I was browsing Netgalley recently and saw the following tagline for Legally Addicted by Lena Dowling: “A fast-moving, high stakes battle-of-the-sexes story with a Hepburn/Tracey flavor (and a hot one-night stand!)” How could I not be excited? I’m a sucker for anything relating to Katherine Hepburn/Spencer Tracey related and having seen a good number of old Hepburn/Tracey films I can say that this was a surefire way to get me to request this work. So, once I received word that I had received the book I jumped right in!
Georgia Murray’s hard work as a lawyer has paid off, and she’s finally gotten a partner position in her law firm in Sydney, Australia. Out celebrating her hard work, she has what she believes to be a one night stand with a fellow lawyer, Brad Spencer. While she tries to put the night past her, Brad makes sure that it isn’t so easy, and decides to put up a fight for her affections. He feels that she is the one woman who has convinced him that not all women are after him for his money, but what he doesn’t know is that Georgia is harboring a secret about her past that makes her all the more hesitant to give in to Brad’s persistence. What will become of their tangled love story?
Where to begin? I took umbrage with several things in this book. The first and foremost issue was definitely the writing. The majority of the book was written with a lot of things being told to the reader outright. It was odd….like so much of the flirting/relationship building didn’t happen during the course of events you’re privy to as the reader. You’re told about time they spend together and talk, about the times Brad comes by Georgia’s desk at work to flirt with her with double entendres, etc. I know the book is short, but if a reader is to believe their relationship, should there be more scenes with the couple in them and not just summarized passages of their time together?
Taking the writing out of the equation for a minute, I’d like to discuss the characters. Honestly, I never connected with them. Georgia and Brad just weren’t that likable. Georgia’s got a lot of baggage from the unfortunate difficulties she faced growing up, but from what we’re told it seems like there were people who helped her along the way. You’d think those people would have helped soften her slightly. Given her hope that there are good people out in the world. Unfortunately, this isn’t the case. Instead, she’s a hardened individual who is fairly single-minded, does not open up to anyone, and really isn’t even that friendly. There is a scene where her secretary tells Brad how she thinks he can win Georgia’s heart. She even admits that Georgia is a bit of a shrew and that it took a long time for them to become acquaintances. Brad, on the other hand, is slightly better but even he is confusing at times. There is this laid back side of him that I really dug and wanted to see more of and then there is the wealthy side of him that’s a bit priggish. I never got how the two of them worked as a couple (probably because there wasn’t a lot of development) or really what their attraction to each other was besides great sex. (Even the sex scenes – there are two – are pretty boring)
I need to jump into extreme spoiler territory now. The epilogue. Throughout the last third of the book we become privy to a little problem Georgia has – saying the L word. I have no problem with a romance novel not having a couple say “I love you” to each other five days after meeting. In fact, I enjoy it when an author makes the relationship face extreme conflicts before the characters share the L word with each other. In the epilogue we see Georgia and Brad on their wedding day. Georgia whispers that she loves Brad (I’m assuming this, since it’s not actually written what she says), and from Brad’s reaction he’s really surprised to hear it. It’s not that Brad is surprised she feels that way, but it seems as though she’s never said it before. I’m sorry, but how do you marry someone for love without ever once telling them that you love them? That pill was too much to swallow for me.
Sadly, this book bored me, disappointed me, and confused me. Others may find it enjoyable, but I could find no realism and no depth in the story.
2 out of 5 Stars
Legally Addicted by Lena Dowling
Escape Publishing (2013)
eBook: 149 pages
Special thanks to Escape Publishing for my review copy via Netgalley!