Jul 22 2015 12:30pm

Suits and Swagger: Favorite Legal-Themed Romances from Ally McBeal, James, Long, and More!

Playing with Trouble by Chanel Cleeton

Today we're thrilled to have Chanel Cleeton on Heroes and Heartbreakers. Chanel's most recent release, Playing with Trouble, is the second book in her legal and political-themed series Capital Confessions series. Each of Chanel's books deals with lawyers and the political world of a high-powered family. Chanel is here today to talk about the appeal of the legal-themed romances and share some of her favorites. Thanks, Chanel!

My fascination for legal themes in fiction began at a young age. One of my earliest crushes was inspired by Tom Cruise’s character in A Few Good Men. There was something about his playful attitude turned lethal in a courtroom that spoke to me (not to mention how good he looked in a uniform).

As I grew older, shows like Ally McBeal and Scandal and movies like Legally Blonde only fueled my interest, adding in that romantic element that I craved. While three years of law school dimmed the enthusiasm a bit, once I’d escaped its clutches, I found myself gravitating toward legal-themed romances and the clever banter and crackling chemistry they often provide.

As a reader, I’ve always been wooed by good banter. It’s one of the hardest skills to master, but when it’s done well, it’s AMAZING. I get giddy when confronted with a really good back-and-forth between the hero and heroine. I don’t know if it’s the natural influence of courtroom life that blends over into romance, providing many legal romances with exceptionally hot banter, but whatever it is, sign me up! My favorite legal romances do banter to perfection.

Julie James writes some of my favorites. Her debut, Just the Sexiest Man Alive, features a high-powered attorney forced to consult with Hollywood’s “Sexiest Man Alive” on an upcoming movie role. The banter between the hero and heroine is electric and has that je ne sais quoi that keeps you turning the pages, a smile on your face, and just enough conflict to keep you on the edge of your seat.

Another thing I love about a good legal romance is that you often get a clash between characters—either from a work-related conflict or divergent personalities—that brings out their competitive sides, upping the stakes and the chemistry between them. That tension can have you fanning yourself and flipping pages, waiting for the inevitable moment when they let their guards down and give in to passion.

James’s Something About You is another amazing legal romance that masters that clash of characters. The hero in this one is a Special Agent with the FBI and the heroine is an Assistant U.S. Attorney with whom he has a rocky past. They annoy each other, but ultimately underneath it all is an attraction that has the reader eager for more. There’s suspense, plenty of sexy tension, and the kind of sharp banter that James does so well.

The ability to keep a reader on their toes can make a great legal romance shine. I’m a huge fan of romantic suspense novels, and so many legal romances often blend into a riveting, suspenseful story. If you like a lot of suspense with your legal romances, then I highly recommend trying Tiffany Snow’s No Turning Back. This book kicks off her Kathleen Turner series and is full of twists and turns and a sizzling romance between a runner in a high-powered law firm and a prominent local attorney. This story leaves you guessing as to who you can trust, making the chemistry between the hero and heroine that much more compelling.

Attorney heroes tend to tug at my heartstrings (and give me A Few Good Men flashbacks), especially if they have a strong sense of justice and a determination to help the less fortunate. I love a hero who isn’t afraid to stand up for what he believes in and who dedicates his life to serving others.

For historical fans, Julie Anne Long’s To Love a Thief is an excellent choice if you’re looking for a hero who will steal your heart. The hero, Gideon, is a barrister notorious for taking on difficult cases, and when he gets involved with Lily, a thief who finds herself in an uncomfortable position, the ensuing romance is clever and sensual. More than that, Gideon is a genuinely good guy who wants to use his legal career to help others.

How about you? What are some of your favorite legal-themed romances?


Learn more about or order a copy of Playing with Trouble by Chanel Cleeton, available July 21, 2015: 

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Subscribe to this conversation (must be logged in):
1. Kareni
Thanks for a fun post. Julie James is definitely a favorite author of mine, and I also enjoyed Long's To Love a Thief.

Courtney Milan's Unraveled (The Turner Series) (Volume 3) is a great historical romance whose hero is a magistrate.
2. Kareni
Some more titles: Grace Burrowes has a trio of lawyer brothers in Sweetest Kisses, her new contemporary romance series. And Kristen Ashley has a heroine who is a lawyer in The Gamble.
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