DEFENSE OF THE HEART by Jamie Dell White


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In White’s novel, misunderstandings and murder can lead to love.

Julie Ross is not the type of girl to have a one-night stand, but after literally running into the beautiful and charismatic Jake Reynolds, she can’t resist. But her night of passion leaves her nothing but brokenhearted and pregnant. Years later, Julie has become a successful lawyer, raising her young son on her own. But yet again her life is about to be thrown into turmoil as her childhood friend, Jenny, has just been accused of a heinous crime: killing her infant son. Intent on helping her friend and proving her innocence, Julie and her sister travel to Birmingham. And in a twist only found in romance novels and romantic comedies, Julie just happens to learn that the lawyer representing her friend is none other than Jake Reynolds himself. It’s hard to decide whether White’s novel is a crime novel disguised as a romance or a romance disguised as a crime novel. White’s experience as a real-life lawyer definitely informs her characters; Julie and Jake both come across as credible and competent lawyers. White deftly handles a complicated plot, juggling Jenny’s evil husband, Paul; corrupt police and prosecutors; and an abused mistress who knows the truth. It is only Julie and Jake's romance that feels underdeveloped. White sets up obstacles for the two that include Julie believing Jake was a cheating husband and Jake not knowing he has a son. With a relationship that feels built purely on sexual attraction and little else, their will-they-or-won’t-they storyline is the least interesting aspect of the novel as the reader guesses that a happy ending is in the offing. Still, other relationships in the novel—such as the friendship among Julie, her sister, and Jenny—give life to the melodrama. Their three-way friendship is an authentic look at female bonding.  

Strives to be both love story and crime novel, sometimes succeeding in the effort, sometimes not.

Pub Date: May 17th, 2012
ISBN: 978-1469949741
Page count: 228pp
Publisher: CreateSpace
Program: Kirkus Indie
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