I was so pleased when I was able to get my hands on an e-galley of Emma Chase’s Sustained. One of the bloggers I trust and admire, (Mandi at Smexy Books, here is her review of Sustained) tweeted about it and I was instantly hooked. I love stories featuring kids (yes, it’s a bit odd because I have no desire for real life kids but in books, they are a favorite trope) and well, it just sounded intriguing. And it was!
Jake Becker is a defense attorney. He deals with some of the scummiest people around (people who embezzle, steal from others, etc) but he loves his job and he wants to make partner. Jake is well, a bit of a lothario. He doesn’t do relationships and one night stands are kind of his calling card. That changes when a young lad steals his wallet. When Jake brings the young boy, Rory, home, he meets his guardian, Chelsea. Jake is struck dumb with insta-lust. Unfortunately, Chelsea has a lot on her plate. Her brother and sister-in-law recently passed away in a car crash and now she is the sole guardian for her nieces and nephews. All six of them. Dropping off young Rory is the last interaction Jake expects to have with the family but it’s far from over. Chelsea calls on Jake when Rory does something even worse and thus begins Jake’s growing infatuation and emotional connection to Chelsea and the kids.
Firstly, this book is set in first person point of view, solely from Jake’s POV. I guess I didn’t expect that when I opened the book but I quickly got into the rhythm of Jake and his thoughts and feelings and well, it worked for me. I know some people are sensitive to first person POV, so I wanted to mention this.
As everything is told from Jake’s perspective, readers get to know him best. And the kids too honestly. Chelsea remains a bit distant but I still enjoyed her character and getting to know her. While it has been very tough since her brother died, and she is doing her best to put on a brave front, you have to give her credit for doing the best she can for her nieces and nephews. And Jake really admires that in Chelsea. He knows she is a forever kind of girl and not the type of woman he usually has in his life but he can’t seem to stay away.
Jake is a bit of a smartass which I loved. He could easily match wits with Rory because he understands what the young boy is going through. And he makes a great caregiver and protector. His character really does go through a positive change but without changing who he really is. He is still a smartass and he is still great at his job but he’s grown and I feel like the author reshaped him without making him into a shell of himself. It was a great transformation.
I loved the scenes with Jake and the kids too. He made me laugh a lot with his consternation with the kids but he bonds with them quickly too. He also smooths things over for Chelsea and her relationship with the kids. There was some resentment, natural given the circumstances the kids are facing, but it made for a rough beginning.
I haven’t read the first book in the Legal Briefs series so I can’t compare the two stories, but I know characters from the first book play a role in this story. Fortunately they don’t steal the show!
Sustained had me laughing and it’s one of the few romances that I couldn’t tear myself away from this year. It’s just a great contemporary love story. I am very excited for the third book in the series. This is the first book I’ve read by Emma Chase but I am hoping that her previous stories are just as good. I need to explore her backlist clearly.
Sustained is going on my favorite romances of 2015 list! It is available now at all major retailers.
ARC provided by publisher via Edelweiss.
Other reviews of Sustained: