New York Times bestselling author Chantal Fernando returns with a brand new series about a brigade of lawyers who, despite being bad boys at heart, always end up just on the right side of the law.
Katerina Dawson knows exactly what she wants from life. And as the new associate at the top law firm in the city, she’s ready to live out her dreams of becoming a criminal lawyer. But going on coffee runs and babysitting kids during the day was definitely not what she had in mind. She knows that anyone else would kill to be in her shoes, but she has to draw the line somewhere. That’s easier said than done, though, when Kat has to confront her handsome boss…
Tristan Channing and Jaxon Bentley run a successful law firm together and the two partners couldn’t be busier right now. When Jaxon suddenly takes a leave of absence, Tristan begrudgingly assumes responsibility of the new associate, the hot new associate, who has curves for days. Needing to keep his distance from her, Tristan sends Kat on needless errands and has her doing work even an intern wouldn’t touch, like picking up his kids. But his plan backfires when he sees his children grow attached to Kat and sees her getting comfortable in his home. It triggers something deep within him, and it feels right to have her there. Will Tristan be able to keep his work and personal lives separate, or will he find that his heart holds the final verdict?
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Read an Excerpt
Breaching the Contract
I TRY NOT TO LET my nerves show on the outside, but the truth is, I’m a little intimidated right now.
Okay, more than a little.
A hell of a lot.
But this is what I want to do, and I need to make it happen. Failure is not an option, nor is showing any weakness.
Jaxon Bentley is one of the top criminal lawyers in the country, and luck was on my side when he hired me as an associate at his firm. Others would kill to be in my place now. Getting an associate position at Bentley & Channing—one of the best law firms around—is a highly coveted job among my peers. They’ve actually never hired an associate directly out of law school before, so when this opportunity came up, everyone applied. I’m still not sure how I landed it. I mean, I know I’m smart, and hardworking, but there was some seriously stiff competition for this position. I run my fingers down my beige pencil skirt and shift on my feet. I hope I look the part. My block heels are already hurting my feet, even though I thought they’d be the safest option. I know there are no rules that say women have to wear high heels with their business attire, but the receptionist is in a pair higher than I could ever dream of walking in, so I’m glad I went with mine over the practical flats I was longingly eyeing this morning.
“Katerina Dawson,” Jaxon says as he enters the conference room, offering me his hand. “Nice to see you again. Congratulations on graduation! I remember what it felt like to finally finish law school.”
He’s handsome, with his gray eyes, dark hair, and stubble, not to mention his charming smile, but he’s not really my type. He exudes confidence and power, and one day I’d love to give off the same vibes.
“Nice to see you too, Mr. Bentley,” I say quickly, offering him a warm smile. “Thank you again for choosing me for this position. I can’t tell you how excited I am to be working with you.”
Mr. Bentley smiles. “Top of your class and editor of the law review, it would’ve been stupid of me not to choose you. And I’m sure as you’ve heard, Katerina, I don’t make stupid decisions.”
I try to hide my smile at that, and wish I could say the same. “Yes, of course. And please, call me Kat.”
No one calls me Katerina except for my father, and usually only when I’m in trouble.
“Kat,” he says, as if testing the name on his tongue. “Call me Jaxon. I hope you’re ready. This job won’t be easy, and it’ll test all your limits and everything you’ve studied over the last few years, but going by who you are on paper, I think you’ll be able to handle it.” He hands me a file. “This is the Curtis case, one I’ve agreed to take on. I want you to learn everything about it from top to bottom, because this case is going to be your baby, and you’re going to help me win it.”
“No pressure then,” I joke, unable to stop myself. He’s handing over a case to me? I just finished taking the bar exam and now I’m being given a case. Holy crap. It’s surreal and both exciting and scary. This is everything I’ve been preparing for, and my first chance to prove myself outside a student setting. This is not something I’m going to fail at. He couldn’t have said it better—this case is going to be my baby. And I’d never fail one of my babies. If I had any. Okay, going off topic now.
“You’ll learn to use the pressure and thrive off it. No pressure, no diamonds, right?” he says, lips twitching.
