Review of ‘Pursuit of happiness’ by Carsen Taite.

Senator Meredith Mitchell, member of an American political dynasty, is expected to become the first American female and openly lesbian president. When she meets public defender Stevie Palmer their mutual attraction is undeniable. Stevie is dedicated to her job and has strong convictions. Trying to date a presidential candidate gets tricky when her privacy is threatened but it becomes impossible when one of Steve’s clients might implicate the Senator’s family in a corruption case. But even the potentially most powerful person in the world needs a chance at love, doesn’t she?

This book is part of a group of political-themed thrillers written by this author along with ‘Courtship’ and ‘A more perfect union’. The main characters of those books make an appearance here which is good to catch up with their stories.

There’s a huge amount of political content in this book, I wouldn’t recommend it to people who aren’t interested in the issue. Even for a person knowledgeable in politics it might be too much as the romance is left in the background. The chemistry is limited because the mains are separated most of the book and, unfortunately, the sexual tension isn’t hot on the scale either.

The novel also introduces a subplot with one of Steve’s cases with potential legal implications for Meredith’s family. At parts it is full of legal jargon hard to follow for the rest of us and feels a bit rushed at the end. The political plot follows the Senator’s bid for the presidency which is a bit simplified but not enough to avoid some technicalities that might confuse some readers. I personally enjoyed it but I have a degree in political science and an interest in American politics.

Overall, an entertaining read for anyone interested in American politics and its legal system but a bit lacking in the romance department. 3.5 stars.

ARC provided by Netgalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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Review of ‘Love’s verdict’ by Carsen Taite.

Carsen Taite excels at writing legal thrillers with lesbian main characters using her experience as a criminal defense attorney. Lately, she has written the ‘Lone star law’ series which was inspired in the 1980s ‘Dallas’ soap opera which, in my opinion, didn’t showcase her knowledge of the American legal system. I’m happy to see that with ‘Love’s veredict’ she’s back at what she does best.

Attorneys Landon Holt and Carly Pachett work for a prestigious criminal defense firm with their eyes on a single opening promotion to partner. As one of the firm’s clients is accused of murder, they are both assigned to the case which means that they have to work as a team but only one will get to be appointed as partner. As hours shared together go by, their initial antagonistic feelings develop into something else which can jeopardise both their careers.

This is a legal thriller with a romance at the side. The focus of the book is the procedural intricacies of a murder case, including details of the grand jury process, jury picking and defence strategies. Ms. Taite puts in layman’s terms all these procedures and that are very informative and interesting. However, you might be disappointed if you are looking for romance as it is much in the background. Despite this, the main characters are multilayered and their chemistry is hot. There are also a couple of good secondary characters, such as Skye (from Taite’s book ‘The best defence’) and Carly’s nosey neighbour. The ‘baddies’ are a bit stereotypical and predictable but despite that, the book is entertaining and the plot twists and turns keep the reader turning the pages.

Overall, an enjoyable novel by Carsen Taite that will satisfy more legal thriller fans than romance ones. 4 stars.

ARC provided by Netgalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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Review of ‘Outside the law’ by Carsen Taite.

This is the fourth and last book of the ‘Lone Star Law’ series. According to the author, she’s been inspired by watching the tv series Dallas and decided to write something similar but with lesbian main characters. There are loads of plots, subplots and several different characters in the series so it’s easy to get lost. Despite that the author presents here a good catch up with the previous books stories, now that the full series is available I suggest that you read them one after the other.

This is by far the best book of the series and Ms. Taite has saved the best for last. Each book features a romance and the main characters, Tanner Cohen and Sydney Braswell are well rounded, lovable and their chemistry is sizzling. The author follows her usual romance formula between a hot, stoic butch (FBI Special Agent Tanner) and a beautiful but strong-minded femme (Prosecutor Braswell). The twist is that they’ve been a couple during college which didn’t end well so trying to work together and trust each other is a main issue. The author takes the reader between their past and present relationship fluidly. The book found the perfect balance between romance and thriller with a surprising twist at the end. Very entertaining read.

Overall, a very good end of this series. Recommended for both romance and thriller fans. 4.5 stars.

ARC provided by Netgalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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Review of ‘Sidebar’ by Carsen Taite.

Carsen Taite is on my top ten list of lesfic authors. She writes legal thrillers like nobody else. This book combines a realistic description of the intricacies of the legal system with a deep immersion in the main characters’ world.

My only criticism is that there wasn’t much mystery in the conflictive situation that the main characters had to go through. I also found the whole workplace situation a bit hard to believe. However, this fact didn’t stop me from enjoying this book very much.

Overall an enjoyable read. 4 stars.

ARC provided by the publisher and Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

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Review of ‘Letter of the law’ by Carsen Taite

Third part of the ‘Lone Star Law’ series by Carsen Taite which, according to the author, is inspired on the old TV soap opera Dallas. I recommend to read it in chronological order as there are loads of details of the plot that otherwise will get lost. The author attempts to do a catch up with the important events of the previous books in the first few chapters with variable success. Consequently, some parts seem too descriptive and don’t flow very well within the plot.
Each part of the series focus on a romance between two members of a self-appointed and underground team committed to fight the Vargas drug cartel. This book describes the romantic involvement between Federal prosecutor Bianca Cruz and Jade Vargas, a horse breeder and niece of the drug cartel boss. Their romance part of the book is fine, the chemistry between the main characters is okay and there are a couple of hot scenes but some circumstances surrounding the investigation are, in my view, a bit unrealistic.
So far I have given all the books in the series a 3 star rating so, overall, it’s not appealing to me. It’s a pity because Ms. Taite is one of my favourite lesbian authors and I still consider her series ‘Luca Bennett bounty hunter’ one of the best in the genre.
3 stars.
ARC provided by the publisher and Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

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Review of ‘Without justice’ by Carsen Taite.

In my opinion, Carsen Taite is the lesbian version of John Grisham. As a criminal defense attorney, her books mix legal thrillers with romance in just the right proportion. She’s in my list of top lesbian authors (https://lezreviewbooks.com/my-top-tens/) so choosing this book was a no brainer. I’m glad I did as this is a page turner.
The story revolves around Cade Kelly, a former prosecutor forced to hide her real identity under the witness protection programme and Emily Sinclair, a district attorney in a small town in Texas. Their romantic relationship is at odds with Cade’s secrecy and eventually, her involvement in Emily’s first serious case.
What I liked about this book is that while you turn pages in this action packed thriller, you also learn about legal proceedings in the US and enjoy the main characters chemistry and banter. I dropped one star because I think that the end developed too fast, but maybe it is just me that wanted to read more.
Overall 4 stars, a very good read if you are into legal thrillers.
ARC provided by the publisher and Netgalley.

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