Review: Overruled (Legal Briefs #1) by Emma Chase

Title: Overruled
Author: Emma Chase
Publisher/Year: Gallery Books 4/28/15
Length:   254 Pages
Series:  Legal Briefs #1

Overview

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.

My Thoughts

One thing that our author Ms Chase does well is the sweet romance – and this series is yet another example of that.  We start with a pair of high school sweet hearts who find themselves at the precipice of graduation, and what that means since they’ll be going to different schools, adding to that a baby.  So, even the best intentions may not give us happy endings and this story is all about that.

Fast forward a few years to DC, where Stanton is a successful lawyer, part of a firm where he’s making his mark, and has a great group of friends around him who all work together.  He’s living his life to the fullest in DC since that’s the arrangement that he has with Jenny – his girl and baby mamma, but he’s still got a large part of himself firmly rooted in Mississippi with the family.

When Sofia, another lawyer starts to make him feel more, even though he doesn’t admit that it’s more, well you know that things are going to get complicated.  Everyone knows the situation, feelings aren’t part of the mix, it’s only sex and physical, and the emotional bit is with Jenny and Presley.  Until Jenny announces that she’s getting married.

The story that we have here is one where we see that there’s a need to understand the difference between loving someone and being in love, and whether you really know who someone is now v. what you remember from years ago.

It’s also a test of how much Sofia will put up with since you know she’s a really smart woman, who’s there to be a great friend, but who will only allow so much to happen around her before it pushes her too far.

There’s a tornado, someone in the hospital, some secrets revealed and we see how things play out.  What we see in some of Ms Chase’s books but not all is a bit of heat and steam.  There is more passion here than we see sometimes, and that’s a nice change.  There’s chemistry between Stanton and Sofia, and when it’s actually written about, well we can see another side to what Emma Chase can bring for us.  There’s also a nice little twist about preferences for someone that we didn’t realize before, showing us that Ms Chase is capable of bringing in a twist and secret from time to time.

The nice thing about this first installment is that we met Brent and Jake, friends in their group who are bound to have great stories of their own, and i can’t wait to see what they are about.  Enjoy!

Review: Royally Raised (Royally #2.5) by Emma Chase

Title: Royally Raised
Author: Emma Chase
Publisher/Year: Ever After Romance
Length:   20 Pages
Series:  Royally #2.5

Overview

A Royally Series short story set in the future after Royally Matched.
My Thoughts
Well i thought that we were going to get the continuation of the story with Nicolas and Olivia’s baby, but what we have instead is a bit of the story 19 years in the future, with us getting to see bits of life for Henry and Sarah, and their children.  many many children.
Well, if you had any idea of what to expect of Henry and Sarah’s children, we get all that and more.  We focus on their eldest daughter, the crown princess and heir apparent, the role that Nicolas was raised to play, and yet the one that got shifted to Henry when his brother chose love.  If you thought that Henry was going to get a reprieve just because he married an angel and he turned his life around, well you were wrong.
This is a brief glimpse into life, with Jane, their 19 year old daughter who’s taking on reporters and doing so with poise, but with a blatant sense of entitlement, which is not a good thing in a country that needs to love their future leader.  This is a lesson that Henry decides that he needs to sit her down about and talk sense to her, yet she’s not having any of it.  It’s like looking in a mirror for him because he knows that he made life tough for his grandmother the Queen, and yet it’s not helpful at all for him now.
The sweet bit of this story is that Henry really gets no resolution here, he’s trying to remind Jane of the position that she needs to take now, and the way that she handles people and respects people even though she’s deigned to rule the country.  she knows that she’s got more power and ‘stuff’ than anyone else in the world almost, and uses that to make herself happy.
The only hope that we have is that Sarah who’s the constant voice of reason, and Henry who is learning from his mistakes figure out a way to get her back on the right path, and they come up with an idea that seems like it could have legs, if only they could bring it to life.
That’s one bit of the story – and then there’s the fact that they have 4 more children.  Yup – 5 in total, with the last being a bit of a surprise.  They spend their time together with so much love and romance, that is completely expected seeing how Henry and Sarah were in the main story, so i think that we get to see what life should have been for them, when we didn’t quite know what the future would hold at the end of Matched.  I can’t wait to see what’s next in the third full book – i believe this time i’m correct in saying that it’s about Logan – the security detail from Nicholas, and perhaps Ellie….enjoy!

