Evidence of Desire

Evidence of Desire

by Lexi Blake

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780399587498
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 01/08/2019
Series: A Courting Justice Novel , #2
Sold by: Penguin Group
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 352
Sales rank: 248
File size: 1 MB

About the Author

Lexi Blake is the New York Times bestselling author of the Courting Justice novels, including Order of Protection, the Lawless novels, including Ruthless, Satisfaction, and Revenge, and the Masters and Mercenaries series, including Love Another Day, For His Eyes Only, and Submission is Not Enough. She is also coauthor with Shayla Black of the Perfect Gentlemen series, including Big Easy Temptation and Seduction in Session, and the Masters of Menage series, including Their Virgin Mistress and Their Virgin Secretary.

Read an Excerpt

One

 

It was always the roar of the crowd he heard first. It came out of nowhere. Like the world was quiet and still, and then a joyous chaos slapped him in the face. How many times had he stood outside the locker room, waiting for that moment when he moved from the darkness and into the brilliant light? When he went from being something small to being the center of the world?

 

It was odd though because now he wasn't surrounded by laughing teammates, their camaraderie usually buoying him in the face of those questioning, demanding lights. He wasn't bouncing in his cleats, pumping himself up by messing around with the running back or joking with his line. Sometimes they would bump hard against one another as though prepping for the hits to come, to remind each other-I am invincible.

 

Now there was only him standing in the shadows, waiting for that moment when he would be called to glory.

 

Why the hell was he in a suit? He looked down and there wasn't a football in his hand. Instead he carried an elegant briefcase. He felt leaner, his body not as ripped as it was supposed to be. He needed the muscle, needed the strength. Here only the strongest survived. Only the most willing to sacrifice made it to the field.

 

The announcer's voice shook the stadium, calling out number thirty-four.

 

This was wrong. He knew it deep in his gut. This was wrong and he wasn't going out there. He would stay in the shadows. Being small didn't mean being wrong. Except his feet were moving and there it was, the roar that seemed to shake his soul. Had he once thought that was the sweetest sound in the world? Now he could hear the hunger behind the cheers, the craving for something to take each fan away from their ordinary lives. Blood would do. Bones cracking and miracles performed, every player would feed the need of the crowd that jubilantly screamed now, but oh how it could turn when things went wrong. One misstep. One fumble. One missed chance and that jubilation would turn ugly and he would feel it in his soul.

 

He found himself in the middle of the field, all lights on him. Blinding lights. He'd wanted this? He'd once needed this like he needed his next breath. These lights, that crowd, those voices proved he'd climbed out of the cesspool of poverty he'd been born into, lifted up through gift and discipline, through blood and pain.

 

He held his fists up, dropping the stupid briefcase. He didn't need that. He didn't need pads or helmets. He needed discipline and the ability to ignore pain. That was the sacrifice. What were a few broken bones compared to the glory he could find here?

 

And then everything stopped. No more cheers. No more lights. He was alone and yet not because the crowd had gone, but something was coming for him. Silence and darkness, and he realized it was close. It was coming for him in that sullen night, a quiet locomotive that bashed past all precautions.

 

He waited, bracing himself for the final tackle.

 

----

David sat straight up in bed when the phone rang, the sound splitting the deep gloom of his dream. His hands were shaking, and it took him a moment to remember that he was here in his nice Chelsea apartment that cost more than a thousand of the trailers heÕd grown up in. He was safe and functional, and he was a lawyer not a Sunday soldier.

 

Fuck. He hated that dream. Why couldn't he dream about serial killers stalking him? He was a damn criminal defense attorney. He'd met with some of the creepiest human beings on earth. Surely he could come up with a few nightmares about them. It would be less disturbing.

 

He glanced at the clock. Barely five a.m. on a Saturday. Damn it. He had exactly two days to sleep in. Not to not work. He worked seven days a week, but at least on weekends he got a couple of extra hours of sleep. Everyone knew that.

 

His cell trilled again, the sound not as close in proximity as it should have been. Had he turned the ringer down?

 

His heart seized a little because everyone did know that he slept in, and that meant this was likely an emergency. He scrambled to get to his phone.

 

Where was his phone? He could hear the fucker, but where was it? Why wasn't it sitting on the nightstand where he always put it?

 

What the hell had he done last night?

