ARC Review: ‘Evidence of Desire’ by Lexi Blake (Blog Tour)
I received a complimentary copy of the book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Evidence of Desireby Lexi Blake
Series: Courting Justice #2
Published by Berkley on January 8, 2019
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Purchase at Amazon | Apple | Barnes & Noble
A fast-paced contemporary romance that sizzles from the New York Times bestselling author of Order of Protection where passion for the law isn't the only thing heating up the courtroom.
Isla Shayne knows she's in over her head. As former all-star linebacker Trey Adams's personal lawyer, she's used to handling his business dealings and private financial matters, not murder charges. She needs to find an experienced criminal attorney who speaks her client's language. David Cormack of Garrison, Cormack and Lawless is exactly what she needs in the courtroom—and the only man she wants in the bedroom.
For David, taking on the Adams case means diving back into a world he thought he'd left behind and colliding head on with tragic possibilities he's in no mood to face. There's a reason professional football is in his past and no matter how close Isla gets to the truth he intends to leave it there.
But long days working on the case together lead to hot nights in each other's arms. As their feelings grow, the case takes a deadly twist that could change the game between the two lovers forever.
Evidence of Desire is the second book in Lexi Blake’s Courting Justice series, and so far this is my favorite of the series. Although, it’s too early to say since this is only the second book. I loved both the leading male and female characters though. The female character, Isla Shayne is one strong kick-butt lawyer. She’s not a criminal lawyer but is a personal lawyer to Trey Adams and his family. Trey Adams is a former linebacker of the Guardians team who is now suffering from Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE). Isla ends up needing a lawyer for her client because she only handles Adam’s family business dealings and financial matters. Not murder. She needs someone like David Cormack who is a criminal defense lawyer. David used to be apart of the same world her client was in up until he got injured on the football field and who could no longer play football. That’s when David decided to go back to law school to be a lawyer. Now he has a new firm with his best friend Henry Garrison and two other lawyers.
This is when both Isla and David meet for the first time, and you would think it’s instant love, but I do not consider it like that at all. Both characters are attracted to each other, but they are thrown together due to a tragedy. Poor Isla ends up in the mince of it all since she treats Trey and his family as her family. She never thought she would have to prove that her client didn’t do anything wrong, even after he has had prior issues. She also needs to prove her innocence and the kids’ innocence after everything. I don’t want to give anything away because this was a tremendous suspenseful contemporary romance book to read. I was on the edge of my seat when reading it. It was completely different from the first book. I became more connected to the characters and their feelings. David and his past with what he has gone through and why he has not let anyone in his life. Isla and her past and now present on what she has dealt with and continued to deal with in her life. Both are strong, determined characters that have similarities to them.
Lexi had some very steamy moments between the characters, but they were dialed down compared to Henry and Win in their book (which is the first book). David was what you would call someone who was resistant to having a happily ever after. Isla wants to love and have a family, and she finally believes she found it with David. Although, they have the crime that needs to be dealt with first. I figured out who was behind it all but was not expecting the big twist at the end of the book though. Lexi put me through the wringer in this book, especially after getting to know all the characters. I felt for everyone in this story.
I give this book 5 stars and highly recommend this to contemporary romance and romantic suspense readers out there. If you read any of Lexi’s previous books/series, you will enjoy this book and this series. I look forward to the next book even more after reading this one. I’m anxious to read more about Noah Lawless and who tames him. He is a wild ‘Lawless’ family member.
“Not jumping his bones, then?” she’d asked as she dragged a bottle of water out of the fridge.
“He wants to take it slow.” She was aware of how disappointed she’d sounded.
“No man who looks at a woman the way that one looks at you wants to take things slow. He’s scared you’re too good for him or something stupid like that,” she said. “I should know. I held off my gorgeous hottie for way too long because he was a tiny bit younger than me. Don’t waste time. Take command. And then when he’s all in, give that control up. That always works for me. ’Night.”
There was something in the way the redhead smiled, something intimate and soft. Something Isla wanted for herself again. She’d had it as a girl with Austin. She wanted to know how it felt to have that connection as a woman.
