Sustained by Emma Chase

Sustained by Emma ChaseSustained (The Legal Briefs, #2) by Emma Chase
Published by Gallery Books on August 25th 2015
Genres: Family, Love & Romance, Romance
Pages: 272
Format: ARC, digital ARC
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A knight in tarnished armor is still a knight.
When you’re a defense attorney in Washington, DC, you see firsthand how hard life can be, and that sometimes the only way to survive is to be harder. I, Jake Becker, have a reputation for being cold, callous, and intimidating—and that suits me just fine. In fact, it’s necessary when I’m breaking down a witness on the stand.
Complications don’t work for me—I’m a “need-to-know” type of man. If you’re my client, tell me the basic facts. If you’re my date, stick to what will turn you on. I’m not a therapist or Prince Charming—and I don’t pretend to be.
Then Chelsea McQuaid and her six orphaned nieces and nephews came along and complicated the ever-loving hell out of my life. Now I'm going to Mommy & Me classes, One Direction concerts, the emergency room, and arguing cases in the principal's office.
Chelsea’s too sweet, too innocent, and too gorgeous for her own good. She tries to be tough, but she’s not. She needs someone to help her, defend her…and the kids.
And that — that, I know how to do.

Emma Chase has topped herself. I never thought I’d say this but I loved Sustained more than Tangled, and that’s saying a lot. In my opinion it’s been a rather mediocre year for romances. There have been several 2015 releases I’ve enjoyed, but only a handful that I’ve absolutely loved. And even then there’s usually something I find fault with. Maybe there’s a dreaded case of insta-love in the beginning. The ending is too rushed. The plot is a bit too predictable. You get the picture. But this book? I wouldn’t change a thing about this book. It’s absolute perfection and my favorite book of 2015 so far.

Jake Becker is a former troubled teen turned accomplished DC defense attorney. His life is orderly, disciplined, and uncomplicated. He has a plan for career success and it doesn’t include the distractions of romantic attachments, and certainly not a family.
When a young boy pickpockets Jake, he decides to talk to the kid’s parents instead of turning him over to the police. Jake takes him home and discovers the boy’s parents were recently killed in a car accident. The boy and his five brothers and sisters are now in the custody of their 26 year-old aunt, Chelsea McQuaid.
Chelsea is a grad student who dropped everything and left her life in California behind to become a guardian to her brother’s children. Although she’s doing a remarkable job—without complaint—it’s immediately apparent that Chelsea has her hands full caring for six kids. Before Jake realizes it, he gets swept up in diaper changes, dating advice, One Direction concerts, schoolyard brawls, and Mommy and Me classes. What’s equally shocking is he finds himself longing for a relationship with Chelsea.

“And the absolute craziest part of it all? I haven’t gotten laid in three goddamn weeks, but if this is all we do—kissing, with her against me, my arms around her—I’ll be grinning in the morning like a guy who banged a whole sorority house full of cheerleaders. I’m hoping for more. I want everything—all the secret, sweetest parts of her—but if this is all I get to have tonight? It’s enough.”

I love the feeling of getting lost in a story. I put everything on hold to read this book because once I started reading it I couldn’t stop. Dinner didn’t get fixed, the dog didn’t get walked, I silenced my phone, and hung out the “Do Not Disturb” sign. I was completely absorbed in the lives of Chelsea and the children.
I admit I initially had some reservations about the kids. How on earth would I be able to keep all six of them straight? Each of their names starts with an “R” for goodness sakes! Surprisingly, each child is completely unique and used separately to further the plot. Although I have my favorite (Rosaleen), they are all totally endearing and I fell in love with each of them as individuals.
Sustained is a romance novel and I absolutely loved the chemistry between Jake and Chelsea. However, it’s his relationship with the children that stole my heart.

“Out of all the little shits in the world, the six of you are my favorite. I’m not ditching you. Ever. Whatever happens between me and your aunt, I’m always going to be your friend. For the rest of your lives—I’m not going anywhere.”

Jake’s transformation from an indifferent confirmed bachelor into a softhearted caregiver was both hysterical and touching.

She starts to cry. “I’m sorry, Jake.”
“It’s okay. Rosaleen—it’s just puke. It’s not a big deal.” The dog scurries in like Mighty Mouse coming to save the day. Then he starts to chow down on Rosaleen’s vomit. Robustly. I gag in the back of my throat but manage to hold it together. “See?” I tell her, trying to sound cheery. “You did me a favor—now I won’t have to feed the dog.”

The story is alternately sweet and steamy (Jake is a very, very dirty boy), but always delightfully entertaining. It’s an antidote to a bad day. I swear I smiled so much my cheeks hurt. Emma Chase has nailed it with a captivating book that is charming, sexy, hilarious, and a complete joy from beginning to end.
Sustained is the second book in the Legal Briefs series but can be read as a standalone.
** ARC kindly provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Quotes are taken from the pre-published copy and may differ from the final version. **

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