 

He turned on the lights and walked into the living room, where the sound was louder. Yeah, now he remembered. He'd gotten together with friends and ordered takeout to celebrate the end of a case. Margarita and Noah had come to his place. They'd started out by going over the jury polling and ended up drinking way, way too much tequila.

 

He was too old for that shit. How had he gotten talked into it? And Margarita could seriously drink some tequila. They'd laughed about it the night before, the amount of tequila going into their Margarita. Naturally she'd been the completely steady one. She was the one who directed him to go to bed when it got late, and promised to see Noah home. God, he hoped Noah hadn't hit on her. That was the last thing they needed. Margarita Reyes was one of the single smartest legal minds he'd ever met. She split her time between his New York firm, Garrison, Cormack, and Lawless, and the software company 4L, owned by the incredibly wealthy Drew Lawless. David was almost certain Margarita had been initially sent by Drew to watch over the youngest of his siblings, Noah, as he embarked on his career, but two years in she was a part of the team and not someone's watchdog. Either that or she was a terrible watchdog because she instigated most of the parties.

 

Where the hell was his phone?

 

It had stopped ringing. He was going to feel so damn bad if that was his mother and something had happened to his dad. With the way things had been going, it could be anything. Since the Alzheimer's had progressed, his father had been known to wander off, thinking it was still the eighties and looking for his toddler son.

 

He hoped things had changed since he'd started paying for a full-time nurse. He would do almost anything to help his mother out. She was aging herself and he wanted her to enjoy her golden years instead of worrying about a husband who was rapidly forgetting who he was.

 

There was a tapping on his door, lightly, as though the person knocking knew how pissed off New Yorkers could get when something interrupted their weekend sleep.

 

It was Grand Central here this morning. Everyone wanted a piece of him. Without bothering to find a robe, he strode to the door and looked out the peephole. He sighed and started the long process of unlocking the door.

 

Noah stood in the doorway, and David thought seriously about punching him in his perfect, nobody-can-tell-I-spent-the-night-finding-the-bottom-of-a-bottle-of-tequila face. He was dressed in a designer suit, his GQ-ready face all fresh and youthful.

 

David was fairly certain he'd never looked that young in his life. "What? Do you have any idea what time it is? Did Margarita lose you on the way home? Did you find some model's bed and now you need a place to hide?"

 

The way Noah went through women, it was a plausible scenario.

 

Noah's eyes widened. "Is that any way to greet the man who is about to make your entire year? You said you wanted a big case, I've caught us a whopper. But seriously, you're going to have to wear more than those boxers. Let's get you dressed and moving, my man. I've got a car waiting for us."

 

He strode in and David closed the door behind him. "What case are you talking about, and can it wait? I need to find my phone. I think my mother might be calling."

 

"It was me. I thought I'd warn you I was coming up." Noah set his briefcase down and moved to the kitchen. "Go and shower and change while I make you some coffee. I would have gotten some at Starbucks, but I know that's too froufrou for you."

 

"I'm not trying to be a jerk. I just like plain coffee, and there's nothing plain about theirs." Why couldn't coffee be coffee flavored? When he asked for coffee-flavored coffee, the baristas stared at him like he'd grown two heads. Which he kind of felt like he had today, and both of them were throbbing. Damn tequila. "Why am I getting into a suit on a Saturday morning?"

 

"Because we're going to have to wade through an army of reporters at some point, and you know you like to look your best," Noah said from the kitchen, where he proved he'd spent far too much time here. He went straight for the coffeepot and started it brewing. "Seriously, we have to hurry. I want us there when they arrest him. According to his personal attorney, they've still got him at his place. They haven't transported him yet, but that's what you get when you're a star. Kid-glove treatment."

 

"Arrest who?" David knew he sounded irritable. He was irritable. "And if this is such a big case, why isn't it Henry you're bugging at this god-awful hour of the morning?"

 

"Because Isla requested you personally," Noah replied.

 

"Isla?" He knew the name vaguely. A vision of a petite woman with brown-and-gold hair floated through his brain. She was a few years younger than him. He remembered her as smart and a bit on the somber side. "Are you talking about Isla Shayne? She used to work with the New York Guardians in the front office, right?"

 

The Guardians were one of the state's many professional sports franchises, this one a football team with a storied history of winning championships.

 

Noah nodded. "Yes, that's Isla. I know her from school. She was a couple grades ahead of me at the girls' school when I was a freshman at Creighton. I knew her fiancé. He was a senior at Creighton."

