A full-length STANDALONE legal thriller
Monica Spade insists she isn't a trial lawyer, much less one who represents dangerous criminals. Despite her protests, Judge O'Brien orders Monica to serve as standby counsel for a young woman accused of repeatedly stabbing her boyfriend.
Setting aside her abject fear, Monica drags herself to the jail to meet her new client, Stela Reiter. A demure Romanian, Stela looks more like a meek librarian than a person capable of overpowering and stabbing a young man to death. Unlike Monica's other clients, Stela is coy and secretive during their interview.
Meanwhile, Monica's girlfriend, Shelby St. Claire, is keeping secrets of her own, forcing Monica to question the foundation of their relationship. Curiosity being Monica's trademark, she digs into the backgrounds of both women.
Monica uncovers sexual innuendo and layers of international intrigue, then deadly forces come after her in the form of a Ukrainian thug who will stop at nothing to get what he wants and two suspicious federal agents who put the squeeze on her. Stuck between an unrelenting judge and a killer in a pink cardigan, Monica pursues the truth in court while fighting to keep Shelby and herself out of harm's way.
Set in in the dead of winter in surprisingly progressive Apple Grove, Wisconsin, Standby Counsel will keep readers' hearts racing.
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“This is one action-packed, keeps you guessing, can't put it down, legal thriller! Alexi Venice knows how to write engaging and complex courtroom dramas. Standby Counsel is an exceptional tale of crime, drama and romance. Venice leaves her readers captivated till the very end!” 5 Stars – Goodreads - The Lesbian Book Blog
“The writing and pacing is excellent…Characterisation-wise, Stela is a triumph. The way she is described, she evokes a range of emotions. She is variously demure, timid, calculating, mysterious, intimidating – a victim and a criminal. We found ourselves flipping between wanting Stela to be innocent and shocked at new reveals about her. In fact, without particularly trying to give them centre stage, Venice manages to write strong interpersonal relationships between partners (not just Shelby and Monica, but all partners), friends, colleagues and even acquaintances. She gives the people and relationships depth, dimension and flavour.” - Best Lesfic Reviews
“This novel would make a very exciting movie. If you like courtroom drama, you’re in for a treat. Stela is incredibly intriguing, smart and wicked. Acknowledging from the start than she is the killer allows the story to focus on why the stabbing occurred, and the trial is full of twists and dramatic turns of events.” Goodreads Reviewer
“I love a good courtroom drama, but this is a great courtroom drama! In fact, there is some intense drama outside the courtroom that will keep you involved and wanting to know what happens next, too.” 5 Stars Goodreads Reviewer
“Read this book - I believe you will be very happy you did. And by the end of this book, I think you’ll be very attached to Monica Spade!!” 5 Stars Goodreads Reviewer
“An impeccably well-written legal drama with a slow burn romance front and center. Look for a surprise twist at the end of this book, too!” Goodreads 5 stars – Gayle
Trevor McKnight, a young, white male, is charged with the murder of Abdul Seif, a Saudi Arabian foreign exchange student.
Attorney Monica Spade’s physician clients plan to testify at trial that Trevor’s punch to Abdul’s head killed him. Monica is shocked when her bosses at her all-male law firm warn her not to cross the powerful McKnight family.
Facing death threats and career-ending consequences, Monica must decide whether to expose the truth in a bigoted environment.
In her personal life, Monica joins a CrossFit box to work off stress. During class, she meets Shelby St. Claire, a high school art teacher. For the first time in her career, Monica considers coming out of the closet for Shelby.
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Over 800 Ratings on Goodreads
Venice is a fabulous crime/mystery and suspense writer. She knows and understands the legal system and that is conveyed in her storytelling. The action and drama feel very authentic. The interplay between the police and the DA’s office is written with a keen eye, keeping it quite realistic. Additionally, the story is nicely paced; readers are engaged from the first page and yearn for more. Even though Bourbon Chase is titled a mystery, it contains a lovely undercurrent of romance. The romance is beautifully threaded throughout the story and contributes wonderfully to the overall story arc. 5 Stars The Lesbian Book Blog
Jen Dawson is an emergency room physician training for a triathlon in San Francisco. Her boyfriend, Tommy Vietti, is an experienced detective who is loyal to the police force, his Italian family, and Jen.
Amanda Hawthorne is a charismatic District Attorney who prosecutes criminals while fending off attacks from mobsters. As San Francisco's most eligible lesbian, Amanda has her choice of female companions, so why is she attracted to Jen, who is supposedly straight?
When one of Jen's colleagues becomes a suspect in a murder investigation, Tommy and Amanda invade Jen's professional life. Jen sticks up for her physician colleague but discovers she has more in common with Amanda than just butting heads. Will Jen stay with Tommy or choose Amanda?
Amanda Hawthorne is a powerful District Attorney in San Francisco, defined by her beauty, intellect and an unwavering sense of justice. While she is renowned for prosecuting murder cases, when a war erupts between the DA's Office and the Italian mafia--with a Russian billionaire lurking in the background--Amanda must decide how far she is willing to go to protect her lover, Dr. Jen Dawson.
