Wednesday, 7 May 2014

Review: It Happened One Wedding (FBI/US Attorney #5) by Julie James

It Happened One Wedding (FBI / US Attorney, #5)
It Happened One Wedding (FBI/US Attorney #5) by Julie James
Publisher: Jove
Publication date: May 6th 2014
My rating:  4 stars
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After a humiliating end to her engagement, investment banker Sidney Sinclair is done with commitment-phobic men. But when her sister winds up engaged after a whirlwind courtship, she’s thrown in to close contact with exactly the kind of sexy playboy she wants to avoid—the gorgeous best man. She’s stuck with him, for better or worse, until her sister walks down the aisle, but that doesn’t mean she has to give in to his smooth advances, no matter how tempting they are…


Special Agent Vaughn Roberts always gets his man on the job and his woman in bed. So Sidney’s refusal to fall for his charms only makes him more determined to win over the cool and confident redhead. Only what starts out as a battle of wills ends up as a serious play for her heart. Because the one woman who refuses to be caught may be the only one Vaughn can’t live without…

My Thoughts:
It Happened One Wedding felt a little different from Julie James’ previous novels.  I think there was serious tone that wasn’t in the other stories, and it really clicked with me.

Sidney is back in Chicago starting a new job after leaving New York, and a ruined relationship.  After discovering her fiancé was cheating on her, Sidney feels she’s wasted three years of her life. She should already be married and starting a family, something Sidney really wanted at this point in her life. At thirty-three she doesn’t want to waste time on good-time guys, and commitment-phobes.  Sidney wants to find a man that wants the same things in life.  It’s not that she begrudges those men, it’s their right to live life as they wish, she just wants nothing to do with them.  So when Vaughn makes a pass at her, Sidney brushes off his advances seeing him, knowing exactly the type of man he is:

“For men as attractive as you, this city is one big candy store, filled with so many shiny treats, you couldn’t possibly choose just one. So instead, you run around with your obviously healthy ego, sampling as many of the goods as you can get your hands on—simply because you can.”

Not my idea of an attractive prospect, and definitely not Sidney’s.  Vaughn can’t believe Sidney would reject him, even though she was spot on in her description of him, he still doesn’t like the smug way she nailed him.  But seeing as they’ll never lay eyes on each other again, oh well, right? Wrong.  Just so happens Sidney’s sister, Isabelle is marrying Vaughn’s brother Simon, and they are to be thrown together not only because they’ll soon be in-laws, but because they’re both in the wedding.   

Just because Sidney and Vaughn realize they are not right for each other because of their very different dating goals doesn’t mean they’re not intensely attracted.  Being thrown together they end up getting physical, and Sidney justifies it as having some fun with “Mr. Right Now” while waiting for “Mr. Right”.

Sidney’s past, from her breakup to her relationship with her father made me feel so bad for her.  She’s not bitter, just has a sad, resigned acceptance of what happened and how things are.  I think this most of all that lent the serious, somber aspect to It Happened One Wedding more than anything.  As Vaughn and Sidney connect more emotionally, and become friends in addition to bedmates, some of that sadness lifts for Sidney and Vaughn starts to feel desire for more than just a good time.  I was thrilled when these two started to realize that their connection was more than just sex.  

I was happily surprised Vaughn never had eyes for anyone else after Sidney came into the picture. I was fully expecting some flub-up that would’ve made it hard to fully fall for him.  Instead, in spite of the time it took Vaughn to honestly acknowledge his feelings, I fell for him.  His actions spoke louder than his words, and his inner denials.

Sidney was my favorite character. I just wanted to wrap her up and protect her from any more hurt. I think Vaughn felt the same way.  I definitely wanted to slap her loser ex-fiancé after hearing the full story! A-hole! Her father was no prize either. *insert disapproving frown* Even when her sister’s wedding planning reminds Sidney time and time of her setback, she always puts her sister’s happiness above her own. Sisterly love and loyalty always get to me!

Julie James is the queen of class when it comes to romance stories, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t a hefty amount of sizzling scenes, as well. It Happened One Wedding was no exception. Any fan of Julie James or smart, classy contemporary romances will not be disappointed.  

Connect with Julie James:


  1. I really enjoyed this one! I liked how Sidney stuck to her guns, despite all the disappointments and how Vaughn treated her, even though he did have the whole "candy store" to choose from. I do agree there was a slightly more serious tone, though.

  2. I'm so happy to hear that a book from an author you loved lived up to your expectations, Rachel. I've read a few books by the author and have really enjoyed them. I need to read the rest of her books soon.
    I love the sound of Sidney! She seems like a lovely main character who I would want to root for. Their romance sounds great too.
    Lovely review, Rachel!

  3. Oh wow, Rachel thank you for bringing this my attention. This sounds sooo good. I love romances like this one and I really don't read enough adult romances nowadays, its all NA. I really do miss it. It reminds me a little of Bared to You by Sylvia Day and I do enjoy series. Lovely review Rachel. :)

  4. I like classy sizzling scenes, so I could totally be down with this one! Thanks for the recommendation.

  5. Rachel, I just finished this and I absolutely loved it! I wasn't able to completely connect with the characters in the second and fourth books in this series and the third was lacking a little something for me, but this was just perfect. It's definitely different from her usual style, but I thought it worked out really well and Vaughn and Sid both totally won me over. Gorgeous review, as always, Rachel! :)

  6. I was a little worried in the beginning, with Vaughn's attitude, but was pleasantly surprised by both him and Sidney. I LOVED when his brother caught him in the shower!
    I'm glad you enjoyed IHOW, Rachel.

  7. YAY! This is going to be my next read and I am so glad It Happened One Wedding turned out to be just as good as her previous books. Julie James is an awesome author and I'm so glad Sidney and Vaughn were fantastic characters. Thanks for your review Rachel! :)

    Janhvi @ The Readdicts

  8. Sidney does sound like a fantastic character and one that I would feel for and want the best for as well esp with all she had to go through

  9. I'm curious to see who caved in first. I'm absolutely thrilled this book is out already; I love this series. Great review, Rachel!

  10. I'm not yet at that age and phase in my life that I prefer smart, and classy contemporary books over my YA ones, haha! But this sounded interesting, from what I read in your review. I'd love to read more about sisterly love from the books published today. God knows we need more books that put a heavy emphasis on family. I have no sisters (only three brothers...) so I have absolutely no idea what that's like. A sneak peek into that world would be great :)

    Faye at The Social Potato Reviews

  11. Oh I love stories that take place during the wedding. Now I ma curious about Sidney and what happened to her and of course about Vaughn :)

  12. I know that a lot of readers adore this series, but I'm hesitant to pick it up because I'm not sure that I'd like it as much as everybody else. Well, I can always dnf it if I end up not liking it, right?
    Great review, Rachel.

  13. I can't believe I've never read a Julie James. I have so many romance authors I need to get going on reading. This sounds great! I like Sidney's perspective, and thanks for saying that Vaughn doesn't go after anyone else after he meets her. I'm always worried about that as well. I'm glad I can trust you with my romance choices :).


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