 

Austin Kendrick, son of Guardians owner, Carey Kendrick. Austin had been an up-and-coming quarterback until he found out he had non-Hodgkin's lymphoma at the age of twenty-three. Austin Kendrick was proof that money and privilege couldn't always avert tragedy. Now he was curious. Isla was known for being a workhorse. She'd worked for her would-have-been father-in-law for years before she started her own practice. David had heard she was the go-to girl for wealthy athletes and celebrities who needed someone to look at every single item they signed. She was highly sought after.

 

And apparently she had a client in trouble. If that client could afford to hire Isla Shayne, this might be a seriously high-profile case. Was his Armani clean?

 

"Who are we talking about?" David asked, the smell of coffee lifting some of the fog from his brain. Be a basketball guy or a Hollywood actor. Be a baseball player or some dumbass reality star. Anyone but an athlete from that world he dreamed about.

 

"It's Trey Adams." Noah held a mug in his hand, and his eyes were lit with ambition. Sometimes he was certain this was the real reason Henry had brought in Noah. They needed someone young and hungry, someone who hadn't already been ground down by the system, who still thought that being king of the world would bring him some happiness. That kind of drive fueled a great firm.

 

"Adams?" David's stomach did a deep dive, and he once again wished he hadn't partied with the youngsters the night before. Damn. He wasn't even forty and he still felt old around those two.

 

"Trey Adams, the quarterback saint of the football world, allegedly killed his wife in a fit of rage in the early hours of this morning, and we're going to defend him. This is it, my man. This is the O.J. trial of our time and we've got the case. We're about to catapult into the stratosphere. It's everything we've been waiting on."

 

Trey Adams was a legend. Trey Adams had led the Guardians to three Super Bowl titles during his twelve years as a professional quarterback. He'd married model and activist Portia Adams, and they'd been the world's power couple for more than a decade. After his retirement fifteen years ago, they'd settled here in Manhattan, where he'd done color commentary for five years and then suddenly quit, saying he wanted more time with his wife and kids.

 

But there were rumors. Rumors that he couldn't remember where he was at times. Rumors that he could get violent. Rumors that he was addicted to pain meds.

 

David knew what it all added up to.

 

"Portia Adams is dead?" He felt a little numb even as Noah handed him the mug.

 

Noah's eyes softened. "I'm sorry. You knew him? I should have thought of that, but you've been out of the game for a long time. You rarely talk about it."

 

"I've met him a few times. We were never on the same team. His wife was a lovely woman. She ran a lot of the charity works for the league. Smart lady." He took the coffee. It looked like he was going to need it. "I'll get changed. How bad is the press coverage at this point?"

 

"David, maybe I should call Henry," Noah said, sounding hesitant for the first time. "He's out on the island with Win, but I can hold down the case until he gets here."

 

"I thought they wanted me." He knew what Noah was doing, giving him an out. He wasn't going to be cowardly enough to take it. Because Noah was right. If this wasn't an open-and-shut case, it would be the case. Hell, he could make something of it no matter what the evidence showed. Even if there was clear proof that Adams killed his wife, there was likely a defense. A defense no one had ever used in a case this big.

 

CTE. Chronic traumatic encephalopathy. Every athlete's nightmare.

 

Who better to bring it than a man who might suffer from it one day?

 

"She does want you," Noah replied. "She asked specifically for you. You're perfect for this case. It's not easy finding a Harvard-educated lawyer who also played in the NFL. And I don't think the press coverage is bad yet, but the minute the sun comes up, you know the vultures will start to circle. I wanted to try to be there if they take him into custody."

 

"Don't you mean when they take him into custody?"

 

Noah shrugged. "I'm trying to be optimistic."

 

“Stop,” he shot back as he started for the bedroom. No time to shower. That would have to wait, and he needed to get into battle mode. He would be stepping into those lights today and there would be nowhere to hide. “I don’t need Suzy Sunshine as my second. I need Dour Dan.”


Noah frowned in a way that looked silly on that matinee-idol face of his. “I can be that. And they’re definitely hauling his ass down to the station. The question is how they do it. We should hurry if we intend to mitigate the damage.”


