Barring Complications

Barring Complications - Blythe Rippon There is something about lesfic stories featuring lady lawyers and politicians that I find so fascinating. Is it the power they wield or the power suits they wear? :) Or the fact that their chosen profession is one of the most conservative? A president [b:Madam President|1038936|Madam President|Blayne Cooper||1025297], a mayor [b:Conservative Affairs|18406461|Conservative Affairs|Riley Scott||26041571], a congresswoman [b:Love is Enough|23205358|Love is Enough|Cindy Rizzo||42749156], and now..a Supreme Court justice. May the list never end!

Victoria Willoughby, the youngest and newest member of the US Supreme Court court, gets a possibly once-in-a-lifetime chance to decide on one of the most momentous and contentious issues that has been brought before it--the constitutionality of the banning of same-sex marriage. Unlike the other justices, Victoria just may have a personal stake in the ruling--she is rumored to be a lesbian. The lead counsel arguing against the government is Genevieve Fornier--out and proud, and very distracting.

This is a good example of a believable fictionalization of a historical event. We get a sneak peek into the inner workings of the Supreme Court and the intriguing politics and strategizing behind court decisions. The legalese is layman-friendly. No mass info-dumps either. There was just enough tension and excitement to elevate this to a legal-thriller status.

The romance is also well done...for the most part. Their first intimate scene together is one of tamest (in terms of word usage) yet one of the sexiest in recent memory. There is some attempt at suspense but it is not very well developed and ended up pretty much a plot device for the romantic subplot, which dominated the last third of the book. Unfortunately, this is also the weakest part. When the ladies get together after the Supreme Court decision, it was all rather smooth sailing--too smooth. I can probably forgive Victoria's overnight change of heart and personality from being a cold, calculating, single-minded, goal-driven, risk-averse over-achiever to a warm, funny, and fun-loving adventurer who she hasn't been in 20 years. But all the intrigue and gossip surrounding her being a lesbian just vanished into thin air after she very publicly came out--I was expecting the opposite. The conservative pundits would have had a field day with that, at the very least. She should have been inundated by press and paparazzi. But what we got was a psycho. Oh well, at least it offended one person. :) In other words, it was too easy. The plot could have used more anxiety and angst to spice things up a bit.

Still, this is a very good first effort. A enjoyable page-turner from the first page to the last.

4.5 stars