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XOXperts ARC Review: Overruled: Emma Chase



Overruled (The Legal Briefs #1)

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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.
Stanton’s his Fraternity Brother

“Last semester a member graduated early, then got shipped abroad by his Fortune 500 company. My fraternity big brother lobbied strongly for me to get a room here in the house. A big brother is the guy you’re paired with when you’re pledging a frat. He’s the guy who gives you the hardest time. You’re his bitch—his slave.

But after you become a brother, he’s your best friend. Your mentor.

As self-loathing threatens to swamp me, my big brother just happens to walks past my open door. 
Out of the corner of my eye I see his dark head pass, pause, and back up. Then Drew Evans strolls into my room. Drew is like no one I’ve ever known. It’s as if there’s a spotlight on him that never dims—he demands your notice. He walks around like he owns the world, and when you’re with him? You feel like you own it too.

Deep blue eyes that all the girls go stupid for look down on me disapprovingly.

“What’s wrong with you?”

I wipe my nose. “Nothin’.”

His eyebrows rise. “Doesn’t look like nothing. You’re practically crying into your pillow, for Christ sakes. I’m fucking embarrassed for you.”
I am rather shocked by how much this book totally did not work for me. I love Emma Chase’s writing style, and I absolutely LOVED and ADORED Drew Evans, so to say this book was a highly anticipated read is an understatement. I am not really sure what I was expecting when I met Stanton. I mean I figured he would come off as a jerk wad, but I guess maybe, I thought it would be more in the style of Drew’s character. Sadly, when it came down to it, Stanton was no Drew Evans, that is for sure. And I can say with all kinds of positivity Stanton Shaw went above and beyond the definition of jerk wad. 

I wanted so much to love Stanton; however, I could not even bring myself to like him. Stanton Shaw was a mega self-absorbed a**hole, who revealed in being a womanizer. But let’s look past all that to the main reason I couldn’t stand our newest “hero,” seeing as anyone who reads my reviews would know I'd happily roll around in a room full of bad boys. I cannot tolerate a person who cheats without some form of justifiable cause. And as far as I am concerned Stanton Shaw truly had no “understandable or believable” justification to park his pecker anywhere other than his girl. Sorry, Stanton, some of us don’t believe in eating our cake and having it too. Now it could also be argued that he wasn’t cheating since Jenny technically gave him permission to screw other women. With that said, I do not give one flying iota that his first love and mother of his child gave him permission to sate his physical desires in another arena while she stayed back home raising his daughter. I don’t care that she was ok with him coming back to her when he finally had the time to visit knowing that he was getting his jollies off elsewhere. Why did this bother me so much? It was the simple fact that this was not the dynamic we were introduced to. The outcome not what I expected. My heart was lead on a string to fall for a certain twosome. The author set us up to believe and trust in first love. Stanton claimed Jenny was his life and he neither would nor could love another. It sure didn’t take him long to realize how much he quite liked having the grass is greener on the other side scenario and he wasn’t willing to change it until Jenny decided she was ready to. Silly ole me for putting my faith in first love. It pissed me off even more that Jenny and Stanton were still a couple in all senses of the word (through a 10 year span mind you), albeit a long distance one, while he was banging anything with two legs.

There isn’t much nice things I can say about Jenny and Sofia either. My dislike for them lied in the fact that they were Stanton’s doormats. He snapped his fingers, beckoning them to answer his call, and they pretty much forgave any transgression he dished up. I am not a fan of weak women. In fact, it irks the every living crap out of me, ruining the book for me immediately. I honestly could not conceive how Jenny could be willing to live with the whole “what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas” motto. Stanton and Jenny’s “true” love intrigued me at first; making my heart skip a beat with the sacrifices they were willing to make for each other. Unfortunately, my intrigue didn’t last long before turning into exasperation. And Sofia…well, I lost all respect for her just a few chapters in. What self-respecting woman would follow her "friend's with benefits" lover and help a man she is in love with win back “his girl.” I really struggled with her falling into Stanton each and every time, and it didn't even matter if he was just fresh from chasing Jenny.

I think the one redeeming thing about Stanton was his interaction with his daughter Presley. While he may not have been able to get his priorities straight with his love life that wasn't the case when it came to Presley. His love and adoration for her shined so bright. Those brief moments had me holding out for that little extra somethin' somethin'. They gave me hope that sooner or later he would pull his head out of his butt and show me that he is the type of hero I am used to reading about from Chase. And he did just that. I was quite shocked when I reached the last 25% and realized I was rooting him on. I wanted him to get the girl. At this turning point, Stanton started to remind me of why I love romance novels so much.

I have to give mad props to the secondary characters. They were what held me engaged and kept me hanging in there until my attention became caught up with the main characters in the last bit. If it wasn't for them I think this book would have quickly ended up on my DNF list. 

Although, I was not anywhere close to being fond of this one, I think I would still love to read Jake and Brent’s story. I fell head over heels for those two. I am hoping with Stanton’s best friends we will get much better taste of the quirky heroes Emma Chase is known for.

"I have received a complimentary copy of Overruled as a member of the XOXperts, XOXO After Dark’s official street team, in exchange for an honest review.
Sustained (The Legal Briefs #2)

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Expected August 25, 2015


A knight in tarnished armor is still a knight.


When you’re a defense attorney in Washington DC, you see first-hand how hard life can be and that sometimes the only way to survive is to become harder. I have a reputation for being cold, callous, 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 get you off. 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 am knee deep in a damn compost pit. 

Chelsea’s too sweet, too innocent and too gorgeous for her own good. She tries to be hard, but she’s not. She needs someone to help her, defend her…and the kids.

And that – that I know how to do.

Appealed (The Legal Briefs #3)

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Expected November 17, 2015

When Brent Mason looks at Kennedy Randolph, he doesn’t see the awkward, sweet girl who grew up next door. He sees a self-assured, stunning woman…who wants to crush the most intimate - and prized - parts of his anatomy beneath the heels of her Christian Louboutins.

Brent has never let the loss of his leg in a childhood accident affect his ability to lead a fulfilling life. He sets high goals–and then he reaches them.

And now he has his sights set on Kennedy.

**

When Kennedy looks at Brent Mason, all she sees is the selfish, Abercrombie & Fitch catalogue-worthy teenager who humiliated her in high school to join the popular crowd. A crowd that made those years a living hell.

She’s not a lovesick social outcast anymore - she’s a DC prosecutor with a long winning streak behind her. Brent is the opposing attorney in her next case and she thinks it’s time to put him through a little hell of his own.

But things aren’t exactly working out that way.

Because every fiery exchange has her wondering if he’s as passionate in the bedroom as he is in the courtroom. Each argument and objection only makes him want her more. In the end, Brent and Kennedy may just find themselves in love…or in contempt of court.

APPEALED is a sexy, humorous romance about first crushes, second chances and the final verdict of the heart.
Emma Chase

By day, Emma Chase is a devoted wife and mother who resides in a small town in New Jersey. By night she is a keyboard crusader, toiling away the hours to bring her colorful characters and their endless antics to life. She has a long standing love/hate relationship with caffeine.

Emma is an avid reader. Before her children were born she was known to consume whole books in a single day. Writing has also always been a passion and with the 2013 release of her debut romantic comedy, Tangled, the ability to now call herself an author is nothing less than a dream come true.

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