Author: Sarah Castille
Series: Book #1 in the Legal Heat series
Release Date: 23 April 2013
Number of pages: 393 pages
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Formats available: review copy received from publicist
Purchasing Info: Goodreads, Author's Website, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, Read an excerpt
Grade: 4 stars
Goodreads appetizer: Passion this hot should be illegal.
Katy Sinclair made it to the brink of partnership at her high-powered law firm with hard work, dogged determination, and the ruthless self-discipline to cultivate a conservative public image. But when she follows an evasive witness into a sex club, she can t deny herself a red-hot sexual encounter with the seductive bartender who sets her body on fire. She s sure no one will ever know about her indiscretion until she walks into the courtroom to find her dirty little secret is the opposing counsel in the most important case of her career.
As the managing partner in a struggling law firm, hot-shot attorney Mark Richards can t afford any mistakes that might cost him his biggest client. Like getting involved with his beautiful, determined opponent the mystery woman he hasn t been able to forget. But when Katy s quest for justice leads to death threats, Mark will sacrifice everything to protect her.
Now they re risking their hearts and their lives in a race to catch a killer. Little do they know, the greatest danger lies closer to home.
Warning: The book contains explicit sex, light bondage, violence, murder, steamy shenanigans in the courtroom, naughty sexytimes in the boardroom, and an exceptionally hot hero with a versatile tie. Any objections will be overruled.
My Thoughts: Legal Heat was my first Sarah Castille novel but it most certainly will not be the last! To the contrary, with just a few pages into the story I was spellbound by Sarah Castille's writing and already knew that she would be an author I'd have to keep an eye on.
Before I launch into my praising Legal Heat first I must warn you: beware, this is one seriously addictive and dangerously hot story! And that was one of the reasons Sarah Castille won me over: I have read plenty of steamy romances and eroticas, so I'm not new to steaminess, but the way she wrote Mark, the hero, he oozed sexual charisma and he set fire to my ereader! Seriously can't remember any other fictional character who gave me so much goosbumps and shivers of delight than Mark thanks to Sarah Castille's evocative writing! *mmm*
But back to the book: Legal Heat is a thrilling romantic suspense novel, a legal thriller, where the supense part gets an equal share, so don't fear there will be plenty of times and scenes for you to bite off your nails ;-) I think with Legal Heat everyone gets what they'd like, be it steamy romance, explosive chemistry, legal investigations, conspiracies, murder mysteries and so on.
Legal Heat is Sarah Castille's debut novel (and what a smashing debut!) so it is no wonder there are certain aspects which could have used a bit more polishing/stricter editing: like the characterizations: I wasn't overly fond of Kate, our heroine. I found her full of contradictions: 1) at times she was ballsy (irrationally so being a single mom with two small kids) but at other times dependent and even spineless when it came to her ex-husband, then 2) she struggled to achieve financial stability and independence from her ex-husband to be able to live and raise her two kids comfortably but she had Manolo Blahnik shoes... Mark remained quite two-dimensional, a sexy charismatic dark hero, but he retained his aura of mystery. Besides the main characters a lot of supporting charcters got introduced, some I liked better than others, but they certainly added their unique quirkiness and flavour to the story.
As for the mystery it was very reminiscent of a quick paced legal thriller movie, kept me right at the edge of my seat virtually turning and devouring the pages. There were even some twists and turns as to the details of the mystery so it kept the reader guessing until the end. (However, it left me confused how a journalist could know ALL the details of (and motivations behind) the mystery and then be the one to tell the story to the investigating detective, without having done much investigation himself...).
Verdict: Legal Heat was a captivating and addictive read. It had everything you could ask for: a terrific combo of nail-biting mystery and scorching hot romance! Sure there were some minor flaws (like how the psycho ex-husband got too much screen time or how the resolution of the mystery felt a bit rushed), but Sarah Castille spellbound me right from the start with her evocative and gripping writing and I can't wait to read more of her stories! (Thankfully her next novel Against the Ropes will be released in Spetember by Sourcebooks!)
Writing: 10/10 so hot and sensual Sarah Castille ignited my ereader!
Ending: 7/10 - was a bit too much with the psycho ex-husband and the resolution to the mystery felt a bit rushed.
Review originally posted at Book Lovers Inc.