This post may contain affiliate links or I may be reviewing a book that I have received for free as part of a review program or as an advanced reader copy. That being said, all opinions are my own. The book cover, author photo, author biography, and plot summary for Legally Yours are courtesy of nicolefrenchromance.com.
First of all, I owe a huge apology to Ms. French. I promised a review way earlier than I’m delivering it; I had some personal matters to attend to, and while that’s no excuse, I’m happy to say that they’re all resolved and I’m back to writing reviews and reading romance like I love. Legally Yours is a new release, and it’s sequel Legally Mine is coming out this summer! If you like my review and Legally Yours, make sure to hit up the bookstores for its follow-up. Without further ado…
Legally Yours in 85 Characters or Less
Budding lawyer tries and fails to battle off advances by socially awkward legal counselor
Full Plot Summary
Skylar Ellen Crosby is a typical redhead: blunt, passionate, with a bit of a temper. Okay, so maybe she’s a little neurotic too. She just can’t afford to be distracted these days, especially not by the immature boys that keep asking her out. At the end of her third year at Harvard Law, all Skylar wants is to figure out her next steps: ones that will hopefully include a job, an apartment, and enough money to help her father stop getting into trouble. She simply has no room for romance, especially the kind that might break your heart. But on a dark, snowy night, when she’s stranded in the living room of the notorious CEO of Sterling Ventures and one of the best attorneys in Boston, all of those boundaries are about to be knocked down.
Brandon Sterling never believed in fate. A man of his own making, he firmly credits his successes to hard work. How else could you explain his rise from the poorest of backgrounds in South Boston to becoming one of the most successful entrepreneurs in Boston? Living in the lap of luxury, it never mattered to him that increasing success meant increased isolation in his big house on Beacon Street. After all, when you have everything, everyone else always wants something. That he walks in to find a gorgeous redhead sitting on his windowsill. Suddenly, the idea of love at first sight seems like the most plausible thing in the world…if only the one person he wants to give his heart to would actually take it.
Together, Skylar and Brandon have the kind of passion few hope to find, but things keep getting in their way. Between school, business, her father’s gambling troubles and Brandon’s history of personal struggle, will their complicated lives prevent them from making it work together? Or, as they both suspect somewhere deep down, have they finally met their match in each other’s hearts?
An Absolutely Excellent Novel For A New Author
When authors ask me for a review of their novel, I always ask them why they want one on Roses in Ink. I’m sure you’re like me, where you hate getting blanket emails that have no specificity to you or what you offer. French was one of the few authors that actually answered this without me prodding for it. Her answer was similar to what other authors have told me. She said she was “a new author looking for grass-roots support of [her] work”.
What set her apart from other authors, though, was the quality of her work. I’m not a published author, but I have written a novel before, and let me tell you, it wasn’t pretty. It takes practice and loads of feedback in order to become a polished and skilled writer, something that usually doesn’t come with the first novel. French was able to accomplish a level of writing that I’m not familiar with in that age of authors. She was composed, didn’t over- or under-describe her characters or settings, and didn’t have copy riddled with grammar errors. She didn’t have any (major) plot inconsistencies, either, which is something I find with seasoned and new authors alike. Overall, Legally Yours was a technically excellent novel. Props to French.
At over 450 pages, Legally Yours comes in as one of the longer novels I’ve read of my own free will. By that I mean that my lovely high school English teachers impressed longer upon me, but hey. I read those for the grade, not the pleasure. Sorry. Sue me.
Anyway, back to the seriousness. I’d say that Legally Yours was almost too long. It wasn’t that the plot was overwritten, it wasn’t even that French kept adding new plot twists to keep the story going. It was just pure and simply long. And there are three novels in the series? While the ending of this left it open to continuation, it was quite an endeavor to complete the first one. On the other hand, you get some series, like the Arrangement series by HM Ward, where there are more than twenty books that each take no more than 45 minutes to read. That’s definitely worse than putting them all together or having a slightly too long novel. I’d just like a happy medium between the two.
Very Likable and Relatable Characters
Skylar has quite a mouth on her! This isn’t to say that she’s a pottymouth and that the dialogue is riddled with cuss words, because it isn’t. Her exclamations when she’s surprised or her inner dialogue when she meets Brandon’s…dad…are really just brilliant. If you have a sense of humor anything similar to mine, you really can’t help but laugh at them.
Brandon, too, gives you the chuckles, but in an entirely different manner. He’s a tad socially awkward due to his unique upbringing, but it comes out in an exasperatingly adorable sense. I’m not going to lie; if I was Skylar being courted by Brandon in real life, I think I’d be a bit creeped out by some of his measures. Reading their budding relationship, though, definitely makes you roll your eyes, shake your head, and giggle at how hard Brandon tries with Skylar. There’s an interested psychological component to their reactions to each other that, as a future psychology major, really interested me, too. I’ll let y’all figure that one out as you read it.
Why I Turned Down Book Number 2
Even though I was a horrible reviewer, French kindly offered me an Advanced Reader Copy (henceforth known as an ARC) of the second novel, Legally Mine. I said no. I can totally understand why that worried French a little bit, especially given that she hadn’t seen the review when I declined. While part of the reason I had to pass was because I have a review schedule a mile long and I probably wouldn’t get to Legally Mine until Christmas, there was another reason that I’d rather bury my nose in another novel than French’s sequel.
Perhaps this had to do with how long Legally Yours was, or perhaps it was due to the overwhelm occurring outwith the blog in my life, but I found it hard to get lost in the novel. As I said in my review of My Trip To Adele, I struggle to really enjoy a book if I don’t find myself completely oblivious of time and the outside world while reading it. When I was reading French’s novel, I would read a chapter or two, then think of those few lectures I still had to revise before exams, then draw myself back in for another chapter, then drift away again to think about that email I still had to send to my adviser. This made it difficult to fully appreciate the plot as a whole and thus the novel and its potential sequels. If you read or have read Legally Yours, I’d love to hear if you’ve had similar experiences. Let me know if the comments!
Where to Buy
Nicole French is a lifelong dreamer, hopeless romantic, and complete and total bookworm. When not writing fiction or teaching composition classes, she is hanging out with her family, playing soccer with the rest of the thirty-plus crowd in Seattle, or going on dates with her husband. In her spare time, she likes to go running with her dog, Greta, or practicing the piano, but never seems to do either one of these things as much as she should.