Overruled (The Legal Briefs, #1) by Emma Chase
Series: The Legal Briefs #1
Also in this series: Sustained (The Legal Briefs, #2), Appealed (The Legal Briefs, #3), Sidebarred (The Legal Briefs, #3.5)
Published by Simon & Schuster
Publication Date: April 28th 2015
Genres: Contemporary Romance
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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.
*WARNING: MAJOR SPOILERS AHEAD! READ AT YOUR OWN RISK*
This book, man.
I was looking forward to reading this because I wanted to read about lawyers falling in love but what I was expecting and what I got, were two different things. Ames warned me that this wasn’t a clean cut romance but I’m pretty easy to please so I didn’t think that it would be a big deal.
But then I started the book and….it was.
So the book starts with the hero, Stanton finding out that he got his girlfriend and love of his lifetime Jenny pregnant. The two of them are so young with bright plans ahead of them but with Jenny pregnant, she obviously can’t go to college but Stanton got into a good school and he was supposed to get a college degree and then make butt loads of money to take care of him and Jenny. How can he go through with that now? He wants to take a year off, be around when Jenny has the baby and figure things out from there but Jenny won’t let him do it. She won’t let Stanton walk away from their plan. So the new plan is for Jenny to stay behind, raise the baby with her parents and Stanton still goes away to college to get that degree to get a good job and take care of Jenny and the baby.
A reluctant Stanton agrees and goes away to college. Everything is going great until the time and distance start to become a thing. Then the plan changes to Stanton and Jenny being in an open relationship because St. Jenny doesn’t want to hold Stanton back from anything. She wants him to experience college and all it has to offer…until he bangs some other chick and Jenny realizes it hurts to have your boyfriend want someone else but before Stanton goes back to college, Jenny brings up the open relationship thing and it becomes a real thing between them.
While they’re apart, they can bang and hang with whoever they wanted but when Stanton was back in town, they were together and everyone was off limits. I didn’t understand that whole thing but when the book starts up again, it’s ten years later and Stanton is no longer in college anymore but he never went home either. He is a hot shot defense attorney in DC, making big bucks and sending money home to Jenny and their daughter Presley. He’s also banging one of his co-workers and their relationship is completely casual and he’s pretty content with his life.
Who wouldn’t be though? He’s got the freaking life. He’s got a great job, money in the bank, a loving girlfriend and daughter back home and he gets to live the bachelor life hundreds of miles away, banging anyone he wants. Everything is going great until he finds out that Jenny is getting married because guess what guys? Jenny isn’t the heroine of this book. His bang buddy from work, Sofia is.
Technically, Stanton never cheated but that didn’t stop me from thinking that he was a bit of a douche bag. I say that because when he finds out that Jenny is getting married, his first instinct is go back home and try to win her back. That would be fine and dandy if he didn’t drag his bang buddy from work with him. Why did he do that? Because he can’t win Jenny back without Sofia. Sofia will keep him focused and will help him do whatever it takes to win Jenny back.
[insert eye roll emoji here]
Of course Sofia goes with him and OF COURSE Sofia’s in love with Stanton but Stanton is so focused on what HE wants that he doesn’t see it. Sofia is so in love with Stanton that she can’t refuse him in his time of need and the angst from that alone could have made me melt but the way that Stanton went about it turned my stomach.
You see, when Stanton and Sofia get to Mississippi, Stanton immediately starts up trying to sabotage Jenny’s relationship and wedding. Each day, Stanton throws wrenches in Jenny’s plans and each night his plans fail, he returns home to…Sofia and they bang his failures away only for Stanton to wake up the next morning and try, try again with Jenny.
So for a huge chunk of the book, Stanton wants Jenny all the while he’s still banging Sofia and that’s gross. That shit got real old, real fast and the more they did it, the more pissed off I got at the both of them. Throughout the entire book, Stanton put Jenny first. It would have been understandable had he put Presley first, but no. It was Jenny first and foremost in his mind and that really pissed me off because even when he realizes that he loves Sofia and not Jenny, he didn’t put Sofia first. He stayed in Mississippi and attended Jenny’s wedding and then two days later, he went after Sofia.
Don’t even get me started on Sofia. I wanted to strangle her every time she caved to Stanton’s seductions. I wanted to strangle her even more when she didn’t make Stanton grovel a bit more at the end and him being pissed off at her for letting him get away with all of the shit she let him get away with did not make up for all of the shitty things he did to her.
I could see the potential in Stanton and knew that deep down, he wasn’t a bad guy but holy cow did that good guy do a whole bunch of shitty things that made me want to nut punch him. Sofia was great too but I wanted to smack some damn sense into her for far too long and then the wrap up at the end did little to appease the rage that consumed me throughout the book.
When I finally finished the book, I was glad to be done with it because I could finally move on to the book that I wanted to read all along. Sustained. It was the premise for that book that brought this book to my attention and I really loved the other characters in this book. From Presley to Stanton’s family to Jake and Brent, I loved them all and looked forward to getting to know Jake and Brent better in their books so while this book didn’t work for me, the promise of the other books did.
Grade: 1.5 out of 5