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Monday, April 2, 2012

In The Barrister's Chambers by Tina Gabrielle

In The Barrister's Chambers by Tina Gabrielle
Publisher: Kensington Publishing Corp
Genre: Historical (Regency)
Length: Full length (323 pages)
Heat Level: Spicy
Rating: 4.5 stars
Reviewed by Camellia


Lady Evelyn Darlington's first love was the law. But since a woman scholar meets nothing but ridicule from men, she has given up and chosen a future husband. Randolph seems adequate for the task: to provide intelligent conversation and not annoy her too much. Of course, before they can be engaged, she'll have to do something about the murder charge hanging over his head. If only London's top barrister wasn't Jack Harding, object of all her unattainable girlhood fantasies...


Jack Harding remembers Evelyn well—but the idea that the gorgeous woman standing before him is little Evie, the professor's daughter, is incredible. He knows better than to enter a business relationship when he wants to pursue pleasure. Yet however desirable she is now, Evie is still Evie—stubborn, smart, and never willing to take no for an answer. Even though proving her betrothed's innocence might just cost her her own...

Lady Evelyn Darlington knows law. She’s been reading her father’s law books for years. When she was twelve years old, she had a tremendous crush on Jack Harding, one of her father’s best law students. Being a precocious, charming, intelligent little girl, she’d done all she could to gain his attention, even learning Latin verbs as well as studying law books with even more fervor. Now ten years later, she watches Jack in court and knows she still feels a connection with him—for all the good it’s worth she tells herself. But she needs his legal help and plans to have it one way or another.

Jack Harding is a winning lawyer, called “the people’s lawyer”, and he loves winning. Every win is like a drug addiction. He wants more and more. The law is his mistress and demands his all. A wife and family are not in his plans because he knows law will always be first. But when “little Evie”, now the breathtakingly beautiful, elegant, golden-haired Lady Evelyn with the turquoise eyes, asks for his help to clear her ‘soon-to-be’ fiancĂ© of a murder charge, Jack’s body takes no heed of his brain’s logical reasoning. From the minute Jack sees the grown up Evie, he knows she's nothing but trouble. Even as a child she had a know-it-all attitude. She’d been a little minx; he doubts she's changed. She has a more sophisticated scholarly aura about her now, but she also has a determined look. Jack has no idea that his scent and the feel of his touch are intoxicating to her untried body and heart.

The tangled messes Jack and Evie get themselves into, as they try to prove Randolph Sheldon did not murder his cousin Bessie Whitfield, keep the reader intrigued. His lawyer friends, James, Brent, and Anthony rally to the cause while all the time giving Jack a lot of grief about his new “Lady”. Of course, Jack denies there is anything other than his sense of obligation to his old master the Earl of Lyndale, Evie’s father. The three lawyer friends James Devlin and Brent Stone inject humor, advice, and a touch of mystery while Anthony Stevens puts in a bit of cynicism and a somewhat crude attitude about women. He's a divorce lawyer and knows too many secrets about too many ladies.

Other secondary characters that ramp up the action and the tension as the plot unfolds are: the hiding Randolph; Simon Guthrie, the go-between for Randolph and Evie; the Earl of Lyndale; the Earl of Newland; Evie’s friend Georgina’s father, Maxwell; and Bessie Whitfield, the lady of the night with a diary. Who are good guys and who are bad guys gives the reader some surprising shocks. Who would have thought it?

Tina Gabrielle uses the elements of the English Regency period to create a tantalizing setting for a plot that twists and turns from the halls of academia to the fetid alleys of London with characters ranging from nobility to rough, dangerous thieves and smugglers. Ms. Gabrielle’s well-developed characters, her descriptions that quicken the senses and the magical love scenes make In The Barrister's Chambers spellbinding. How she untangles all, and ties up all the loose ends to get to a happy-ever-after keeps the reader turning pages.

I’m looking forward to James Devlin’s story In The Barrister's Bed and hoping there will be stories about Brent Stone, the gorgeous, mysterious lawyer and Anthony Stevens, the cynical lawyer.