self-published in April 2016
There was a time when Jake Becker had it all together. He was controlled, driven, ruthless—in and out of the courtroom.Genre: Contemporary romance
Then, six irresistible orphans and their heartbreakingly beautiful aunt crashed into his perfectly ordered life. They changed everything. They changed him. Now he’s a husband, an upstanding member of society, a father figure—a family man. And he’s pretty damn good at it.
Sure, he has to referee sibling smackdowns, re-learn algebra, ensure his clients stay of jail, and keep his wife happy—but it finally feels like he’s got it together again....
So, of course something has to screw it all up. It’s huge. Life-changing. Kind of terrifying.
And it will be the most amazing, perfect thing he’ll ever do.
Series: The Legal Briefs, Book #3.5
The Story: In Sidebarred, readers get to catch up with Jake, Chelsea and the McQuaid brood. The novella takes place about 3 years after the last book of The Legal Briefs series, Appealed. At the beginning of the story, Chelsea thinks that she's pregnant, which is unexpected. Being the guardians of six kids, Jake and Chelsea never thought of adding one of their own. However, after finding out that Chelsea is not pregnant and both being disappointed, they decide to go for it - and they bring us along for the adventure :)
My Opinion: One of my favorite book in 2015 was Sustained :) When I found out that Ms Chase had written a novella which was basically the sequel of Sustained, I knew for sure I'd be getting it :) I loved Jake, Chelsea and the McQuaid brood... and it was a pleasure to catch up with them in Sidebarred :)
Sidebarred was quite short - not even a hundred pages; however, it's one of the most satisfying novella I've read :) I often complain that a novella is short and how I wanted more out of it... but with this one, I'm just happy the way it is :) Ms Chase simply did a great job at packing a punch in here. She basically covered everything: how the couple was doing, updating us with their lives, giving us slices of their lives/routines, a big event, a celebration and HEA endings. The novella was very episodic and that allowed her to highlight each of the McQuaid kid and focus on their interaction with Jake, which has always been the best part of the stories :) It's so good to see how much Jake loves them and how integral they've become to his life.
What I also enjoyed was the day-to-day moments such as figuring out the car schedule for everyone or the family hanging out with friends. It made the novella more realistic.
The only part I didn't care much about Sidebarred was Chelsea's situation at work. I think the novella could have done without it, especially if the only purpose was to add conflict.
My Grade: A. Sidebarred was such a fun read - I had a smile on my face the whole time ;)
PS - Obviously, do not read this as a stand-alone. You definitively need to read Sustained beforehand.