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The Thing About Love

(FBI/US Attorney #7)

3.93  ·  Rating details ·  10,155 ratings  ·  1,047 reviews
Two undercover FBI agents can hide who they are from everyone but each other in the latest novel from the New York Times bestselling author of Suddenly One Summer.

FBI agents Jessica Harlow and John Shepherd have a past. The former lawyer and cocky Army ranger clashed during their training at Quantico, gladly going their separate ways after graduating from the Academy. Six
Paperback, 373 pages
Published April 18th 2017 by Berkley
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Marie Not really a thriller. It's mostly about FBI undercover agents having a love/hate relationship. There is no mystery to uncover. The main characters ar…moreNot really a thriller. It's mostly about FBI undercover agents having a love/hate relationship. There is no mystery to uncover. The main characters are just thrown into this situation where they finally have to confront their feelings, and that situation just happens to be a part-time undercover op. But that's mainly the backdrop of the story and isn't really what the book is about. Some of the other books in the series are more thriller-like, but not this one. (less)

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Average rating 3.93  · 
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 ·  10,155 ratings  ·  1,047 reviews

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May 25, 2017 rated it it was ok
Recommended to Anne by: Natives of Jacksonville, FL
Shelves: read-in-2017, romance
2.5 stars

So I didn't think it was terrible, but I didn't really enjoy it, either. Which was shocking because I love everything else James has written. She's a talented writer, and I enjoyed a few of her other FBI romances, but this time around it felt like there was too much FBI detail.
It was as though she'd researched all this stuff about the FBI Hostage Rescue Team and white collar sting operations, and she was determined to use every last bit of information she had gleaned, goddamnit!
By the
Lana ❇✾DG Romance❇✾

Nearly fifteen thousand special agents in the FBI, spread throughout the United States in fifty-six field offices, and she had to show up in Chicago for what was quite possibly his last undercover assignment. As his new partner.

God but I love this author. She writes stories that are funny, swoony, full of witty banter and humor, and they just keeps getting better and better! First of all, if you haven't read anything by her yet, you need to rectify it immediately by reading

Oh man, I don’t even know how to say this because I never thought I would ever be saying this about a Julie James book but this one really disappointed me. I’ve been a big fan of Julie James from the very start of her career and have read every one of the books she has released, but I’ve noticed that she is veering further and further away from what I liked about her books. While she still has the very strong, very career-oriented heroines, I just don’t think the more recent books have the
Apr 16, 2017 rated it really liked it
Jessica Harlow was one of two women in a class of forty-one FBI agent trainees, exceptional in the academics portion, but just okay in the physical part, making her insecure over those abilities. John had the opposite problem, being a former Army Ranger he excelled at the physical exams and skills on the firing range, but felt intimated by all the postgraduate degrees. At first they both really admire each other, but their respective insecurities played a factor in putting them at odds by the en ...more
Mar 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Song for summary: Haven't Had Enough by Marianas Trench

A fantastic read! The characters are determined, driven, and highly skilled; while the plot is a fast and fun investigation as two old rivals get thrown together for an undercover assignment. Aliases, ancient grudges, an obstacle course, a corrupt Mayer, and two covert operatives will sweep you away in a whirlwind of justice and romance. This is my first novel by Julie James, but it certainly won't be my last!
FBI Special Agents Jessica Harlow and John Shepherd have an interesting history. They attended the academy together and competed against each other full out. Both graduated with not so great opinions of each other. Now, six years later they find themselves in the same Chicago office assigned to the same high profile undercover case in Jacksonville. They're both professionals so of course they're going to make it work...right:)

This isn't one of those stories with lots of action and pivotal moment
Geri Reads
Apr 08, 2017 rated it really liked it
I adored this book! It checked all my "swoony romance" checklist:

Swoony hero? check
Capable and sassy heroine? check
Witty banter? check
Feel-good romance factor? Double check!!

Jessica Harlow and John Shepard are FBA agents who started off as enemies during their FBI training to frenemies as they worked on their first case together to eventually becoming lovers.

If you're looking for plot-twisting, ulcer inducing, angsty story, then this book won't be for you. But if you are in the mood to read abou
3.5 stars – Contemporary Romance

I liked this, but I didn’t adore and devour it the way I usually do a Julie James book. It was a bit slow going at times and just didn’t have the same snarky, saucy spark that I’ve come to expect and love from a highly anticipated Julie James read.

