REVIEW: Enticing the Enemy by Jules Court
Defense attorney Erin Rafferty has to be tougher than her male colleagues to prove herself in the courtroom. A pit bull in a teacup-poodle package, her hard-earned hard-ass persona isn’t easily undone. But one man has proved himself capable.
Rugged, tattooed Detective Cruz is honest, solid—and his testimony on a past case devastated Erin’s career. When a blind date has their paths crossing again, she has no intention of consorting with the enemy, even if her loss wasn’t entirely his fault. Then she gets close enough to him to feel the sparks, and even Erin can’t bring herself to object.
Undercover cop Daniel Cruz never dreamed he’d see that sexy lawyer ever again. She’s just the shot of adrenaline he needs after being lost and alone too long in a job that’s beginning to get the best of him. However, getting the cautious Erin to trust in something more than a series of hot trysts isn’t easy. And with a new case threatening to put them right back where they started, this time their future together could be on trial, too.
Dear Ms. Court,
In this story, the conflict jumps off the page from the start. Erin pulls out the stops in court and goes for a win but ends up having to make a deal with the DA for her client because Detective Cruz didn’t fold under pressure on the witness stand. Erin is like she’s described – a fierce lawyer – and she wants to do the best for her clients. She’s up against a lot due to her rough, working class background and the fact that the large, established law firm where she works runs, like so many, with a good-old-boy climate and subtle but present gender discrimination. The men can get away with a lot but the women better be Caesar’s wife – and work like dogs. A major positive for me is that Erin doesn’t allow herself to be guilted into doing things for her fairly ungrateful mother and sister.
Daniel Cruz lived through five years of deep undercover so outfacing a defense attorney is nothing. Still making a reputation for himself in Boston after leaving the NYPD, he works, he cooks, and he rigidly tries to maintain normal after years of almost losing himself. If that means that he keeps his emotions bottled up and tamped down, he’ll pay that price. But something about Erin starts to wake him up and like a lot of men, when he’s actually interested in a woman, he acts out a little. Thinking she’s a “demon” and perking up at the possibility that they’ll get into a fight – no, there’s nothing wrong with that for him.
I like Erin’s reasoning for being a defense attorney. It fits with the actual motive a defense attorney neighbor of mine told me when I asked why he chose that aspect of law. Erin (and my neighbor) want to be sure that the police do their job correctly and that a person’s Fourth Amendment rights are protected. I’m not as thrilled that Erin basically commits (holy crap!) assault and battery when she and Daniel verbally spar later on. He feels like it’s woken him up and we know he’s hot for her so he probably won’t haul her off to jail but let’s be honest, she’s a lawyer and it could get her ass in a heap of trouble. The story reels me back in when Erin, her doctor friend Priya and another (nurse) acquaintance raunchily discuss romance cock vs medical cock over margaritas in the restaurant. There’s a lot of humor – naughty and nice – in the story which I also enjoyed.
So, they both know they’re attracted to each other – the air practically sizzles around them – and that acting on that is wrong. Besides the ribbing and sneering they’d get from their respective colleagues, there’s also the issue of conflict of interest over cases. Still they keep clanging together like magnets only to wrench apart when one has the common sense to pull back. That is until the next time when one of them or both of them can’t resist and the situation repeats. This goes on for a long time – actually for most of the book. They’re fooling no one though as Erin and Daniel find out.
Yes I was getting tired of the plot spinning its wheels over coitus interruptus but then Something Happens professionally between them where that old conflict of interest aspect rears its head. Both of them initially lost points with me when they appeared to be headed towards deny, deny, deny. At risk is a serious case which shouldn’t be jeopardized by either of them.
Daniel is a man who respects the fact that Erin is strong and a warrior unlike most of the other men she’s ever had in her life. It takes Erin a bit longer to begin to think past Cruz’s sexiness and to look at the real person. The mixed signals they both give off – well, it’s mainly Erin – would cause an epic traffic jam. The (even momentary) lapses in ethical decisions bothered me. They did pull out a relationship in the end – and one which suits them both and won’t cause either to be slapped with punitive measures. Erin stands up for herself professionally at work and personally with her family. Daniel begins to feel at home in the BPD. But the end save and humor is intermingled with a lot that I had trouble with. C+