His lip twitches as he guides me down the hall and gestures to the door. “This is my office.” He keeps walking, and I follow him to the door next to his, which he opens, displaying an empty office. “And this will be yours. I’m here if you need anything, and my door is always open to you. Or you can always call me by pressing two on the phone. I know we discussed this during the interview process, but as a reminder, we do things a little differently here. You won’t have a secretary, so you’re responsible for drafting your own briefs and correspondence. However, Yvonne, our office secretary, can help you with things that are urgent. We also have an intern, Callum, who can help with any legal research you may need. This may seem like a lot of work, but for now you’ll be working on my cases with me, and at the moment I have only a few clients, since they’re high-profile.”
Excitement fills me at the thought of working on big, high-profile cases. This job is exceeding my expectations already.
“You can take lunch whenever you like, and depending on the workload, and as long as you get your work done, I don’t mind if you head out a little early. We’re pretty flexible here, but we also work our asses off.”
I nod and follow him into the office, having a quick glance around the space. I sit down at my desk and smile up at him, so happy to have my own office. “I won’t let you down. Is there anything else you want me to do today besides study this case?”
“Yes,” he says, stepping to the desk and lifting up another file. “There’s some research here I need you to do. And by some, I mean a lot.”
He hands it to me and grins. “You know where to find me if you need me.”
He walks out, and I get comfortable in my new chair and open the case file with excitement. And then I open the research one.
There’s so much information; this will definitely keep me busy for a while, but I don’t mind. I pull out my notebook and pen. This is what I’ve always wanted, and Jaxon is giving me the chance to work with minimal supervision, and with his trust.
He’s giving me the chance.
I don’t think he’ll ever know how much this means to me. I have everything to gain, and everything to prove. It’s my actions that define me, not where I came from, or who birthed me. My past only fuels my hunger, my desire to succeed. My nerves having completely left me, I smile.
This is where I’m meant to be.
I get to work straightaway.
I’M WALKING BACK FROM grabbing something quick to eat at my desk, hand resting on my bag, when I notice a man in a black suit drop something. He’s on his phone, seemingly having a serious conversation, judging by the scowl on his face, and has no idea that something has just slid out of his pocket. As I walk past him, I stop and pick up what I can now see is his wallet. His back is to me, so I gently tap his shoulder, but he ignores me.
“You’re supposed to give me at least two weeks’ notice,” I hear him growl into the line.
I tap him again, more forcefully this time, and he turns and flashes me a scowl like I’m interrupting him to ask for change or something. He’s handsome. That’s for sure. His eyes are crystal blue—beautiful and mesmerizing, even when filled with annoyance. His brown hair is blowing in the wind, slightly longer on top than the sides, and I can’t help but notice the enticing shape of his full lips. He glances at me, but it’s like he sees through me or something, because he turns back away and says, “Yes, that sounds fair. I’ll be home tonight at seven, so we can discuss everything then. Bye, Amy.”
Did he just get dumped or something? Although that wouldn’t explain the two-weeks’-notice part. Still, he said he will see this Amy person at home tonight, so I wonder what the story is.
“Excuse me, sir,” I say, my tone impatient. Here I am trying to do my good deed for the day, and he’s being rude. I feel like hitting him in the face with his wallet, or simply taking any cash while he’s watching—anything to make him pay attention. He’s clearly so lost in his head, in his problems, or in this Amy chick, that he doesn’t realize I’m about to walk away with his wallet and buy myself that Givenchy handbag I’ve been eyeing.
He turns back to me, and must actually see me this time, because he asks, “Yes?” as he slides his phone into his pocket. It’s not a friendly yes, rather a What do you want? yes.
The man is rude.
I hand him his wallet. “You dropped this.”
He takes it from me, then pats down his pockets as if making sure it’s really his. What, does he think he’s incapable of losing something?
“You’re welcome,” I mutter, then turn to leave.
“Wait,” he says, so I turn around to face him once more. “Thank you.”
“No problem,” I say, my anger lessening. Maybe he’s not so bad after all. Or at least not as rude as I thought he was, considering he has some basic manners.
“Today is not my day,” he explains, wincing, then holds out his hand. He shakes his head, as if to clear it, then offers me a small smile. “I’m Tristan.”
