Seducing the Defendant

Seducing the Defendant

by Chantal Fernando

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781501172373
Publisher: Gallery Books
Publication date: 11/14/2017
Series: The Conflict of Interest Series , #2
Sold by: SIMON & SCHUSTER
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 320
Sales rank: 87,877
File size: 3 MB

About the Author

Chantal Fernando is the New York Times bestselling author of the Wind Dragons Motorcycle Club series, the Cursed Raven Motorcycle Club series, and the Maybe series, along with several other novels. She lives in Western Australia, where she is working on her next book. Find her online at AuthorChantalFernando.com, and on Twitter and Facebook.

Read an Excerpt

Seducing the Defendant


  • A BODY HAS BEEN FOUND, dumped in the river waterfront, said police. Dental records show that it’s the body of Officer Darren Melvin who has been missing for the last two years.

    I lift my head from my book and watch as the camera zooms in on the river where the man’s body was found. I’ve been following this case ever since Officer Melvin went missing about two years ago, and now that they’ve found his body, the case can finally be classified as a homicide. I listen as the news reporter explains how Melvin had been shot in the head and how his body would’ve never been found if the city hadn’t decided to gentrify the waterfront park, something that has been a hot topic of late.

    I think I’ve been so interested in this one because my best friend is a cop and he’s always given these crazy, dangerous assignments—Melvin’s death could have just as easily been his. My friend and I have worked on a few things together before, but it feels like a long-ass time since I’ve seen or even thought about him. I’ve taken some time off work, but I don’t think it’s what I need. I should be burying myself in work, taking case after case, not leaving any time for my mind to wander.

    I glance at the marble-framed photograph on my bookshelf, studying the dark-haired beauty with green eyes. I’d give anything to see those green eyes again.

    My attention is brought back to the TV screen. Yeah, an idle mind is the last thing I need.

    I need to keep busy, distracted.

    I don’t need to think about anything other than work. I don’t need to remember.

    Melvin’s wife, heiress to Reyes Industries, Scarlett Reyes, has been charged with his murder, and was taken into custody after police found the same type of gun that killed Officer Melvin in her home. . . .

    My phone rings, and I’m not surprised.

    I’m one of the most sought-after criminal lawyers in town. I’m not bragging; it’s just a fact. So when my partner, Tristan, tells me that Scarlett Reyes has requested a meeting with me, it’s not a shock.

    “Are you going to take it?” he asks, and I can just picture him in his office, leaning back in his chair, eyes gleaming at the prospect of this controversial case. Our firm is known for taking on high-profile cases, we usually don’t turn down opportunities like this. “I know you’re meant to be taking a break, but I thought since she requested you . . .”

    “I want to speak with her first,” I tell him. “And consider me officially off my break.”

    “Are you sure?” he asks. “What you’ve been though, Jaxon—”

    “I know, Tristan, but sitting here isn’t helping. I need to keep busy,” I admit.

    He takes a deep breath, then continues. “This case is going to be huge, Jaxon. It’s going to be all over the media, and it might get messy. But if you win this . . . fuck.”

    If I win this case, my reputation as a criminal attorney will rise even higher. I’ll be sought after—more than I already am—and I’ll be paid whatever I want by those willing to do, and pay, whatever they need to escape prison time. But do I want this case? Normally I wouldn’t have a problem defending someone whether they were guilty or not. But this case is different. Do I want to defend a woman who has potentially killed a cop, one of my best friend’s brothers? I won’t be able to decide until I meet her and see what she has to say for herself. I want to hear her side of the story. I’ll be able to get a good read on her if I’m there in person. And if she admits that she did kill her husband . . . I don’t know what I’ll do.

    “There’s no question it’ll get messy,” I tell him. “But it’s a challenge. . . .”

    I know that shouldn’t be the basis on which I accept a case, but damn, I like to be kept on my toes. I like to push myself, test myself. I like seeing how far I can bend the law in my client’s favor.

    “You do enjoy a good challenge,” Tristan murmurs, amusement lacing his tone. “I’ll handle the bail hearing. It’ll give you time to look at the case and see if you’re ready. I guess I’ll be seeing you soon then.”

    “I guess you will,” I say, and then tell him good-bye.

    I look back at the photo, my chest suddenly getting tight. I don’t have it in me to put the photo away or cover it, but every time I look at it, it hurts.

    It physically hurts.

