March 29th, 2023
Home | Log in!

On Top Shelf
Fresh Pick

New Books This Week

Latest Articles

Fresh Fiction Box

Video Book Club

Slideshow image

Since your web browser does not support JavaScript, here is a non-JavaScript version of the image slideshow:

slideshow image
In a Stalkers Sightsunless they can stop him.

slideshow image
A delightful story of a love that defies time

slideshow image
Hes a murderer and believes hes the most evil creature on earth.

slideshow image
A Valentines Day promise sixteen years in the making

slideshow image
An outcast finds a dying man who changes her life.

slideshow image
Hes already lost one woman he lovedhes not about to lose another.

Spring for these books in March

Barnes & Noble

Fresh Fiction Blog
Get to Know Your Favorite Authors

Julie James | Wine and Romance—the Perfect Pairing


Hello, everyone!

I’m happy to be here today to talk to you about my new release, A LOT LIKE LOVE. Last week I found out that the book has gone into its second printing after only two weeks (whoo-hoo!)—and I’m thrilled the book is connecting so well with readers.

For those of you who’d like to know more about A LOT LIKE LOVE, haven’t read any of my books, or are wondering, “Who is this Julie James person, anyway?”, here’s the scoop: A LOT LIKE LOVE is about a wealthy wine store owner who agrees to pose as the girlfriend of an undercover FBI agent—as part of a sting operation—in exchange for her twin brother’s release from prison. 

There were two things I knew when beginning to outline the book.  First, that the heroine would not be a lawyer (unlike the heroines in my first three books).  I guess I wanted to prove to myself that I could write something different.  Second, I knew the book would somehow involve wine.

The wine idea began fermenting in my mind (yes, pun intended) after my husband and I took a trip to Napa Valley.  Wine and romance seemed, to me, like such a natural pairing.  However, I also realized that I needed to do some research.  Sure, I knew a little about wine, but I needed to learn more if I wanted to write a heroine who owns a wine store.  So I interviewed the owner of my local wine shop and shadowed her for a day, and I also took a wine appreciation course.  (Not exactly a hardship, I know.) 

The heroine of the book, Jordan Rhodes, isn’t only a wine store owner, she also happens to be a billionaire heiress. She’s smart and sophisticated and not accustomed to meeting guys like the hero, the tall, dark, and smoldering Special Agent Nick McCall.  Unlike the Ralph-Lauren-and-Italian-loafer-wearing types Jordan usually encounters as part of the crème de la crème of Chicago society, Nick is rugged, sarcastic, and wholly unimpressed with the wine scene.   There’s definitely a “dislike at first sight” element to A Lot Like Love, which I put in quotes because we all know the characters are attracted to each other even if they refuse to admit it.  I’m a big fan of the slow burn in romances… the kind of attraction that builds and builds until it explodes when the hero and heroine are least expecting it.

But enough about me, how about you? Do you prefer the “slow burn” romances, or instant attraction?  What do you like to “pair” with a good book? A glass of wine? A hot bath? A quiet house?  I’m giving away a copy of A LOT LIKE LOVE to one person who leaves a comment below.

To find out more about Julie James and her books, or to read an excerpt of A LOT LIKE LOVE, visit




65 comments posted.

Re: Julie James | Wine and Romance—the Perfect Pairing

I enjoy both a slow burn and an instant attraction, it just depends on what else is going on in the book. If it is a slow burn with not much going on that can make for a slow book.

I can pair a good with just about anything. I enjoy reading in the bathtub because in a house with 3 boys and a husband, it is sometimes the quietest room in the house. I really like to read at the beach but since I don't live at the beach that is harder to do.
(Amanda Fenley 11:42am March 24, 2011)

I am a pun lover so really appreciated your comment "The wine idea began fermenting in my mind"!
(Marjorie Carmony 11:45am March 24, 2011)

Sounds like a great book. I'd love to read it.
(Wilma Frana 11:53am March 24, 2011)

A quite and clean house is the better place to enjoy reading a good book :)

(Renanda P 12:03pm March 24, 2011)

It doesn't matter if it's a "slow burn" or "instant attraction" if the story keeps me anxious to find out what is going to happen next and I definitely need a quiet house to enjoy the book.
(Anna Speed 12:18pm March 24, 2011)

Either is fine. But I guess maybe the slow burn, more anticipation. And chocolate is a good accompaniment.
(Helen Livermore 12:21pm March 24, 2011)

Oh yes, definitely a slow burn that explodes. I don't need anything to pair with a good book. After raising children that had to practice the french horn and violin, I've gotten to the point where I can tune out anything and anyone! Now DH picks his guitar. He's not bad, but there are days.........
(Cynthia Netherton 12:23pm March 24, 2011)

