A Washington, DC, defense attorney, Stanton Shaw keeps his head cool, his questions sharp, and his arguments irrefutable. They don’t call him the Jury Charmer for nothing—with his southern drawl, disarming smile, and captivating green eyes, he’s a hard man to say no to. Men want to be him, and women want to be thoroughly cross examined by him.Stanton’s a man with a plan. And for a while, life was going according to that plan.

Until the day he receives an invitation to the wedding of his high school sweetheart, the mother of his beloved ten-year-old daughter. Jenny is getting married—to someone who isn’t him.

That’s definitely not part of the plan.


Sofia Santos is a city-raised, no-nonsense litigator who plans to become the most revered criminal defense attorney in the country. She doesn’t have time for relationships or distractions.

But when Stanton, her “friend with mind-blowing benefits,” begs her for help, she finds herself out of her element, out of her depth, and obviously out of her mind. Because she agrees to go with him to The-Middle-Of-Nowhere, Mississippi, to do all she can to help Stanton win back the woman he loves. Her head tells her she’s crazy…and her heart says something else entirely.

What happens when you mix a one-stop-light town, two professional arguers, a homecoming queen, four big brothers, some Jimmy Dean sausage, and a gun-toting Nana?

The Bourbon flows, passions rise, and even the best-laid plans get overruled by the desires of the heart.

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My thoughts….4 stars

Leaving the high finance world of investment bankers and crazy rocket scientists in Manhattan, Ms. Chase introduces readers to the high stakes world of defense attorney’s in our nation’s capitol, Washington, D.C.

Stanton Shaw is a Southern boy who’s made good out in the big world beyond honeyed drawls, magnolias, azaleas, BBQ, and sweet tea. Though he’s out of the South, Stanton uses his smooth Southern charm to finesse everything from juries to women. Honestly, it’s hard to beat a Southern man for charm when he turns it on and cranks it up.

Sofia Santos easily holds her own with Stanton. With three older brothers and parents who valued and stressed education, Sofia’s beautiful, no nonsense, and rising fast in the law firm she and Stanton work for. Learning from her brother’s conversations and examples she knows men’s minds, how they think, and what sends them running. She hasn’t the time for attachments. The friends with fringe benefits arrangement with Stanton is just the ticket.

When Stanton discovers “his girl”, Jenny~first love, high school sweetheart, and mother of his daughter, is getting married it rocks the foundation of his world. The living large life of having his cake and eating it too is about to end, throwing Stanton into a bit of a spin. He thinks he knows what he needs to do and Sofia is a key part of his plan. He has to convince her to go back home with him. Her guidance is crucial, at least that’s what he tells himself…

Sofia must be out of her cotton picking mind, agreeing to go home with Stanton to Sunshine, Mississippi and help stop Jenny’s wedding. As Stanton’s friend first and lover second she’s got this covered. She’s always known exactly where they stand.

Oh, the lies we tell ourselves….

Ms. Chase consistently delivers contemporaries brimming with humor, heart, heat, and details that give the story and characters authenticity. Like Stanton’s BBQ sauce (BBQ is a high art form in the South) and telling the weather by the cows (Papa taught me). This winning combination never fails to make me laugh, give me a warm glow, and lift my mood.

It’s a testament to Stanton’s charm that after Drew’s cameo, early on, I didn’t spend the rest of the book pining for his return. Stanton and Sofia easily hold their own. Then there’s the added bonus of a whole new wonderful, occasionally quirky, cast of characters I’m looking forward to getting to know better.

Like a kid anticipating Christmas morning, that’s how I feel when an Emma Chase book is set for release. When the book’s finally in my hands it’s like Santa put me at the top of the nice list as everything I could ask for is ticked off.

Can hardly wait to get my eager lil’ hands on the next book!


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