“All right, then. This is my case.” He said the words, allowing them to sink in. “I’ll get dressed. You figure out what kind of shit storm we’re walking into, and have Margarita start writing some statements about the victim. I want her to get the clerks working on everything we know about Trey Adams and his state of health, both physically and mentally. If he’s popping pills, I want to know where they came from. If he’s seeing a shrink, I want the phone number. And everything on their marriage. If there’s a single rumor of someone cheating or even thinking about leaving, I want to know. Go through every gossip rag for the last two years. They suck, but there’s sometimes a kernel of truth to those stories and they’ll give us a place to start. But the medical records are the key to this case. You understand?”


He would need all the medical records, and there would be tons of them. Over the course of his career, Trey Adams would have been injured many times. But it was the head injuries that David was particularly interested in. Could decades of small traumas to the brain have turned a hero into a killer?


Noah was already on his phone. “Margarita, I need you to get up. What do you mean? You’ve already made breakfast and been to the gym? What’d you make?”


He opened the closet and started pulling on his new uniform. It was still a form of armor. He was going to need a very thick skin to come out of this one whole.

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Evidence of Desire 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 19 reviews.
LynnLTX 7 days ago
Isla Shayne has built her law career working for a famous retired football player, Trey Adams, and his family. She is more than their attorney taking care of the family even after a murder throws everyone into chaos. Her specialty is far from criminal defense and because she is part of the investigation, David Cormack comes in to represent the person the local ADA wants to be charged whether he is actually guilty or not. Isla has several people to deal with including the family and prime suspect who suffers from CTE: Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy, a degenerative brain disease which has become recognized to be much more common in football players than previously thought. This devastating disease not only affects her client, but just might possibly be in David’s future as he was a pro player as well. As Isla and David investigate the crime and try to protect their client, they become quickly intertwined in a romance. David is intensely attracted to Isla and she to him; however, after witnessing the Trey’s heartbreaking decline, he fears putting someone he loves through that demanding and exhausting trial of watching a loved one suffer. There is much family drama to deal with including Trey Adam’s two twenty-somethings offspring for whom Isla is responsible for on top of her other duties. Much of this story centers on the brutal results of CTE: the cause and the cover up in some respects by league owners who want their players to win no matter the cost. This romantic suspense tale has several mystery and suspense elements for fans of this genre. While the CTE is an important theme, it gets a bit repetitive especially about David’s issues. Isla doesn’t come across as a legal professional though it is understandable she has been through a trauma. This story is the second in the Courting Justice series, but can be read as a standalone.
MaimeosAngelsEL 8 days ago
In my humble opinion nobody does sexy suspense books like Lexi Blake. If you like hot alpha males, some really smoking scenes and characters that will melt your heart, then look no further. One of the things that I love about Lexi Blake is that her characters are never one dimensional, there are always so many layers and David and Isla were no exception. When criminal attorney David Cormack agrees to take on Trey Adams's case, he has no idea what is about to unfold or how complicated his life is about to get with Isla Shayne. I really loved David, he was strong, yet vulnerable and Isla was the perfect woman for him. A story of love, romance, mystery and suspense I was captivated by the story Lexi Blake wove, with quite a few twists and turns. Evidence of Desire will capture and hold your attention as you try to second guess where the story is heading. When danger rears it’s ugly head will David and Isla come out unscathed or will their blossoming relationship be destroyed? One click and find out.
BookAngel_Emma 7 days ago
4.5/5 For some unknown reason I tend to jump on the Lexi Blake romantic suspense train on the second book, it happened with the Lawless Series and now the same thing with the Courting Justice Series *weeps* Luckily the books can be read as standalone even though you wish you had read the first one. Evidence of Desire is a masterful piece of romantic suspense with added emotional torture just to mix things up a little bit. Due to the nature of the narrative, dealing with CTE and Dementia, and having personal experience with watching a loved one fall victim to its clutches, there were times when I had to step away from the story as it dredged up some painful memories. However, I will say Lexi portrayed the horrors of the diseases portrayed with sensitivity and understanding without sugarcoating the devasting effects it has on the inflicted person as well as the family and friends close to them. David is a fantastic, flawed character with a huge martyr streak. Having been a professional football player