A sharp, sassy and scorching romance with raw edge and all the feels…
Nicole French is a new author to me, I’d come across her name here and there and when I was offered the advanced copy to Legally Mine— I could not refuse. In truth, I was actually rather excited. I’m a mahooooosive fan of legal dramas and an avid romance devourer… so this was win-win. Not only is this a legal romance, but it’s also a workplace romance with characters that aren’t just empathiseable— they are downright loveable, adorable even! This is not a series of standalones, so you will have to read Legally Yours beforehand, as I did. If not, you will miss parts of Brandon and Skylar’s story.
Plot wise, I abso-freaking-lutely love this series. I’m a Suits die hard, and Brandon does have a Harvey Specter appeal. He is sharp, savvy and skilled in his career, however, the same cannot be said when it comes to matters of the heart. He is useless to the point where you don’t know whether to pity him or throttle him for the poppycock that he comes up with to “woo” Skylar. At times he was so useless, that I actually just had to laugh him off— I may have a bit of an evil streak. Saying that though, a lot of his misdemeanours in the love stakes actually served to bring out and show Skylar as the heroine every romance reader dreams of. She is strong, sassy, red-blooded and she does not take crap from anybody. By all means, these are characters that are quite simply to die for. I really could not get enough of them.
Legally Mine is a slow burn romance, however, there is that element of love at first sight (insta-love) that comes from Legally Yours. Saying that, both of the books are actually slow burners. The relationship between Brandon and Skylar is built up slowly and carefully down to the smallest detail. They do a few things backwards, but to be honest that adds to the individuality of their story. I really do have to bow down to Nicole French when it comes to the development of the romance, it is verging on flawless and every aspect is intricately mapped out and executed. Not only did I find that this helped make these characters real, but it also kept them raw. In many ways Brandon and Sky are like Tom and Jerry, they are constantly at each others’ throats, but they can’t deny that they cannot live without each other. There really is such a fine line between love and hate when it comes to these two. Their chemistry rocket fuels their passion to a whole new level. Their intimate interactions are insanely scorching hot, they really should come with a warning. Brandon and Skylar are dynamite. I was left gasping and wanting with every single touch… taste…
What I love the most about this series so far, is that it isn’t conventionally clichéd and every turn you expect it to take is done so with a fresh twist that keeps you on your toes and completely glued to the story. I seriously could not put this book down. Nicole French had me completely at her mercy and hanging on her every word. This series completely took over my life, I lived it, breathed it, craved it and when I reached the end of Legally Mine— I was devastated. I couldn’t function, the book blues completely drowned me. I cannot wait for the next book in the series— Legally Ours. I really don’t know how I’m going to be able to cope with the wait because I’m in book hangover hell!
About the Series
#1 Legally Yours
Skylar Ellen Crosby is a typical redhead: blunt, passionate, with a bit of a temper. Okay, so maybe she’s a little neurotic too. She just can’t afford to be distracted these days, especially not by the immature boys that keep asking her out. At the end of her third year at Harvard Law, all Skylar wants is to figure out her next steps: ones that will hopefully include a job, an apartment, and enough money to help her father stop getting into trouble. She simply has no room for romance, especially the kind that might break your heart. But on a dark, snowy night, when she’s stranded in the living room of the notorious CEO of Sterling Ventures and one of the best attorneys in Boston, all of those boundaries are about to be knocked down.
Brandon Sterling never believed in fate. A man of his own making, he firmly credits his successes to hard work. How else could you explain his rise from the poorest of backgrounds in South Boston to becoming one of the most successful entrepreneurs in Boston? Living in the lap of luxury, it never mattered to him that increasing success meant increased isolation in his big house on Beacon Street. After all, when you have everything, everyone else always wants something. That he walks in to find a gorgeous redhead sitting on his windowsill. Suddenly, the idea of love at first sight seems like the most plausible thing in the world…if only the one person he wants to give his heart to would actually take it.
Together, Skylar and Brandon have the kind of passion few hope to find, but things keep getting in their way. Between school, business, her father’s gambling troubles and Brandon’s history of personal struggle, will their complicated lives prevent them from making it work together? Or, as they both suspect somewhere deep down, have they finally met their match in each other’s hearts?
#2 Legally Mine
What’s the point of falling in love if it only breaks your heart?
Skylar Crosby should be on top of the world. She’s just graduated from the best law school in the country and is supposed to kick-start a successful career. But with her father still recovering from his gambling addiction, her absentee mother suddenly reappearing in her life, and the stresses of studying for the bar exam, Skylar is feeling more like she’s holding the world up rather than standing on top of it. And then, of course, there’s the matter of her utterly smashed heart.
In just a few short months, brilliant attorney and all-around tycoon Brandon Sterling quickly became the sun to Skylar’s universe only to twist it upside down and inside out with his secrets, leaving her with a decision to make that will change both of their lives forever. And although Brandon can’t forget the girl who gave him back his heart, sudden changes in his own complicated life will make getting her back that much more difficult. Luckily, Brandon Sterling has never been one to walk away from a challenge.
