremy is the one person Jason can be himself with and who doesn't believe all the hype about him. Scott Casey is an Australian actor determined to oust Jason from his perch as The Sexiest Man Alive and willing to sweet talk Taylor and use her to his advantage. If you've ever wondered what it is like having the Hollywood spotlight on you, this is the book to read. Each word and situation is lovingly crafted and is, happy to say, perfection.

Julie James brings Taylor and Jason to life before our eyes, and we don't just like them, we love them, despite their flaws. Told from their points of view along with Scott Casey's, a fellow actor, each character is carefully crafted and brought to life. Taylor is expertly depicted as a driven lawyer, an expert at what she does, and she's damn proud of it. Jason acts the way we all think a typical movie star would; he's self involved and spoiled, but there is only his friend Jeremy who knows the deepest part of him. But Taylor reaches inside Jason, finds what makes him tick, and brings him to us as a real person, not a caricature of a movie star.

I loved every person in JUST THE SEXIEST MAN ALIVE and that's what makes it such a special read. There's Jeremy, Jason's friend; and Naomi Cross, Jason's next co-star. Marty is Jason's manager extraordinaire; and Scott Casey, a fellow actor. Taylor's two friends, Valerie and Kate, know her history and are completely in awe of the people Taylor is now acquainted with.

JUST THE SEXIEST MAN ALIVE is a spectacular beginning of what I hope is a stellar career of debut author, Julie James. While there is intense passion and chemistry between two people, there was actually no descriptive sex, can you believe it? And yet my heart beat faster and I felt as though I were interrupting the sexiest couple I ever read about. I'm jumping up and down here asking you not to miss this awesome novel that rightly deserves my Perfect 10 award. I am anxiously awaiting her next novel. Hurry, hurry Julie!

Carolyn Crisher


Laurie G said...

Definitely sounds like a 10 to me!
Great timing with the recent announcement of Hugh Jackman as People's Sexiest Man of the Year.

Caffey said...

Oh neat! I've seen this around online and cool! Definitely adding it to the wishlist!