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Madam Reads: Something About You by Julie James
I rarely set much store by dialogue in a novel because for me, a good book is firstly determined by the depth of its characters and the quality of the story, before anything else comes into play. However, Something About You highlighted just what dialogue can do to a story. Its a power of elevation. Once the dialogue flows you hardly notice the flaws. Not that this book had any. This is a simple story made supreme by the sheer brilliance of its dialogue. Such witty banter that had me in stitches and rereading parts just because it was so, so good.
Cameron Lynde is an Assistant US Attorney, sworn to uphold the law and get the bad guys, sorry I had to put that in there. She finds herself in a hotel room, of all the thirty thousand hotel rooms in Chicago, right next to one where the couple is engaged in an all star sexathorn, banging walls, calling on God, going and coming from all angles. With that kind of action Cameron obviously cannot get any sleep. At first she thought it funny but after the hundredth “oh my God” wall banging “wham-whaMa-wham!!” nothing about it is cute anymore, especially at 3am, so she calls on hotel front desk to handle the situation. Between waiting for the hotel security to show up and wondering when the next round of “oh my God” will resume, something goes wrong and Cameron finds herself a witness to a murder which brings with it, an invitation to the not so distant past and the return of a sworn enemy.
Special Agent Jack Pallas of the FBI is called in to investigate the murder in room 1308 to which AUSA Cameron Lynde is the only witness. Pallas has a history and an axe to grind with Lynde and he is not best pleased by her sass either. But in fairness to her, he did call her a bitch on national TV so there’s that. He has just retuned from exile to Nebraska where he was sent as punishment for being so uncouth about Ms Lynde so he’d better behave himself where she is concerned.
Three years ago, Agent Pallas was undercover in an operation to bring down Roberto Martino a known criminal who’d been on the FBI hit list for a while. It was an operation that cost him two years of his life and the physical torture when he was made, unspeakable torture. It was Cameron Lynde’s place to make sure the case was tried in a court of law and Martino and his cohorts were brought to justice. All was going according to plan until the 99th hour when she informed Pallas that the case lacked evidentiary support so would not be taken any further. Agent Pallas did not take the news well hence the bitch comment to the nation.
However, not everything is as Jack thinks it is, there is more to three years ago than he knows. Just like there is more to the murder in room 1308 and Cameron Lynde is the common link.
There is obvious chemistry between these two, simmering beneath the tension that arises when they are together but it’s not just the chemistry that keeps us intrigued, we want to get to the bottom of the murder in room 1308 whilst unraveling the past too. What makes this book so grand is the dialogue. There was comedy and rich wit, at times playful and other times cheeky but completely pithy. The dialogue between the male characters is just such a treat, especially when they are dissecting Cameron’s love life. This brilliance is to the credit of Julie James. She seamlessly shows not only how clueless men are about women, but also how perceptive they can be when they grasp the details. She makes the most simple of scenarios so interesting by inserting witty banter between the characters. She intertwines personalities so easily and makes us adore her characters. I loved all the characters in this book, well the good ones, but even the bad ones had something going for them. I loved Cameron’s bffs especially when they try to stand up to Jack Pallas. So funny. There is a scene when officers Kamin and Phelps, who are on Cameron’s surveillance detail, and Sam Wilkins, Jack’s partner, are discussing her date with Max-the-investment-banker-she-met-on-the-Bloomingdales-escalator, its so innocuously funny yet so believable.
This is a sexy, funny love story and you will enjoy every bit of it.