before becoming a lawyer, he lives with the daunting possibility that he may fall prey to CTE. Coupled with the horror of Alzheimer's present in his family, David feels like a ticking time-bomb he doesn’t want to burden anyone else with. Hence his penchant for hook-ups as opposed to relationships. There are a significant number of plot threads within Evidence of Desire. David’s personal story is only a small part of the overall picture. The main focus and the way in which David and Isla are introduced is via a murder charge against one of Isla’s estate law clients and former football player, Trey. There is no denying the connection between Isla and David from the very beginning although a number of factors are working against them the whole time. Trey’s mental condition exasperates David’s fears for his own sanity. While Isla has her own issues regarding family and friends, firmly keeping her emotional barriers in place to avoid the risk of emotional devastation. The murder plot had a lot of tangents adding layers to the plot while aiding the development of both the relationship between Isla and David as well as the character development of each individual character. I have to say I did guess the culprit I adored Isla’s ability to find the positive in people and maintain her optimistic outlook even when all the chips are stacked against her #lifegoals. Isla helps David find the much-needed balance and acceptance in his life. I am going to go out on a limb here and say Lexi Blake is for me, up at the top of the romantic suspense pyramid alongside KA Tucker
BeckyRendon 8 days ago
Talk about an emotional journey! Evidence of Desire had me captive from the very first scream... Okay, I was invested before that but wow! What a story! First off, the light being shed on CTE is incredible. (Lexi Blake has definitely made a conscious effort to educate and bring light to an affliction that can happen to many.) Secondly, what a compelling way to start a book. Celebrity drama is always a conversation piece in some way or another. I liked everything about this book. The characters, the chemistry, the case. Well, not everything there are at least two people who need to be taken behind a woodshed. I will let you figure out who they are! With that surprising twist, I can't help but shake my head. Evidence of Desire is murder mystery meets romance. It's fun and intriguing. It's also steamy and alpha effectiveness is at an all time high. All evidence points to an entertaining read.
BeckyRendon 8 days ago
Talk about an emotional journey! Evidence of Desire had me captive from the very first scream... Okay, I was invested before that but wow! What a story! First off, the light being shed on CTE is incredible. (Lexi Blake has definitely made a conscious effort to educate and bring light to an affliction that can happen to many.) Secondly, what a compelling way to start a book. Celebrity drama is always a conversation piece in some way or another. I liked everything about this book. The characters, the chemistry, the case. Well, not everything there are at least two people who need to be taken behind a woodshed. I will let you figure out who they are! With that surprising twist, I can't help but shake my head. Evidence of Desire is murder mystery meets romance. It's fun and intriguing. It's also steamy and alpha effectiveness is at an all time high. All evidence points to an entertaining read.
NadineBookaholic 8 days ago
Evidence of Desire is the second book in the Courting Justice Series, each book can be read as a standalone but you will find characters from each book run through the others this is because the series follows the men and women that work at a law firm. This is David's story. David is a retired pro football player turned criminal defense attorney so when former linebacker Trey Adams' is in a bit of hot water his personal attorney, Isla Shane, calls David Cormack for help. Personally I really enjoyed Trey and Portia's story and I really, really wish we could have gotten more of it. Ms Blake if you're reading this, would you consider blessing us with a novella of their love story I think everyone who reads this book would really enjoy that. I know I would!!! ;) Someone has killed the beautiful, loving, and devoted Portia. Trey suffers from CTE, Chronic traumatic encephalopathy, so it must be him right!?!?! Isla isn't convinced Trey did it because she is not only his personal attorney she is a close, trusted family friend. Well that is where David comes in, he needs to defend Trey and prove that it's possible someone else did it. I liked the way Isla and David worked together but for me I just didn't feel the chemistry and I don't know why. The sexy times were plentiful and hot but I felt a disconnect, again I don't know why. I really enjoyed the story line and I liked both Isla and David so yes I would recommend this book. If you're looking for a Romantic Suspense that will keep you hooked until the very end I would recommend this book. Happy Reading!!! **I voluntarily reviewed an Advanced Readers Copy of this book**
Taoanebr 8 days ago
This book was pretty intense, a breathtaking crime love story. From the first pages, you got a feeling how you have to hold your guts, a lot of digging, secrets and emotions. I felt very connected with the characters, David wasn't my choice at first, but as the book goes on, I fell in love with him. The intensity in this love story is another thing that hooked me in, so captivating from beginning to end. Isla is a sweet darling, caring, loving and but can show her claw when needed; she fought for David with all her nails. I’m a sucker for alpha characters, and David is one of those, but he has a pretty sensible side of him that drove me in. This book got me anxious, and I couldn’t wait to solve the mystery but and enjoy all the love stories, Portia broke my heart in tinny millions of pieces. I highly recommend this fantastic book. 5 Mystery Stars
