Love Irresistibly
Grade : B-

Narrated by Karen White

As the Assistant US Attorney in charge of prosecuting Twitter terrorist Kyle Rhodes, (hero of About That Night), Cade Morgan could have been a somewhat unsympathetic hero. But, Ms. James cleverly redeemed Cade by the end of the previous book, paving the way for readers to get all swoony over Mr. Morgan’s 6’4” of muscular yum without any conflict of interest (a little legal pun for you [insert groan here]). Cade was a rising football star, who sustained a career ending injury after throwing the winning pass in the Rose Bowl. So if he’s not being remembered for his involvement in the Twitter terrorist case, he’s being remembered for his football fame – a bittersweet (mostly bitter) memory for Cade.

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When Cade needs a little help getting evidence on a dirty state senator, he approaches Brooke Parker, General Counsel for Sterling, a restaurant/food services company. Sterling’s flagship restaurant is the site of a meeting between the dirty senator and a hospital CEO and the FBI/US Attorney’s office wants to bug the table to listen in on their incriminating conversation.

This puts Brooke squarely in Cade’s sights. There are instant sparks – mostly traded in the form of sarcastic quips, but it’s not long before Brooke and Cade are trading more than that. The pair have both had a poor run with relationships – apparently Brooke is not a “big picture girl”, too devoted to her career to give enough time to a partner, and Cade is “emotionally unavailable.” They joke that they could go their entire relationship without saying anything meaningful at all. Nevertheless, what starts as a casual deal gradually deepens until they are both blindsided by the strength of their feelings.

I found myself entertained but not wowed by Love Irresistibly, although I must say I feel I’m very much the outlier on this. Perhaps it had something to do with the fact that I don’t, in any way, share Brooke’s career drive – I’ve never been an “all work and no play” girl. As much as I do work hard and am successful in my career, I’ve always been big on work/life balance so I found relating to Brooke a little hard. Brooke doesn’t have very many female friends unfortunately and the book felt a little light on female characters overall.

That said, the banter between Cade and Brooke is fun and Karen White delivers the zing of their attraction. This is also possibly the most sensual of Ms. James’ books and this gives Ms. White extra opportunities to break out the sexy. The voice given to Zach, a teenager who is in Cade’s life, is authentic and many of the other male voices are well differentiated, even if they’re not terribly deep. I have been critical in the past of some extra pauses I thought Ms. White added to her narrations at times but I’m pleased to say I didn’t notice it so much with this performance.

The best part of Love Irresistibly was the repartee between the various characters. Brooke’s best friend is Ford and his guy posse consists of Charlie and Tucker. The way these dudes relate to one another is a lot of fun and Ms. White, again, delivers. Same too with FBI agents Roberts and Huxley (the “FBI Odd Couple”) and Cade. The genuine friendship, even disguised (as in the case of the latter group) as trash-talk, is evident in the performance and that’s not just the words on the page. It was also nice to have a brief catch up with Rylann (About That Night) and Cameron (Something About You). Jack Pallas – even when he’s not directly on the page, is still a scene-stealer.

With its satisfying ending, I think many listeners will love Love Irresistibly.

Breakdown of Grade – Narration B- and Book Content B-

Reviewed by Kaetrin Allen

Grade: B-

Sensuality: Warm

Review Date : May 20, 2013

Publication Date: 2013/04

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