Friday, October 9, 2015

Sharing is Caring - Books: "Reasonable Doubt" by Carsen Taite

Note: This ARC was provided by NetGalley & Bold Strokes Books in exchange for an honest review.
To purchase this novel, please see links at the bottom of the review.

4.5 stars rounded up to 5.

This was my first Carsen Taite read, and I was pleasantly surprised.  As a personal notion, I am not usually one to enjoy the rough-and-tumble, shoot 'em up, cops and robbers romances that are found within the lesbian romance realm.  With that being said, I've still found a few that I enjoy, specifically The Target by Gerri Hill. It has been a long time since I've been able to find another one that I thoroughly enjoyed though, until I read Reasonable Doubt.

Sarah Flores has settled in Dallas after a tumultuous career in the BAU division of the FBI.  Now, all she wants is a home with a picket fence, actual furniture, and, if she's lucky, someone to come home to at night.  Ellery (a name I love!) Durant is a retired criminal defense lawyer that has embraced the simplicity of a life based solely on the furniture she refurbishes that she finds from scattered pieces across the city. After a sudden leave from her well-established personal practice, Ellery was set on living life in the slow lane. When the two meet, sparks immediately begin to fly. But when they experience a life-altering event together, Ellery finds herself at the forefront of the prime suspects, with Sarah as the investigator.

I loved both of these characters immensely.  Though stereotypical in some ways and one-dimensional, it worked for them, as their characteristics balanced each other out, coming to a great arch of personal development and meeting together in the middle.  I have to admit that Ellery was my favorite, but primarily due to her name.  For some reason, it stuck with me and has become something I will remember forever.  With that being said, I also enjoyed Ellery because of her inner monologues - the way she talks through her tribulations and feelings, the way she embraces the parts of her that aren't as developed as she wished them to be, the way she accepts the ways in which she has conducted her life, even when they were not always in the most moralistic of views.  Ellery was real, genuine, perfect in her abnormality.  Her regrets, choices, and decisions she has made throughout her life were perfect evidence as to the person she turned out to be, and the one as the focus of this novel.  Thus far, she is one my favorite characters ever written.

Please don't assume I didn't like Sarah Flores because of this.  Her character was fascinating as well in its own ways.  But seeing as Flores fell into the typical FBI agent/law enforcement persona without too much outside of that, she didn't pull my attention as much as Ellery.

The story was a great ride!  Mixing both dramatic moments with fast-paced action, along with heartfelt and gentle occurrences were found a-plenty in this novel.  Carsen Taite brought all of her own history as a criminal defense lawyer to the forefront of this novel in order to help tell the story.  Having the real pieces of court, lawyers, and lawmakers within the words truly expressed a sincerity that, I feel, would have been difficult to replicate had the lawyer not experienced it first hand.  Taite's own life in the world she uses as a backdrop to this story is evidence of how bona fide it felt to engage in that entity.

Bravo to the author!  A wonderful story all around.  I will be adding Carsen Taite to my list of authors to watch for when new novels are released.  Thank you for a wonderful read.

While reading this novel, I have to admit my SwanQueen shipper heart came out, and I immediately saw Ellery and Sarah as a similar couple to Regina and Emma.
Rating: ⋆⋆⋆
You can purchase this novel from Amazon and Bold Strokes Books.

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