The Devil You Know by Elizabeth O’Roark
June 23, 2022
Review by Angela
Having gobbled up the first two books in this series in just the last couple of months, my anticipation for Ben’s book was sky high. Ben- the lawyer, best friend of Hayes from A Deal with the Devil, Ben- who helped Drew extract herself from her terrible manager in The Devil and the Deep Blue Sea, Ben- who according to the blurb, and the heroine of The Devil You Know, was a “Stealer of Clients, Evicter of Homeless Women, Nemesis”. Y’all for real, I had major grabby hands.
But then I started to read (as soon as it hit my Kindle) and realized that Gemma just might be my soulmate.
Gemma Charles and Ben Tate work for the same law firm and are bitter enemies after Ben stole one of Gemma’s clients shortly after he arrived. Gemma is a shark in the courtroom and a champion for women in family law. She finally has a chance to make partner in the male-dominated law firm and is determined to succeed. Even if she is forced to work with the terrible Ben Tate in a gender discrimination lawsuit. She will make it work, no matter what.
Ben Tate is deliciously charming. And you can tell he kind of relishes the back and forth verbal sparring he and Gemma can’t help but engage in. He’s also smart, sharp-witted, and has feelings for Gemma other than dislike.
Lord, I loved these guys. I started this book late in the evening and then never put it down, staying up until the wee hours of the morning to finish. Gemma and Tate had this explosive chemistry that had this reader on the edge of her seat just waiting for it to explode into sexytimes. And whoo boy, did it ever.
This is a single POV story, with only Gemma’s perception of the events as they are happening. Being in Gemma’s head is fun, she’s brilliant and driven, but also has vulnerabilities from her past experiences with men. She is soft with her mother and has a lot of anger toward her father and his actions in financially ruining her mother. Gemma has taken her childhood memories of her parent’s divorce into her adulthood and uses those memories to help other women.
Ben and Gemma kind of start out having ‘they can’t help themselves’ hate sex, and Ben seems to blunder those first few love scenes with stupid comments afterward, but that explosive chemistry keeps Gemma coming back for more. Her emotional walls are up and pretty high and it takes Ben a while to get her to lower them enough to let him inch in. This is one of those enemies to lovers romances where I could tell that one of the main characters was desperately in love with the other and was just waiting for them to notice and give them a chance. It takes a bit for Ben to find his way into Gemma’s heart, but once he does they have some very sweet, teasing moments and wonderfully intimate love scenes.
The resolution of the conflict was a bit predictable, I saw some of it coming, but that didn’t change my wanting to reach in the pages and give Gemma a big hug and cry it out with her when it happened. I will say that the epilogue and HEA were beautifully done and left me with a smile on my face. Ben and Gemma did not disappoint.
I’m hoping there will be more stories in this world, after all, Gemma’s BFF is fabulous and Ben has a couple of brothers I would like to meet. I’m keeping my fingers crossed.
Final grade- A