Review: Royally Matched (Royally #2) by Emma Chase

Title: Royally Matched
Author: Emma Chase
Publisher/Year: Ever After Romance 2/21/17
Length:   276  Pages
Series:  Royally #2

Overview

Some men are born responsible, some men have responsibility thrust upon them. Henry Charles Albert Edgar Pembrook, Prince of Wessco, just got the motherlode of all responsibility dumped in his regal lap.

He’s not handling it well.

Hoping to force her grandson to rise to the occasion, Queen Lenora goes on a much-needed safari holiday—and when the Queen’s away, the Prince will play. After a chance meeting with an American television producer, Henry finally makes a decision all on his own:

Welcome to Matched: Royal Edition.

A reality TV dating game show featuring twenty of the world’s most beautiful blue bloods gathered in the same castle. Only one will win the diamond tiara, only one will capture the handsome prince’s heart.

While Henry revels in the sexy, raunchy antics of the contestants as they fight, literally, for his affection, it’s the quiet, bespectacled girl in the corner—with the voice of an angel and a body that would tempt a saint—who catches his eye.

The more Henry gets to know Sarah Mirabelle Zinnia Von Titebottum, the more enamored he becomes of her simple beauty, her strength, her kind spirit…and her naughty sense of humor.

But Rome wasn’t built in a day—and irresponsible royals aren’t reformed overnight.

As he endeavors to right his wrongs, old words take on whole new meanings for the dashing Prince. Words like, Duty, Honor and most of all—Love.

My Thoughts

I think that we had a nice start to the series with Royally Screwed so seeing how Henry now has to step up to his responsibilities because of Nicholas’s decision to abdicate, we see a whole new side of things.  No longer can he be the party boy, but that’s not something that’s such an easy thing to change.

The interesting thing though, is that there’s something in the summary that’s just not true – the Queen never went on a safari – they decide that Prince Henry to the public at least should go on a trip, and he then goes to a far away castle to clear his head, learn the basics of being King and at the same time, he schemes to work on this reality show to both have his last hurrah, and hopefully find a wife.

Of course we know that things will never be what we expect, and knowing that we met Sarah and Penelope in the first book, we see that there’s going to be more to the story.

Enter Penelope and Sarah – to ‘Ladies’ who live in Castlebrook, away from the chaos of the capital, and yet while we know a bit of them since we met them in the last book, we don’t know much.  When they are approached to be part of the show, Penelope is quick to want to join since she’s looking for her chance at celebrity, and Sarah is quick to say no since she’s shy.  Their mother forces them to go together or not at all, and that’s where our story really takes shape.

As expected, the pageantry of the reality show makes things interesting, seeing 20 girls vying for the chance to be the next queen, with several of them with their own colorful reasons for being there.  It’s quite amusing to see how that all comes about.  Then there’s Sarah, the girl who’s there at her mothers order, as well as finding an out from having to participate in something at work that she’d rather not.

So the journey here is a sweet one.  We see Henry doing his best to do what the producers want, while finding calm and solace with Sarah – on a platonic level, or at least that’s how it starts.  Feelings start to develop on both sides, and you can see how perhaps the best romances are those that have a true foundation.

Now of course, you have to assume that the challenge of being in a reality show environment will come into play as it does.  Sarah finds that she can’t really cope with knowing that he’s dating all these other women, when she wants him to herself.  Then there’s Henry who truly wants to get out of the show at this point, and can’t because of the threats of production to out Sarah on a few different things.

There are also a few ‘political’ bits that make things complicated in the sense of what  will qualify a woman to be the next queen -being a virgin.  So….as you can see, we’re bound for heartbreak.

And if that weren’t enough, the prince reenlists into the army under a fake name so that he’s serving for real, and they are separated for 2 years at least.  So, while i think we knew how this story was going to pan out, we’re taking on a path that’s not at all the expected and i think that it was exactly what we needed.

Clearly i’m becoming a fan of all things Emma Chase – she’s got this knack for creating great fiction that’s contemporary but some how built on a tradition of a world that’s so not american.  (while kind of making it seem at times that being American is a faux pas).  In any even, it’s sweet, and the story has a lot of charm to keep us engaged.  I just got a copy of the 2.5 Novella and i can’t wait to see what’s going to happen since i think that it’s around Nicolas and Olivia – since it was revealed that she’s finally preggo.  Enjoy!