    I absently rub my chest and stand, then head into my bathroom to have a quick shower, knowing I have to go to the office to do some reading. Once I’m ready, I glance around, looking for my keys. I keep my gaze down, making sure not to look in the direction of the photo. I find them next to my wallet on the kitchen counter, grab both of them and head outside to my car.

    I don’t need any more time off.

    I have a prospective client to meet.

  • Customer Reviews

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    Seducing the Defendant 3.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 11 reviews.
    SexyVixenReader More than 1 year ago
    The second book in the Conflict of Interest series was good, we have all the cast of characters from the first book. This story is Jaxson and Scarlett and they are quite hot together. The story has love, healing and a bit of suspense, it went a bit long but then we get hit hard at the end with an I didn't see that coming moment. Angsty, sexy and Alphas. Good Read.
    MarikaTX More than 1 year ago
    I know what you are going to say? Or maybe not. I just love Ms. Fernando’s writing. Keep in mind that this is only my 2nd book to read by her and yes, it’s one of the best books of 2017. There is something to be said about an author that grabs your attention and doesn’t let it go. I will admit that I read some of the reviews of this book that have come across my computer through other blogs and not a lot of them liked it as much as I did. Here’s why: 1. Insta love – I didn’t feel like Scarlett and Jaxson had the whole insta love thing going. In fact, I felt like Scarlett held back until about 3/4 of the way in the book. Sure, they had sex, a lot and went out on dates but it seemed like until Demon came around that she finally was able to truly love Jaxson for everything that he was and his past. 2. Scarlett – I really thought that she was a great heroine. She is definitely stronger than she thought and as she makes girlfriends in the book, she is finally able to do things her way and without judgment from her partner. Her group of friends is diverse and the scenes at the strip club are hilarious. 3. Jaxson – Besides being too sexy for his shirt and a brilliant attorney, he’s really a softie. I didn’t figure out a plot point in the book but it explains why Jaxson could be, at times, closed off and why he resisted Scarlett at first. There were tears in my eyes near the ending of the book for him. Ms. Fernando does a great job through the last chapters of the book showing us what he is really made of and how early events in his life shaped him to be the man that he is today. 4. The plot – I will admit that the plot is pretty simplistic but then again, this book is about the characters, not what the blurb tells you. This is a great character study on the growth of Scarlett after the death of her husband and Jaxson dealing with the death of a loved one. After all the years of isolation that Scarlett death with, it was like she had to learn to be herself again. Finding friends, who to trust and how to be free. I admit that I loved Scarlett. She’s a feisty one and watching her relationship grow with Jaxson is a delight. Jaxson’s growth is less subtle but it’s there. 5. Secondary characters – I loved every single one of them. Kat, Hunter, Tristin, Callum, Valentina, Faye, Gwen, and Dex. Oh yes, the MC club, Wind Demons is here, too. I haven’t read the books but I did buy Faye and Dex’s story because I just fell in love with Faye. Demon…man, I teared up. You just have to read it to understand. I can’t wait to read Callum’s book next. Overall, I loved the book. I love Ms. Fernando. What draws me to her books are the characters. They are strong, flawed and relatable. This book deals with some subject matter that may be sensitive to some but Ms. Fernando deals with it beautifully. I can’t wait until February.
    belllla More than 1 year ago
    So when I read the synopsis of the book I really hoped for one good story- But I was yet again disappointed. The style of writing was good but I hoped more will something more of this story. It wasn't the trial of Scarlet ends very quickly and we read the half of the book how great is a relationship with Jaxon and Scarlett and we see their lovemaking of every possible surface. The author can just relay on the sex scenes and expected that all of the sudden I will love the book. The plot is the one that matters and story. It isn't happening a lot in the book and from time to time is really boring. Both Jaxon and Scarlet are just ok, I didn't fell in love with them there is missing something. Scarlet is at first cold, calculated but you see she later she has a big heart but I can see her as a former victim of abuse because she has almost none existing triggers or she overcome them very fast. Jaxon seems workaholic, good layer but I can say that he has that something special that made me like him. I hope that the author will improve her writing because I enjoyed her previous series WDMC and that the next book that I read from her will blow me away. I volunteered to review an ARC of this book for Netgelly
    Sandy-thereadingcafe More than 1 year ago