To me, the story felt like 75% lives and careers of the hero and heroine FBI agents, with way too much background, information, and excessive minutiae, and only about 25% romance. I really enjoyed the playful camaraderi
Apr 24, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

3.75 stars.

An enjoyable read, as are most of JJ books, but there was something lacking in it. Not sure what. Since my last read of her books I have delved into some really riveting books so maybe this was a little tame for me.

Their relationship develops but nothing really happens.

Both characters were great. Liked the banter. And the fact that they had a past but .... I don't know. I was waiting for SOMETHING to happen.

Ah, well, what can you do?

There was one part where she wanted to know what th
Oct 14, 2021 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2021
I'm done with all of Julie James's books.
So if anyone is wondering, I'll be searching for my life's meaning till I find a good romance author to binge read. 🙈
Julie James's FBI/US Attorney series is one of my favorites. I'm still not sure if The Thing About Love is part of the series or not...I'm confused...but it was a solid romantic suspense novel regardless. Just know going in that this story is heavy on suspense and light on the romance. I enjoyed the combination but it's important to note since that seems to be the majority of readers' complaints with this book. There was humor, family drama, undercover investigation, romantic tension, and fi
Nov 21, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: romance
Looking forward to reading it. I do not give ratings before reading - but seeing that someone gave it a one star before reading, I wanted to step in. Julie James is best modern romance writer today. I will be surprised if this is not another 5 star.
Chris  C - A Midlife Wife
Not your run of the mill main stream review today....

This is the first book I was able to read and review by Julie James. I am a sucker for cop drama along with a hot romance so I was excited to check this one out. However, I did have a few issues with this story.

I understand that a writer has a certain formula that is meant to give the back story and build the anticipation. I understand a formula that works - so why be different. But this book dragged on for me because I really disliked the fem
Lacey (laceybooklovers)
Originally posted at Booklovers For Life


It’s been a long time since I picked up a Julie James novel (even though I don’t know why, because I’m a big fan of her work), but reading The Thing About Love reminded me of all the reasons why I love her and her books. She writes such fantastic contemporary romances starring FBI agents in a realistic, believable light. If you want contemporary romance done right, plus a little enemies-to-lovers trope and suspense, The Thing About Love will be th
Dec 08, 2015 rated it liked it

Apr 12, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: contemporary
First I have to say, what is up with this cover? At first glance, or from far away, it looks bloody! But it's a broken lollipop? Not my favorite cover, and not my favorite book by Julie James. She writes meticulously detailed FBI agents - you can tell she puts hours, and hours of research into her stories. Some books, an author just slaps on the title of FBI to their characters and keeps writing, but James makes them genuine and as a reader I appreciate that so much.

However, I had a hard time ge
Mar 18, 2017 rated it really liked it
**4.5 stars**

This. THIS is how is done! THIS is how you show a woman competing in a man's world. Bravo, Ms. James.

Anyhow, that's why I'm rating this book so high. Not because of the romance but because of the characterization. Jessica, our heroine, is a great FBI agent, and she's great because of her smarts, her brain, her resourcefulness, her preparation, her instincts. She's just 5'3" so OF COURSE, she's not in the same league physically as John, our hero, who as a former Army Ranger can pro
Simply Love Book Reviews
Apr 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing

Well, Julie James just gained a new fan. A new-to-me author that had me enthralled from the beginning of the story to the end, I will definitely be reading her again and again! She is a fascinating author that wrote two characters that had me smiling throughout the story.

I absolutely loved the love/hate relationship that John and Jessica had. It was fun! Their banter brought this story to another level and I would go a lot higher than 5 stars if that was possible. Now, pair the back-and-forth of
Dec 03, 2015 added it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Julie James fans, FBI, romance
December 2016-Update and New Title
We have a clearer picture of what exactly is up with these FBI Agents...
A Hint of Past History...
Competitiveness, Snark....
And them having a bit of that Hate/Love/Hate thing going on...

Makes their reunion all the more interesting...
Don't You Think....

Now they are on assignment...
Forced close quarters, pretend affection
and personally....

Both free of any entanglements...
Seems to me this might be the perfect way to work out ....

The Thing About Love - Apr
May 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Loved it! I'm so glad to see that Julie James has returned to her old writing form. Her last three books lacked her trademark humor and the touch of suspense that set her apart from other romance authors. Those elements are back and I'm a very happy reader. I especially loved the Nicholas Sparks jab at the end - just wonderful.

