Katiebabs is a self-proclaimed present day bluestocking with her head always in a book. She runs her own book blog called Babbling about Books and More!
I really wanted to like Appealed (Legal Briefs #3). It's my first Emma Chase book, and I've heard rave reviews about her prior releases. I will say Emma does have an engaging writing style that reminds me of author, Julie James. For the first 50 pages, I felt like I was reading a Julie James novel, complete with the lawyer jargon I found myself enjoying. But then halfway through it came to me that Appealed does work, and for the most part it comes across as an okay romance (about a "B" grade), but a few things irked me that made me lower my grade, and rushing to finish because I wanted to move onto something else.
The story here is one we've seen before. The hero and heroine are adversaries, who once knew one another on a deeper level when they were children, and in their teens. The hero is a smug ladies man who's thrown off his game, and his entire life by the heroine who makes him want to be a better person, and faithful to only her. The heroine had issues up until college because of some mean people who treated her horribly, including the hero in high school, which comes out as a mistake when the miscommunication factor is handled. But it wasn't enough for me to enjoy this very trope filled contemporary romance most romance fans will like.
Brent is a lawyer, who comes from a very rich family. His entitlement is huge, so much so that even though he works in a law firm with his friends, making his way through his career without his parents' help, he still comes across as a rich kid. His attitude is too smug and egotistical. This is shown during the first few chapters when he's at his therapist office. Brent appears to be perfect, with the exception of having a physical handicap. His left leg under his knee was amputated when he was younger. Why? I really can't say why this was added about him. His handicap doesn't seem to add anything interesting to the story. It comes across as glossed over, to show Brent is less than perfect. For some reason his introduction isn't positive. It's stated many times in the first chapter how much of a ladies man he is, and how much he loves sex with no commitment. But for some reason his personality does a complete change at a drop of a hat, which is very glaring. The moment he meets the heroine Kennedy, he switches gears, and becomes a completely different person. It was so sudden, and not well done. The editing in this case was poor because it wasn't a gradual change that would make him more endearing. It made him too one-dimensional.
Kennedy is also very rich, and again her entitlement comes through loud and clear based on her clothes, where she lives, and the look into her personal life. Throughout the novel we see Brent's and Kennedy's status, and their families. Yes, these two work long hours as lawyers, more on the side of helping people than taking on big money making cases, but it all feels false. There isn't any big conflict for these two. It's told, rather than shown how Kennedy was bullied in high school and college. It's touched upon with some flashbacks, but again it felt like it was thrown in there to give some drama.
When these two become intimate, it's your typical steamy boink fest. The loves scenes are close to R-rated as you can get, but a seasoned romance reader may be bored because it has a been there, done that feel. What I did like about these two sexually is that Brent is a big giver where Kennedy is concerned. There's also many moments of humor I could appreciate. But by the end I felt something was lacking overall with this story, and this couple.
Appealed just didn't grab me as I hoped, but I'm still open to reading future Emma Chase books in order to prove me wrong.