So she’d made the decision. Maybe for the first time in her life, she’d genuinely made the decision to be brave, to go after what she wanted with a singular purpose, to put herself out there and see if she was bait enough to catch the one fish she wanted.
Though first she needed some fishing gear. According to Noah, that was in the nightstand drawer.
She’d stepped in and taken off her clothes. All in. Just like a poker game. If he refused to play, she would be devastated and potentially never be able to face the man again, but she’d felt almost compelled to undress and walk to the entry of that sexy natural stone shower. She’d stood there and looked, really looked at David Cormack. He’d been turned away from her, his back on full display. He was beautifully male, his muscles defined by years of athleticism. His back was strong, his butt practically perfect, and he was held up with strong legs. But his head hung low and she could swear she felt how lonely he was.
She hadn’t realized how lonely she was until she’d met him. “David?”
He started, every muscle tensing, and then he turned, though he mostly moved his torso as though trying to keep his private parts private. His eyes latched onto her, but he didn’t say a word.
Oh, she wanted to run. He was far too gorgeous. She wasn’t in his league. She knew she was attractive, but she wasn’t even close to being in the same condition he was in. He’d been an elite athlete and he’d obviously never stopped working out. She could stand to lose a few pounds.
And if those pounds and the roundness of her hips ran him off, then so be it. She was done sitting around and hoping she got what she wanted. At least she would know. “I don’t want to go slow.”
For a second, she was almost sure he would tell her to go. Then he turned and he was standing there in his full glory, as though let- ting her see what he had to offer. When she simply stared, he crossed the space between them and, without a word, his hands cupped her face and his mouth was on hers.
The minute they touched, something sparked to life inside her, something wild she’d never felt before. It seemed to start in her toes, making them curl as the sensation rushed through her system. Heat and anticipation and pure joy.
It had been forever since a man kissed her like this. Maybe never. The only thing that compared was the sweet high school fumbling between her and Austin. He’d been eager, but he had no idea what he was doing.
David Cormack knew how to kiss. He mastered her mouth with his, soft when he needed to be and then rough, sending a thrill through her system that burned a path straight to her pussy. He brushed his lips against hers and then zeroed in on her lower lip, biting gently and sucking briefly before another soft kiss allowed her to breathe again. And then when she was ready to beg, his tongue surged in, rubbing soft velvet against her own.
“Tell me you’re sure,” he said against her mouth as his hands moved down.
“I’m sure,” she replied with a breathy whisper. He could throw her up against the side of the shower and take her then and there and she would be perfectly satisfied.
“Because there’s no going back. I’ve been a good boy up until this point. I’ve been civilized, Isla. I’ve played the gentleman around you, but if you let me in, I’ll invade and you’ll see the real man under- neath the suit. I’ll be demanding and overly protective and I’ll want you every fucking minute of the day.”
And that was bad, how? She’d been on the outside looking in for so long, the idea of being someone’s center, being the person for him, made her heart ache with longing. “Please touch me, David. I want the real you, every dirty, possessive part of you.”
His hands found her hips and he dragged her against him, their bodies coming together for the first time. He was warm, his skin soft over the steel of his muscular body.
She took a moment, letting her arms wrap around him, her breasts against his chest, that hard erection of his cradled to her belly. This was sweet intimacy. Yes, it would lead to something wild, but for a moment she basked in the comfort of another body against hers.
He stepped back, taking her with him and bringing them into the warmth of the shower. He seemed to understand she needed a moment, and he followed her lead perfectly. One hand held her to him while the other smoothed back her now-wet hair as he brushed light kisses over her forehead and down to her nose, lavishing her with affection she’d been starved without. He stood like that with her, learning her body with his hands and mouth.
“See,” he said with the sexiest chuckle as he leaned over and ran his tongue along the shell of her ear. “We’re still taking it slow. I could do this for hours and I haven’t even gotten to your tasty parts yet. You’re sweet, Isla. I could eat you up. Are you going to let me eat you up?”
One hand tangled in her hair, gently drawing her back and forc- ing her to look up at him. His eyes were hot, his jaw tight with arousal. “Talk to me. I won’t let you disconnect from me when we’re intimate. Tell me. ‘‘Yes, David, I want you to eat me up.’”
“Yes, David. I want you to eat me up.”