PRACTICE MAKES PERFECT by Julie James
Karen White, the narrator of all of James’ works, takes an already excellent tale with a good deal of laugh-out-loud moments, and ups the experience to a higher level. Listening to her perform J. D. and Payton, two attorneys vying for a single partnership at a highly competitive law firm, was magic. The listener hears their attitudes, their professionalism, their competitiveness, and the sizzling attraction between the two. When I first listened to Karen in 2010, she adequately performed the male characters with style. Now she excels at it. Not only does each hero sound male, but it’s like she’s inside the masculine mind, exuding the realistic guys we see in our everyday lives.
Payton Kendall and J. D. Jameson are lawyers who know the meaning ofobjection. A feminist to the bone, Payton has fought hard to succeed in a profession dominated by men. Born wealthy, privileged, and cocky, J. D. has fought hard to ignore her. Face-to-face, they’re perfectly civil. They have to be. For eight years they have kept a safe distance and tolerated each other as coworkers for one reason only: to make partner at the firm.
But all bets are off when they’re asked to join forces on a major case. Though apprehensive at first, they begin to appreciate each other’s dedication to the law—and the sparks between them quickly turn into attraction. But the increasingly hot connection does not last long when they discover that only one of them will be named partner. Now it’s an all-out war. And the battle between the sexes is bound to make these lawyers hot under the collar . . .
From the Library Journal Review:
“Narrator Karen White’s slightly husky, mature voice fits the feisty 32-year-old big-city lawyers she portrays here. White is equally proficient as bombshell vegetarian Payton or as tall, dark, and handsome Harvard grad J.D, who enjoys fine clothes, cars, and perfection. Her suggestive, just-in-time stops before naughty words and her self-denying tone as the two refuse to admit feelings for each other are exactly what the text requires.”
From the Speaking of Audio Review:
“Ms. White uses a wide range of voices for the book’s characters, and I was never in doubt as to who was speaking…On paper Payton might not seem likeable: she’s a bright workaholic who is sometimes exhausted, sometimes angry, and often sarcastic. Whatever emotion Payton feels is conveyed perfectly by Ms. White’s narration. I found myself not only liking Payton, but rooting her on.
J.D.’s also bright and a workaholic. Additionally, he’s conservative and chauvinistic, with many characteristics that should make me dislike him. But the combination of Ms. James’ words and Ms. White’s narration made him likeable as well, gradually showing J.D.’s vulnerabilities.
How much did I enjoy this audiobook? The minute I finished I downloaded another of Ms. James’ books, also narrated by Karen White. Since then I’ve listened to two others. If you like Ms. James in print, I think you’ll love this in audio.”
From the AudioGals review:
“Karen White shines with contemporary romantic comedy. Her perfect pacing, her comedic timing, her ability to deliver the dry wit as well as the slapstick situations all make this a truly wonderful experience. She creates complete characters for all the many people in the story, from their smarmy boss Ben to the various clerks and secretaries to the Jane Austen fan cab driver. But don’t get the idea that the book is farce – there are also true emotions and a wonderful grand gesture/grovel at the end. It’s a true 5-star experience, not to be missed.”
My recording experience:
As I’ve said many times in the social mediasphere, I feel so lucky to have been assigned to Just the Sexiest Man Alive a few years ago, and even luckier that Tantor Audio chose to publish the rest of Julie James’ oeuvre, including this backlist title from 2009. Julie has an amazing sense of humor, and one of my favorite things about this title is the physical comedy that ensues when the hero and heroine get into a bit of a war at work. Just check out the heroine’s big courtroom scene for that. I’ve also personally enjoyed going on the journey with all of Julie’s heroines, but in PMP in particular, I have to admit that I connected a little too well with Payton’s workaholism! I think my favorite little thing about this book were the chapter “buttons”. Julie really had fun ending each one with a quirky little sum up or cliffhanger. Check those out, too! To hear more about the collaboration between Julie and myself, you can also hear a recorded chat at AudioGals, part of their June is Audiobook Month celebration this year.
Listen to a sample here:
- Guest Blogger: Author Julie James on FBI Agents in Romance (kindlepost.com)
- Practice Makes Perfect (whatrainareads.wordpress.com)
- Book Review: A Lot Like Love (FBI / US Attorney #2) by Julie James (mandaloves.wordpress.com)