Monday, August 24, 2015

Sustained by Emma Chase

Emma Chase, New York Times bestselling author of the Tangled series, returns with another installment of the Legal Briefs series! This book can be read as a standalone.

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 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 tough, but she’s not. She needs someone to help her, and defend her…and the kids.

And that—that, I know how to do. 

Excerpt: Meet Jake and Chelsea

Chelsea’s skin radiates the flushed, cheery glow of alcohol. Her eyes are hooded and happy but shield her thoughts, making her harder to read than usual. She leans back in her chair, regarding me, running her finger around the rim of her glass. “So if you started out as such a troubled youth, how did you become”-she gestures to me-“this? Successful. Honorable. Respectable.”
            I pour the last of the wine into my glass. “ ‘Respectable’ is probably pushing it a little bit…but the story goes like this: I was fifteen, running around with some real dipshits. Older guys. One night we thought it’d be brilliant to break into a sporting goods store, because that’s the kind of losers we were, only I didn’t know one of them was carrying. He ended up shooting a guard in the leg.”
            Chelsea gasps just a little.
            And my cock twitches a lot.
            “We ran out the back, right into the arms of a waiting squad car.” I shake my head at the idiot I was. “The prosecutor wanted to charge me as an adult, send me away for serious time-and he could have. I had a hot temper and a record, and aside from my mother, I thought the whole goddamn world was my enemy.”
            Chelsea leans forward, completely enthralled. “So what happened?”
            “The Honorable Atticus Faulkner happened. He was the juvenile judge on my case-a big, mean, scary son of a bitch. And he…thought he saw something worthy in me. So he kept me in juvenile court- gave me community service and probation, to be supervised by the hard-ass himself.” I chuckle. “At the time, I thought the judge was doing me a favor-going easy on me.”
            “He wasn’t?”
            “Depends on your definition of ‘easy.’ For the next few years I trimmed grass by hand with fucking garden shears. I carried boulders, scrubbed floors, reshingled the goddamn roof-real Mr. Miyagi, wax-on-wax-off kind of shit. He rode my ass-nothing was ever good enough. It made me want to do everything better, just to fucking spite the bastard. And then…he had me start doing research. Studying case law, drafting briefs, analyzing opinions-it was fascinating to me. When my probation was up, the Judge offered me a job. By then I’d gotten my head out of my ass and was actually scoring decent grades in high school. With his recommendation and a shitload of student loans, I got through college, then law school…and that’s all she wrote.”
            “I think that’s amazing,” she says softly, watching me.
            “Yeah-the Judge is a pretty amazing guy.”
            Her lips slide into a gentle smile and something like awe shines in her eyes. “I was talking about you.”
            I’m hardly ever taken off guard. Surprised. But this stunning wisp of a woman just did exactly that.
            Chelsea turns her head toward the piano music floating in from the other room. “I love this song.”
            It’s a Van Morrison cover-“Crazy Love.”
            I toss my napkin on the table and move to stand next to her, holding out my hand. “Would you like to dance?” And I can tell I just surprised her too. The simple delight on her face when her hand slides into mine makes me want to do it again.
            We step out onto the edge of the dance floor. I wrap my arm around her lower back, holding her tight and flush against me. One of Chelsea’s hands rests on my shoulder, toying with the hair at the nape of my neck. The other is clasped in mine just over my heart. We sway, just looking at each other for a few moments.
            “I was going to ask you to dance,” she tells me. “But you don’t seem like the type who would’ve said yes.”
            “I’m not,” I answer, staring at her lush moth. “I was just using it as an excuse to be closer to you.”
            She give me love, love, love, love, crazy love.
            She sighs, practically sinks into my arms. Chelsea’s head fits against my chest like she was made to be there. My chin rests against her hair, and I smell clean and sweet vanilla.
            “Hey, Jake?”
            Chelsea lifts her head from my chest. “You don’t need an excuse.”
            I lower my head at the same moment she reaches up for me. And her lips-fuck-they’re warms, soft, and move with such innocent daring, I’m practically trembling. Was it just last night that I first kissed her? It seems longer ago. I cup her cheek, stroking her skin with my thumb, kissing deeper, tasting wine and the moan I’ve been obsessing over all night.
            And the absolute craziest part of it all? I haven’t gotten laid in three goddamn weeks, but if this is all we do-kissing, with her against me, my arms around her-I’ll be grinning in the morning like a guy who banged a whole sorority house full of cheerleaders.
            I’m hoping for more. I want everything-all the secret, sweetest parts of her-but if this is all I get to have tonight? It’s enough.
            She give me love, love, love, love, crazy love…

Emma Chase knows how to write characters that are funny, charming, sexy and make you want more of their story. Sustained is the second book in the Legal Briefs Series but can be read as a standalone (although I highly recommend reading Overruled as soon as possible!)

Jake Becker is a high power defense attorney in Washington, DC. He's known for being hard nosed, cut-throat and callous in and out of court. And the thing is he's perfectly fine with it. That is until he meets Chelsea McQuaid. After her rebellious nephew finds himself in a heap of trouble, Jake's defenses slide when he meets the frazzled, yet gorgeous, Chelsea. Chelsea is only 22 and has found herself the guardian of her 5 nieces and nephews. After being thrown into the position - trying to help the kids work through their own grief, while putting her own aside, she is desperate for help. Before Jake knows what hit him, he's volunteering to take the kids to activities and having family nights with the whole gang.

Jake soon realizes he may be over his head. As Chelsea and Jake's friendship turns into more, will Jake be able to defend his own actions while still trying to reach for his own lifelong goals? Or have they changed?

This whole book was fun. The kids break off a piece of your heart and never give it back. Jake is funny and sexy and protective of the kids and Chelsea. It's always fun seeing someone who is so tough on the outside become a big teddy bear when surrounded by people he loves.

HIGHLY recommend this series and SUSTAINED. #LoverOrLawyer... I guess you will have to read it to find out.

5 "No Objection" Stars here!

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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