I’m so happy to have Chantal Fernando, the author of Conflict of Interest series, on the blog. She’s here to answer a few questions to celebrate her newest release, Seducing the Defendant. Plus, check out my review below!
Nissa: Hi, Chantal! Welcome to Of Pens and Pages!
Chantal: Hello! Thank you for having me 🙂
Nissa: Describe Seducing the Defendant in 140 characters.
Chantal: A story of connection, forbidden love, suspense and healing.
Nissa: How did the Conflict of Interest series come about? What was your inspiration?
Chantal: I’ve always enjoyed reading lawyer and office romance, and wanted to try something totally different from anything I’ve previously written.
Nissa: If your Conflict of Interest series were being made into a movie or series, whom would you pick to play Tristan and Katerina (Breaching the Contract) and Jaxon and Scarlett (Seducing the Defendant)?
Chantal: Tristan: Henry Cavill. Kat: Rachel Bilson. Scarlett: Blake Lively. Jaxon: Ian Somerhalder
Nissa: Can you give us any fun facts about Seducing the Defendant? Any interesting tidbits when you were writing/researching for it?
Chantal: My sister is a lawyer, so I asked her advice on many things, but the Australian law and American law was different on many of the issues, so I ended up having to change quite a bit of it!
Nissa: Did you have a go-to playlist when you were writing the book?
Yes I did. I always have a playlist when I’m writing and I just keep adding songs to it as I go.
Chantal: What are your top 3 favorite tropes to read or write?
I really love second chance romances, a story with a strong and sassy heroine vs alpha male, and first love.
Nissa: Binge-watched any shows lately?
Chantal: Yes.. Outlander! I’m a huge fan. Jamie Fraser… *swoons*
Nissa: Thank you for answering my questions and I can’t wait for the rest of the books in the series!
Chantal: Thank you 🙂
Seducing the Defendant by Chantal Fernando
Series: Conflict of Interest #2
Published by Gallery Books on November 14th 2017
Genres: Adult, Contemporary Romance
New York Times bestselling author Chantal Fernando returns to her latest, steamy Conflict of Interest series with this electrifying tale of murder, justice, and intense attraction.
Jaxon Bentley is a hardnosed criminal lawyer whose entire life revolves around his work. He’s been asked to represent Scarlett Reyes, a woman accused of murdering her police officer husband in cold blood. All the evidence points to Scarlett being guilty and Jaxon is sure it’s an open and shut case.
But when he meets his client, he can’t help but feel that she’s innocent and that there’s more to the story than meets the eye. With a bit of digging, he uncovers a connection to the notorious Wind Dragons Motorcycle Club and realizes that Scarlett’s case is a complicated and difficult one. It certainly doesn’t help that the two share an immediate and passionate attraction. Will Jaxon be able to prove Scarlett’s innocence or are the two doomed to fail both in court and as a couple?
I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Seducing the Defendant is a steamy romance between a lawyer and his client, with low angst and a surprisingly heartbreaking plot twist near the end. Just when you think things are going too smoothly, Ms. Fernando is right there to punch you in the heart with feels.
Jaxon Bentley is one of the best defense lawyers out there, and when a high-profile case comes knocking on his door, he accepts it. He has a strong feeling she didn’t kill her husband and will do his best to prove her innocence. Each day he spends with his client, he finds he likes her very much and is attracted to her.
Scarlett Reyes is accused of killing her husband, but she didn’t do it, could never do it, no matter how much she suffered from him. She was out of the country when it happened, but the gun was in her house and people are making it look like she ran away because she killed him. But Jaxon promised her he’ll help her, and she believes him.
If you’re not a fan of Romantic Suspense/Mystery, there’s no need to worry about this one because the mystery about Scarlett’s husband’s death is solved maybe about 30% into the story, which was a bit of a surprise to me, to be honest, since the blurb gave me the impression the story will revolve around that. Not that I’m complaining, since I’m not the biggest suspense/mystery fan myself.
Most of the story is the smooth-sailing progress between Scarlett and Jaxon, and lots of steam from here on out, folks. Lots of hot sex between them now that the case is behind them. The two jumped into a relationship after Jaxon won her case, and they discover what it’s like to finally be with someone they care about and who cares about them just as much. The two have experienced hardships—Scarlett with her husband, Jaxon with the loss of his beloved sister—and found solace in each other.
Scarlett has suffered emotionally and eventually physically from the hands of her husband, a cop with more vices than some criminals, and it’s affected her more than she cared to admit. She fled the country and lived with her relative for a while, but had to come back when she was accused of killing him. I can only imagine what she felt throughout that ordeal. She started out as aloof and closed-off, but Jaxon helped her find the real Scarlett again, and now she can live life the way she wants to.
There’s some great chemistry between Scarlett and Jaxon, and a fabulous dynamic between Scarlett, Jaxon, and their friends. That’s what I loved the most—the realistic relationship and interactions between the characters. Scarlett barely had anyone at first, but she soon found friends in the unlikeliest of people. I also loved Jaxon’s relationship with one of the members of a gang, Demon.
If you’re looking for a story with low angst, a hint of suspense and mystery mixed in some pretty hot scenes between two strong characters, a great dynamic between friends, loyalty, love, and moving on, then you’ll enjoy Seducing the Defendant.
Tropes: Lawyers, Lawyer-Client
POV: First Person, Dual POV
OTHER BOOKS IN THE SERIES