I love to pair my romances with solitude and in the correct season, a fire in the fireplace and a cup of tea or coffee at hand.
(G. Bisbjerg 12:33pm March 24, 2011)

I just love the idea of a fbi romance.
(Kathleen Bianchi 12:37pm March 24, 2011)

A slow burn that builds up. I like to pair a good book with a quiet place to read. I love the peace and quiet and enjoy it when I have it.
(Jerriann Graff 12:49pm March 24, 2011)

I think I prefer the "slow burn," old-fashioned type romances. The reason I like them, and you probably hate them, is because the books are longer, usually around 400 pages or so. When I settle down with a book like this, I love to be in my comfortable chair, with a Coke, and hopefully no distractions. When the book is really good, I even hate to take time out to eat, or do anything else! All I want to do is find out how it ends! I'm sure your book is a good one, and I'm going to be sure to put it on my TBR list!!
(Peggy Roberson 1:03pm March 24, 2011)

I love "Slow Burn"; it draws out the anticipation. Your books sounds great.
(Robin McKay 1:12pm March 24, 2011)

Either way is fine. Whichever way you're writing it, it's working just great. I love your books so much.
(G S Moch 1:42pm March 24, 2011)

I think, in general, I prefer the slow burn. But then there are times when the instant attraction also works, especially when it's combined with the slow burn!!

As for what to pair a good read with, anything chocolate, anything ice cream, any good wine (for me, that would be a really, really nice Reisling TBA, possibly even an Eiswein if I could find/afford one!). They would all work for, although probably not all at the same time!!


(Lynn Rettig 1:49pm March 24, 2011)

I like the "slow burn" rather than the "instant attraction".

I usually like to reading in front of a warm fire or in my case, the warm sun, but not at the beach! Big difference I have to say. Even reading under the warm covers is nice so for me it's being in comfortable climate control that makes reading more enjoyable.
(Maureen Leigh 1:53pm March 24, 2011)

I like the slow burn! Nothing like waiting for IT to happen. LOL.
(Pat Lieberman 1:54pm March 24, 2011)

I'm kinda a slow burn fan. A pair for me is: good book and a spot on my screen optional..
(Cate Sparks 1:54pm March 24, 2011)

My perfect pairing needs only my book and my reading
glasses...I can read while walking, talking, not sleeping,
bathtub, not the shower {yet}, living room, bedroom, porch,
car {not driving - don't drive}, eating {while alone},
restaurants, home, {not as a guest}, and any other place
that I can stand or sit. Me and my glasses travel all over
the globe through reading - so I never leave home without
(Paula Shene 2:03pm March 24, 2011)

Always enjoy romantic suspense. In a quiet house (nothing more annoying than being interrupted when engrossed in a good book) With coffee in the AM or herbal tea or wine later in the day.
(Shirley Nienkark 2:04pm March 24, 2011)

I like a slow burn. The anticipation is so much fun!

I pair a book with hot tea or coffee.
(Cheryl Castings 2:15pm March 24, 2011)

I like a slow burn. More to look forward to.
Would like to read this book.
(Diane Castiglione 2:15pm March 24, 2011)

I'm a "slow burn" kinda gal! You know what they say..."Anticipation is half the fun!" And one of my favorite things about romances are the sexual banter. The only thing I like to "pair" with a good book is my bed--since that's about the only time I get to read!
(Laura Henderson 2:31pm March 24, 2011)

Variety for me... my mood changes and I go with the flow. I enjoy the slow burn, instant attraction, etc. When reading a great book, I love my nice quiet spot to curl up and enjoy...
(Colleen Conklin 2:35pm March 24, 2011)

How about an "Instant Burn"...I love any type of story...and a hot bath..I also love to go on cruises..I always take a few books with me to be out on the deck..soaking up sun and nothing but heaven!!!
(Leisa Prater 2:46pm March 24, 2011)

I also prefer a slow burn. Love the anticipation buildup.

I like to read in my recliner with or without food or drink. Also, whenever I go some place where I know I'll have to wait a while, I go have book will travel.
(Cathy Phillips 3:00pm March 24, 2011)

Thank you for your post and the giveaway, Julie.

To answer your second question, the easier one: What goes best with reading for me is one of my cats curled up in my lap or by my side. When I'm reading for pleasure it's usually late and night and I'm in bed with Spartacus, my big golden tabby, and/or Farrah, my little calico-tabby bobtail. They make great reading companions. They have never complained about my choice of reading material or interrupted me just as I'm about to get to an exciting part.

To answer your first question, it depends on the book. But I jump at any chance I can find to read a romance that starts with instant attraction.

