REVIEW: Every Other Weekend by TA Moore
Dear TA Moore:
Divorce lawyer Clayton Reynolds is a happy cynic who believes in hard work and one-night stands. He also believes that being an excellent lawyer means he never has to go home to the miserable trailer park where he grew up and that volunteering at a women’s shelter will buy off the conscience that occasionally plagues him. So when Nadine Graham comes in with a broken arm and a son she desperately wants to protect, Clayton can’t turn down their plea for help.
Taking the case means appealing to investigator “Just Call Me Kelly” for help. That wouldn’t be so bad if Kelly weren’t a hopeless romantic… and the hottest man Clayton’s ever met.
Kelly has always had a crush on the unobtainable Clayton Reynolds. He agrees to help, even though he has enough on his plate with the motherless baby his widowed brother left him to care for.
As Nadine’s case turns dangerous and the two seemingly opposite men are forced to work together, they discover they have a great deal in common—but solving the case and saving Nadine’s life might cost Kelly everything.
Dear TA Moore,
I’ve always enjoyed at least some things in your works. I don’t remember giving any of them five stars, but I think your books are always worthy of being talked about.
First and foremost I found the blurb misleading in more than one way. No, Kelly and Clayton are not even “seemingly” opposites. In the beginning Clayton tells us about Kelly being romantic while Clayton is not. They both work in the same firm but it was a bit confusing whether Kelly was an employee of the same law firm or if he just does freelance work for them. They interacted quite a bit while working cases in the past and have major crushes on one another. Kelly knows he is crushing on Clayton, Clayton knows he wants to get in Kelly’s pants. Clayton just thinks that Kelly does not do casual and Clayton doesn’t do anything else.
Clayton doesn’t have *occasional twinges of consciousness*, but his actions present him as a really decent man to me. No, he did not have to take another pro bono case as his quota of pro bono hours had been met for the year and, no, he did not have to go to that length for Nadine. Yes, he had to zealously represent her but, as Kelly said, he did not have to offer to pay Kelly his usual rate to work with him, favor or not.
Kelly? Kelly was a sweetheart and, no, I’m not telling you his first name; you will have to read the book and appreciate the joke. Kelly loves his family, volunteers to babysit his little nephew while one of his brothers was “not coping” with the death of his wife, and also goes out on a limb for the pro-bono domestic violence case, which he did not have to help Clayton with at all.
“Clayton was just about to press the bell again when Kelly finally jerked the door open. He was bare-chested and half-asleep, with a baby cradled against one broad, tattooed shoulder as it cat-wailed and fussed. Lust caught in the back of Clayton’s throat and dried his mouth out. But then, that was the thing that irritated Clayton most about Kelly.
He wasn’t Clayton’s type—too short, too muscular, too cheerful, and currently too holding a baby—but he was still the hottest fucking man Clayton had ever seen. It was as though he did it on purpose. He wasn’t even that short, just close enough to average to make his self-deprecating short jokes funny instead of self-hating. “I need a favor,” Clayton said through the sticky hunger on his tongue.
There was a pause as Kelly distractedly bounced the grizzling baby on his shoulder and looked baffled. If Kelly had turned up on Clayton’s doorstep at that time of night, Clayton would have told him to fuck off. So of course Kelly scratched his head, shrugged, and stepped back to wave Clayton into the hall. “Sure,” he said as he patted the baby’s back. “Come in. Sorry about the mess. Asshole.”
I suppose since Clayton talks rough and constantly pretends he’s a horrible person and Kelly seemingly has a sunnier disposition, that was the reason the author described them as “seemingly opposites”. In any event, everything else was described correctly. Nadine’s case turns dangerous very quickly and both Clayton and Kelly are forced to immediately put everything on the line to help her. The case turns out to be much more complicated than they originally assumed and my review here almost comes to a screeching halt.
There is a *major* spoiler involved in the resolution of this story and the blurb doesn’t even hint at this so there is no way I can talk about it without revealing the spoiler. However, I will say this – the coincidence that led to the climax of the story made me roll my eyes and ask what are the chances such a coincidence could have taken place. Nevertheless, it was resolved – I guess the legal/suspense/police procedural storyline for the most part worked well for me.
The romance also worked very well. I firmly believed that Kelly and Clayton were crushing on each other for years and it was about time for them to do something about it and, well, working together gave them a chance to do so. I thought their chemistry was great. I appreciated that the author even provided some humor in the book that dealt with rather grim subject matter and I hoped they would be very happy in the future of that book world when the story ended :)
““Can you at least watch the baby while I go clean up?” Kelly asked as he secured the last strap and sat back on his heels. “Make sure a wild dog doesn’t burst in and carry Maxie off?” “Why?” Clayton asked as he shifted his attention away from the spread of Kelly’s shoulders.
“Do you have many feral, baby-stealing dog packs roaming the neighborhood?” Kelly gave him a lazy grin. “One would be enough, wouldn’t it?” He gave the baby seat a tap to set it rocking and pushed himself to his feet. “Give me ten minutes.””
I also wanted to note something about Kelly and his family. They are a little, or more than a little, dysfunctional and I really wanted to slap most of them silly. I hesitate to use this expression describing a story that deals with the domestic violence, but that’s how I felt and if you read the I think you may understand me.