“Hello, Tristan,” I reply, warily shaking his big hand. Mine looks so tiny in comparison. I bring my gaze back to his, and the two of us just watch each other for a few short seconds. I don’t know what it is about his face, but I don’t want to look away.
“And what’s the name of the woman who saved me from calling up and canceling all my credit cards?” he asks, arching a brow.
“Kat,” I say, letting go of his hand. “My name is Kat.”
“Well, Kat,” he murmurs, glancing over me quickly. “I’m on a break, so how about I buy you a coffee to say thank you?”
“Oh,” I reply, glancing toward the road that my new office is on. As much as I’m tempted to say yes, I remind myself of the opportunity I’ve been given. “I’m actually just going back to work. But how about a rain check?”
Did I just go from wanting to punch him to saying yes to a date?
That pretty much sums up my dating history. I choose the worst kind of men—the ones who need to be fixed.
The broken ones.
The narcissists, or those who are emotionally unavailable.
The tortured souls.
And no, it never works out for me, and no, I’m never able to save them, so I’ve tried to stay away from men and concentrate on my career.
It’s a much simpler life.
“Sounds good,” he says, as I realize what I’m doing. Wanting to escape before he asks for my number, I take a step back and smile.
“How about tomorrow?” he calls out.
I turn and smile at him as I make my exit, waving slightly but saying nothing in return.
I don’t need to be having coffee with anyone. I don’t have time for it right now. I need to concentrate on work, on impressing Jaxon, and on other things in my life, such as paying my rent every month. I don’t need to go have coffee with an older, good-looking man—one who came across as rude and slightly lost, no less—and who probably has a whole list of other issues that I’ll try to take on as my own the closer I let him get. Because that is what I do.
No, I don’t need anything like that.
All I need is to focus.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Breaching the contract was an interesting quick read about two layers, coworkers who are not supposed to involve. So they have a love-hate relationship. Katerina and Jaxon have an instant attraction when they first meet on the street but it soon changes when they find out that they work at the same law firm. But spending time together that its magic and one day they fell under the attraction. It is a classical love romance with standard characters, it is not memorable book, story or characters and it will be quickly forgotten I'm afraid I volunteered to review an ARC of this book for Netgelly
Rating: 3.5 Stars Breaching the Contract is the first book in Chantal Fernando’s Conflict of Interest Series. The series is about a group of sexy lawyers who are very good at what they do in the courtroom and apparently in the bedroom as well. Breaching the Contract focuses on how a new associate at a top law firm handles her attraction to her new boss. Her name is Katerina “Kat” Dawson and she has ambitions of being a high-powered criminal attorney. She gets the opportunity to be mentored by one of the best litigators around named Jaxon Bentley. However, Jaxon suddenly takes leave and Kat is forced to deal with the other partner in the firm, Tristan Channing. Kat and Tristan initially met outside of the office and had an immediate attraction but didn’t have an opportunity to act on it. Once Tristan becomes Kat’s direct supervisor, they both do everything possible to avoid any close contact. Of course, that doesn’t last long and they eventually end up in between the sheets. Their time in the bedroom is extremely erotic and nothing is left to the imagination. Outside forces quickly put a strain on their relationship but rest assured that they do get their happily ever after. Tristan also has two children that play an integral role in all of this. While I did like Breaching the Contract, I felt that the conflict that arises was somewhat out of place and it didn’t quite feel genuine. Hopefully, the next book, Seducing the Defendant, will seem less forced. **Received a copy of the book from the publisher and voluntarily reviewed.**
My Review of Breaching the Contract (Conflict of Interest #1) by Chantal Fernando My Rating 4 Stars Breaching the Contract was a nice change for me I enjoyed the short and sweet love story. This story is different from what I have read of Ms. Fernando’s books and I can honestly say it was a nice change and written so very well. The words flowed on to the page and I couldn’t put it down. I loved Jaxon Bentley and So can’t wait for more of him. The leading lady Katerina was a force all her own, and Tristan was not what I was expecting. This was a great start to a new series that I can’t wait to read more of! ** I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book in exchange for an honest review from Author & The Publisher via Netgalley**
