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PJV Quickie: Is it possible to love a character while simultaneously wanting to throttle him?  Because that’s exactly what happened here!  In Overruled, Emma Chase is doing what she does best – writing characters you love to hate to love. (Yes, that’s exactly what I meant to say 🙂 )

Review:
Stanton Shaw and Jenny Monroe have a ‘don’t ask/don’t tell’ arrangement: When he’s home in their tiny town of Sunshine, Mississippi, Stanton and Jenny are a couple – sex with Jenny is good and he loves being a dad to their 10-year-old daughter, Presley.  When he’s home in Washington, D.C., where he’s a criminal defense lawyer, Stanton and Jenny see other people, no strings attached.  
When Stanton gets a wedding invitation in the mail, to Jenny’s wedding, he’s determined to stop it – she’s his girl, even if he’s not always there, and there’s no way he’s going to let her marry someone else.

Stanton Shaw and Sophia Santos have a ‘friends with benefits’ arrangement:  They work together and make a great criminal defense team.  When they’re not at work, they have incredible, no-strings attached sex. Neither has time to go bar-hopping for sex, plus, Stanton’s got Jenny at home in Sunshine and Sophia plans to make partner at the firm soon. Their arrangement is win/win for everyone.

When Stanton asks Sophia to go back to Sunshine with him to win back Jenny, Sophia starts to realize that maybe she doesn’t want Stanton to win back Jenny, and that maybe what he really wants is right in front of him -in the present, not back in the past.

~~~~~

When I saw Emma Chase had written a romance with a law theme, I could not wait to read it.  I loved Tangled, and I love romance in a law firm setting – this is totally my catnip.  The writing is fabulous and I was immediately pulled in to the story, from the pink lines on the pregnancy test while they were still in high school, to the high-powered courtroom in Washington D.C. where Stanton defended accused criminals, I could easily visualize it all. That being said, I really had a hard time figuring out my thoughts on this one:  While I liked Stanton as a hero, I was also frustrated that he seemed to think he could do his thing in DC and come home to Jenny like nothing had changed, as if he put her away in a box for future use and she ceased to have a life while he was gone.  And I loved his reactions when he realizes that’s not what happens.

On his journey to realization, there several scenes with laugh-out-loud humor (cue the obligatory Forrest Gump “I am not a smart man, Jenny” reference), and a nice cast of secondary characters who round out the story and add to the fun.   The sexy stuff between Stanton and Sophia was smokin’ hot and once he pulled his head out of his @ss, it was actually pretty sweet, too.

I wiggled between 3 1/2 and 4 stars, but ultimately went with 4 stars because I kept coming back to the story; I had no desire to switch to something else, which is something I do often.  Plus, I liked that Sophia stood up for herself, even when it hurt to do so.  And, I loved how Stanton and Jenny co-parented without using the daughter against each other.

Recommendations:
If you like Julie James’ books, I would recommend Overruled.  If you enjoy contemporary romance in a courtroom setting, small towns, and heroes that are simultaneously smart and idiotic, give Overruled a try.

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About the Book

I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Overruled by Emma Chase #Review

Overruled by Emma Chase

Series: The Legal Briefs #1
Published by Gallery Books, Simon & Schuster on April 28, 2015
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Source: Publisher
Also by this author: Tangled, Sustained, Appealed
4 Stars

Emma Chase, New York Times bestselling author of the Tangled series, returns with the first installment of the Legal Briefs series!

A Washington, 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, the 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 her 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.