Just the Sexiest Man Alive by Julie James

 

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Title: Just the Sexiest Man Alive

Author: Julie James

First published: October 7th 2008, Berkley Sensation

Edition: ebook, 271 pages

Genre: Romance, humor

Age group: Adult

Rating:  ★ ★

Just the Sexiest Man Alive

Synopsis:

COOL. CALM. COLLECTED.
Nothing fazes Taylor Donovan—not in the courtroom and not in her personal life. So when she’s assigned to coach People’s “Sexiest Man Alive” for his role in the next big legal drama, she refuses to fall for the Hollywood heartthrob’s charms. Even if he is the Jason Andrews.

CONFIDENT. FAMOUS. IRRESISTIBLE.
Jason Andrews is used to having women fall at his feet. When Taylor Donovan gives him the cold shoulder, he’s thrown for a loop. She’s unlike any other woman he’s ever met: uninterested in the limelight, seemingly immune to his advances, and shockingly capable of saying no to him. She’s the perfect challenge. And the more she rejects him, the more he begins to realize that she may just be his perfect match. . .

My thoughts:

When I think how much I love Julie James’ FBI/U.S. Attorney Series, this book comes as a total disappointment to me.

Th story instead of Chicago is now set in Los Angeles and it is no longer about special agents or crime investigation. The central characters are Taylor Donovan, a lawyer, and Jason Andrews, world’s most popular movie actor and People’s “Sexiest man alive”.

If with FBI/U.S. Attorney Series Julie James was completely in her element, this book seems way out of her normal path. She writes so well about FBI investigations which she skillfully incorporate passionate love stories into, that Just The Sexiest Man Alive is like a test of the pen for her on a story with totally different kind of setting. And though I generally like the idea of the book, the way it was conducted didn’t personally impress me.

First of all the characters were too self-sufficient. Jason is the most acclaimed Hollywood actor and is used to live a free life full of money, parties, girls and no restrictions. And Taylor is strongly committed to her job, so much so that she doesn’t mind spending her whole weekend checking the cases once more in hopes to find more clues.

And when these two meet there is nothing but physical attraction between them. I like how the story develops from this point, though. It’s a slow but entertaining personal changing of both Jason and Taylor. Jason goes from the conceited man who was used to rely on his celebrity status to finally realizing how fame has clouded his mind and the person he really is under this mask of his.

But no matter how good the progression was, the story nevertheless was full of cringe-worthy moments. Jason’s behavior is the first. Throughout the best part of the story he acts like a total jerk. The thing he does to make Taylor jealous and then expecting her to fall eagerly into his arms when he tells her he chose her over some actress is crazy. Does he know women at all? And also the fact that being a celebrity he expects everything to be easy for him and to have people do for him whatever he wants. That’s just not normal, but maybe that’s how every celebrity behaves, I wouldn’t know as I’m not acquainted with any of them. But even omitting the fact of his popularity, Jason seemed too immature for a nearly 40-year-old man. He is definitely not ready for a serious relationship, and so when he goes from skipping business meetings for a trip to Las Vegas to asking Taylor to marry him, the situation just seems absurd.

And speaking of Taylor, she is very similar to Jayson in the way of her not being ready for a relationship and not even wanting one. Her whole life is centered on her job and after she caught her ex-fiancé cheating on her, no men is allowed into her personal life.

Just like Taylor is too self-centered as an actor, Taylor is no different, being probably the best lawyer at her firm. The way she constantly shows off her status and achievements is tiresome. And when she is conflicted about whether she would be enough for Jason, it actually seems like Taylor is not sure if Jason is good enough for her.

Taylor’s inconstancy is another problem to add to the list. One moment she says she doesn’t want to go out with a celebrity being afraid of paparazzi and losing her privacy and next moment she’s dating second best actor Scott Casey. And she definitely likes being this mystery woman with the whole world wondering who she is.

But as I mentioned earlier, the story’s developing was quite natural and I could see that the characters would change eventually, but I didn’t expect it to happen so out of the blue. Yes it was one of those now-or-never moments, but it was so forced. And now in just one day Taylor and Jason become this madly in love couple kissing in public and proclaiming their love in front of the willing audience. The reader just has to accept this. But I didn’t get it, I’d better get back to Julie James’ FBI special agents.

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