    3.25 stars--a bit of a struggle for me 3.25 stars--SEDUCING THE DEFENDANT is the second instalment in Chantal Fernando’s contemporary, adult CONFLICT OF INTEREST erotic, romance legal series. This is attorney Jaxon Bentley, and heiress Scarlett Reyes’ story line. SEDUCING THE DEFENDANT 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 Wind Dragon MC series. Told from dual first person points of view (Jaxon and Scarlett) SEDUCING THE DEFENDANT follows the building relationship between high-powered defense attorney Jaxon Bentley, and heiress Scarlett Reyes, a woman wrongfully accused of killing her husband. Two years earlier Scarlett’s police officer husband Derrick Melvin disappeared without a trace but many suspected Scarlett knew something about his apparent demise. Fast forward to present day wherein Derrick’s bullet riddle body is discovered in the waterfront river, and our heroine is immediately arrested and charged with his murder. Enter defense attorney Jaxon Bentley, and the man with whom Scarlett will fall in love. What ensues is the building romance between Scarlett and Jaxon, and the potential fall out when Jaxon’s past comes looking for a second chance, and Derrick’s sins come looking for revenge. All of the circumstantial evidence points towards our story line heroine but Jaxon begins to suspect something amiss as Derrick Melvin’s past begins to unravel. Hoping to prove his client is innocent Jaxon sets into motion a series of events involving the local Wind Dragon MC that reveals a much darker and sinister background to our heroine’s one-time husband. The relationship between Jaxon and Scarlett begins as attorney and client but will slowly escalate once the charges against Scarlett have been dropped. The sexual tension is high but Jaxon bides his time under the circumstances, and in the face of potential professional misconduct he will wait until the media circus has cleared. The $ex scenes are erotic, seductive, provocative and intense. We are re-introduced to Jaxon’s law firm partners Katerina Dawson and Tristan Channing: office intern and law student Callum Hopkins; Jaxon’s best friend Demon; and several members of the Wind Dragon MC including Irish, Valentina Sullivan, Faye Black and MC president Arrow. SEDUCING THE DEFENDANT is an interesting and entertaining story with little conflict or building angst. The ‘defense’ aspect of the story line is quick to resolve by 28% ; the seduction and growing romance between Jaxon and Scarlett remains the focal point of the remainder of the story but saying that the story line felt disjointed as it jumped between the dual points of view; there was more telling than showing that results in the aimless feel of the building romance; the character development is rather one-dimensional- I had a difficult time relating to, and connecting with the story line couple. The conflict and resolution almost felt anti-climactic and separate from the original story. SEDUCING THE DEFENDANT was a bit of a struggle. I love the author’s WIND DRAGON MC series, and welcomed the one-on-one banter between Jaxon and Demon, as well as Demon and Scar.
    FromTheSouth More than 1 year ago
    The book cover and synopsis reeled me in, folks. However, this author’s writing style seems to be hit and miss with me. Let me first openly admit I’m usually not a fan of dual first person point of view storytelling, especially when it is paired with lots of inner monologues rehashing what was just said or what they should or shouldn’t be doing. Over use of the word “I” becomes inevitable, resulting in eye twitching and disengagement for this reviewer, and that is exactly what happened here. In book 1, Breaching the Contract, it was handled better, likely because it was told only from the heroine’s first person POV and inner dialogue was reined in more. At first, the storyline itself was very intriguing, but at around 33%, everything seemed to be resolved. Then it morphed into a sing songy tone with our damsel in distress turning into a “poor is me though I’m very wealthy” about everything under the sun, including her lack of talent/insecurities in the bedroom. When crude topics of a smexy nature popped up between this barely knew each other couple, I began to feel sorry and embarrassed for both of them. You see, another pet peeve I have is when the heroine is made to look stupid and overly naive and a hero who becomes overly sappy. It started to feel like a contest of words over why the other one was more special and who liked each other more. At 40%, when they run into one of the women Jaxon had on his speed dial for his routine, meaningless hookups, I was disappointed to find he was a previous manho. Sure, he claims it was because he was so busy with his job he didn’t have time for a relationship. But pleading that as a defense just doesn’t work with this avid romantic at heart. Neither did his comment about how that woman has no shame, which is precisely why he liked to **** her. Hey, his words, not mine. Somehow Scarlett magically reforms him though. I could go on about how their lusty/smexy scenes did not feel very romantic, but what’s the point. This time around some key concepts didn’t work. It just felt too much like she was sexually naive, despite being a widow, and decided to use him to finally get her groove going. For him, well, I grew weary of his constant commentary of how beautiful and perfect she was. Overall, there wasn’t a deep connection between them. At 50%, when Scarlett is gal paling around and chatting over sodas