Series: The Legal Briefs #1
Published by Gallery Books
Published on April 28th, 2015
Genres: Adult Contemporary, Contemporary Romance
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Emma Chase, New York Times bestselling author of the Tangled Series, returns with the first installment of the Legal Briefs Series.
As a DC defense attorney, Stanton Shaw keeps his head cool, his questions sharp, and his arguments irrefutable. They don’t call him the Jury Charmer for nothing – with his southern drawl, disarming smile and captivating green eyes – he’s a hard man to say no to. Men want to be him and women want to be thoroughly cross examined by him.
Stanton’s a man with a plan. And for a while, life was going according to that plan.
Until the day he receives an invitation to the wedding of his high school sweetheart and mother of his beloved ten-year old daughter. Jenny is getting married — to someone who isn’t him.
That's definitely not part of the plan.
Sofia Santos is a city raised, no-nonsense litigator who plans to become the most revered criminal defense attorney in the country. She doesn’t have time for relationships or distractions.
But when Stanton, her "friend with mind-blowing benefits" begs for help, she finds herself out of her element, out of her depth, and obviously out of her mind. Because she agrees to go with him – to The-Middle-Of-Nowhere, Mississippi – to do all she can to help Stanton win back the woman he loves.
Her head tells her she's crazy...and her heart says something else entirely.
What happens when you mix a one stop-light town, two professional arguers, a homecoming queen, four big brothers, some Jimmy Dean sausage and a gun-toting Nana?
The Bourbon flows, passions rise and even the best laid plans get overruled by the desires of the heart.
4.5 Hilariously sexy, but still heartfelt and romantic, stars
Emma Chase has done it again! Book 1 in her new series, The Legal Briefs, she has given us a smart, funny, romantic and sexy story featuring a jerk-ish but loveable hero, a strong, intelligent and relatable heroine, lots of laughs, a beautiful and passionate romance that builds in intensity and just the right amount of drama to make the story heartfelt. I loved it!
Young love is strong. First love is powerful. But what you don’t know when you’re young – what you can’t know – is how long life actually is. And the only dependable thing about it, besides death and taxes, is change.
When the book starts we are introduced to a teenage Stanton Shaw. He is the golden boy of his small country town, and in love with Jenny, the girl that he wants to spend the rest of his life with. But life doesn’t turn out the way you always expect it, and the story shifts to years later when Stanton is a gorgeous, charming and highly successful Attorney in Washington DC. He makes good money, has great friends, a daughter that he loves more than anything, and he even has a friend with benefits, Sofia, who regularly rocks his world. Life for him is good.
“Brilliant, hardworkin’, handsome, and he fucks like a beast.”
The book is written in the dual POV of Stanton and Sofia, and Emma has done a wonderful job with telling the story. She proved with Drew Evans in Tangled that she is brilliant at capturing the male POV, and she’s done a fantastic job with Stanton. He’s a bit of an ass, but you can’t help but love him!
Sofia’s a woman in all the important places, but with the practicality of a man. There are no minivans or white picket fences in her future, just corner offices and billable hours. She’s frank, direct, but also fun. A woman I consider a friend – someone I enjoy going out with as much as I enjoy going down on.
And Sofia is more than enough to handle him! Raised with three older brothers, she knows how to handle men. She is strong, super smart, and focussed on her career. She doesn’t take crap from anybody, and knows exactly where she stands with Stanton. Their relationship was wonderful to read about.
I really liked that rather than seeing the meeting, the build-up, and the inevitable hook up, this book starts with Stanton and Sofia already well into their ‘friends with benefits’ relationship. They are an amazing team at work, they hang out socially, and things between them are easy and super functional. Their physical connection is intense, and even though there are some deeper feelings there, neither of them really care to examine that in any detail, they just accept it as it is, and revel in the explosive passion between them without feeling the need to get serious.
We left modesty in the dust a ways back – around the first time she played jockey on my face.
And did I mention this book is SCORCHING hot! The love scenes are frequent and descriptive, and had me fanning myself.
This, here with Sofia – there’s never been anything mechanical about it. It’s scorching flames, licking at our limbs, pulling us together from a space deep inside – making us clash like magnets separated too far for too long.
But things get complicated when Stanton receives news that Jenny is getting married. His perfect life is thrown into complete disarray, and he soon finds himself travelling to his home town to stop the wedding of the girl he always considered “his”, and just to make things interesting, he drags Sofia along with him.
As much as I love Stanton, I have to say that his ideas about a relationship, particularly when it comes to Jenny, are absolutely outrageous View Spoiler »I couldn’t believe that he just expected her to wait around for him, while he lives his life, sleeping with whoever he wants, whenever he wants! Although in his defense, Jenny seemed content to do just that. « Hide Spoiler. It’s a bit of a messed up situation, but I could honestly see both of their points of view. I think seeing them as young lovers helps us understand how things happened the way they did. Emma went into great detail with them, and the idealism of young love is beautifully captured, and that is followed through in each of their subsequent encounters. Jenny is a wonderful character and again, the ease of their relationship was beautifully portrayed. I really loved the dynamic between them.
And when Stanton’s present collides with his past, it forces him to re-evaluate his life and figure out what, and who, it is that he really wants.
“You’re so stubborn – you’re so stuck on what you think is supposed to be there, that you’re missin’ what’s right in front of you.”
This is such a fabulous story! The concept may not be a new one, but it has enough of a twist to make it unique as well. The pacing is fast, the plot is entertaining, it’s romantic and sexy and it’s funny as hell! I was engrossed from the very beginning, and loved the way it all played out.
I really love Sofia. Stanton is a big character, and even though most of the book is from his POV, Sofia stands strong as her own character, and she’s fantastic! She has her own inner battles and I love the way that her feelings were portrayed without her coming off as looking desperate or clingy –View Spoiler »Sex with Stanton is exhilarating, working beside him is a privilege. But loving him…that just hurts. « Hide Spoiler
It’s a fine line, and a lot of authors make heroines in similar situations really whiney. Instead, Sofia is confident but with a huge heart, and she is very relatable. I think she’s been written really well.
Jake and Brent are fantastic additions to the story. Friends and colleagues of both Stanton and Sofia, they are unique characters, and they have some great moments. I’m really excited for their books coming up next in the series. Oh, and if you’re a Drew fan, you’ll be thrilled to know that he makes a couple of short appearances in this book, and it’s a little bit awesome.
All tied together with a beautiful romance, this book is further evidence of why I love Emma Chase. It’s great fun, and a really enjoyable read. I am as always, eager for more.
An Advanced Reader Copy generously provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.