Elliott Smith used to bring in a large salary as a high-priced lawyer, but his ideals had him switching gears. He now works for legal aid and, while the work can be rewarding, the hours are long and the pay is lower than what he is used to. Elliott got out of a long relationship and still hasn’t found the one guy to complete him, until Lucas Kelly comes to his aid on the side of the road.
Lucas did his time for stealing cars and has one month left of parole. He turned his talents to fixing cars and now is the owner of his own garage. Lucas feels he knows where his place is in life, and it certainly can’t be with a lawyer, especially one so far out of his league. But, the attraction between the men is intense and one night turns into many more. However, the divide between them might be too much and Elliott and Lucas may have to rearrange their expectations to be with the one man that fulfills all their needs.
Risk Assessment is the debut novel from author Parker St. John and begins the Cabrini Law series. It opened with a good start with an introduction of the Elliott and Lucas and them meeting when Elliott’s car breaks down. I liked Lucas immediately, as well as the heat that was obvious between the men from the start.
Lucas is almost finished with parole after doing time for stealing cars. He has turned his life around and now owns the garage, but he still feels like he will never be good enough. Elliott left his cheating boyfriend and his high paying job and now works long hours at a legal aid firm, but he feels he can make a difference.
Lucas was more intriguing to me than Elliott and I would have liked more depth to Lucas than we got. He is 27 to Elliott’s 40, but he is the one that takes control and Elliott is completely on board with handing over that control. There is a push and pull between the men and the tension in their relationship comes from Lucas thinking that he can’t possibly fit into Elliott’s life. Their relationship jumps forward in time and weeks pass and I would have liked to have spent more time with them during those weeks.
The other part of the storyline comes from one of Elliott’s cases and how the law firm is brought into the series. That wasn’t pieced together well for me and it read like different parts of a story being patched together. The book jumped around too much from the case (which didn’t add any excitement here), to talk of Elliott’s family and his ex, to Lucas’s sister, and then to the other lawyers who will all have their own books, but weren’t worked into this story in a way that flowed well. There was a lot touched upon, but not all of it added to the story being told in the way it was presented. The series is titled Cabrini Law and the head of the firm, Alex Cabrini, is barely on page and the next book is about another associate who was made to be so mysterious it felt forced.
There were moments I liked, as well as moments that could have used some more polishing. The book overall read like a debut novel. The foundation had merit and, while not all of the moving parts came together in the best way for me, the characters were interesting enough that I would consider checking out the rest of the series.