Tuesday, January 8, 2019

Blog Tour Book Review: Evidence Of Desire by Lexi Blake

Author: Lexi Blake
Series: Courting Justice #2
Audience: +18
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Romantic Suspense
Publisher: Berkley
Release Date: January 8th 2019
My Rating: 4.5 Cups
Source: InkSlinger PR
Blurb (from Goodreads):
A fast-paced contemporary romance that sizzles from the New York Times bestselling author of Order of Protection where passion for the aw 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.
*Disclaimer: I received an eARC of this book from InkSlinger PR in exchange for an honest review. This does not influence my rating or the content of my review in any way.

**Disclaimer: This book contains mature content. As a result, my review may contain references to content intended for mature audiences only.

The second installment of Lexi Blake's Courting Justice series is everything I hoped for and more.

Evidence of Desire is a perfect blend of contemporary romance and suspense, a combo that I've come to adore from this author. Because of that, I knew from the moment I picked up the book that I was going to enjoy it, but I didn't quite expect how much I would end up loving it.

I really liked Isla as a heroine. At first, I'll be honest, I was a little bit confused as to why she seemed to have a hard time being more detached from the drama happening with her friends and clients, why it affected her as much as it did. The thing I loved about this author so much is that whenever I'm confused about a detail in a story, Blake just somehow anticipates that and addresses it outright in the book. The same thing happened in this case: tere's this scene where David points out the differences between the type of law he and Isla practiced, and how that makes for a different client-attorney dynamic. Isla knew that, but she blamed herself a little for not being the cool, professional attorney she was trained to be or everyone expects her to be, which is why I myself was a bit confused by that. Hearing David explain it though, made me realize that there is a difference between their dynamics with their clients and in turn it will affect how they react to different situations with their clients.

I liked the faith that Isla had in her client. I never felt in any moment that she doubted Trey, or that she was faking her optimism, she genuinely believed Trey didn't kill his wife, and her belief was so strong that it made me believe in his innocence. There was a moment where I wasn't 100% sure, I'll be honest, but that was because I could see both Isla's and David's perspective on the incident. One knew a loving husband with a debilitating disease, the other knew only the cold, hard facts.I also loved that Isla never jumped to conclusions. There were a lot of scenes in which she could have gotten the wrong impression about someone, or make different decisions based on that impression, and there was even a scene in which I wanted her to make a different decision and react in certain way, and not take the high road like she did, but it just made me like her more.

David was a quiet, but strong hero. As the most qualified attorney for this case, recommended by a close friend of Isla's to represent Trey, he was very competent at his job, and he was able to adapt to any and all surprises thrown his way. I loved how professional he was, I loved how he explored every angle and took advantage of every little detail that could help him defend his client, even when those details could have had a negative impact on how his client was perceived both by a judge and the media. I also enjoyed that he wasn't as concerned with Trey being guilty or innocent, but with what he could prove. David made that distinction between knowing if Trey did it or not and actually being able to prove it, and I really really enjoyed that. He was totally the strong silent type, and I had fun discovering his layers.

Even though we got to see a big part of the story told from Isla's POV, I never felt like I was being "told" that Trey was innocent or that I shouldn't question that information. I loved that the book held off giving a definitive answer to that question until the very end, and even when it did, it raised more questions than before for a little while . The book also explored mental health and more specifically CTE, which I'll be honest, aside from the 2015 Concussion movie, I knew nothing about. It's interesting to see how the author approached this side of Trey. I loved that the reader doesn't have any knowledge of how Trey was before he was diagnosed and before the symptoms started, which is probably why I wasn't sure if Trey was innocent or not, as I said before. It also made me think of another Blake's professional athlete hero and if there is any danger of him developing this disease. I think the book did a fantastic job at introducing this disease that, by the looks of it, isn't yet fully understood and therefore doesn't have a cure yet. I loved that we get to see Trey both when he's completely aware of himself and almost like his old self, and also when he is in some of the worst episodes. Seeing him lucid broke my heart though, because he lost so much because of this disease, and he wasn't fully certain he didn't also lose his wife because of it too. That really broke my heart.

We also get to see some very nice Taggart cameos. I won't say who, but it definitely warmed my heart. I also liked the ending, I liked what Isla did for David. It felt perfect for their love story, and for who Isla was in her core.

The only thing I wished to see addressed a bit more was related to the assistant district attorney, whom I hated completely, but I'm keeping my fingers crossed that it will be something to be resolved in the next installments of this series.

I really enjoyed this book, especially since it had everything I enjoy in a story: it had good romance, great suspense, mystery, a murder to be solved, family drama, personal drama, and also something new for me to learn, in this case CTE. If you're a fan of all of that, check out this book, because you will love it just as I did.

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Isla couldn’t believe she was doing this, but the minute she got a good look at David Cormack without his suit on she knew there was no going back. She’d been ready to make a pot of tea and wait for him to come out of the shower when Erin Taggart had appeared in the kitchen.
“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?”
She nodded.
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.”


NY Times and USA Today bestselling author Lexi Blake lives in North Texas with her husband, three kids, and the laziest rescue dog in the world. She began writing at a young age, concentrating on plays and journalism. It wasn’t until she started writing romance and urban fantasy that she found the stories of her heart. She likes to find humor in the strangest places and believes in happy endings no matter how odd the couple, threesome, or foursome may seem.



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