Rating: ★★★★ | 274 pages | Berkley Sensation | Contemporary | 3/1/2011
Jordan Rhodes may be a billionaire heiress but she’s most content spreading her love of wine at her little wine shop in Chicago, DeVine Cellars. She can say the same for her twin brother, Kyle, who is currently serving time in federal prison for hacking into Twitter.
When FBI agent Nick McCall swaggers into DeVine Cellars and asks her to help get an FBI agent into an exclusive wine party in exchange for her brother’s freedom, she has no choice but to agree. After all what can one fake date with an undercover FBI agent possibly lead to ?
Julie James was one of the first romance authors I ever read. I enjoyed her then and nearly 4 dozen romance novels later James is still at the top of my list. She does such a good job blending romance, a crime plot, cheeky humor and snappy dialogue into an addictive readable package. Her pacing really works for me, the characters don’t usually get together until about 60% into the book, giving the relationships time to breathe and other plots to develop..
I love some good competency porn and James delivers it with Jordan’s wine business. It’s always fun when I’m done reading and feel like yeah, I could do the thing. I especially loved that Jordan wasn’t a wine snob, I liked to think she wouldn’t judge me for $5 box wine I got from Aldi. There is so much detail about wine tasting and wine business, at one point the characters go to a winery and I felt like I was there.
That said, I am starting to notice a little bit of formulaic-ness with how the crimes are solved and at times Nick came off as a little overly macho at times. Like, I’m sorry watching Dancing With The Stars is to effeminate for you.
There are a lot of very specific references to the show Lost in here…it makes the book feel kind of dated.