Why? Partly because they're so rare. In 99.9% of romance fiction, it's hate at first sight.

But more importantly, the "slow burn" bit fits in with the concept of romance as a power struggle punctuated by sexual attraction. Obviously it's the most popular type of romance.

But if the hero and heroine are instantly attracted to each other, it fits in with another concept of romance, that of the power of love in action. Two people fall in love at first sight or fairly quickly, but face tremendous internal and external obstacles. The story traces their efforts to overcome them, and the complications that arise when they succeed, or think they do.

This is my favorite concept of romance, but nowadays it's very rare and hard to find. So how do I keep myself supplied with them? You guessed it. I write my own!

Good luck with your new release.
(Mary Anne Landers 3:10pm March 24, 2011)

I love when it is a slow burn. I love when tension is stretched to the absolute max. When a simmering romance spans a series I love that.

A quiet room is ideal. But, mostly I need to be curled up somewhere cozy.
(Marianna Gizzarelli 3:15pm March 24, 2011)

I like instant attraction,but they take it slow. With a good book I like a cup of coffee or tea, and if possible a peaceful and quiet house.
(Deb Pelletier 3:19pm March 24, 2011)

I like a slow burn and lots of banter. But instant attraction is a lot of fun too! I like to pair a good book with a quiet house. Your book sounds great, love the wine aspect!
(Yuka Liew 3:27pm March 24, 2011)

The slow burn for sure, let thing heat up slowly then ignite. I love to read late at night when everyone else is asleep.
(MaryEllen Hanneman 4:18pm March 24, 2011)

A good book, a glass of ice tea and some time on the glider in the shade on a sunny afternoon! Can't you just hear the birds, the crickets and bees buzzing around?
(Marguerite Guinn 4:18pm March 24, 2011)

Congrats on the new release. I like a slow burn. I want the attraction to build. I like to pair a good book with a cold Coke and chips or cookies.
(Jane Cheung 4:32pm March 24, 2011)

I like to read in the bathtub, too. I do my best reading in my bedroom where it's quiet, I have good lighting, and I can get comfy.

Instant attraction is good; I wouldn't like the ones as well where they dislike each other from the start.
(Michelle Fidler 4:33pm March 24, 2011)

(Silvana Moscato 4:39pm March 24, 2011)

I prefer a slow burn... characters evolving especially moves me... Chocolates and romance... yum... :)
(May Pau 4:52pm March 24, 2011)

Congrats on your awesome news! And having Jed Hill on the cover can't hurt either.

I enjoy slow burn romances a bit more. The build-up is just more fun and exciting.

As for comestibles while reading, tea or soda are my preferred drinks. Chocolate would be good except I'd hate to get it on a book.
(S Tieh 5:19pm March 24, 2011)

A quiet house & a cup of tea. The wine would just knock me out. So best not during the day.
(Mary Preston 6:00pm March 24, 2011)

I prefer the instant attraction to the drawn out ones. Any type of dessert is good with a book.
(Leni Kaye 6:09pm March 24, 2011)

Loved this book! I like the slow burn. I like to pair a good book with getting under the covers and spending some quiet time in bed.
(Maria Munoz 6:11pm March 24, 2011)

Hello everyone! Just wanted to pop in and say thanks for the wonderful
comments. I'm reading them all, and you guys are giving me some great ideas
for things to "pair" with a good book! : )
(Julie James 6:14pm March 24, 2011)

This sounds like a wonderful plot with characters that you could love. I have always loved stories pertaining to wine (and chocolate lol) ever since I watched A Walk in the Clouds. I look forward to seeing your book in our area.
(Cindy Olp 6:14pm March 24, 2011)

Congratulations on the new release. Either plot is fine.
(Kim C 6:18pm March 24, 2011)

Slow burn builds the tension and anticipation but so does instant attraction that's fought or denied. I can do both really, it just depends on my mood @ the time. Love your books & covers.
(Ivy Truitt 6:32pm March 24, 2011)

Slow burn romance...I love my wine and hot baths and a quiet house is rare but wonderful!!!
(Dawn Staniszeski 6:38pm March 24, 2011)

I like the instant attraction---and I like some good pizza and a coke with my books.
(Sue Farrell 7:21pm March 24, 2011)

I love any type of romance, but I think the slow burn is better. Just building up to the big "Oh my gosh" moment. I love to read anywhere. Give me a romance book and I will completely zone out no matter where I am or how many people are around.
I have to say that the moment that I read about this one book I went and added all of your books to my "to be read list", and guess what? They are definitely next.
Thanks for writing such amazing books.
(Ashley Vazquez 7:23pm March 24, 2011)