at the mall with the last woman on earth she likely ever would, and she recently returned to a job as a librarian and animal shelter volunteer, I decided my time would be better spent elsewhere. Here’s to hoping others really enjoy it. I personally would like to see the author decide to revert her writing style back to being more like book 1. Title: Seducing the Defendant, Series: Conflict of Interest (Book 2), Author: Chantal Fernando, Pages: 320, stand-alone but part of a series, dual first person POV, very graphic smexy scenes, sugary sweet but wants to be naughty heroine, turns too sappy hero, writing needed to be more like book 1. Book 1 -Breaching the Contract (Tristan & Katerina), Pages: 130, 9/18/17 Book 2 - Seducing the Defendant (Jaxon & Scarlett), Pages: 320, 11/14/17 Book 3 - Approaching the Bench (Trinity & Callum), 2/19/18 Book 4 - Leading the Witness (Hunter & Riley), Pages: 272, 4/17/18 (I received a free advanced reader copy provided via NetGalley. This review is my honest, unbiased opinion. No type of compensation was given to this reviewer. )
    FeatheredQuillBookReviews More than 1 year ago
    Scarlett Reyes is charged with the murder of her husband, Officer Darren Melvin. Darren went missing two years prior, around the same time that Scarlett left the country to take care of her sick aunt. Since his body was never found, no one was ever charged with anything. Two years later, Darren’s body is found in the river with a gunshot wound to the head. With Darren being one of their own, the police will do anything to solve the case. Upon searching their home, the police find the same kind of gun that killed Darren in their house. After finding Darren, Scarlett is asked to return home from Paris. She is then charged with the murder of her husband. Scarlett, claiming her innocence, seeks Jaxon to take her case. When Jaxon initially meets Scarlett, their meeting does not go very well. Scarlett is very standoffish and does not provide Jaxon with much information. Although Jaxon agrees to take her case, and promises to do everything he can to keep her out of prison, he feels that there is something that she is not telling him. Jaxon and his team begin working on Scarlett’s case immediately. While they are looking into phone records and credit card statements to find anything that can help, they see a name that continues to turn up - Valentina Sullivan. Jaxon’s team continues digging and to find out as much information about Sullivan in order to see if Darren was living a double life. Ultimately they find that not only was Darren living a double life, but that he was doing so with the money and property that Scarlett’s father left her. After Darren’s case is solved, Scarlett and Jaxon start seeing each other more. Scarlett also becomes friends with Valentina, bonding over everything that they went through with Darren. Although Jaxon does not like that Scarlett is friends with Valentina and the motorcycle gang she hangs out with, Jaxon and Scarlett begin dating each other. Even though Jaxon and Scarlett’s relationship is going well, she feels that there is something that Jaxon is not telling her. Eventually Scarlett gets the courage to ask Jaxon about it, but first, she wants to talk about it to Valentina. When Scarlett never shows up for their meeting, Valentina knows that something must be wrong. Soon Jaxon finds that Scarlett was abducted and he joins forces with Valentina and her gang to find her. When they finally figure out who took Scarlett, everything with Darren comes full circle and they find that although the case was solved, it was never really over. Soon Jaxon and Valentina are in a race against the clock to find Scarlett before she has to pay for everything Darren did. Seducing the Defendant is a really great book. It is a good mix between crime/mystery and romance. It begins immediately with the crime aspect and leaves you going back and forth between thinking that Scarlett did it/didn’t do it. Then once the case is solved, it leaves you thinking that everything is going to be fine and they are finally going to live a happy life. Although things are going well, you still get this feeling that Darren’s case really isn’t over yet. The book leaves you thinking that something completely unexpected is going to happen. Then more of the crime aspect comes back and really brings the story full circle.
    LilleyLoohLah More than 1 year ago
    I loved Chantal Fernando’s Wind Dragon MC series and I loved her first book in the Conflict of Interest series. This book brought them both together in a sexy, fun, action packed and at times emotional read. Oh and let's not forget the little twists and turns and the whole, ‘I did not see that coming’ ending. The story centres around Jaxon Bentley, sexy criminal lawyer (who we meet briefly in Breaching the Contract) whose services are called upon to defend Scarlett Ryes who is accused of murdering her husband who as it turns out was a police officer. It turns out that there is a lot more to this case than originally meets the eye. A clever story, told in dual POV with some super sexy, strong characters, I can't wait for the next book in the series (I'm hoping it's Hunter’s story). I received an advanced copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley.
    Momma_Becky More than 1 year ago
