Adult · Bookish · Reviews · Romance

Review: Sustained by Emma Chase

Title: Sustained (The Legal Briefs #2)

Author: Emma Chase

Genre: Romance, Contemporary

Release Date: August 25th, 2015

Age Range: NA/A

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

A knight in tarnished armor is still a knight.

When you’re a defense attorney in Washington, DC, you see firsthand how hard life can be, and that sometimes the only way to survive is to be harder. I, Jake Becker, have a reputation for being cold, callous, and intimidating—and that suits me just fine. In fact, it’s necessary when I’m breaking down a witness on the stand.

Complications don’t work for me—I’m a “need-to-know” type of man. If you’re my client, tell me the basic facts. If you’re my date, stick to what will turn you on. I’m not a therapist or Prince Charming—and I don’t pretend to be.

Then Chelsea McQuaid and her six orphaned nieces and nephews came along and complicated the ever-loving hell out of my life. Now I’m going to Mommy & Me classes, One Direction concerts, the emergency room, and arguing cases in the principal’s office.

Chelsea’s too sweet, too innocent, and too gorgeous for her own good. She tries to be tough, but she’s not. She needs someone to help her, defend her…and the kids.

And that — that, I know how to do.

Sustained is one of the first books I’ve read in 2022 and easily one of the best I’ve read in a while too. It was so refreshing and instantly captured my heart from the very first chapter. I read it in one stretch, without a single break because I couldn’t bear to put it down.

Chelsea McQuaid is in grad school as an Art History Major when she gets a call that makes her the guardian of her six nieces and nephews after a tragic accident that takes the lives of her brother and sister-in-law. She leaves school and moves in with the kids, determined to be the best guardian they can have. But raising kids is not easy, let alone 6 kids between the ages of 6 months and 14 years. They’re loud and messy, there’s always something or the other that keeps her on her toes but she’s fierce and loves the kids- she’d do anything for them.

Jake Becker is one of the best defense attorneys in the city. He’s ruthless in court and the best at his job but he’s also a total womanizer and really doesn’t do kids, let alone a family of 6 noisy and annoying kids. But then he bumps into one of them- who steals his wallet. He takes him to his house, determined to inform his parents, only he comes face to face with Chelsea. Chelsea, who’s not only beautiful as hell but whose company he can actually stand.

Then we have the six kids who’re the light of Chelsea’s life. The oldest, fourteen year old Riley, your typical teenage girl. Twins, Rory and Raymond, who are nothing alike. Seven-year old Rosaleen is the cutest of the bunch- and in a way, the craziest. Finally we have the babies of the group: six month old Ronan and two-year old Regan who knows only 1 word at the start of the book. Talk about a chaotic household. There’s always something entertaining happening at the McQuaid house, whether it’s fighting or hair-pulling. But they’re a lovely bunch and it’s impossible to not fall in love with them.

Which is exactly what happens to Jake. He looks at this crazy family and even though he thinks their aunt is beautiful, he doesn’t want anything to do with families, he’s not a family man and he has priorities. But then he finds himself bailing two of the kids out of jail, comforting them when they cry, helping Chelsea every chance he gets, and leaving his “priorities” to spend time with this bunch. It’s like they’re an actual family. And the best miracle of all, is that the kids actually like him.

Chelsea and Jake’s love story was so incredibly cute. And it’s too intertwined with the kids for me to not mention them again. Jake becomes part of the family…so flawlessly. You don’t even see it happening. One second he’s a stranger, the next he’s taking the kids to practices, helping Chelsea manage them, teaching one of them to fight off bullies and being proud when Regan learns her second word (and third, which is Jake). The most father’s moment of them all was him taking Regan to playtime and betting another father that Regan was better at the obstacle course than his son. He was right of course and Regan wins, making Jake look like an actual proud, doting father.

Most romance books have a climax toward the end of the book, sometimes for unnecessary reasons, where the couple breaks up or almost does just for the sake of it. I liked that this book didn’t have that because Jake was actually concerned and wanted the best for Chelsea and the kids, and after everything that’s happened and he is, he didn’t believe he was that man for them. Chelsea and Jake were just so cute together. He’s a big softie for her and after sometime, he can’t even function without her. They were one of the cutest couples I’ve come across so far.

This book also had some of my favorite tropes. Single Parent, Jealousy trope (nothing drastic, but he is jealous, which made me so giddy), Sick Trope (he takes care of her and the kids🥺), Soul Mates? (I mean, they’re not literally soul mates but they’re so perfect together, in my head they’re soulmates so), and don’t even get me started on the wonderful group of friends they have. (They’re Jake’s friends first but they get involved with Chelsea and all come to love her and include her in the circle as their own)

As you can tell, I’m crazy obsessed with this book, it’s just amazing. I knew it would be, because I’ve read Royally Screwed by Emma before and I LOVED it but this one’s a whole other level. I NEED more books like this to read. Something that gives off the same vibes and is single parent or something. I’m CRAVING it so bad.

New York Times bestselling author Emma Chase writes contemporary romance filled with humor, heat and heart. Her stories are known for their clever banter, hilariously authentic male POVs and sexy, swoon-worthy moments. Emma’s novels have been translated into over twenty languages and published around the world.

Emma lives in New Jersey with her husband, two children and two misbehaving dogs. She has a long-standing love/hate relationship with caffeine.

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