Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog it's too dark to read.” —Groucho Marx

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Dilemma by Jacquie Johnson/RABT VBTour


 

 

 

 

Romantic Suspense

Date Published: 7/22/12

 

    

In Chicago, the name Jon Elliott garners attention. When the legal mastermind offers to mentor Alexis Winters, Bingham, Elliott and Bright’s newest associate, she jumps at the opportunity sure this will launch her career. But Jon has a dark side, one that demands unquestioning loyalty and a willingness to defy the spirit of the law, if not the letter.  

Thrust into Jon’s world and expected to play by his rulebook, Alexis grapples with her conscience. On several occasions, Jon’s orders are at odds with what she learned in law school, and she finds herself trapped between her profession’s ethical rules and her own values. When Jon’s biggest client appears to be engaging in questionable activities and he orders her to ignore the behavior, Alexis investigates on her own. Suddenly, she is not only a witness to a horrible crime but a victim in her own right. Going underground, she turns to the one person she can trust, investigative journalist Ryder Prescott, a childhood friend. Together, Ryder and Alexis work to solve a puzzle that crosses socioeconomic classes, political parties, and international borders.  

Embroiled in a global conspiracy that costs her the only family she has left, Alexis must decide how far she will go to defend truth and justice. Is she willing to sacrifice life, liberty and the possibility of love?  

 

Excerpt:


“No wonder you look dynamite.”
Alexis was thankful the darkness hid her blush. “Thank you, but I exercise because it relieves stress and helps clear my mind.”
Ryder hummed in agreement while taking her hand as they walked through a small park. “Litigating is a demanding job. Do you like it?”
“Parts of it.” A puff of wind blew hair into her face, and she turned slightly toward Ryder, using his body as a buffer. He tugged her a little closer and tightened his hold on her hand. “I love researching. It makes me feel good when I find the needle in the haystack that helps win a case. Plus I like piecing together new theories and setting new precedents. I don’t like the actual court part, though. I mean, I like creating the arguments but hate making them in front of the judge. It’s nerve-racking.” She frowned, thinking about her stomach’s gymnastics each time she set foot in a courtroom.
“What made you choose defense work?” Ryder brushed a small branch aside so it wouldn’t hit her and led her toward a stone bench set back from the walking path.
“I guess you could say it chose me. I really liked criminal law in school and I was good at it. I won several awards for my studies in that area. But when time came to apply for jobs, I just couldn’t go in that direction. I didn’t want to do criminal defense because I couldn’t handle helping people who I thought were guilty even if they were entitled to representation. Prosecuting appealed to me, but it also scared me. What if I put someone innocent away? It seemed like too much responsibility.” She looked down at her hands, uncomfortable with her own admission. It wasn’t like her to share her innermost thoughts with other people. They were supposed to remain locked deep inside her. So why was she sharing her fears with Ryder of all people? She pushed that thought aside for later analysis as she tuned back into the conversation.
“So, why employment discrimination?” Ryder wrapped an arm around her, and she snuggled closer to him, appreciating his warmth and how good he smelled. It had been quite a while since she had enjoyed a man’s company in this way.
Alexis leaned her head against his shoulder and thought about how to answer. She considered giving him the canned answer she used during interviews, but the quiet intimacy of the moment allowed her to admit the truth. “I guess because it’s similar to criminal work in many ways without the safety risk or responsibility.”
“Why defense instead of plaintiff work?”
She laughed softly. “Because they offered me a job and I get paid well. I’d love to work on the plaintiff side or do pro bono work, but I have bills to pay.”
“Still the idealist, though?” His fingers played in her hair, and she closed her eyes, relishing the sensation. “Even though you’re swimming with sharks?”
She could tell he was teasing by the tone of his voice. “I don’t work with sharks, but I suppose I have changed. How could I not?” They sat in silence for a few minutes while she contemplated how to explain. “I still think the same way, but I’ve learned to temper my thoughts and opinions. I don’t agree with what many people do, but since most people live that way, I guess I’ve learned to live with reality. It doesn’t change how I feel inside, though. I just keep it to myself.”
“It’s hard to keep the values we learned at home alive. Time after time, I’ve tried to do the right thing, to report the truth, to showcase wrongs, but more often than not, I either get slammed for it or find out no one really cares. Sometimes I wonder why I pick myself up and do it all over again.”
“But you do.” Alexis tilted her head up and stared at Ryder, the moonlight highlighting his face and betraying how seriously he took the conversation. “I admire you for it.”
“Thank you,” Ryder breathed as he lowered his mouth to hers. The first kiss was soft and gentle, nothing more than a light touch of lips saying hello. The second had considerably more heat behind it and left her breathless. He lifted her chin and stared into her eyes as if seeking permission. Alexis trembled under his heated gaze. She knew what he was asking and didn’t know if she had the strength to deny him—or the courage to survive the aftermath. Ryder was a love ’em and leave ’em type, and she was a commitment kind of girl. Could she accept the night for what it was and live in the moment?

