A Perfect 10
FBI/US Attorneys Series, Book 5
Berkley Sensation
ISBN-13: 978-0-425-25127-0
May 2014
Contemporary Romance

Chicago, Illinois – Present Day

After Vaughn Roberts, FBI agent and pretty self-satisfied ladies man, spots the beautiful woman in the coffee shop talking to her date, he uses his powers of observation.  He figures it's either a first date, a blind date, or an online date, because the woman is totally bored listening to the man talk and talk about himself.  As the date ends and the woman seems to regretfully say “no, we don't have much in common” Vaughn sees his chance.  Before meeting his brother Simon and new girlfriend, he will chat up the woman and find out what happens.

Sidney Sinclair, newly returned to Chicago after catching her fiancé with another woman two weeks before their wedding, knows her first online date didn't go well, even though he seemed like such a great match on paper.  All he liked to do was talk about himself and laugh at his own jokes; you know you've dated that type!  Then a handsome man approaches her and sits and makes his play.  Always observant, Sidney tells Mr. Handsome just what he is, a single guy looking to score whenever he can and not willing to even look for something deeper or long lasting.  On that note Vaughn leaves Miss Cranky alone to meet his brother and girlfriend for dinner.

Of course, wouldn't you know it, Sidney's sister Isabelle is not only dating Vaughn's brother Simon, they are getting married after three months of dating.  Oh, and Sidney and Vaughn are the maid of honor and best man.  It also turns out they are getting married quickly for a reason, as Isabelle is pregnant, and she doesn't want Simon's mother to find out before the wedding.  They think they are hiding things from Vaughn, but he wouldn't be a successful FBI agent if he didn't know what was going on before the end of the evening.  While getting ready for a wedding, Vaughn is also going undercover trying to expose some dirty Chicago cops willing to transport drugs or weapons if the price is right.

You just know, despite their rocky start, Sidney and Vaughn will spark a match between themselves the first time they kiss.  But in spite of Sidney's list of 34 rules a man has to pass before being considered date worthy, Vaughn also has his rule: never sleep with a woman more than once a week or you might start to develop feelings for her.  Sometimes their rules don't matter as they consistently ignore them, despite knowing the powder keg they risk exploding in their faces each time they get together.

It's so awful when you have to wait a whole year to immerse yourself in the Julie James world of the FBI and US Attorneys; it is interminable!  But here she again pulls out all the stops with the FBI agent who is content with his single life and dating as he wants, and the woman who challenges him at every opportunity.  Told from their points of view, Vaughn Roberts often goes undercover for the FBI, loves his job, and never has worries about attracting women…until his younger brother Simon gets engaged to Isabelle and he starts to rethink his life.  Sidney Sinclair and her sister Isabelle were raised by their father after their mother died, and also had a parade of stepmothers.  Sidney always swore to be there for Isabelle, especially when she finds out Isabelle is pregnant.  Too bad Simon has such an obnoxious brother who thinks he is God's gift to women.

Secondary characters in a Julie James book are always carefully crafted, because we never know who will be chosen to have their story told next.  Working with Vaughn is Cade and Huxley, and of course there's Simon, who Vaughn can't believe after three months is sure Isabelle is the perfect wife for him.  Isabelle worries others will think less of her by getting pregnant before the wedding, especially Simon's Catholic mother.

IT HAPPENED ONE WEDDING is again a total reading experience that doesn't let you down.  From the flow of the writing, the situations, and especially the maturity of her writing skill, Ms. James is a master and number one on my must buy when it first comes out writers.  Her FBI/US Attorneys series novels are each as good as the one before, and her stories always live up to your expectations.  IT HAPPENED ONE WEDDING is a standalone read, as are each in her series, LOVE IRRESISTIBLY, ABOUT THAT NIGHT, A LOT LIKE LOVE and SOMETHING ABOUT YOU.  IT HAPPENED ONE WEDDING deserves a Perfect 10, as do all of her stories.  I suggest you start saving to buy this novel and get in the store early or order online, a Julie James book only comes once a year; you'll love it!

Carolyn Crisher