was immediately drawn to “Seducing the Defendant” by Chantal Fernando because of the storyline. I love the idea of a stuff and top-of-his-game attorney taking on a defendant charged with killing her husband. The evidence was pretty strong against the heroine, Scarlett Reyes. I personally love courtroom romances so I immediately jumped into the story when it became available and I was interested to read Chantal Fernando, whom I have never read before.
When the story begins, our hero, Jaxon Bentley is a grieving man. He lost his sister and he is very much into his grief. Even though he is on leave he is pulled back into his job when he hears of Scarlett Reyes, a very wealthy woman who is accused of killing her husband. Jaxon has earned a reputation as a hardworking defense attorney and one of the best. He runs a small firm with one of his good friends. Scarlett was a battered woman. She was charmed by her now dead husband and really thought he was a good guy. By all accounts he was not only a crooked cop but also involved with a motorcycle gang and heavily involved in selling and using drugs. He was also emotionally abusive to Scarlett and ended up controlling all aspects of her life until Scarlett was free of him. Scarlett trying to free herself from her husband’s abusive control fled to France to take care of her sick aunt.
When Jaxon meets Scarlett she is defensive, scared and closed off. Because he recently lost his sister Scarlett’s hurt and pain is endearing to him. Because Jaxon quickly realizes that Scarlett has suffered at the hands of her husband and is caught up in the media storm, he is kind, compassionate, caring and sweet. Everything that Scarlett needs and has craved for so long. Because of their client and attorney relationship they fight their attraction for each other and try to maintain everything strictly professional, even though, both really need a friend.
So as I mentioned before I really wanted to like this story because of the plot. A few things fell flat for me. First, I did not think that there was much chemistry between Jaxon and Scarlett. Most of their conversation felt forced and even their slowly forming friendship felt very stiff. Yes, they were attracted to each other but I knew this because the author told me not because of the chemistry between them. Also, some parts of the story were so over the top I had to stop myself from rolling my eyes a few time. This is one of those stories where if it were a novella I would have enjoyed more. Finishing the story was sheer determination and effort because most of the story felt long and drawn out. I’ve seen some great reviews online, so some readers really enjoyed the story. For me, I expected more.
**ARC provided by Publisher**