I really like Julie James' writing style and have since I read Something About You and A Lot Like Love. While expecting crime thriller/romantic suspense from her, those two books had read more like contemporary romances of the romantic comedy persuasion. And I liked them a lot, mainly because of the witty banter between the characters and the dry humor floating amidst the narration. They were a lot of fun.
I picked up Just the Sexiest Man Alive when the book dropped to a very agreeable price on Amazon Kindle books and on a whim, I just got around to starting it. (It was a long morning, I had a lot of wait time, and I just felt like starting it.)
Unfortunately, while I enjoyed the two FBI/US Attorney series books a lot, this particular book strikes me as fairly amateurish, both in writing style, character development, and even story ideas. I know I'm only a short ways into the story, so it's still too early to make any critiques, but the writing (while very Julie James in wit and banter) doesn't quite flow the way her other books do. The characters are also standard contemporary romance stock -- predictable, monotonous, ideal carbon copy characters for this type of story.
This is to be expected, I guess, as Just the Sexiest Man Alive is her debut novel and seems to encompass all the romantic comedy ideals that lots of women love to imagine as their dream come true scenario. Taylor Donovan is an independent woman, highly intelligent, and good at what she does as an attorney. She gets thrown into a business set-up with the most popular celebrity of the moment, Jason Andrews, who, of course, finds her different and much more interesting than he's ever found other women he's been with.
This is probably one of the most cliched and overused "Famous actor falls for common working woman" plot devices. It's in the telling and the character development that has potential to make the story a good one, standing out from the rest. So far, the dialogue is what's standing out for me, but otherwise, the narration meanders a lot and could stand a little clean-up.
But since I like Julie James, I'm interested in seeing how she manages this particular romantic comedy trope. So I'm holding out hope that things will get a bit better, even if I have a feeling the style won't change much. Nonetheless, it won't make me appreciate her any less.