Forbidden romance coupled with high-stakes courtroom drama.
Two women meet in an alley and fulfill their mutual desire with a night of passion, neither expecting more than the few lusty hours they shared. Weeks later Morgan Bradley and Parker Casey meet again, but this time one is a law professor and the other her student. A series of events lands them in the middle of a high-profile murder trial, but the twists and turns of the case are no match for the spiral of increasing attraction as they work side by side in the defense of justice.
I decided that rather than start with one of her newer titles, I’d revisit the one that made me a fan of Carsen Taite in the first place. “It Should Be A Crime” had me interested from the opening paragraph, which is I suppose the sign of a good writer. I wanted to know who these characters were and why they were where they were. I appreciate that the answers are given slowly over time, evolving as the characters (and their relationship) evolves. I will admit to spending the first chapter trying to figure out which one was Parker and which one was Morgan (right right Parker is the bartender). Sometimes when you pair two characters with androgynous names or first names that are last names, it gets muddied, it didn’t take me long to figure it out.
One of the things I love about this story is that there is an actual story, not just a weak plotting device. The casual anonymous sex leading to the ohmygod realization on the first day of class that a very enjoyable one night stand has just turned into a potential real world complication. The sexual tension is wonderfully written, there’s not a lot of pounding hearts and lip-licking, there’s sharp, playful, flirty dialog which I much prefer. I like smart sexy women, and I love it when they get smart, sexy dialog to match. The casework, the preparation, the court scenes… all make me wish I’d gone to law school, I start having this “Paper Chase” with cute girls fantasy and wonder if it’s not too late. Carsen Taite knows her stuff, it shows and it makes for a really engrossing (and not confusing/jargon riddled) read. I know enough to feel like I’m in on it, but I’m not an expert so I appreciate the legal lessons.
I would be remiss if I didn’t point out there isn’t nearly enough sex. There I said it. The sex is hot, so hot in fact that I had to fight the urge to scan pages to get to the next sex scene. Bad thing or good thing, you decide.
One odd editorial/publishing note here is I did wonder, ever time I picked up the book, what the hell the cover had to do with the story in the book? Is that the alley they meet in? is that a gaslamp? It looks like a winding street in the old quarter of a European city, not a street in Dallas (although admittedly I haven’t spent much time in Dallas). When I picked up the book I expected given the title and cover art something completely different than what I got. I am thrilled with what I got, just still confused at why this image. *shrug* Oh well, ignore the cover, just read the book.