nelriv 8 days ago
I didn't know that this is the second part of a series, however I was not lost and I really enjoyed this book so I will go back and get the first one since I liked this one. So we meet Isla who walks into a tragedy and she hires David and his associates to represent one of her clients. David and Isla were attracted to each other from the get both thinking that it was not the best time for that attraction but as they spend time together they can't help it and I really liked and wanted these two together. We also get Portia and Trey's story which was beautiful even though it ended so horribly. We get a cast of characters that has you either liking or hating them showing what a good job the author portrayed. We have suspense, love, heartbreak and justice so grab a copy my friends and Enjoy! Rcvd and ARC at no cost to author..(netgalley) Voluntarily reviewed with my own thoughts and opinions.
nfam 8 days ago
Romance and Murder with the Backdrop of Professional Football David Cormack is an ex-football star, now a Harvard educated attorney. He does criminal defense. Isla Shayne is a celebrity attorney. When one of her clients, Trey Adams, an ex-football hero, is accused of killing his wife, Portia, she knows she needs a serious defense attorney. David is a perfect choice. He understands football, and he’s the best criminal defense attorney around. The case is complicated because Trey is suffering from CTE a degenerative condition of the brain brought about by the severe head injuries suffered in football. David is almost afraid to take the case. One of his fears is that he too will develop CTE. However, he can’t let Trey down, and he’s tremendously attracted to Isla. This is a romance and a mystery, but the underlying theme of CTE and how it destroys lives raises the novel above the normal romance or mystery novel. The destruction of Trey’s independence and David’s fear were potent motivators for the story. Isla is one of my favorite female lawyer characters. She’s tough, but she doesn’t try to prove it. She’s willing to take help and be a team player. She’s also a soft, engaging woman. David is another good character. He’s tough and likes to demonstrate it, but his health concerns make him sympathetic and believable. I recommend this book. It’s a good addition to the Courting Justice Series.
mamalovestoread22 8 days ago
When Isla Shanye finds herself in a heap of trouble, and uncertain how to find her way out she puts a call into a friend, and it lands former turf God, now turned lawyer, David Cormack on her doorstep. The moment he walks into her disheveled life, she quickly understands all the hype about him, he exudes strength and sex appeal. He also brings a calmness to her world that she has never known, he makes her feel as though everything will be fine. And she needs that right now, especially now that the law is circling around her, and ready to put her behind bars for a crime she didn't commit! Evidence of Desire had it all... captivating drama, scintillating romance, and edge of your seat suspense to keep you flying through the pages! I absolutely loved this second installment in the Courting Justice series, the story line was outstanding, and the characters brought life to the pages. It was just like a night at the movies between the pages of this one, all I had to do was sit back and watch it all unfold... and boy was it a treat for my eyes! Be prepared to have your mind rocked by this one, Ms. Blake has truly put her best words in this one, the ending will leave your jaw on the floor, and have you craving more!! Highly recommend!! I requested an advanced copy of this title from NetGalley, and I am voluntarily leaving my honest opinion.
ScrapNSign 8 days ago
A captivating suspense that'll keep you guessing until the very end! This is the second book in the Courting Justice series by Lexi Blake and man does she deliver. With multiple romances and a thrilling ride, you absolutely can't go wrong with this book. The characters have wonderful depth and development throughout the story and you find yourself consumed by David and Isla.
bbarneybooks28 8 days ago
Evidence of Desire is the perfect title for the second book in Lexi Blake’s Courting Justice series because its implications to the plot as well as its characters involved in the court case center around an influx of overwhelming emotions - ones that can lead to both positive and negative outcomes for more people than just the accused. The murder case that finds its way to former NFL player now criminal defense attorney, David Cormack, is one that could open old wounds and send him spiraling because what the defendant, Trey Adams, is accused of as well as Adams’ psychological frame of mind and repercussions of a professional football career hit extremely close to home and illicit a set of feelings that he’s forced away for quite some time. Amidst the suspenseful court case and its evidence is a romantic connection that cannot be repressed, and despite David’s fears and the baggage he carries due to his past, he more than falls for Isla Shayne. She’s an unexpected force