Title: Practice Makes Perfect
Author: Julie James
First published: March 3rd 2009,Berkley Sensation
Edition: ebook, 304 pages
Genre: Romance, humor
Age group: Adult
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★
Payton Kendall and J.D. Jameson have been lawyers at a Chicago firm for 8 years, but kept their distance through all this time. Both are total opposites, and not only in the types of cases they generally deal with. Payton is feminist and only-success-oriented, having to survive in the world generally populated by men. And J.D. has come from a very wealthy family with his father being a respected judge. To Payton J.D. is just a cocky and over-privileged jerk who has had everything in his life on a silver platter, while she, coming from a not so rich and single-parent family, has to fight to get what she wants.
For years Payton and J.D. have maintained an illusion of being friendly co-workers in front of their colleagues, while secretly fighting about each other’s points of view. Both of them are set on becoming the firm’s partners, which in the beginning is an assured fact. Though, due to the new policy, their boss suddenly presents them with a news that this year only one of them will be chosen with the other one having to quit. If their banter from previous years wasn’t enough, now it’s a race to win for Payton and J.D.
The story continues with a line of very funny attempts of the both of them to make the other fail or embarrass each other, like Payton pouring coffee on J.D.’s suit jacket or him breaking her shoe. And when the matters appear to almost having got out of hands, they are asked to work together on a major case. The case, which starts as a show-off of their professional skills, soon turns out to be a revelation for both of them. Payton discovers that J.D. is not so egoistical as she once believed he was and acknowledges how great he is as a lawyer. And J.D., going through the same revelations, also remembers the moments he first met Payton and the overwhelming impressions she made on him as a beautiful and confident woman.
With the stakes high and feelings getting in the way, the battle is becoming tougher, but who will be the first of them to give in?
With the year coming to an end I decided to finish with my stack of Julie James’ novels, though I will be expecting the publication of the new installment of the F.B.I./U.S. Attorney series next year. Practice Makes Perfect is one of Julie James’ stand-alone novels, and while the previous one that I read, Just The Sexiest Man Alive, didn’t make that much of an impression on me, this book I loved a lot.
The communications between Payton and J.D. are amazingly written, first their fights and witty remarks and then their declarations to each other. First it’s a hate/competition relationship, when they try to outdo each other professionally, to impress their boss. Then they try to put their disagreements aside to work together on a case. And alongside this they come to realize how little they actually know about each other, despite having worked together for so many years. And what they do find out makes them think back to the time when they just met and really liked each other.
Payton and J.D.’s romantic scenes didn’t take that much place in the book, yet they were powerful and steamy. I liked that they didn’t fell into the relationship straight ahead, but actually worked through their issues, making the choice between a carrier and love. And that weekend on the beach was very romantic, definitely an ‘awww’ moment.
The only problem I had with the story is the abundance of all the lawyer and court stuff, it was just too detailed, sometimes it was hard for me to get through it. But in general the story was great, Julie James never disappoints me.