The Allure of Julian Lefray by R.S. Grey
Overall Rating: 2.5 (sXe)
Josephine Keller has moved to New York to pursue her dream of being a professional fashion blogger. I’m not sure when this has actually become a thing, but I guess it makes sense since people do make a living as a blogger. I just didn’t realize that was a career goal girls graduating high school and college had—but I’m not judging. I’m just clueless. In any case, Jo feels like she’s had her big break when she is hired to work as an executive assistant for a fashion line, but she has a difficult time keeping it professional due to the extreme hotness of her boss, Julian Lefray. While Jo waivers back and forth about sleeping with him, Julian has zero problems trying to convince her to give them a chance. The problem, of course, is that he is rich, and Jo is trying to break into a tough industry while managing student loan debt, sky-high rent, and basic necessities.
The back and forth nature of this novel was tedious to me. They were close to sealing the deal a few times and Jo pulls away, making me think Julian should be given an award and an ice pack. But, some of the issues Jo discusses as reasons why she doesn’t want to get involved with her boss are legitimate, and I’m so glad they are identified. The power dynamic between the two is skewed, emphasizing how vulnerable Jo is in a potential workplace romance. Of course, the nice thing about romance novels is the hero is usually a good and honorable person, so I can root for them without feeling like I need to turn in my feminist card. The central problem of the novel is typical of love in your twenties. How do I balance my career aspirations with everyday responsibilities and take a risk on a new relationship to find love? It’s always nice for me to go back to that time (although I’m not TOO far past it myself) when it felt like each decision you made could affect the rest of your life.
In the end, I gave this book only 2.5 stars because it didn’t really do it for me. I can’t, in good faith, say I liked this novel primarily because I can’t explain why I enjoyed it. I thought the dialogue was good, and Julian and Jo seemed sweet together, but it dragged. I should note, there is a sense that a sequel is in the works for Lily, Jo’s BFF. So while I didn’t dislike it, I don’t think I can say I liked it enough to put my stamp of approval on it.
Update: I noticed a few people found this blog because they were wondering if a sequel to The Allure of Julian Lefray was in the works. I did some research and the answer is yes! According to Grey’s Goodreads page, Lily & Dean’s story will be out in October 2015. I’m not sure if I will read it, but if I do, I will be sure to update this post.