Even when the whole world seems united against them, it’s possible that they are their own worst enemies. Legally Mine, the second book in the explosive Spitfire series, continues the saga of Skylar and Brandon as two stubborn, intelligent, damaged people trying to learn how to let themselves love and be loved return.
#3 Legally Ours
“That’s quite a mouth you’ve got there, Red,” Sterling hummed into my ear. His chest touched the edge of my shoulder ever so slightly, and I did my best to ignore that unique scent that had me so titillated moments before. “But fair warning: a little spitfire only turns me on that much more.”
“Let me go,” I gritted through my teeth.
“No.” With his other hand, he spun me around so I was effectively trapped between his arms against the door. “Look at me,” he commanded.
Despite my best efforts not to, I couldn’t help but follow his order. I hated that just his proximity could eat through the rage and disgust over what was fundamentally an offer to prostitute myself. His expression echoed the same pent up––lust? longing? I didn’t know what to call it––that I had also felt for the past three nights. Maybe it was just the strain of how badly we both clearly wanted each other, but I thought I saw a note of pain in his fathomless eyes.
“Tell me you don’t feel what’s between us.” His forearms, fencing either side of my head, flexed with tension. Was he holding himself back or bracing for my resistance?
Sterling leaned in close enough that our cheeks were almost touching. His minty breath whispered across my skin, and I fought the urge to slip a hand into his thick hair and pull his mouth into the base of my neck. All my righteousness was quickly fading.
“Can you tell me you didn’t want me to strip you down right there, in front of the fire, and take you?” He grazed the tip of his nose down the line of my neck, eliciting goosebumps in its wake and a small, traitorous moan from the back of my throat. He growled back, low and fierce. His lips traced lightly back up my neck and paused over my mouth, maybe a scant inch from a kiss.
“Let me make you feel good,” he rumbled as he slid one hand from the door down to grab me tightly around my waist. He pulled my body tightly against his, suggesting just how he intended to accomplish his request.
“Ahh…” I moaned again.
Without any further thought, both of my hands threaded into the thicket of hair at the base of his neck and yanked. He needed no more invitation. His lips conquered mine completely as he pressed me hard against the door with the entire length of his body. He was an amazing kisser, sucking on my bottom lip like candy, tongue tangling with mine again and again, as if he couldn’t taste enough of me. His hands dropped to grip my ass so hard I yelped, a sound quickly stifled again with his lips. I was just starting to fumble with the buttons of his shirt when we were suddenly interrupted by the loud screech of the telephone on his desk. I froze, suddenly hyperaware that his secretary was just on the other side of the door behind my back. The phone rang three more times and fell silent again, but Sterling pulled away, visibly regretful at the interruption. His breath had smelled of tea and mint, and I now knew he tasted even better. A few seconds ago, I was ready to tug the rest of my clothes off and mount him right there. Except.
“Jesus,” he gasped, staring as if seeing me for the first time. “That really is quite a mouth on you.”
I didn’t say anything, just chewed on my upper lip and avoided his searching gaze.
“Say yes,” he said as he buried his face into my neck. “Come to my house tonight, Red. We’ll figure it all out then.”
I almost said yes. I almost moaned again as his lips touched jaw and started to nibble their way to my ear. But in moment of returned clarity, my eyes caught the edge the file still sitting on the couch—a reminder of just how businesslike he wanted this endeavor to be. Suddenly I saw a stack of bills left on a nightstand, like he might treat a cheap hooker. I saw myself rearranging my schedule to meet his needs. Lying in bed, waiting for his phone calls until odd hours of the morning. Being pushed away the next day, treated like I was nothing. Made to feel like I was crazy for suspecting the worst. Arrangement or not, I had been there before. I wasn’t going back. I pushed him away forcefully, ignoring the confusion that clouded his handsome features and the way my skin yearned for his touch.
“No,” I said quietly, with more assurance than I felt. “And not in the kind of way where you should think I mean yes just because you kissed me. I just mean no. As in never.”
“Skylar, please, I—”
“I’m sure there are a number of convenient escort services you can call to get what you want,” I said woodenly as I ducked under his arm and grabbed the doorknob. “You should have HR burn my file along with those goddamn shoes. I’d rather you didn’t have a way to contact me after I’m gone.”
About the Author
Nicole French is a East Coast/West Coast hybrid creature, a lifelong dreamer, a hopeless romantic, and a complete and total bookworm. When not writing fiction or teaching writing classes, she is hanging out with her family, playing soccer with the rest of the thirty-plus crowd in Seattle, or going on dates with her husband. In her spare time, she likes to go running with her dog, Greta, or practice the piano, but never seems to do either one of these things as much as she should.