in his life and while her ties originated with David’s client, the relationship that seems to be developing between them, despite David’s hesitancies, just might prove to be essential to David’s growth and acceptance as he struggles to conquer his demons and find a way to have something more with Isla. In true Lexi Blake fashion, there are a bevy of twists and turns throughout the course of Isla and David’s story, which given the context and the content of the case and what David and his client are up against, isn’t surprising, but the way everything plays out is quite unexpected and I loved working through the facts, uncovering further evidence, and wrapping my head around all that is described in order to come to some kind of conclusion, which was definitely not easy! When I finished the story, it was beyond clear to me just how much research Lexi Blake did in order to provide a clear view of a murder case; she did not approach the circumstances of her storyline haphazardly. To make things believable, sufficient details and a complete overview of the ins and outs of the case must be meticulously explored, and Blake more than did justice to this aspect of Evidence of Desire. Lexi Blake’s romantic suspense stories are some of my favorites to read because she seamlessly weaves these two facets throughout her story lines, and it never feels forced or disjointed because there’s always a reason for the events to play out the way they do and an understanding of the emotions that are involved as well as the impact on personal relationships due to the extremeness of the circumstances that surround them. David and Isla’s story is an overwhelming and intense journey that blends what’s developing between them and the case that brought them together into a cohesive and well-developed plot, and I can’t wait for more Lexi Blake stories from this trope! 4.5 Poison Apples
Manzaroo 8 days ago
Yet another page turner from Lexi Blake. Isla may be a brilliant attorney, but she is thrown into a tailspin when she meets David Cormack. In order to prove her client not guilty of a heinous crime, and to untangle the web she’s gotten herself into professionally and personally. David has kept his distance from any real romance for so long he doesn’t know what hits him when he encounters Isla, The result, page turning fireworks that kept me up all night. You don’t want to miss it! **This novel could be read as a stand alone, but it’s better to have read the first book in the Courting Justice series if you want the other character backgrounds.
Sandy-thereadingcafe 9 days ago
4.25 stars--EVIDENCE OF DESIRE is the second instalment in Lexi Blake’s contemporary, adult COURTING JUSTICE erotic, romantic suspense series. This is attorneys Isla Shayne, and David Cormack’s story line. EVIDENCE OF DESIRE can be read as a stand alone without any difficulty. Any important information from the previous story line is revealed where necessary. There is a slight cross-over with the author’s Lawless Series, and her Masters and Mercenaries series. Told from dual third person perspectives (Isla and David) EVIDENCE OF DESIRE follows the building relationship between attorneys Isla Shayne, and David Cormack as they are tasked with proving their client’s innocence. Isla Shayne represents the Adams family, a family engulfed in a personal and private war but a war that now focuses on the murder of Portia Adams, apparently by the man she loved. When one-time football great Trey Adams is the number one suspect in the death of his beloved wife Portia, all bets are off as Isla must battle the district attorney and the media as the vultures begin to circulate for scraps. Hiring defence attorney David Cormack opens Isla’s eyes to the possibility of her own happily ever after, a happily ever after that is threatened in more ways than one. What ensues is the building relationship and romance between Isla and David, and the potential fall-out as our leading couple are targeted when they get too close to the truth. Both Isla and David have loved and lost but none more-so than our story line heroine. Meeting David Cormack means a second chance at love but David begins to wonder if there is any future based on what he knows, and what may never be. The relationship between Isla and David begins as a business arrangement but soon turns into something more. Threats against our heroine’s life push David into a protector and guardian role, a role for which he was willing to die. The $ex scenes are intimate, erotic and passionate without the use of over the top, sexually graphic language and text. There is a large ensemble cast of secondary and supporting characters several who become prime suspects in the death of Portia Adams. We are introduced to Portia’s husband Trey, and their adult children Miranda and Oscar; Guardian’s football owner Carey Kendrick and his wife Amber; fellow attorneys Noah Lawless and Margarita Reyes. We are reintroduced to Henry Garrison and Win Hughes (Order of Protection #1). The world building focuses on the search for the truth. Isla Shayne knows that Trey Adams did not, and would not murder his wife. The story line will focus on CTE –Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy-a brain disorder caused by repeated head injuries, and numerous concussions suffered by athletes in contact sports. EVIDENCE OF DESIRE is a story of heartbreak, secrets and lies; friendship, family and betrayal: second chances and falling in love. The premise is captivating and entertaining; the romance is seductive and sexy; the characters are colorful, engaging and lively. EVIDENCE OF DESIRE is a dramatic, moving and tragic story of passion, and the potential vulnerability for those unable to protect or defend themselves.