    After reading the blurb on this one, I expected more on Scarlett's case and Jaxon fighting the attraction, but this one is more about the romance and Scarlett's transformation. This is an emotional read with both, Jaxon and Scarlett, having their own things to deal with. We also have the added suspense of who actually killed Scarlett's husband and the connections to the Wind Dragons MC. Having not read the Wind Dragons series, I'm not sure if the characters mentioned were an integral part of that series, but I had no problem following the story. Jaxon and Scarlett didn't have that same fiery chemistry as I found in Tristan and Kat's book, but their story is just as good. Jaxon is tender and patient with Scarlett as she finds herself again and they do have good chemistry. Overall, Jaxon and Scarlett's story is a well-written, emotional tale that kept me turning pages.
    MBurton More than 1 year ago
    Hero: Jaxon is a top notch criminal defense lawyer. Calm, loyal and hiding the pain of losing his sister, who he thinks about a lot in the story. He meets heroine when she requests him to defend her against murder charges. Jaxon’s character is an Alpha, but not over the top. Heroine: Scarlett is a young, pretty heiress to Reyes Industries who is being accused of murdering her ex. She holds herself back due to an abusive relationship from her dead ex. She hides her looks and slowly transforms as she grows stronger under Jaxon’s influence. Typical abuse victim behavior coming into her own. Attraction: Low to mid heat. Starts out slow due to Scarlett’s past and heats up towards the end. Main Characters Behavior: Mature and fits character descriptions. Safety: Brief thoughts and explanation of ex husbands abuse and mild violence with side character Predictability: Predictable until the end. Surprise scene at the end that involves side characters. Angst Level: Low to mid. In the first part of this story, Jaxon is working with Scarlett to clear her from murder charges. He clears her name pretty quickly and then the story turns more into being all about Jaxon and Scarlett’s relationship. We see real character growth with Scarlett that becomes very entertaining. The story is well written. There wasn’t a whole lot of excitement until the second half of the book. The biggest thing I enjoyed was getting true quality time seeing these two as a couple. ARC provided by NetGalley.
    AmyBosica More than 1 year ago
    Overall, I thought Seducing The Defendant was an ok read. I really loved the first 40 or so % of the book. I was really intrigued by the story-line and was excited to see how it was all going to play out. Scarlett was a really interesting character. All the evidence certainly painted a guilty picture, but my instincts kept telling me there has to be more to the story here….And while Jaxon was an amazing attorney, in fact the most sought after, he had his own demons to fight. But, if anyone could prove Scarlett’s innocence, it was Jaxon. I really enjoyed unraveling the case against Scarlett and all the twists along the way. As a fan of the Wind Dragons MC Series, I enjoyed that connection/crossover into this series. However, I did have some issues with this story. As I previously stated, I loved the first half of the story. However, once the case against Scarlett wrapped up, I sort of felt like the story began to drag. I didn’t know where the story could possibly go since the case took up so much of the story and was such an important part of it. Also, I enjoyed the slow build of Scarlett and Jaxon’s relationship, but I didn’t think we needed another 50% of their story after the case wrapped up. I know I’m probably not explaining it right, but I just feel like this story was too long when it didn’t need to be. Please don’t get me wrong, I did enjoy it, I just feel that it could have been wrapped up quickly-er then it was. Overall, I think Seducing The Defendant is going to be one of those books that is going to be either hit or miss. For me, I thought it was an ok read, but definitely not my favorite in this series so far. I think this series has a lot of great potential, so despite this one not being an 100% hit for me, I will still continue on with this series to see who’s story will be told next.
    greekgoddess422 More than 1 year ago
    Book 2 in a new series by NYT Chantal Fernando. Lots of old favourites come in as a cameo appearance. Hero is Jaxon . A partner in the law firm who you meet in book one. Heroine is Scarlet Jaxon is taking a leave of absence from the law firm for a family tragedy but he is called back to work to represent Scarlett . Scarlet is accused of killing her husband who was a policeman The more Jaxon asks Scarlet questions the more she only answers with one word. Scarlet tells Jaxon that the money from the marriage was hers , from the family . The more Jaxon digs into Scarlet husband the more shader the husbands character gets. He transferred all the money from a joint account to one he opened. He bought a second house where a woman he had was living. On a property he owed the husband was running a meth lab . Things didn’t add up of the policemen husband being an upstanding cop. This is where some winged dragons show up. One is a great great friend of Jaxon Another is Faye when Jaxon wants to ask questions from the policeman girlfriend. Faye shoes up Soooo who killed the Husband. A cartel or someone else