Friday, June 6, 2014

Review–Blackjack and Moonlight (The Blackjack Quartet #3) by Magdalen Braden


Published May 25th 2014 by Harmony Road Press

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A super-sexy judge has to declare his love for the lawyer of his dreams before he’s even met her.

Jack “Blackjack” McIntyre, Philly’s superhero judge, meets his match when Elise Carroll appears. Trouble is, she’s a lawyer in his courtroom. Stating his feelings for the court record isn’t the way to start a relationship… particularly with a woman who thinks “love at first sight” is as real as the tooth fairy.


Elise wants nothing to do with Blackjack’s potent charm and alleged romantic feelings. Still, men leave when they’ve gotten what they want… and they all want sex. So she offers to skip the candlelit dinners and go straight upstairs to unwrap him like a birthday present.

Jack and Elise negotiate a deal—they’ll alternate his romantic dates with her “sex only” dates. The contract works… until both of them get more than they bargained for. As Jack puts it, “falling in love isn’t for the faint of heart!” Can two legal eagles make this relationship work?


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Blackjack and Moonlight, the title refers to the two main characters, His Honorable Judge Jack McIntyre and attorney Elise Carroll (who apparently has silver hair). This was a good solid read. I enjoyed the writing style of Magdalen Braden and her characters were likable, fun and keep me interested. At 360 pages, the story went quickly with almost no lag time. There were no monsters, aliens, MC's, or gangsters. This was just a good, well written solid romance. It was spicy without being overly graphic and almost no profanity. In fact this book reminded me of the old school Harlequin and Silhouette novels I cut my romantic teeth on. The drama and tension were generated solely by Jack and Elise with very little outside influence.

Jack had me fooled for a bit, because he started out as a flat out hoot, but he was actually ... not stodgy, but straightlaced, and very refined. I would have loved to see him go a little bit wild and edgy. Not anything that would have taken him off the bench, mind you, just maybe a secret tattoo or piercing. When he first publicly declared his love for Elise in his courtroom, I was like "woo hoo, we got a live one." He never deterred from his stalwart plans to make Elise his wife, but there were no more outbursts. *sigh* (I liked the outburst.)

I actually thought that Elise would be the more uptight of the couple. Boy, did I call that one wrong. Elise was a FREAK! Ok, maybe not a total freak, but the girl could get her groove on and was NOT shy about it. She just had severe commitment and abandonment issues, thus the crux of the problem. To give the lady her due, she stated flat out and up front, that she just wanted a regularly scheduled booty call. You can't cry foul if all intentions are laid out. Of course, this is a romance, so you know Jack wins. But really, so did Elise, and so did I because I got to tag along on their journey. Good job, Ms. Braden, good job.

3 and a half

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Magdalen Braden writes contemporary romance novels. Her Blackjack Quartet series is set in and around Philadelphia’s legal community. The third book of this series–Blackjack and Moonlight–was a finalist in the Romance Writers of America® (RWA) 2012 Golden Heart® contest.


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1 comment:

Anna (herding cats-burning soup) said...

Oh that sounds fun! I love the ones that are just the romance and the couple and nothing dramatic from the outside. And oh a secret piercing would have been excellent! I love secret piercings ;)