Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Sustained by Emma Chase

Title: Sustained
Author: Emma Chase
My Rating: A+

Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: Legal Briefs #3
Main Characters: Jake and Chelsea
Release Date: August 2015
Publisher: Gallery
Links to Purchase:
Sexual Intensity: hot

Story Overview:
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.

My Review:
This book...I sat down and read it in one sitting. I literally could not put it down. Then I dreamed about it all night. Can we say book hangover? Yep, I have one, because this book was so good. 

This book is told entirely from Jake's point of view and I love that. Usually I'm not a fan of a single pov, but it worked and here's why. Jake is a defense lawyer. He's super-smart and sees everything. He knows how to read little signals. So while we may not know everything going on inside Chelsea's head, Jake notices those little nuances. He may ignore them, but he notices them, so not once did I wish I knew what she was thinking. Besides, Jake's brain is active enough for both of them because this is a guy who is always looking at all the angles. That's what makes him a good attorney.

Chelsea's brother and his wife were killed suddenly in a tragic car accident. They left six kids ranging from 6 months old to 14 years old. At the time, Chelsea was only 26 herself and going to grad school in Berkley. She dropped everything and moved from Calif to DC to take care of her overwhelming nieces and nephews. Jake is not a guy who would EVER get involved with a girl with 6 kids no matter how attractive she is. He's an unapologetic man-whore. But he gets pulled into the vortex of this family when the 9 yo targets Jake and pickpockets his wallet. 

Jake may be a man-whore, but he's a good guy. Over and over again, he can't help but come to Chelsea's aid. She needs him. And it's not that she's overwhelmed, because she's really very competent, but there are six of them and only one of her and she doesn't have the support system in place to help her survive. Jake becomes that for her. 

I loved the way that this story evolved. It felt so real. Jake doesn't want to be there, but he steps up. Chelsea has moments where she can't deal, but for the most part she's doing brilliantly. But even the most competent person would have moments where they're overwhelmed. And these kids are overwhelming. Did you catch that? SIX of them. But the kids characters are so perfect in the story too. They each have very distinct personalities and impact on the family dynamic. None of them are dealing too well. It's only been two months since their parents died. 

Jake takes in the family dynamic and he helps it work. He's also a tough defense attorney which comes through at some of the best times. He knows how to argue a case with the best of them and that's an extremely valuable skill when dealing with this brood. 

There are several scenes that really make this story. The most beautiful scene in this book was a monologue with only Jake talking to the dead brother/father while looking for his liquor in the house. I was cracking up with tears in my eyes. Seriously, that scene is a perfect example of why this book is just so freaking good. It's heartfelt and emotional, but still real. Then there's the law firm and this core group of four lawyers that support one another. I love them, and when they come to Jake to intervene about his fathering skills...heart melting. They're all incredible characters.

Absolutely everything about this book worked for me. I loved the set-up, the kids, the dynamic. I loved Jake and his ability to empathize with anyone. There's some behind the scenes drama at the law firm and even that story ripped my heart out with the emotions involved. I loved Chelsea and Jake together. They form such an amazing team when racked up against the kids. I loved them...and it wasn't just about the romance. Individually, they are amazing characters. Together they are everything that makes an incredible story. 

I highly, highly recommend this book. It's on the short list for one of my favorite reads for 2015!

I received a complimentary copy of this book in return for an honest review.

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