Just the Sexiest Man Alive by Julie James
Just the Sexiest Man Alive by Julie James (2008) is a fun contemporary romance.
Taylor Donovan is a hotshot sexual harassment attorney from Chicago working a case in Los Angeles and also assigned by her firm to coach actor and current People's "Sexiest Man Alive" Jason Andrews for his upcoming role as an attorney.
Taylor was hurt recently by an unfaithful lover, and Jason has a long string of women left quickly, hinted at more than fully developed in the book, fortunately. His character definitely comes across as someone who has become a better person by being around Taylor, and his sixteen years as a hot Hollywood actor probably don't reflect well on him.
Regardless, the more Taylor treats him as a regular person instead of a sex symbol and possible love interest, the more interested in her Jason becomes.
The friendships between Jason and his best friend since college and Taylor and her two best girl friends in Chicago, shown via calls and one vist by them to LA, are interesting, spot-on, and good vehicles for showing Jason and Taylor's personalities.
Here's all of p.152:
Jason cocked his head, confused. What was this word, "no"? She was always saying it around him.
"Sorry, but no," Taylor repeated. "As in, no, I can't go away with you this weekend." She casually took a sip of her wine and set her glass down. She turned away, slid the salad bowl that he had just moved back into place, and resumed her dinner preparations. Jason's visions of crazy counter sex and flying arugula began to fade.
"What do you mean, you can't?"
"Well, for starters, I have other plans this Saturday."
Jason scoffed at this. "Plans? What plans?"
Taylor shrugged innocently, keeping her eyes on the salad she was making. "Oh, just, you know, other plans."
Ahh. . . now Jason understand what was going on here. A last-ditch effort to play hard to get. But really, he felt that it was time to cut through all the crap. A man like him could only wait so long.
He spotted something on the kitchen counter: People magazine, with his picture on the cover. Sexiest Man Alive. Aha! Evidence. Deciding to call Taylor's bluff, Jason grabbed the magzine and held it up to her.
"Really, Taylor, you don't have to keep up the charade. I mean, who wouldn't want to go away for the weekend with this guy?"
She cocked her head, considering this. Then she pointed to something on the magazine's cover. "Somebody who has a date, on Saturday, with that guy."
Jason turned the magazine around to see what she was pointing to. He saw a picture of Scott Casey in the corner, under a caption that read "Other Contenders."
He glanced back at her.
Taylor raised an eyebrow proudly. "Yes. Kind of funny, huh? We're going out this Saturday."
Jason's face fell.
Scott Casey being an up-and-coming, younger hot Hollywood actor--and Jason's biggest professional rival of the moment, of course.
My overall personal rating of Just the Sexiest Man Alive is a B+.