Reasonable Doubt by Carsen Taite is a fantastic audiobook that had me looking for excuses to put in my headphones. I can’t believed I haven’t reviewed anything by Carsen’s here before, because she’s so good that everyone should check her books out! She writes romantic suspense like Nora Roberts, but with 100% more lesbians. What’s not to love about that?
Sarah Flores is a behavioural analyst with the FBI. After years of difficult, sometimes gruesome cases, she’s happy to be moving from DC to a fraud unit in Dallas where she might finally be able to build a personal life. Except she doesn’t expect her first big case to involve terrorism, or to be attracted to the attorney who’s stuck at the centre of it.
Ellery Durant is happy with her new life making artisanal furniture from reclaimed materials, no matter what her father and former law practice partner, Meg, have to say about it. Her life is much quieter and simpler than when she was a criminal defense attorney, and that’s exactly how Ellery likes it. Or it is until the day she wakes up to find her name in the headlines and her assets frozen because she’s implicated in a local terrorist bombing as the mastermind advising one of her former clients. Ellery doesn’t know who she can trust, but there’s something about Sarah Flores she can’t turn away from, even as she knows they’re on opposite sides of the FBI’s investigation.
Ellery and Sarah are both smart, capable, and highly likeable. I’m so glad Carsen Taite lets us see things from both of their perspectives, because I so enjoyed getting to know these women. I found it interesting that Ellery and Sarah were on similar trajectories, because that’s not something we typically see in lesfic. Both women had walked away from careers they excelled in because they wanted something more out of life, both are pulled back in by the same case, and both have to fight to get back to what they want. The way they can’t resist each other is delicious and I love how their story ends.
There are a lot of side characters in Reasonable Doubt and they each add something important, whether it’s Ellery’s neighbour Leo, her father, or Sarah’s old boss, among many others. Two that will particularly interest some people are Dallas County prosecutor Danny Soto and her wife Ellen Davenport, who both appeared in an earlier book, Rush. You don’t have to read Rush before you read Reasonable Doubt (I didn’t and I followed everything just fine), but fans will be happy to see them again.
The Writing Style
I love Carsen Taite’s romantic suspense books so much, even though I’m not usually a fan of the genre, because she balances the romance and suspense elements so well that neither area ever lacks. The chemistry between Sarah and Ellery is almost tangible even while neither woman knows if she can trust the other and the whole terrorism story had me hooked and kept me guessing right up until the end.
Because Reasonable Doubt is driven by its plot neither woman has a huge arc, which was a nice change because I’ve been reading a lot character driven books lately. It’s such a satisfying story because that plot and how they dealt with all of the twists and turns thrown their way was so interesting that it kept me engaged all the way through.
I’ll admit that I wasn’t totally sure about Fray Maxwell at first because she’s a new-to-me narrator. I’m glad I stuck with it because I really enjoyed how she read Reasonable Doubt and I would happily listen to her again.
I liked everything. The story is perfectly paced and plotted, and the characters had me rooting for them. It has a damn good first kiss too.
I can’t believe I waited so long to check out this book!
Reasonable Doubt is so much fun and I highly recommend it. Whether you pick it up in audio or print, you’re going to have a good time with this book.
Excerpt from Reasonable Doubt by Carsen Taite
“Why did you stop practicing law?”
Ellery barely kept from spitting out her drink at the abrupt curveball. Instead she swallowed, slowly and carefully as she worked her facial features into what she hoped was a neutral expression. “Guess you were tired of being under the microscope.”
“You can put me under the lens all day. I enjoy you watching me, but I’m also curious about you and why you’ve made the choices you have.”
Ellery held up her cup. “How do you like this choice so far?”
“The coffee’s topnotch and so is your ability to deflect.”
Wow. Ellery had to give Sarah credit. She didn’t pull any punches. “You have a very interesting way of flirting with someone.”
“Flirting is for amateurs. I’d like to get to know you better and I’d like for you to get to know me. Both of those things require honesty. I call it like I see it.”
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Bits and Bobs
- ISBN number: 9781626394421
- Publisher: Bold Strokes Books
- Audiobook Publisher: Bold Strokes Books Inc
- Narrator: Fray Maxwell