Out of Practice (Legal Affairs #2) – Carsen Taite

Ms Taite seems to enjoy making her characters literally fall in love. A carpet incident threw Campbell in Wynne’s arms in Practice Makes Perfect. In Out of Practice, boarding a plane drops Roxanne in Abby’s lap.

Abby Keane is one of Campbell’s best friends and partners in the new law firm. A few months after they – with Grace – left their jobs to be their own bosses, the firm is doing well, and Abby is the first of the three partners to take advantage of the fact and go on holidays. A week in paradise awaits, in an exclusive resort in Puerto Vallarta. Abby plans to read, relax and drink fruity drinks with tiny umbrellas. The plan doesn’t include falling in lust with the first woman she meets on the way there. Yet, even in paradise, life is full of surprises. Roxane Daly is an up-and-coming blogger, known as the BBF – the Bride’s Best Friend –, on a business tour of couples resorts. Having fabulous sex wasn’t in her job description, but acting like part of a couple can only help her do her job, right?

The first part of the book is all instalust and perfect fun. It’s light and playful and very enjoyable. Then real life reasserts itself, misunderstandings abound and duty calls when both women find themselves on opposite sides of a bridal clash. One of Abby’s clients (and childhood friend) is fighting to stay in the wedding dress business, despite unhelpful siblings who shut all the family stores. Roxane, on her way to TV stardom, finds herself leading hordes of disappointed brides-to-be.

It doesn’t help that Abby is not the marrying kind and has made it very clear from the beginning that she doesn’t believe in forever. Roxane isn’t looking to get married either but she’s not a one-night-stand kind of gal and she does believe in all things wedding.

I really enjoyed reading about Abby and Roxane as they tried to navigate falling in love with the wrong person at the wrong time as well as doing their job to the best of their ability. Roxane’s work conundrum and Abby’s annoyance with her serial-bride mother were my favourite parts. There were a few inconsistencies, though, and it seemed a bit strange to have Roxane and Abby act like they were adversaries when they both (or at least the brides-to-be Roxane’s championing and Abby’s client) want the same outcome: the reopening of the stores so the BTBs can get their dream wedding dresses. And at times I wanted to shake those two lovely but stubborn women and remind them that talking isn’t enough, there needs to be some listening too.

While Carsen Taite writes decent romance, I miss the legal aspect at which she excels. It’s the same with Radclyffe’s novels, my favourites are the ones with doctors and plenty of action in hospitals. With Taite, I want law and courts. Everything else is fine, but I miss the thrill that comes from a complex legal puzzle, and she’s the best in that area.

4-stars

Out of Practice @ Bold Stroke Books

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