when katerina dawson starts her job as an associate for jaxon bentley in breaching the contract she's hit the jackpot. he's encouraging and gives her more opportunities than most first-year associates ever get. when he is called away for a family emergemcy she gets stuck with tristan channing, who is jaxon's complete opposite on the manager level. he has her running errands, picking up and babysitting his kids, getting his coffee; and she's furious but she doesn't—can't—say anything. he's her boss. she's a first-year associate. but soon she starts to see the stress he is under. and a part of her can't help wanting to help him. because as much as she keeps reminding herself of the boss-employee thing, as much as she tries to focus on how he treats her like a secretary instead of a colleague, as much as they both try to keep their distance, the attraction between them sparked from the first moment they laid eyes on each other in a coffee shop without knowing who the other person was. and soon enough there is no way to deny it. they make sense together. and even when tristan tries to put some distance between them as he deals with some personal problems, there is no turning back. this is a novella so the time scale feels pretty compressed, although in truth i think more time elapses in the story than you feel as a reader. but this is fine. i thought maybe things were resolved pretty quickly, and i'm still not sure why the paternity issue was thrown into the story since i don't think it added anything to the romance. it wasn't really an obstacle for tristan and kat, and felt like some manufactured drama that came out of left field and given the short format there wasn't enough time to fully deal with the issue. **breaching the contract will publish on september 18, 2017. i received an advance reader copy courtesy of netgalley/gallery, threshold, pocket books (pocket star) in exchange for my honest review.
3.5 stars--BREACHING THE CONTRACT is the first installment in Chantal Fernando’s contemporary, adult CONFLICT OF INTEREST erotic, romance series of novellas. This is attorney Tristan Channing, and attorney Katerina Dawson’s story line. Told from first person point of view (Katerina) BREACHING THE CONTRACT focuses on the building relationship between lawyers Katerina Dawson and Tristan Channing. Kat is a recent grad, and the new associate at one of the top law firms in the city. Hired by Jaxon Bentley, Kat finds herself thrust into the legal world of research and litigation but an emergency pulled Jaxon home leaving Kat under the mentorship of Tristan Channing- a man with a reputation hard as steel for making the newbies quit and cry. What ensues is the building romance between our leading couple, and the potential fall out when a past transgression could potentially destroy Tristan’s well –ordered world. BREACHING THE CONTRACT is a quick read: a fast paced story line about two people thrown together in both their personal and professional lives. The story line conflict is limited to Tristan’s attraction to Kat, and the upheaval in his personal life at home. The premise is sexy; the characters are colorful and passionate although I would have liked more details about their individual history and background; the romance is seductive and intense. BREACHING THE CONTRACT is an energetic and hopeful story of romance, second chances, and a happily ever after.
Great start to a new series. This is a fast paced read with great characters and a great story. Kat has recently graduated law school and just landed her dream job. That is until she begins working with Tristan and instead of doing legal work she is picking up kids and running errands. Tristan does his best to hide the fact that he is attracted to Kat but not very well. Soon sparks fly between these two. This story was entertaining and fun with great chemistry. I really liked it.
Breaching the Contract is feel-good office romance with fun characters and wit. Kat's inner dialogue kept me chuckling through most of the story and I really like that this isn't an instalove romance. The fact that Tristan and Kat don't fall into bed immediately and spend a big portion of the story avoiding that very thing is one of the things that adds to the story. There is a rather unnecessary plot twist toward the end that almost seems to be thrown in for the sake of a bit of angst to this otherwise light-hearted tale, leaving the ending feeling a bit rushed to resolve the issue. Other than that, the book is well-written and entertaining, with a charismatic pair and a couple of sweet kids, making this perfect for a fun afternoon read.
