Review of Spirit of the Law by Carsen Taite
This was a very entertaining read. I’m a big Taite fan, especially of her romantic intrigue books that are about some aspect of the law. She is one of the best writers out there when it comes to writing about courts and lawyers, so when you see a new book of hers in that category, you know you are in for a treat. And a treat is the perfect way to describe what reading Taite’s books feel like, like eating a bowl of your favorite Ben and Jerry’s ice cream. You know what to expect and you know you are going to enjoy it, and sometimes you might even get a little extra cookie dough or chocolate chunks since the manufacturer messed up and you get the benefit. And that is what happened in this book, Taite decided to add a little more of that chocolate in the form of a psychic medium character. A tiny paranormal twist mixed into one of Taite’s law books… well you can’t get a much better match for my personal tastes and I had a ton of fun with this book.
I loved how this book started off. The beginning was so good and it just caught my attention right away (such a sign of a great author). We are in the courtroom, as a member of the jury, and our character somehow knows, without a doubt, whether the defendant is guilty or not and it is up to us to get the other jurors to see it the same way. As a long-time mystery fan, TV and books, this reminded me of almost every amateur detective show like Murder, She Wrote or Monk, where they are stuck in jury duty and have to convince the rest of the jury to really look at the evidence. Don’t ask me why but they were always some of my favorite episodes to watch and to have a book start off that way, well I loved it. It really was one of the more enjoyable beginnings to a book that I have read in a while.
I was very happy with the mix of the light paranormal twist with the more realistic court scenes. I thought Taite did great on the right balance of what she needed. Her books are supposed to put you into the courtroom so if her paranormal twist was too out there, it would have lost some of that realism and the feeling of Taite’s experience that makes her books so great. I don’t know if people remember the TV show Medium, about a psychic medium that worked for the DA’s office? That show was actually based on a real person who worked with law enforcement. Taite’s choice to write this story to have a similar feel to that show, it was a good match with her law knowledge. So even if you are not a big paranormal fan, don’t let that put you off this story. This is well done and fun to read.
While I obviously really enjoyed the premise and most of the story, I did have an issue that stopped me from giving this book 5 stars. One of the biggest problems for me was the book’s length. It is just too short. I can’t tell the page number from my Kindle, but I know this book was shorter than the average BSB book. This had the same problem that her book from last year, Drawn, had. Things were tied up at the end with a summary of what happened instead of letting us see it play out. This time wasn’t as frustrating as Drawn, but I still felt like there was more to the story to be told. What also suffered to me was the romance. The romance started in a way that singled a slow-burn type of romance, but then it was fast-forwarded to fit the shorter story. It didn’t feel like enough of a build-up, and enough of a connection was established before they had sex. The chemistry was there, but it was still at a tiny spark stage and it needed to be slowly nurtured so it could grow into this passionate flame but it never had the time to. I needed more. I needed more of the law storyline and more of the romance. I know I’m only going to get to read one, maybe two, of Taite’s romantic intrigue books a year. I want to savor that reading experience; I don’t want to fly through it in a few hours. This story was good and I really enjoyed it, but another fifty pages added and it could have been great!
Even with the issue of the romance not having the right pace, and the book being too short, this still was such a fun read. I would absolutely recommend this to fans of Taite and fans of law and intrigue type books. The premise was excellent and the beginning was one of the better starts to a book that I have read in a while. I guess it’s a pretty good sign when my biggest complaint is that I needed more, but I just hope that Taite stops rushing so much and lets us really enjoy her great writing instead. 4 stars.
An ARC was given to me for an honest review.