Approaching the Bench by Chantal Fernando

APPROACHING THE BENCH is an entertaining addition to the Conflict of Interest series, as a spirited couple have lively conversations and experience a multitude of emotions. The story is filled with lots of delightful disagreements amongst the main characters, and I could not keep from laughing on a number of occasions. Chantal Fernando interweaves the daily routines of getting ready for cases with life outside the courtroom, and the result is constantly engaging situations.

Upon being appointed to preside over state court cases, Trinity Williams wanted to prove she was capable even though still rather young. After five years have passed, she thinks her point has been made, but she always tries to come across as strict to make certain no one questions her competency. When a new clerk comes to work with her, Trinity wonders if she and Callum Hopkins will actually get along well because his attitude is so dissimilar from her own.

To be a lawyer one day is the goal of Callum, and working for the respected judge will help him to gain knowledge and hopefully receive a favorable reference later. Though he tries to be considerate when around Trinity, she does not plan on letting them get too friendly. Yet when a threat toward the judge and clerk leads to them being put in protective custody, the line between staying professional and exploring personal desires grows very thin.

Since I met Callum in the previous books of the series, I knew he was an interesting man and would made a wonderful main character. I was definitely eager to read his book, and I learned much about his private life. His sunny disposition is infectious, and I loved how he would always look for the positive side of whatever was happening, though his background could have made him a bitter person. His interactions with others is often comical, as Callum is never at a loss for words because of his sharp wit. For someone who could have remained a secondary character, he shines in his own story.

When Callum goes to work for Trinity, her reputation does not cause him to act any differently around her than he normally would behave, and this triggered many attention-grabbing scenes. Although she plans to not let herself be affected by his charm, resisting becoming harder and harder. I so enjoyed seeing the always serious Trinity turn into someone who is more lighthearted, and her reactions were not what I expected at times. After unexpected danger threatens them both, their lives really become entangled. Chantal Fernando made the suspense believable, and I was nervous whenever outcomes looked uncertain. There are even a few surprises in the story to make a particular scene more enthralling. APPROACHING THE BENCH has an appealing couple who express genuine feelings, and plenty of humor to amuse.

I voluntarily reviewed the book from the publisher via NetGalley, and all comments are my honest opinion.

Series:  Conflict of Interest – Book 3

Publisher:  Pocket Star

Releases:  February 19, 2018


Genre:  Contemporary

Author website:

Rating:  4 Stars

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