This book can be read as a standalone.
A knight in tarnished armor is still a knight.
When you’re a defense attorney in Washington, DC, you see firsthand how hard life can be, and that sometimes the only way to survive is to be harder. I, Jake Becker, have a reputation for being cold, callous, and intimidating—and that suits me just fine. In fact, it’s necessary when I’m breaking down a witness on the stand.
Complications don’t work for me—I’m a “need-to-know” type of man. If you’re my client, tell me the basic facts. If you’re my date, stick to what will turn you on. I’m not a therapist or Prince Charming—and I don’t pretend to be.
Then Chelsea McQuaid and her six orphaned nieces and nephews came along and complicated the ever-loving hell out of my life. Now I'm going to Mommy & Me classes, One Direction concerts, the emergency room, and arguing cases in the principal's office.
Chelsea’s too sweet, too innocent, and too gorgeous for her own good. She tries to be tough, but she’s not. She needs someone to help her, defend her…and the kids.
And that — that, I know how to do.
SUSTAINED is my all-time favorite by Emma Chase! When I think of an Emma Chase book, I know I am about to read something funny, with an outstanding male character, whose male POV is executed with such precision, it is hard to believe it is written by a woman. It will most likely contain a strong female character who is witty and charming. All of those elements will add to the brilliant writing and strong plot, providing me with a book that will leave my cheeks hurting from laughter, and make my heart warm from the brilliant story line.
But this book, this book was different. It was more. I not only laughed at the brilliant dialogue and inner monolog, but I cried, too. Yes, I know that is shocking to think that this author provoked tears from me that were not caused from laughter. This book held an emotional punch! Hitting me right in the FEELS!
“For the heroes. The Champions. For those who do what is brave and honorable and right. You’re the reason we believe in happy endings.”
Jake Becker was content with his life and the perceptions others had of him: “I Jake Becker, have a reputation for being cold, callous, and intimidating—and that suits me just fine.” “If you’re my client, tell me the basic facts. If you’re my date, stick to what will get you off. I’m not a therapist or Prince Charming—and I don’t pretend to be.” He had places to go and ladders to climb. He was organized and liked life to follow a routine. One night stands were all he could invest in because his life couldn’t include outside distractions.
That is until a scare caused him to re-evaluate the “three date” rule his friends tell him about:
“The first date, you talk, see if you can stand to be in the same room together for more than an hour. The second date is like…verification that you’re both actually the person you seemed to be on date one. And the third date is the sweet spot—let the good times roll.”
He meets Chelsea McQuaid merely by chance, thanks to an attempted mugging by her nine-old-nephew, and more than likes what he sees: “her face—it puts the Victoria’s Secret Angels to shame.”. But Chelsea comes with complications, 6 of them. When her brother and sister-in-law died, she became the guardian of their children. She upended her life to live in their home and take care of their kids.
“How many kids live in this house exactly?” It started to feel like they’re cockroaches—see one, and you can bet there’s fifty more crawling around inside the walls. I shiver at the thought.
Sustained was told entirely from Jake’s POV, I never once missed or wished I knew what Chelsea was thinking. I didn’t need her POV because I could feel what she was feeling during her interactions with her kids and Jake. The stress she was under by being the sole caregiver of brother’s children, and her pain from the loss of her brother, had me crying. Those scenes were palpable.
“My brother was a good brother,” she chokes out.
“I loved him.”
I know you did,” I answer in the softest voice.
“And he’s gone. And I miss him…so much.”
And Jake, talk about swoon-worthy! The interactions Jake had with the kids were adorably sweet and absolutely hilarious. What starts as every bachelor’s nightmare turns into Jake becoming their defender and protector and with him falling in love with them.
It took Chelsea and her kids to show him that he wasn’t the bad person he thought he was. He had a horrible role model on how to be a man, father, and husband, so he felt was doomed to fail. Rather than trying, he used work as an excuse to not commit.
But Jake’s words to the kids showed the core of his soul and that was golden:
“Do it right…or don’t bother.”
SUSTAINED is not only my favorite in this series but my all-time favorite by Emma Chase! A top favorite of the year!