Jen Dawson is facing monumental personal changes and dangerous threats from mobsters. Under life-or-death conditions, Jen sees a new side of Amanda that challenges her previous perceptions, leaving her a little unsettled. Jen struggles for independence and survival, as Amanda's war hijacks her life. Meanwhile, Jen thought she had put Detective Tommy Vietti-her ex-lover-behind her, but discovers she and Amanda need to track him down for unfinished business that binds the three of them.
Tommy Vietti intentionally dropped off the matrix after Jen left him for Amanda, his longtime colleague. Feeling viciously betrayed by both of them, the last thing he wants is for them to find him in paradise because they each need him-for very different reasons. As a seasoned detective, Tommy is no stranger to drama and danger, but Amanda's mobster case generates more than even he could imagine.
Detective Tommy Vietti expects the Feds to take a murder case from him since it involves an employee of the Federal Reserve Bank. Instead, they send Roxy MacNeil, a Scottish banking expert, to co-investigate. Smoking her cigarettes,using vulgar language, and drinking Scotch, Roxy gives the impression that she's a number-crunching savant, until she and Tommy pay a visit to a strip club, that is. Tommy wonders who she really is.
District Attorney Amanda Hawthorne wonders if she should have a baby, like her fiancée, Dr. Jen, but Amanda is in the middle of a re-election cycle. As they consider who might be the perfect sperm donor, Amanda becomes immersed in Tommy and Roxy's murder investigation.
Juggling her busy clinical practice and raising baby Kristin, Jen is by Amanda's side at public events. She can handle Amanda being a semi-celebrity, having a ton of old girlfriends, and even being hit on by strangers at the Dyke March. Roxy MacNeil, however, is Jen's worst nightmare. Beautiful. Mysterious.Smart. Sexy. And powerful. As far as Jen knows, Roxy is more powerful than Amanda, and Amanda is drawn to power like a dog to raw meat.
Message from Alexi Venice: "I have a confession. This was my favorite book in the SFMS to write. Why? Because the cyber attacks by North Korea are based on real events. Remember Sony Pictures and the Federal Reserve Bank heist? In addition, everything Roxy MacNeil does makes me laugh. I just follow her around and chronicle her badass behavior! Expect to see her again in Book 7."
A suspenseful romance nestled in The San Francisco Mystery Series.
Now living with Detective Tommy Vietti, Dr. Jen Dawson is frustrated with her love life. She's interested in someone at the CrossFit box, but wonders why she keeps thinking about her ex-lover, District Attorney Amanda Hawthorne.
As Jen works through her conflicted feelings, she also must manage the expectations of her irritated boss, Dr.Melissa Cohen, and the daily drama served up by angry patients, wild animals,and confidential information made public at the Cohen Clinic.
Even worse, Jen is asked by Amanda's campaign manager to defend Amanda after her HEA--hellish ending to an affair--with Roxy. Jen will be damned before she'll turn into the abused political wife, standing by "her woman" after Amanda fooled around on her. Yet, with just a short TV interview, Jen could clear up a mischaracterization of Amanda...
To make matters worse, Tommy expresses his true feelings to Jen late one night, upsetting the emotional equilibrium in their co-parenting relationship.
In Sativa Strain, Amanda carries with her the quiet confidence of a yogi, the unrelenting burden of a prosecutor, and the demons that torture the corners of her soul.
Newly re-elected as San Francisco’s DA, Amanda faces her biggest internal and external foes yet when she and Detective Tommy Vietti investigate a high-profile murder implicating Kara Montiago, the CEO of a Silicon Valley tech company and candidate for President of the United States.
Navigating the shoals of SFPD corruption, Tommy and Amanda learn that Kara Montiago is a philandering, Sativa-smoking dominatrix who preys on male subordinates at her company.
Battling her desire to control everything around her, Amanda rekindles her relationship with Dr. Jen Dawson, the love of her life, testing the boundaries of Jen's patience.
District Attorney Amanda Hawthorne has no one to blame but herself when a hookup selfie surfaces of CIA Agent Roxy MacNeil and Amanda, jeopardizing Amanda’s engagement to Dr. Jen Dawson.
Humiliated and furious, Jen leaves on a vacation with her daughter, Kristin, and Kristin’s father, Detective Tommy Vietti. Surrounded by her family and recuperating at Sandy Lake, Jen feels liberated. When Victoria Marshall, an old high school acquaintance, tempts Jen with a dinner invitation, Jen visits a nearby town to explore a clinic position and see the intriguing businesswoman’s house.
Amanda, heartbroken and fighting her addictions, turns to dark music, loyal friends, and the California beach. Will she be able to resist her go-to mix of vices and lovers? Amanda must act fast if she wants to salvage her relationship with Jen.
Contains some lighthearted and fun pink kink.
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5 Stars -
There is so much to appreciate about Venice‘s writing. She is an intelligent and gifted writer. She loves to use clever words and well-constructed descriptions. Her words flow off the page and surround you. It’s as if you are a bystander, absorbed in every scene. The dialog is crisp and well crafted. The plot is nicely paced, keeping you engaged and captivated till the end. This is a well written dramatic romantic thriller, overflowing with mystery and intrigue. It is a roller coaster ride of reading fun! The Lesbian Book Blog Jan. 21, 202