Okay, I’m going to be honest with you guys. This Bite Sized Books post has been in my drafts for going on six months and I don’t know why I’ve not posted it. I think I couldn’t be bothered to sort out images and links at the time so it’s never gotten onto my blog and ready to post. It’s sad and I loved these first two books by Emma Chase so that is a crying shame. I wanted to clarify that now before you all go accusing me of not reading these, I did and then didn’t tell you all about how great they were.
Genre: Romance, Contemporary
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.
I loved this cute contemporary read and thank Smart Bitches, Trashy Books for putting this series on my radar from one of the podcasts (it was actually the second book mentioned but it’' feels like blasphemy to not start at the beginning of a series).
I had seen this book about a couple of times but I wrote it off because I am not a fan of romances where it goes from friends with benefits to more because that is not how life goes in reality. It might, but more often than not from my experience and what I’ve seen with friends it too often ends in disaster with one person having fun and the other wanting more. Life experience has taught me people suck. Anyway, I’d written off this book thinking I wouldn’t enjoy the romance and Stanton’s love for his ex and stringing Sofia along. Turns out I was wrong as I so often am.
This is a great romance and I think the reason it works is because Stanton is a sweet and charming southern guy you want to swoon over. He is completely likable and when he acts like a bit of a dick he seems to recognise it as well. You keep trying not to like him because of how he treats Sofia and how he acts with his ex he’s trying to get back, but you can’t.
More importantly, Sofia is a badass. She is ‘one of the guys’ which can be an annoying category for a beautiful woman to be in books because it seems ridiculous, but Chase managed to do it right with Sofia. It’s logical that she feels like one of the guys in her firm because she group with older brothers and you always end up being able to interact with guy talk a lot easier then. And it’s acknowledged she isn’t a tomboy, she is just capable of guy talk and understand guy logic a bit more. I really liked Sofia because she seemed really relatable and she did have little meltdowns in her head but she was strong and awesome and I loved it.
Basically, this is the contemporary read for you if you enjoy seeing to strong personalities who clash yet totally work as a team. It’s fun, there’s flirting, and you won’t be able to help to get absorbed. Also, who doesn’t like a nice southern gent in your romance reads?
Genre: Romance, Contemporary
A knight in tarnished armor is still a knight.
When you’re a defense attorney in Washington, DC, you see firsthand how hard life can be, and that sometimes the only way to survive is to be harder. I, Jake Becker, have a reputation for being cold, callous, and intimidating—and that suits me just fine. In fact, it’s necessary when I’m breaking down a witness on the stand.
Complications don’t work for me—I’m a “need-to-know” type of man. If you’re my client, tell me the basic facts. If you’re my date, stick to what will turn you on. I’m not a therapist or Prince Charming—and I don’t pretend to be.
Then Chelsea McQuaid and her six orphaned nieces and nephews came along and complicated the ever-loving hell out of my life. Now I'm going to Mommy & Me classes, One Direction concerts, the emergency room, and arguing cases in the principal's office.
Chelsea’s too sweet, too innocent, and too gorgeous for her own good. She tries to be tough, but she’s not. She needs someone to help her, defend her…and the kids.
And that — that, I know how to do.
The second book in Emma Chase’s Legal Briefs series ended up being just as enjoyable as the first but in a different way. The first one turned a trope I am not a fan of into a really enjoyable basis for a book. Sustained turned a trope I roll my eyes out into one that I really liked as long as suspended a certain amount of disbelief.
Sustained is all about hardass Jake, the man of a hundred one night stands, who enjoys sex and is determined in his career. He was once a badboy who got put on the right path to follow the law. The book is told exclusively from his perspective, which is pretty unique for romance reads. Normally it’s from the female perspective or a duel perspective, never from the male perspective alone. I’ll be interested to see if the third is similar.
Our intrepid hero Jake ends up meeting Chelsea, a woman who has been dealt a tough hand with the death of her brother and his wife leaving her with six kids to raise (yes, six children!). Jake is returning one of her wayward wards home when he first meets her and he gets drawn into their lives and the lives of these kids when the last thing he wants is responsibilities and a relationship.
I really enjoyed this romance both because Jake turned out to be a softy with a squishy marshmallow centre of gooiness, but also because Jake was resistant to this whole thing. You often get guys who don’t want commitments in romance and you never see much of their perspective, or when you do in can come across that they are just a bit of knob. This isn’t the case with Jake, he has very legitimate reasons for wanting his independence and you can see it’s tearing him up trying to stop himself falling for Chelsea and all her kids. It’s not him acting like a complete knob (he is still a bit of one) but it’s him just being absolutely petrified and I liked reading that. It’s obviously a losing battle and I adored reading every step to his downfall.
This is another fun contemporary read this does involve you not rolling your eyes at the idea of a woman in her mid twenties taking on an army of children when her brother dies and not needing to work (she seriously didn’t seem to have any job, where was the money coming from?). Apart from the suspension of disbelief at the gaggle of children it really worked and those kids needed to be in there to provide the romantic obstacles necessary. It’s just a plain old fun read.
Have you read either of these books? What did you think? And can you recommend any other good contemporary reads, I have a craving.