My Review:

 I just finished Dilemma and let me tell you, I am breathless....romantic suspense at it's best!!   It seems like the best reads are when the main character is caught between what is right vs what is wrong and how dedicated they are to live by their principles.   Alexis Winters is a beautiful girl with a beautiful soul;  she is a lawyer working in an elite firm representing companies being charged with discrimination on all levels.

The main character is feisty, determined that she can find answers on her own and determine if her mentor is someone she can continue to respect and work with OR if he is truly a manipulative jerk she should stay as far away from as possible,  (certainly not a viable working relationship if it is the latter).  Her hero is an old childhood friend, Ryder Prescott, now a famous world renowned freelance journalist.    He is on the trail of a story that would expose a presidential candidate as a felonious fraud and somehow the trail of research brings him back to Alexis for a connection that neither one of them anticipated.   Oh and romance is born of fire when they reconnect as well.   (wiggling my eye brows).

There is mystery, terror, romance, fear, drugs, human trafficking and a twisting and turning storyline as all the pieces finally come together.   Ms Johnson was excellent at building a cohesive and well thought out plot, suspense that made me hold my breath and developing her characters.   The only thing I didn't care for was that Alexis refused to be controlled for her own safety.  But that only fueled the energy of the story, so a very minor irritant.   I was quite gratified by this read....way to go Jacquie Johnson!!   Keep those stories rolling!

                                                               At least 4 (wink)

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  For additional reviews and comments, please follow the Virtual Book Tour  schedule below:

 



September 30 - Reading Addiction Blog Tours - Meet and Greet

September 30 - The Story of a Girl... - Review/Giveaway
October 1 - TE Garden of Books - Review/Excerpt/Giveaway
October 2 - My Seryniti - Excerpt/Giveaway/PROMO

October 3 - Taking it One Page at a Time - Review/Interview/Giveaway/Excerpt

October 4 - My Devotional Thoughts - Guest Post/Excerpt/Giveaway/PROMO
October 5 - Kaisy Daisy's Corner - Review/Giveaway
October 6 - Lovely Reads - Interview/Giveaway/Excerpt/PROMO
October 6 - For the Love of Film and Novels - PROMO
October 7 - Books For Me - Review
October 10 - Celtic Lady Reviews- Review/Guest Post
October 11- Psycotic State Books - Review
October 13 - My Cozie Corner - Review/Giveaway
October 14 -  My Reading Addiction - Review/Excerpt Giveaway
October 17 - Beth Art From the Heart - Review/Excerpt
October 18 - The Solitary Bookworm - Guest Post/Excerpt/PROMO
October 19 - Paulette's Papers - Excerpt/Giveaway/PROMO
October 19 - Sweepting the USA - Review/excerpt/Giveaway




Author Bio: 

Jacquie Johnson fell in love with books on her mother’s knee. From Dr. Seuss to Carolyn Keene to L.M. Montgomery, she continued her affair until her teenage years when she began reading authors ranging from Tom Clancy to Nora Roberts to Johanna Lindsey. She’s still an avid reader but now carries an e-reader instead of a paperback in her purse. Mysteries and suspense are her favorite genres, but she enjoys romance, historical fiction, and non-fiction as well.  

She graduated from Harvard and Indiana University School of Law. After ten years practicing labor and employment law, she retired to homeschool her daughters. She lives in Northwest Indiana with her husband, three daughters, and a spoiled cocker spaniel named Princess.  

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 Purchase Links:

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*Disclosure of Material Connection: I am a member of Reading Addiction Blog Tours and a copy of this book was provided to me by the author. Although payment may have been received by Reading Addiction Blog Tours, no payment was received by me in exchange for this review. There was no obligation to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are entirely my own and may not necessarily agree with those of the author, publisher, publicist, or readers of this review. This disclosure is in accordance with the Federal Trade Commision’s 16 CFR, Part 255, Guides Concerning Use of Endorcements and Testimonials in Advertising*



 

4 comments:

Jacquie Johnson said...

Thank you for hosting Dilemma on your blog and for the fabulous review. I'm so glad you enjoyed it.

Beth Cutwright said...

thank you Jacquie. I love to hear from the authors and you earned that review!
Hugs
Beth

Chrysrawr said...

Thanks for the review! I think this book would be a nice read!

chrysrawr@yahoo.com

Shannon Ro said...

Thanks for the review and giveaway!

fencingromein at hotmail dot com