Small Claims by Ethan Stone ~ Book Review by Christine

SmallClaimsCover Title: Small Claims

Author: Ethan Stone

Publisher: Totally Bound

Cover Artist: Posh Gosh

Rating: 3.0 of 5 Stars


Judge Shawn Rosen is about to take on the toughest case of his life.

Small claims judge Shawn Rosen is comfortable in his career, but his personal life is another story. His twenty year relationship ended two years ago, but while he accepts the end, he hasn’t even started to move on. He lives a generic life.

Everything changes when Jody Jacobsen walks into his courtroom and Shawn is attracted to him. Following the case, they have a chance meeting which leads to a wild night. Waking up to cold sheets should have been a sign, but instead Shawn keeps coming back for more and eventually falls fast and hard—so hard he might be missing the clues that the commitment isn’t mutual.

There’s trouble when the case that brought them together could also tear them apart. Will Jody give in to his tendency to run, or will he finally be the man that Shawn deserves?

Christine’s View:

Shawn Rosen is a small claims judge who, having been divorced from his husband two years ago, has been stagnating in the romance department. When Jody Jacobsen walks into his courtroom one Friday, however, his life takes a turn as he steps out in faith to embrace the possibility of finding love again. Dating isn’t easy, and Shawn discovers that it takes a great deal of perseverance and patience when it comes to getting Jody to settle down and trust that their relationship just might be worth the effort of staying and trying to make it work.

I really liked the premise of this story, a mature judge settled in a career and struggling to find happiness in a second chance at love with a younger defendant. After being married for twenty years to his husband, Shawn has difficulty trusting his instincts and flails a bit as he steps into the turbulent waters of dating. Upon meeting Jody, he finds the courage to explore his freedom and sexual boundaries, and I thoroughly enjoyed seeing a main character in this age group taking chances at love and romance. Jody is an interesting character, though a bit underdeveloped for my liking. Since the story is written from Shawn’s first person perspective, it leaves a great deal for the reader to foster a firm belief in his feelings for Shawn. Jody does admit his faults, which is gratifying and helps to give some insight into his character, but it doesn’t seem to be enough to gain an understanding of his actions and garner sympathy and connection with him. Their intimate scenes are fun and inventive, but overall the attraction feels a bit hollow.

I did have other issues with the story, mainly the conflicts that arise between Shawn and his daughter, Gabrielle, and the recurring conflict with Jody’s neighbor. The author does an excellent job of creating a major struggle between the two main characters, but the peripheral friction of these other conflicts detracts from the development of Shawn and Jody’s relationship. I wanted to see the main characters work out their issues through a more fleshed out and expanded focus on their interactions, and the time spent on these other hurdles simply takes away from this important aspect of the story.

Overall, I felt the story was a bit skeletal, but it had interesting characters and a solid foundation. Though it could have used a bit more polishing, it was still original and had some rather entertaining scenes, and I would recommend it as a pleasant escape read.

Buy Links

Totally Bound
Amazon US
Amazon UK
Amazon CA
All Romance eBooks
iTunes / iBooks
Barnes & Noble

I would like to thank the publisher for providing me with the eARC of this title in exchange for my honest opinion.

Farewell Giveaway
I have a number of paperbacks, most of which are signed, to giveaway. Over the between now (11 Mar 2017) and 31 Mar 2017, every comment on the blog (this post and all other new posts), will be entered to win 1 of these paperbacks. There are also some misc swag items, so there will be a few packs of these to give away as well.

Thank you so much for your support over the last 4 years. Prism will be closing its doors on 1 April 2017. All content will remain available, but no new content will appear after 31 Mar 2017. As such all request forms have been turned off. Again Thank you,

This post may contain affiliate links.
Prism Book Alliance® assumes no liability for the ownership of photos or content used in guest posts and interviews.  The post author assumes all responsibility and liability for this content.

Leave a Reply