Today is my stop in The Law Of Attraction blog tour, I have an excerpt as well as my thoughts and just to sweeten the deal there is a really good giveaway too…for those of you in the UK…but first here is what it’s all about.
Amanda Bentley has always dreamed of being a barrister…
But as a platinum blonde bombshell from the wrong side of town, with a perfect tan and sleek high heels, she doesn’t exactly look the part – or fit in with the brash public school boys and cold posh girls of Newcastle Crown Court’s robing room. Amanda’s never been one to back down from a challenge, and so when she wins a prestigious pupillage following law school, she’s determined to make the most of her chance – and make all her dreams come true.
Only three things stand in her way: Sid Ryder – the sexy, irresistible barrister who she absolutely cannot, under any circumstances, sleep with. At all. Marty Gregg – her smarmy law school nemesis, who she’s in direct competition with for the top job. And her big, dark secret that could jeopardise everything she’s worked so hard for.
Who said that following the laws of attraction was going to be easy…?
‘It’s all well and good saying you have all these scholarships, Miss Bentley, but they have to give them to people like you, don’t they?’
Not quite what I expected as an opening question.
I thought they might start with ‘Why do you want to be a barrister?’ or ‘Why do you want to work at these Chambers?’, but not that.
I pause for a few seconds, unsure how to react. If it was a normal person I’d verbally smack them round the earhole for being so rude, but I can’t do that, for two reasons. First, I would blow any chance I have of being offered a pupillage, a job as a junior barrister, here. Second, pupillage interviews are notorious for having a ‘bad cop’ on the panel and there’s a pretty good chance that he is mine. I need to handle this carefully, not blow up in the manner of an angry, hysterical, working-class hero.
Having said that, he’s looking at my long, blonde, peroxided-within-an-inch-of-its-life hair with such disdain, I wouldn’t be surprised if he was appalled, expecting I’d been invited to interview based entirely upon my background (and looks). Ten eyes burn into me, waiting for an answer.
‘People like me?’
‘Well, it’s fair to say your background isn’t conventional in terms of the average barrister…’ he points out.
‘Well, that depends on your definition of conventional and who wants to be average anyway?’
Oh hell. Too feisty.
The other four panel members smirk and scribble down notes. God only knows what.
Shut this down, Amanda.
‘I can assure you I worked hard to obtain those scholarships. I attended rigorous interviews with panels not unlike this one. There’s no doubt in my mind, I was selected upon merit as opposed to my “background”.’
‘Hmm, very well,’ Mr Rude says curtly, without looking up. It’s said in the kind of irritated tone that says he wishes he could really go to town on me, but time constraints won’t allow it.
I focus on breathing and not looking completely intimidated and/or terrified. The other four interviewers on the panel are watching everything I’m doing.
Am I keeping cool under pressure?Do I look and act like a barrister?
Mr Rude picks up a copy of my CV and scans it with his posh eyes. I know what he’s going to pick up on, now that he’s assumed the bad-cop, awkward-arse role.
‘You spent your university summer vacations working in Ibiza…’
There it is.
‘What did you do for work there?’ he asks, accusingly.
Everyone’s ears prick up waiting to see how I handle this.
‘Was any of it indecent?’
‘Indecent? Do you mean topless? Absolutely not,’ I say, confidently.
There’s frantic scribbling going on now. The only woman on the panel can’t keep up with this. She is both fascinated and outraged at the same time.
‘So, tell us, what skills did you take from this employment that will assist you at the Bar?’ Mr Rude sneers.
You’re pissing off the wrong girl here, Mr RudeTwat.
‘I worked seven nights a week, often days too. Working with live performance will serve me well in court because I am accustomed to dealing with situations when things go wrong. I can think on my feet and deal with things in a calm and collected manner… and I am used to wearing wigs now.’
The Law Of Attraction was fabulous!
From the start I felt completely engrossed, it has a brilliant pace, I could have easily read it in one sitting because I didn’t want to put it down.
I really enjoyed reading about chambers and getting the behind the scenes look at what goes on. I would like to think that since Roxie was a barrister a lot of the goings on are not exaggerated because it was really funny to read about and I can imagine it being that cliquey in real life.
I’ll be honest and say that I wasn’t 100% sure on Amanda at the start of the book but the further into the story I got the more I loved her. She made me laugh with her thoughts and attitude and the situations she finds herself in. But I also found her really relatable, I was really rooting for her because despite her bravado she was definitely the underdog. She doesn’t really fit in at chambers through no fault of her own and that does give her a disadvantage in the race to win tenancy.
Apart from going head to head with Marty and the lawyers that he manages to get on side and falling foul of the group of female lawyers there is, of course, drama in the form of the delectable Sid Ryder, who is set to put a bit of a dent in her professional reputation, if she gives in to her desires.
Surprisingly what I liked a lot about this book was that whilst the romance was an aspect it was the pupillage and Amanda’s secret that were really the focus. Don’t get me wrong I liked Sid and Amanda’s back and forth and some of the issues it causes but it was nice to see that someone who worked so hard to get where she was wasn’t just going to throw it all away for a charming smile.
Another character that definitely deserves a mention is Skylar, from his Jazz hands and show tunes to carving out uninterrupted Dr Who time. The relationship between him and Amanda was great and I liked that it felt like he was sticking up for her not just because he was her mentor but because he really believes in her. They made a great team, even when he was being hard on her, you knew it was to make her a better lawyer.
Whilst this book is maybe a little predictable in some ways, it certainly caught my attention, with some great characters and a very interesting setting I would be surprised if it didn’t catch yours too. I thoroughly enjoyed reading it and I am very much looking forward to seeing what Ms. Cooper comes up with next.
So if you like the sound of all that, which I’m pretty sure you will then you will be very interested in this giveaway, where you could win (as long as you live in the UK)…
Roxie was born and bred in Middlesbrough. After studying Classics at University, she became a dancer in a nightclub for a few years, before going travelling and living in Australia. When she returned, she swapped dancing on a bar, to practising at the Bar, and became a barrister for 7 years.
It was after being constantly told “Ooh! You don’t look like a barrister!” by absolutely everyone she met, that the idea for her debut novel was born.
Roxie lives in Yarm, a pretty little market town in the North-East. She’s a bit (lot) obsessed with Prince and spends far too much time watching him on YouTube. Her hobbies include watching musicals, making her hair as big (and blonde) as possible, and wishing she was Buffy the Vampire Slayer.