This opposites-attract workplace romance starts off with delightfully flirty and fun banter, but
uneven pacing and repetitive rehashing of the unlikely premise quickly sap the energy from the story. The interesting and well-developed supporting cast, particularly West and Camille’s friends, nearly redeemed the book, as their interactions with Camille and West added complexity to the protagonists’ initially flat characterizations. However, the suspense around the court case and the richly detailed backroom legal discussions could not distract from the fact that the romance progressed in erratic fits and starts with important, sometimes climatic scenes frequently occurring off the page, with the legal and suspense plot always taking precedence.
When West Fallon’s beloved mentor suffers a stroke and is forced to retire, he refuses to release West from her promise to serve as a federal clerk for a year. Fast-tracked into a federal judgeship, Camille Avery agrees to take on the retiring judge’s clerk, not knowing she is the attractive and unconventional young woman she had recently been flirting with. Despite their age difference and conflicting views, sparks fly as they work closely on a high-profile case. But an affair could irreparably damage both their careers. (BOLD STROKE, Aug., 240 pp., $16.95)