(The Legal Briefs #1)
by Emma Chase
Publisher: Gallery Books
Publication Date: April 28, 2015
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 have to admit that I’m not sure what I thought of this story. I wanted to like Stanton, and I kind of did but I didn’t like what he was doing. I mean, we start the story by going back in time when Stanton was a senior in high school, to the moment when he found out his girlfriend was pregnant. Then we go forward to the birth, and then jump to Stanton going off to college to try to make a career to support his girlfriend and daughter. However, they decide on an open relationship and pretty soon Stanton is having sex with girls while he’s at college, and then when he comes home for breaks, he picks up with his girlfriend like no time had lapsed. Fast forward ten years and it’s the same thing. As a teen I can kind of excuse the naivety of it but as a grown man, c’mon! So, Stanton is off being a big time lawyer, crushing cases, and screwing his co-workers brains out. However, when he gets an invite to his “girlfriends” wedding, he flips his lid. I mean, how could she up and marry someone? Doesn’t she know she’s HIS?! Not only is that just stupid but then he decides to bring his friend-with-benefits, Sofia, with him to Texas to convince his baby mama to drop the new guy and marry him… with the girl he’s currently sleeping with in tow. So pretty much Sofia is there as a wing-woman to help him win back “his girl” but of course, that is not how things pan out.
If you couldn’t tell by the above, Stanton really bothered me. It would be one thing if he had a fling here or there while away and then his baby mama up and got married and he flipped, but I mean, he was just in bed with another woman. Then proceeds to bring said woman to his hometown and still can’t keep it to himself… while he’s trying to win over someone else. That right there is what got me. Homeboy has clearly never heard the phrase, “you can’t have your cake and eat it too”, because that’s precisely what was going on in his head throughout this entire story.
Sofia, I don’t know about her either. I mean, I get that she was putting on her big girl panties by helping her friend/lover out when he was clearly distraught, but them big girl panties should have been telling her to kick his butt out of her bed and said panties. I mean, you are there to help him win someone else over, don’t be hooking up with the dude. Have some dignity. You either need to lay down the law or pack your bags and move on to someone better. But I digress, that’s my personal opinion. Sofia’s character was very likable aside from that. She travels to the middle of nowhere to help her friend out. She coaches him on what to say, how to react, and she seems to just get along with everyone. She was so charismatic that it was hard not to like her. I just wish her circumstances were different.
While I had an issue with Stanton and the way he went about things, this book was really good. Emma Chase knows how to write a damn good story. Not only does she paint the picture for you and keeps the ball rolling, she adds a lot of humor into her story. For instance, Stanton’s brother is like this hippie feel-good drug dealer. Let’s just say there were moments where stuff was getting out of hand and he’d be talking about trust falls and meditating exercises while dudes are coming to blows around him. My personal favorite is the fact that he takes to streaking when he drinks because the alcohol makes him too hot, so he takes off his clothes. Ha! There was also the shotgun toting Nana who was not a fan of Stanton and wasn’t afraid to let him know about it. However, she lights up like a kid in a candy store the moment Stanton would pull out a contraband bottle of liquor for her to hide away. And that’s only a couple of examples of the crazy but lovable characters in this story.
Overruled is a hilariously sexy time. While I didn’t care for the way Stanton went about things, I still really enjoyed the story. Which, says a lot about the author’s writing. There have been many times where I stopped reading a book because I didn’t care for the main character. However, I was so engaged with everything going on in the story and all the other characters that I found myself unable to put the book down. While I’ve already ready the second book in the novel (I read that one first), I already have the third book sitting on my lap, waiting to be read. 😉
“Do you really want to be judged by twelve people who weren’t smart enough to get out of jury duty?”