Jessica and John first met at the FBI Academy at trainees. It was a meeting of oil and water from the very beginning. They each went separate ways, but have now ended up t
Jan 30, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2017
John and Jessica first met at Quantico during their training at the FBI academy. Despite their mutual attraction, they were constantly competing and trying to outwit each other. Neither is sad to see the other go.

Six years later they are assigned as partners on an undercover sting. The old hostilities immediately resurface. Gradually as they work together each shares their perception from their time at Quantico. It becomes the ultimate he said, she said of their time together. But in hearing ea
Apr 13, 2017 rated it really liked it
4 stars

I loved this book! Another smart, funny, sexy and romantic read from Ms James!

John Shepherd and Jessica Harlow met while training to become FBI agents. It did not go well. John was a dedicated Army Ranger, the picture of the perfect soldier who flew through the physical aspects of the training, and Jessica was fresh out of law school and an academic wiz. Following misinterpreted motives and misunderstandings they became fierce competitors who couldn’t wait to see the back of each other at
Anne OK
Apr 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017-reads

The very talented Julie James and her latest book release filled my rainy day with sunshine! Once again, she has written a winner that is engaging, intelligent, witty, and just fun-to-read. A couple of overly competitive FBI agents that are intelligent, sexy, strong, and complex find themselves straddling that fine line between love and hate. The frenemy/lover plot grabbed me from the start, and I read this one from cover to cover without moving from my chair.

The book blurb
Aug 21, 2020 rated it really liked it
He traced his thumb over her skin. "Do you know how long I've waited for you to look at me this way?"
She assumed he was teasing her. "What are you talking about? You didn't even like me for most of the time we've known each other."
He bent his head before turning to go, his voice low and confident in her ear. "Or maybe, I'm just that good of an undercover agent."

Ended up really enjoying this. It took me a little while to get myself invested though. While I know the background stories
I loved this book so much! John Shepard and Jessica Harlow met at FBI training and became fast enemies. Years later, when Jessica transfers to the Chicago field office, her first assignment is with none other than her training nemesis John Shepard. John remembers training and why they became enemies a little differently than Jessica does. What I love so much about this author's writing is the witty banter between her characters and John and Jessica's frenemies relationship is no different. They ...more
monica ♪
Apr 03, 2016 marked it as to-read
This sounds really good, but..... April 2017???
It has been a while since I read a solidly good romance. The love-hate relationship = Perfection.
Here are some of my thoughts:
• Badass heroine. I love her confidence and her can-do attitude. Here is a competent woman who is career-oriented and independent – I love it. She is literally what I strive for.
• John is great too. He’s also badass, and he’s honestly so sweet. I love seeing him and Jessica bantering nonstop. I think the premise of how they met is funny, and it is nice to see how much th
Sheryl C. Nash
OMG!!! So much SASSINESS!!!! Loved it!!! Having waited 2 years to read this, it was WORTH THE WAIT!!!!

Full review to follow...

*ARC courtesy of Netgalley and Berkley*
Sep 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing
After finding his girlfriend in bed with one of his friends, FBI Agent John Shepherd agrees to take part in the elite Hostage Rescue Team training because acceptance would mean he would move to Virginia. But before training begins, John has one last undercover assignment with the new FBI agent at the office. Jessica Harlow has moved to the Chicago office after her recent divorce. When she sees that her new partner is John Shepherd, she can't believe her luck. She and John graduated from the same ...more
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New York Times bestselling author Julie James practiced law with one of the nation's largest firms for several years until she began writing screenplays. After Hollywood producers optioned two of her scripts, she decided to leave the practice of law to write full-time. Her books have been translated into twenty-two languages and Julie’s ninth novel, THE THING ABOUT LOVE, is now available.

Julie Jam

Other books in the series

FBI/US Attorney (7 books)
  • Something About You (FBI/US Attorney, #1)
  • A Lot like Love (FBI/US Attorney, #2)
  • About That Night (FBI/US Attorney, #3)
  • Love Irresistibly (FBI/US Attorney, #4)
  • It Happened One Wedding (FBI/US Attorney, #5)
  • Suddenly One Summer (FBI/US Attorney, #6)

News & Interviews

  As dedicated readers already know, some of the best and most innovative stories on the shelves come from the constantly evolving realm of...
27 likes · 1 comments
“Can we just give the guy a good ass-kicking and be done with it ?"
"Unfortunately, I think they expect us to be gentlemen here."
"So we'll put on suits and ties before we kick his ass.”
“I'd like to think that when two people feel that way about each other, somehow, some way, they can find a way to make it work.” 6 likes
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