Archive for March 3rd, 2011

The FBI wants her cooperation.

As the daughter of a billionaire and the owner of the city’s top wine store, Jordan Rhodes is invited to the most exclusive parties in Chicago. But there’s only one party the FBI wants to crash: the charity fundraiser of a famous restaurateur, who also happens to launder money for the mob. In exchange for her brother’s release from prison, Jordan is going to be there—with a date supplied by the Bureau.

Agent McCall just wants her.
As the top undercover agent in Chicago, Nick McCall has one rule: never get personal. This “date” with Jordan Rhodes is merely an assignment—one they’re both determined to pull off even if they can’t be together for five minutes before the sarcasm and sparks begin to fly. But when Nick’s investigation is compromised, he and Jordan have no choice but to pretend they’re a couple, and what starts out as a simple assignment begins to feel a lot like something more. . .


Hi everyone!

First, I want to start by saying thank you to Fatin for having me here today to talk about my new release, A Lot Like Love. Actually, Fatin inspired the subject of this blog: the hero in A Lot Like Love, Special Agent Nick McCall.

Nick is probably the most “guy’s guy” hero I’ve written. He’s from Brooklyn and has lots of ideas about what men should and shouldn’t do. For example, men from Brooklyn don’t wear boysenberry colored ties, they don’t do bubble baths, and they definitely don’t watch Dancing with the Stars instead of football on Monday nights.

Yet Nick’s rules get a little muddled once he meets Jordan, the heroine of the book, who is smart, sophisticated, owns a wine store, and just so happens to be a billionaire heiress. And while Nick never caves on the boysenberry-colored tie issue, he soon discovers that even bubble baths aren’t so bad with the proper incentive. . .

After reading A Lot Like Love, Fatin told me that she loved how tough Nick was on the outside, but that he was really a big marshmallow underneath. My first thought was that Nick would hate it if people knew that about him. And then I realized that this was one of the things I like most about Nick, too—underneath that rough-around-the-edges, sarcastic, alpha male exterior is a guy who calls his mother every week. Unlike what is often the stereotype of the tough guy hero, Nick isn’t a loner—he comes from a big half-Italian/half-Scottish family in New York and he feels guilty when his job gets in the way of his family commitments.

Admittedly, I had another tough guy/secret softy hero in mind when writing Nick’s character. Any guesses? I’ll give you a big hint:


How about you?  Who’s your favorite tough guy hero with a heart of gold, either from books, film, or television?  I’m giving away a copy of A Lot Like Love to one randomly selected person who leaves a comment below.

And for those of you who would like a sneak peak into A Lot Like Love, here’s a short excerpt:

Huxley shook his head dejectedly. “Three years working for the FBI and I’ve never had to take one sick day. Today of all days, this happens.” He leaned back against the pillows and looked Nick over. “You’re going to need a suit.”

“I have several suits,” Nick said, appearing offended.

Huxley did not seem impressed. “A real suit.” He held up his hand, cutting off Nick’s objection. “No offense, but Men’s Wearhouse or whatever isn’t going to cut it tonight. You want to blend, remember? Every person at the party will be checking out the guy walking in with Jordan Rhodes. You need to look like someone they would expect to see her with.”

“Hey. I would date a guy who wore a suit from Men’s Wearhouse,” Jordan said indignantly.

Nick sized her up. “Huxley’s right. I better get a new suit.”

Jordan folded her arms across her chest, on the defensive. “You two are way off base with these assumptions about me.”

Nick turned to face her, taking the bait. “Okay, I’ll eat my words right now if you can honestly say that you’ve dated anyone in the last three years who wore a suit from Men’s Wearhouse.”

Jordan stared him in the eyes, wanting to prove him wrong like nothing else.


She sniffed reluctantly. “Just to be clear, it’s not a criteria I have. True, I tend to meet mostly men who have white-collar jobs. And if they want to spend their money on expensive suits, well, that’s their business.”

Nick shrugged. “You don’t have to explain yourself to me, princess.”

Jordan’s eyes widened in surprise. She stepped over to him, pulling herself up to her full five foot five inches. “Listen, I don’t know who you are, or where you came from, but nobody’s calling anybody a princess around here.”


“Excuse me?”

“I’m from Brooklyn.” The edges of Nick’s lips curled up in a grin. “Your majesty.”


For more information about my books, or to read an additional excerpt of A Lot Like Love, people can visit my website at www.juliejames.com

Happy reading!


A big thank you to Julie for joining us today!

For a chance to win a copy of A Lot Like Love, leave a comment below answering Julie’s question. Good luck! 😀

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