Review: Royally Screwed (Royally #1) by Emma Chase

Title: Royally Screwed
Author: Emma Chase
Publisher/Year: Ever After Romance 10/18/16
Length:   276  Pages
Series:  Royally #1

Overview

Nicholas Arthur Frederick Edward Pembrook, Crowned Prince of Wessco, aka “His Royal Hotness,” is wickedly charming, devastatingly handsome, and unabashedly arrogant—hard not to be when people are constantly bowing down to you.

Then, one snowy night in Manhattan, the prince meets a dark haired beauty who doesn’t bow down. Instead, she throws a pie in his face.

Nicholas wants to find out if she tastes as good as her pie, and this heir apparent is used to getting what he wants.

Dating a prince isn’t what waitress Olivia Hammond ever imagined it would be.

There’s a disapproving queen, a wildly inappropriate spare heir, relentless paparazzi, and brutal public scrutiny. While they’ve traded in horse drawn carriages for Rolls Royces and haven’t chopped anyone’s head off lately—the royals are far from accepting of this commoner.

But to Olivia—Nicholas is worth it.

Nicholas grew up with the whole world watching, and now Marriage Watch is in full force. In the end, Nicholas has to decide who he is and, more importantly, who he wants to be: a King… or the man who gets to love Olivia forever.

My Thoughts
So – i have to say that i was a little bit confused for a few minutes since there was reference to Genovia which is the country of another series that i’ve read recently by Ember Casey, and and to be honest, these 2 authors have very similar names so i was curious if they are one and the same.  Anyway – it’s a sweet story of living up to the things that are expected of you as a royal, and yet still wanting to live your life.  VERY similar to the other series.
So – Nicholas is our leading man, the crown Prince to Wessco, a country that was created through battles and divisions throughout the United Kingdom i guess.  Nicholas has a younger brother named Henry who is a bit more of the wild child and their grandmother the Queen has sent Nicholas to the States to bring him home since he’s causing trouble.  That leads him directly into the coffee shop run by Olivia.
And Olivia, our leading lady is the oldest daughter of a family who’s had their fair share of trouble – the mother was killed years ago because of a mugging, and the father has drowned his sorrows in alcohol and the youngest sister is really trying to get out of high school and make her own way in college.  Leaving Olivia to run the family coffee shop, and give up all her own dreams.
Of course when suave and sexy Nicholas walks into the shop, things change forever – partially because he propositions her for the most inappropriate things, but also because it makes her open her eyes to doing something for herself, something that perhaps could make her happy without worrying about what it means for her family.
The story from there is one that’s quite sweet – seeing a whirlwind romance come along for them – there’s a quick connection between them, both physically and emotionally – each giving the other what they have been craving without any judgement.
So when Nicholas is called back to Wessco early, knowing that he has to marry someone of royal descent in the next few months, we see that things get complicated fast.  Olivia is given the opportunity to move with him back home and enjoy whatever time she has left with him, but it means leaving her family behind to fend for themselves, which she’s not sure that they can do.  Nicholas makes sure that everything is taken care of and off she goes.
As expected, we know that there’s going to be a lot of trouble for them once they get to Wessco.  The Queen likely won’t be happy that he’s brought an American with him home, when he’s supposed to be finding a wife.  We also know that she’s going to feel like Olivia is a distraction to his royal duties and we see that while it’s possible, Olivia actually helps make Nicholas a better man.
Their romance is something real and sweet and you know that it can’t end well since Nicholas cannot marry Olivia and yet he doesn’t want to give her up.  Add in the fact that Henry comes into the picture and becomes a bit of a nuisance, and there are other royals that are hoping to bring Olivia down since she’s got what they want – and things get dicey and interesting.
You keep hoping for the best, and the way that our author writes this story is one of the expected path, but also gives us enough anxiety to wonder what is going to be the last straw and are they strong enough to get through it.
We need the grand gesture, and neither are the sort to know how to come back with one, and it’s to their detriment since it’s what breaks them apart.  There are so many directions that this story could go, and i think that you need to  check it out to see what happens.  Ms Chase gives us a sweet romance with a touch of irony, modern cynicism and a bit of girl fighting, which is so nice when looking for a poolside book to read.  I’m onto the next installment now, and i can’t wait to see what happens next.  Enjoy!