Victoria Slade is a tough, independent, self-made woman. She runs her own law firm, specializing in divorce and custody matters, she owns a townhouse, and her life is good. She knows marriage is not for her, because she sees them fall apart every day, so she’s just into casual flings. Then, sadly, she has to move out of her townhouse and temporarily settle in a condo while she tries to manage some personal issues.
Ford Dixon — and, how about that name? That name does not mess around — is an investigative journalist. He also lives across the hall. His alcoholic father just died, leaving him all kinds of emotionally confused. Because his father ran so hot and cold, Ford has chosen to never get emotionally involved with a woman. It’s a totally valid life choice.
Victoria manages to catch various women going into Ford’s apartment, and overhear a few conversations, so she presumes that Ford is a player who inconsiderately installs bookshelves when she’s trying to take a quiet bath. Their initial meetings are stiff and rude, and their preconceived opinions predictably take a while to change.
What gets these two anti-commitment people to spend time together is Ford’s sister. She has a baby-daddy out there somewhere, and Ford and Victoria agree to put their skills together and find him. While they check out bars and stalk apartments, they discover that they’re both not into relationships, so they manage to sleep together in a this-totally-means-nothing way.
This book was a lot of fun, mainly because of the characters. Victoria is very self-possessed, and she does not beat around the bush. She calls Ford out on everything, and teases him a lot. He manages to be impressed by her without needing to one-up her. His masculinity is not threatened by her career. He does most of the legwork in looking for their mystery man, but Victoria steps in like a boss when it’s time to confront and threaten. Their verbal chemistry is funny and hot.
Ford and Victoria operate on an adult level. There’s very little relationship angst, because they have their individual problems to deal with. Victoria goes to therapy, and Ford talks things over with his best friend, who happens to be a woman. They’re also willfully blind to their true feelings, so when they hit a glitch, they both back away quickly, all, “Hey, it was a thing, I’m totally over it now.”
Their ending is very Happy for Now, We’re Working on It, because they’ve got years of avoidance to get over, but it worked with the story and the characters. I liked it. This book isn’t billed as part of James’s FBI/US Attorney series, although Ford’s best friend Brooke was the heroine in one of those. But there’s no series catch up to do, so jump in and have a great time.
Click to purchase: Amazon
Suddenly One Summer
by Julie James
Release Date: June 2, 2015