**Warning: this post contains spoilers on Whitney Gracia Williams's Reasonable Doubt, Volume 1. Proceed with caution!**
Have you ever gotten to a point with an author where you’re cyber-stalking them to find out when the next book in the series will come out? Reasonable Doubt did that for me, and it left me in no doubt that I would be reading the rest of the books in this serialized erotic romance. But what makes Reasonable Doubt so unreasonably good?
Exhibit A) It’s Trope-a-licious
We all have our favorite tropes, and Reasonable Doubt just so happens to hit on some of my favorites: Friends to Lovers, Office Romance, Mistaken Identity, just to name a few. Andrew meets “Alyssa” in a chatroom specifically set up for lawyers. His dating MO has always been to virtually wine and dine a woman before he meets them and then quickly dumps them after a night together. Alyssa is the exception—she only wants advice (and not of the sexual kind!). Andrew is drawn to her and so he lays out all of his rules on women: no more than one night, no deep connections, and absolutely no liars.
Of course this all changes when Alyssa turns out to not be a 27-year-old new lawyer, but a 22-year-old pre-law student whose aspirations end on a ballet stage, not a courtroom—and she walks into Andrew’s law offices to interview for an internship. To say it all hits the fan is both scary and delightful.
As they asked her about her favorite inspirational quotes, I scrolled down to Alyssa’s number and dialed. I knew for a fact that she never silenced her phone for some strange reason, and I had to know if what I was thinking was true, or if my mind was playing a cruel joke on me.
I could see the rings on my phone’s screen, see the seconds as they passed, and when it rang three times, I let out a huge sigh of relief. But then the sound of bell chimes filled the room.
“I am so sorry.” Miss Everhart’s cheeks turned pink and she picked up her purse. “I have a weird thing about never putting this on silent…I really meant to leave it in my car.” She pulled out her phone, slightly smiling once she looked at the screen, and then she hit ignore.
WHAT. THE. FUCK.
Exhibit B) The Hero
Andrew Hamilton is an asshole (excuse my French). He is, he knows it, he kind of loves it, but underneath it all you know he’s broken. No man has that many rules without a very good reason—and that reason is not because he has a stick up his butt. We don’t know what that reason is yet, but based on the end of episode 1, I can guess what it is!
With a womanizing hero, it’s important (to me, at least) that after he gets with the heroine sexually there are no other women. He can try, but he must fail! He must be so distracted by the heroine that nothing—no amount of seductive glances from his secretary, or more beautiful paramours. Luckily, Andrew’s attention stays glued to Alyssa/Aubrey from almost the moment he starts talking to her. Andrew desperately tries to hold on to the control, but Aubrey has a few ideas about that, and none of them include toeing the line and everything to do with crossing it.
Oh yeah, and he’s an excellent dirty talker.
Exhibit C) The Heroine
Aubrey is the antithesis of Andrew. She’s an aspiring ballerina who is being pressured by her mother to stay on track for law school. After stealing her mother's invitation to LawyerChat, she meets “Thoreau” (Andrew's online alterego). We see through her eyes the flirtatious, kind, and ambitious man Andrew actually is, and she might be the one person who can stand up against him.
“I'm not a fan of insubordination, Miss Everhart.”
“You won't have to worry about that anymore.” Her face was red, twisted in anger. “I'm going to ask Mr. Bach to move me with someone else because I refuse to work with you anymore.”
“Good luck with that. No one else wanted you. Only me.”
“I highly doubt that.” She tried to move away, but I grabbed her hands and pinned them above her head.
“I was the best interviewee and you fucking know it.” She hissed. “And since we both know that's a fact, I don't have to put up with your shit anymore.” She looked as if she wanted to spit in my face. “You are a cruel, cold, and condescending asshole, and I haven't learned shit from you; I doubt I ever will.”
“Watch your goddamn mouth. I'm still your boss.”
“You were my boss.”
Aubrey is the type of heroine I love because she is both soft and sweet, on top of being intelligent and has some serious backbone. She's a joy to read, and I instantly wanted to be her friend—mostly so I could drink wine with her while she complained about Andrew (and then gave me all the dirty details).
Exhibit D) It’s Sexy!
Remember that dirty talk I mentioned? Yeah, he’s a master, but so is Aubrey!
“And your lips?”
“You want to how thin or thick they are?”
“I want to know how they’d look wrapped around my cock.”
“Are you playing shy tonight?” Ice cubes clinked against a glass in his background. “How much of my cock do you think you could take into your mouth?”
I remained silent, and my breathing began to slow.
“Alyssa?” His voice was soft. “Are you going to answer me?”
“It’s hard to make a prediction about something you’ve never done.” I heard him inhale a deep breath, and the line went completely silent.
I thought he’d ask me how I’d managed to have sex with boyfriends in the past without ever giving a blowjob, but he didn’t.
“Hmmmm. Are you a natural redhead?”
“Why does it matter?” I moved over to my bed. “I’m clearly not your type.”
“I have a preference, not a type, and a smart mouthed redhead who’s never had another man’s cock in her mouth is more than worthy of an exception.”
The verbal foreplay stokes the fires until the pair finally meets—and hate-sex has never looked so good!
Jennifer Proffitt is a Midwest transplant to New York City. She spends most of her time reading and writing about romance, but you can follow her other adventures on Twitter @JennProffitt. She works for Heroes and Heartbreakers.