Trial by Etienne

Title: Trial

Series: A Buckhead Tale – Appearances Trilogy 01

Author: Etienne

Genre: Contemporary

Length: Novel (294pgs)

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (10th February 2012)

Heat Level: Low

Heart Rating:  Rating♥♥♥♥4 ½Hearts

Reviewer: Pixie

Blurb: Attorney Charles Barnett thought it was all over for him and his heart. In the three years since his partner died, he hasn’t felt so much as a spark of attraction to another man. That suddenly changes when Charles is assigned a new case and meets his new client. Recent widower Philip d’Autremont has been traveling in all the same circles as Charles, but somehow they’ve never managed to meet. Now that they have, both men find themselves falling hard and fast.

But there’s more than one hurdle to Charles and Philip beginning a love affair, much less maintaining it: Philip is on trial for murder, a politically ambitious and homophobic district attorney is determined to convict him, and Charles is responsible for Philip’s defense.

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Review: Etienne has done it again.  Giving us a sweet story that shows us the more mundane, as well as the exciting, but always weaving a tale that gives us joy to read.

Charles is plodding through his life but not taking the time to really enjoy it since the death of his partner.  When his mentor asks him to take a case his life is suddenly filled with color again in the shape of Philip, his new client. Philip needs Charles to help him to clear his name without having to divulge his alibi.  Philip needs all the help he can get with a district attorney who is out for his blood, but will falling for his counsel make things harder?

As always with Etienne’s stories there are wonderful descriptions of the surrounding areas.  full details about the legal aspects of being a gay couple and a true love story of deep and abiding love. Charles and Philip have an instant attraction which they explore to the fullest.  As their relationship rapidly progresses, the case is proving difficult as the police are blocking their moves and they have to investigate it for themselves.  With the help of friends and colleagues will they finally get to the truth or will the truth be harder to believe.

A well written story that brings us the characters that we have been intrigued by for many a book… Charles and Philip.   for many books Etienne has teased us with glimpses of these men and given us hints about their past and now finally they are here telling us their story and what a story. Charles has stayed away from men ever since his partner Robert died.  That is, until he met Philip and it was love at first sight and the feeling is mutual.

The progression of this book is the same as always. So if you are a fan of Etienne, then you know the formula he runs to and Etienne doesn’t disappoint. These guys make love but we don’t get great detail, it is more implied and it works well. Etienne’s stories always give us more in the day-to-day relationship than anything else.  Yes, there’s the investigation but it isn’t the be all and end all.  this author shows us the day-to-day running of their relationship and it’s good.

So I have to recommend this to those who like long-term getting established couples, mystery and investigations, gentle love and finding out more about the characters that have intrigued us in the past. P.S. I can’t wait for the next two books.