Thursday, May 2, 2019

#20 [2019/CBR11] "It Happened One Wedding" by Julie James

I needed a break from serious reading, so I picked up It Happened One Wedding (2014) by Julie James. I'd enjoyed some other books by James, and this one was available now at the library. Unfortunately, it wasn't my favorite of her books. There was nothing especially wrong with it. The characters were likable, and the story line was fine. There just wasn't much excitement, and my whole experience was rather bland.

Sidney Sinclair recently moved back to Chicago after a painful breakup with her fiancé. She is a hedge fund manager/financial analyst-type businesswoman at a fancy company, and she is in charge of a ton of money. And now her younger sister, Isabelle, is getting married. Right before meeting her new brother-in-law for dinner, Sidney runs into an arrogant man who aggressively hits on her. Sidney snubs him, offending his tender feelings and the two part ways with no love lost.

When she arrives at dinner, Sidney meets her sister Isabelle and the new groom, Simon. Unfortunately or fortunately, the arrogant playboy also shows up, and it turns out he is Simon's brother Vaughn. Vaughn is an FBI agent who often works undercover in the white crimes division in Chicago. Sidney and Vaughn pretend their negative encounter never happened for the sake of their siblings, but the two are thrown together often because of wedding plans and other machinations.

The two are immediately attracted to each other, but Sidney, still hurt from the betrayal of her last relationship, is only looking for men who are ready for commitment. Vaughn, however, is open and honest about not wanting a serious relationship. The attraction wins the day, however, and the two begin sleeping with each other with no strings attached. Not surprisingly, as the two get closer, they both realize that they want a relationship after all.

I was underwhelmed partly because I did not feel too much of a connection between our protagonists. They looked at each other intensely a lot, but had limited interaction in their lives. Their work was completely separate and didn't overlap. The only thing Sidney knew was that Vaughn hung out in dangerous and seedy places, and Sidney and Vaughn never really discussed Sidney's work. Also, as progressive as Sidney was meant to be—a successful businesswoman in charge of a large financial endeavor—she was stereotypically feminine and passive in her interactions. Vaughn finished a triathlon and Sidney wished she could watch him finish. Sidney called Vaughn over because she was having trouble with her smoke detector (ugh!). Most of the time Sidney and Vaughn simply ran into each other because Isabelle and Simon had invited them to some or other wedding event.

So, I didn't hate it, I didn't love it. I'll consider it a nice distraction and move on.

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