This was a quick, fast paced read with a fun story, likable characters, a lot of sweet and a nice amount of sexy. Awesome way to kick of a new series. I totally enjoyed it! There was a good introduction so you get a great feel for the characters right away and then we're off. I loved Tristan, he’s kind of gruff on the outside but so sweet when you get to know him. I really liked Kat, she was determined and such a hard worker. I like how they meet, the complication of working together they face, and the growing heat and attraction they have. It was really entertaining and I liked how it developed. I really enjoyed Tristan's kids as well and the sweet way they played into everything. The writing is really good. It’s not super deep but there’s enough substance to get you really invested and rooting for Tristan and Kat. The story is told from Kat’s POV and I liked her voice. I still felt like I knew Tristan however, what he was thinking and how he was feeling with the way the author described him, which was awesome. There was also some drama I didn't see coming that added a nice amount of tension which I enjoyed. Great ending and really good epilogue. It's definitely a light read with an entertaining vibe and I totally enjoyed it. I liked all the characters that were introduced, loved the romance happening between Tristan and Kat, and am looking forward to more in this series. It might have been short but it was solid and gave me just what I needed... a sweet romance that was sexy and fun! Complimentary copy received for honest review.
Katerina Dawson has just gotten her foot in the door at a prestigious law firm and is ready to tackle whatever they throw at her... but babysitting her bosses kids and getting him coffee aren't quite what she had in mind. She was under the impression she would be helping with cases and research not playing nanny to his kids, she tries to be professional about the whole thing, but her boss wants to take things in another direction... a very unexpected direction! The moment Tristan Channing's eyes land on his new associates face, he can't help but be completely taken with her, she is beautiful, and tempting as hell... but starting something with her would not be wise nor professional. So, he does everything he can to keep her away, if she isn't around then he can't be tempted right? So he sends her to babysit his kids thinking that it's a safe alternative, but then he starts to see that she is just what his kids need, and he soon starts to realize he's made a mistake. His kids are attached to her, and he would like to be attached to her too, physically of course, but she doesn't seem to have any interest in letting that happen... or does she? This sexy little office romance read was hot, captivating, and a refreshing change of pace from my current reading norm. I always like finding a read that centers around forbidden romance, I enjoy the angst, indecision, and the fight between right and wrong, and this one definitely had all that... and then some! As much as they both tried to fight the relationship, the more intense things got between them, and they both knew it was wrong... but sometimes doing the wrong thing ends up being the thing that makes the most sense... and they definitely embraced the wrong!! Have to say I really enjoyed this newest offering from Ms. Fernando, it was engaging, scintillating, and packed a serious emotional punch!! Highly recommend!! I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this title.
“I choose the worst kind of men–the ones who need to be fixed. The broken ones. The narcissists, or those who are emotionally unavailable. The tortured souls.” “What’s life without a little gamble? And I can’t think of anything more worthy to gamble on than love.” What an exciting departure from author Chantal Fernando! Breaching the Contract is the exciting first book in the Conflict of Interest Series. Breaching the Contract might be a quick read, but it certainly hits all the marks. This book is fun and entertaining. It is a great office place/hate to love romance. I had fun connecting and getting to know the characters. I got swept up in the banter and tension between Tristan and Kat. Those turned burned up the pages and kept me coming back for more. Overall, I thought this book was a great read to spend my afternoon getting lost in. It was quick, sexy and the perfect start to this new series. I can not wait to see what this author is going to bring to us next!
An awesome quick read that really peaked my interest for the series to come. This is a well done story and I really liked all the characters. Very little angst, office romance, single dad with some very cute kids are all the things that made this a great story. New associate Katerina Dawson literally runs into one of the most attractive men she's ever met. There was a spark of attraction that would have been fun to pursue if he hadn't walked into her new boss's office just minutes later. Yes, Tristan Channing is a partner in the firm she's just starting with. Just her luck. Yet that spark just won't go out. Definitely a book I recommend to everyone.
This was a great mid to low angst novella. Very fast pace featuring an office romance that starts out as enemies to lovers. Kat is fresh out of law school and was hired by Tristan's partner for their firm. Tristan is a single dad with kids and treats Kat like personal assistant instead of an associate. His admiration for her grows and things change quickly between them. This is a very safe read with no cheating between MC's or violence in the story. I loved the storyline but did feel it ended abruptly. I'm looking forward to more in the series. We got to see enough of Jaxon and Hunter to be intrigued for their own books. ARC provided by NetGalley.