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Release Day Reviews: Appealed: Emma Chase


Appealed (The Legal Briefs #3)
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Expected January 19, 2016

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.

Brent Mason is the last single man standing in his group of friends from his law firm. He's a wealthy playboy and seems to be fairly easy going and in good humor. But underneath he has hidden issues.

He meets his match...or re-meets her...when Kennedy Randolph returns to town, His previous best friend who disappeared and now seems to hate him.  And now they are on opposing sides of the courtroom. Their antagonistic banter is fun, fiery, and a bit frantic laced with barely hidden heat and desire.

Brent has always been popular and well liked. He thought he was happy living his free, easy life without commitments, but deep down he was unsettled. He tends to avoid intimacy and deflect with humor. He's funny, protective, caring, easy going, but can be aggressive when needed. He usually does not let the fact that he has a lower limb amputation get him down, but it still causes hidden insecurities at times.

Kennedy is smart, sarcastic, fierce, and even vengeful. She was the young nerd who turned into a tough bombshell. She has been hurt in the past and has trust issues and insecurities. Now she likes to be in control and in charge and she is one tough customer in the courtroom.

They are affected by miscommunication, secrets, misconceptions, and baggage between them. She's got reason to be hurt and angry and so does he.  
Their pasts haunt them, and they both have suffered loss and disappointment.  She especially was left damaged and with trust issues. Their jobs and current case add more complications.

But Oh, the sexual tension, chemistry, and hotness factor between these two! There is a lot of fussing, fighting, fretting, and f***ing. They find themselves caught up in lust, old feelings, past  hurts, and trying to navigate it all. I loved them together. They had history, a connection, and compatibility. But they were also both strong-willed, stubborn, fearful, and vulnerable. They also have to deal with work issues that cause tension and could have even further dangerous implications.

I enjoyed spending time more time with Stanton and Sofia (Overruled) and  Jake, Chelsea and the kids (Sustained). I loved that Brent has the coolest young butler ever named Harrison. I cracked up with all of the family and friends meddling. This was a great combination of friend to enemies to lovers, and a second chance love story set in the background of law. It was funny, feisty, steamy, sweet, swoony, and emotional. It was told in Brent's unfiltered point of view and I totally adored him. I have really enjoyed this series and the special extra epilogue just left an even bigger smile on my face.

ARC provided by publisher in exchange for an honest review. 
Brent Mason and Kennedy Randolph grew up next door to each other, but have not seen each other for many years. Brent has never let his childhood amputation slow him down, and Kennedy is one of the few people who don’t treat him differently because he lost a leg. But he can’t figure out why she seems to hate him now that she is back in town after so many years. Now, they are opposing counsel in a case that is personal for each of them, for different reasons.

Kennedy is a smart, strong, brilliant leading lady. Her courtroom persona is in direct opposition to the quiet, nerdy girl she was in the past. Her directed focus on her career and proving herself only make her more honest as she channels the confidence she has in court to other aspects of her life.

I loved watching these two circle, in the courtroom and in their personal lives. The history between them, even the hurt, made for an entertaining read that kept me turning pages.

This had a slower start for me than previous books in the series. I had a hard time feeling them as a couple in the beginning. But as I continued, both characters warmed up to me and I fell in love.

There was an added bit of danger that I almost wish would have played a larger role in the plot. The presence of the danger was in the background, but I would have loved if I felt that as a real threat to Kennedy rather than just an abstract background plot line.

It was great seeing Stanton and Sofia and Jake and Chelsea again. Between the three couples, there was always something going on, something to laugh about. And the families in the background added some great hilarity to the story. This ended with a great epilogue and an extended epilogue that had me giddy with it’s perfection as an endcap to the series.

ARC provided by publisher in exchange for an honest review.


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.

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.


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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