by Ann Jacobs

June 2003
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In Ann Jacobsí In His Own Defense, Kristine and Tony are lawyers on opposite sides of the courtroom aisle. Christine is a young, neophyte prosecutor whose past hurts drive her to become a somewhat overzealous crusader to put away drug dealers and other criminals. She has a rigid sense of morality and only sees things in black and white. Her sense of right and wrong makes her unable to look in between for the gray, which is often where the answer can be found.

Tonyís past also drives him to succeed as a criminal defense lawyer. Though he is highly successful, seems confident and has a reputation as a shark in the courtroom, he is hiding a past that shames him and brings to fore many of his insecurities. With these qualities, he still is less rigid than Kristine and is skilled at finding the middle ground in situations. He and Kristine first meet when they find themselves going up against each other in a court case involving a drug dealer who Kristine despises and wants to bury under the jail.

Sparks fly immediately between the two, and in fact, before they even get to know one another, Kristine finds herself having sexual dreams about Tony. To my surprise and delight, the two start dating almost immediately and their different perspectives is not a really huge issue, as you would expect to find in a romance novel. This is due to the short length of the story. The story line has to move along quickly.

Of course, the two must reconcile their differences and reveal their pasts before the relationship can be successful. The characters are likable and have dimension to them, but could still use a little more work. The book is billed as erotic romance and it definitely deserves to be in the category. The love scenes are steamy, frank and guaranteed to raise the readerís temperature.

In His Own Defense is a short, entertaining read. The author does a good job of moving the story along without losing or skipping details.

Reviewed in September 2003 by Lisa.

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