I like them both. It all depends on the story. Sometimes it has to be instant just fits their personality. And then, there's those I've always loved you romances that become so special because they've waited for so long. A good story is still a good story either way!
(Pamela Stewart 7:49pm March 24, 2011)

I like both but the slow burn works better for me, especially when the hero and heroine starts as antagonists. "Much Ado About Nothing" is my favorite Shakespearean comedy. Just love those insults flying at the beginning.
(Carol Drummond 8:11pm March 24, 2011)

Hmmm, I kind of like both and think it depends on the story itself and the characters. I've come across both and have loved them equally. The slow burn is more romantic and holds my attention as I watch two characters who realize they have feelings for eachother or who are fighting the attraction and once they give in I can breathe easier. The instant attraction is nice too because sometimes the sexual chemistry is explosive. I'm good for both :)
I love to read in silence when the kids are in bed, though drinking a glass of wine sounds nice and your making my mouth water, but as of late my allergy has been out of control and I can no longer drink it.
(Jolene Allcock 8:40pm March 24, 2011)

Similar a prior comment, I like to read on the back deck, in a lounge chair with some sweet ice tea. In the peaceful woods I hear birds and occasionally spot deer. I'll take either type of romance if the story is good.
(r w 8:58pm March 24, 2011)

It really depends, I've fallen in love with stories of instant
attraction and slow burn. I think slow burn ones are closer to
my heart but love is love. And a quiet house is the BEST
(Jennifer Ma 9:14pm March 24, 2011)

I love time travel books, modern romance, as well as the era of the Tudors.....
I love being alone in the house to curl up in my lazyboy glider which is made for women and is just the right size!
(Brenda Rupp 9:34pm March 24, 2011)

I would say a slow burn because I usually like the characters to hate each other at first. I like that the main character is a twin because I have twins and know that when they are adults they will do anything for the other one. This sounds like a great book!
(Renee Pajda 9:40pm March 24, 2011)

It doesn't really matter to me whether it's a slow burn or an instant attraction, as long as isn't that "yes, yes, we all know you're going to end up together, so why is it taking SO long" type. I think there's a fine line between "slow burn" and just stringing the reader along.

As for what I pair my book with, I like hot tea or hot chocolate, depending on the season.

This sounds like a great book - right up my alley! Good luck with it!
(Min Jung 9:58pm March 24, 2011)

instant attraction over slow burn, but variety is great. A quiet house is best for reading; wine makes me too sleepy to pair it with reading.
(Diane Sallans 10:19pm March 24, 2011)

Either is fine with me so long as we have a good ending. Not wine, I get too tired and stop reading but a nice quiet house would be great!
(Diane Sadler 10:32pm March 24, 2011)

I'm enjoying The Sexiest Man Alive!
(Lorelei Buzzetta 11:44pm March 24, 2011)

"Just The Sexiest Man Alive" :D, Glad I found your books, and quite admire your generosity
(Lorelei Buzzetta 11:47pm March 24, 2011)

Sounds like an interesting book with interesting premises--one I'd certainly enjoy reading. Way to go about already getting a reprint.
(Sigrun Schulz 11:50pm March 24, 2011)

I like the slow burn approach the best. I can read through most anything, so I'd pair a good book with a nice glass of wine.

Congratulations on the early second printing; hope you have continued success.

Thanks for the opportunity to win your book!
(Karen Cherubino 12:28pm March 25, 2011)

I prefer the “slow burn” romances, because instant attraction is more or less called lust at first sight, LOL. What do you like to “pair” with a good book? A quiet house. i run outside and read on my porch.
Thanks for the contest julie. great cover!
(Amanda Dalon 2:13am March 25, 2011)

I love to curl up in a heated bed and enjoy a good book. Good books are bookes that have surprises and a sense of wondering what is coming around the next corner. I love a twist to the plot and yes, a slow burn is fun if both parties are feeling that burn.
(Christina Harrison 7:37am March 25, 2011)

I like books with a slow burn. And although my favorite reading style is curled up in a cozy corner with a book, my reality is that I read sitting next to my hubby while he either reads or watches TV. Thanks for this my fingers crossed.
(Jan Terry 10:01am March 25, 2011)

Night and books are a good pair and so is reading just about anytime.
(Alyson Widen 12:51pm March 25, 2011)

I like the "instant attraction" and then the getting to know him part.I love to read in bed at night. One time a book was so good, I only got one hour of sleep before the alarm went off. I can't do that too often.
(Kathleen Yohanna 12:58pm March 25, 2011)

Registered users may leave comments.
Log in or register now!


© 2003-2023  all rights reserved Privacy Policy