Title: Beneath the Palisade: Justice
Series: Beneath the Palisade #3
Author: Joel Skelton
Length: Novel (298 pages)
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (13 April 2015)
Heat Level: Moderate
Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥4.5 Hearts
Blurb: Despite a spirited inner debate pitting right against wrong, Owen Grady is lured off a forest trail by a handsome stranger. Just as he is about to surrender to an urgent desire, Owen realizes he is making a mistake and attempts to leave, but the rejected man wrestles Owen to the ground and discloses he is a cop. Wrongly accused of sexual misconduct, Owen seeks legal help.
Ambitious young lawyer Brent Burns is a junior partner at Burns & Callahan, a law firm located within the Men’s Center in Two Harbors, Minnesota. He takes on Owen’s case, determined to prove him innocent. But Brent can’t possibly predict the obstacles on the bumpy road to an acquittal—not the least of which is an ethical taboo involving his heart, which threatens to defeat him before he ever sets foot in the courtroom.
Product Link: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=6256
Review: Justice is the third book in Joel Skelton’s series Beneath the Palisade. While the main story is based around different romantic couples, it is best to read this series in order. However, I’m just going to put it out there, this is my favourite book in the series.
The characters (and to some extent the writing) have come a long way since book 1. Although, in this one we are moving away from the Palisade B&B and more towards the men’s centre which was for the most part Alex and Harper’s plan to support the local [not always gay/bi] men.
We get to meet up again with Brent – who we first saw in Reliance (book 1) as Harper’s PA at the law firm in the city. Now that Harper is back practicing law, as a sort of extension to the men’s centre, Brent was invited in to be a partner to his new, small firm. It is through here that Brent meets Owen. Brent is immediately sure that Owen is innocent and will find a way to help the guy. It also should be pointed out that despite the circumstances the guys are immediately attracted to each other.
As a reader we first meet Owen when he goes experiences a horrific series of events, including physical and sexual assault. He’s now been charged with a crime that he is innocent of but is drowning, not sure what to do. Owen is a great guy. He’s a passionate music teacher and all around nice guy who is loved by students and parents alike. And that is why it is so easy to feel sympathy for Owen’s plight, feeling his desperation as the book progresses.
We don’t see the POV of other characters so much as we did in the first two stories, which I think has made this book feel a lot more meaningful, though undoubtedly the previous books had plenty of emotion. I like that we get to hear from Ian and Harper, they kind of link the story together as Brent looks on to his mentor for both professional and personal advice. Harper is a bit of a dick at one point, but I like that in the way that we get to see that this guy is human.
This is a fun and fascinating read. People that like the whole courtroom drama thing will enjoy this the most, but readers of the series, I think, will be more than happy with the addition.
* I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review through http://mmgoodbookreviews.wordpress.com *