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Hearts On Fire Reviews

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Joel Skelton – Beneath the Palisade: Justice

Beneath the Palisade: Justice - Joel Skelton

Reviewer: Wendy

Genre:M/M Contemporary

 

Review:
While “justice” is the desired end state in the charge of sexual misconduct against Owen Grady, you know that the odds are severely stacked against you if the accuser happens to be a cop – and a very dirty one at that. But, justice is exactly what Brent hopes to achieve for Owen after he meets the man and agrees to take on his very challenging case.

 

I was a little surprised by Brent’s character overall. For someone who’s a lawyer by profession, I guess I tend to expect strength and confidence – someone who can tend to be very assertive and perhaps even a bit arrogant at times. Instead, Brent came across as someone very unsure of himself. He seemed to require almost constant direction and assurances (from his friend and legal partner) that his decisions were appropriate with respect to his day to day work. He also made the obvious mistake of getting involved with a client on an active case. His relative youth probably accounts for some of this, but his personality seemed a bit at odds with his profession.

 

Owen was such a sweet man who got such a bum deal. The various emotions he went through were portrayed very well in this story, particularly the feelings of hopelessness and depression as the weight of what he was facing settled in around him. At first he seemed so passive and naïve that I was worried he wouldn’t fight for himself, but he surprised me a number of times and I couldn’t help rooting for him.

 

I knew Owen’s case would prove difficult to defend and that he was in for an uphill climb, so I was a little concerned about reaching a happy place for the ending of the story. However, there were some very interesting twists and turns I didn’t see coming that gave me the satisfaction I was looking for.

 

I was under the impression that this story could be read as a standalone, and technically, it can. However, I think readers will be much happier if they follow this series in sequence. The characters from the prior two books occasionally take center stage in this book, so for those who have followed along, you’ll love getting to revisit Harper and Ian as well as Theo and Alex. I’m intending to backtrack and get the beginning of the relationships for these guys because I became invested in them here. Very enjoyable!

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