PennySparkles 9 days ago
Holy sexy lawyers, Batman! Evidence of Desire had me guessing who the bad guy was until the very end and the chemistry just sizzled throughout the whole thing. It was totally amazing! Isla is in way over her head when one of her closest clients gets charged with murder. When David steps up, she is not only grateful to have someone of his experience, but also realizes that she’s incredibly attracted to the criminal lawyer. While the case gets more and more complicated, David and Isla’s chemistry flourishes, and soon their attraction is impossible to fight. But with danger following Isla and David’s issues from his past, all the chemistry in the world won’t be enough to make them work. I really loved both Isla and David. She was sweet and nice but had sass and an iron will. I loved how she went for what she wanted, even when David was putting up a bit of a fight. David was dreamy. Sexy, bossy and charming and he was absolutely impossible to resist. With a great pace, mystery and suspense galore, Evidence of Desire had lots of sexy fun that was scorching hot. I enjoyed it from start to finish and can’t wait to read more from this series! *I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book*
BookAddictLive 9 days ago
What an addictive read I couldn’t put it down. When David Cormack was woken up to go and protect a murder suspect Trey Adams, a football hero who now suffers with CTE. Chronic traumatic encephalopathy (every Athlete’s nightmare). One David has a chance of getting CTE as a retired Baller. Sorry back to the review, just to say CTE is something that David fears everyday and this case brings it to the fore. When he arrives with his team, he meets Isla Shayne the attorney that requested him personally. The attraction grows as they work together to protect Trey and find the real killer.  This has it all murder, suspense and love. It was so beautiful to watch Isla and David fall in love and stay together with help from friends and family who love them. As the ADA goes through the Adams children as suspects. We don’t find out who done it near the end, and plenty of action to keep you gripped to your book. This is only book two in the Courting Justice series, so I can’t wait for more.
Hray16 9 days ago
WOW! This book had me on the edge of my seat. A suspect who doesn't know where he is, an ADA who is a royal PITA, danger, heat, nosy reporters, upset family, what else could you want? I loved this book and did not put it down. Stayed up way to late reading but it just drew me in and I had to know who really did it. Isla is a sweetheart, but don't let that fool you. She is strong and protective of those she loves. She has had some crap thrown her way but is bouncing back and standing her ground. She has to when she wants the stubborn former football player turned lawyer, David. David worries daily that he will eventually develop the same disease the suspect has, CTE. So he has a serious issue thinking that he needs to let her go. We know how well that works! The husband is always the first suspect. Especially when he is found holding his wife in her own blood. Things are not always as they seem and Isla is going to prove it and who better to help her than a former football player. Things get really messy... I mean really messy (no spoilers... dang that is so hard!). However the instant attraction and heat between these two is just wow. They have to work together to prove Trey is innocent and to piece together the clues as to who really did it. The trick is, can they survive?
In_My_Humble_OpinionDA 9 days ago
Evidence of Desire is a smart and sexy contemporary story of mystery and romance. Criminal defense attorney David Cormack takes on a case that cuts close to home but it doesn’t stop him from falling for business attorney Isla Shayne. I loved Isla. She is smart, strong and goes for what she wants. Watching these two solve a crime and fall in love was truly enjoyable. Though this is part of a series it can be read stand alone.
MBurton 9 days ago
This was a pretty captivating story form the beginning to end. I loved Gabe and Isla but it was also Trey and Portia's story that had me riveted. You really feel like you get two love stories in one. Sadly, one ended in tragedy but it was still very beautiful. I almost wish we could get a book on Trey and Portia, that's how much their story intrigued me. Due to the nature of what happens right in the beginning, we get a whole host of side characters and each one played a big role to the overall story. Each character drew a reaction out of me, good and bad. This had a "who did it" theme and while I suspected right away who it was, I was still drawn in to the whole investigation. There was also a reason to the crime and that one stumped me at first. As for the main couple, I loved David. He had a fear that threatened his relationship with Isla but the way Isla handled it made me completely ok with his resistance. When he wasn't resisting, he was pretty alpha with her and I like that in my heroes. Isla was just an all around nice woman. Some may have viewed her as weak but she was just a caring person. When she needed to fight, she fought. I really enjoyed Evidence of Desire and would recommend to pretty much any reader who wants a good love story and a good puzzle to solve.