You know when that band who put out that really great album that made them your favorite band ever put out their second album and you were so excited until it wasn't the first album which made you so sad but then time passed and you realized you liked the new album too?
No wait! It's not! Actually, there are two copies of Trial By Desire being reviewed. Some reviewers got an ARC of the unfinished book. While it was interesting to look at the editing process, it does Courtney Milan no favors to have a rough draft used to review the polished gem. Family drama. Super awesome courtroom sequence. Happy ending! Buy it. Read it. Love Courtney Milan if you're new to this author. Wait - why are you new to Courtney Milan? Do you hate reading? What's going on here?
Oh right. back to the book. Ned finished Proof By Seduction on the edge of a forced marriage with Kate. Kate is completely awesome. She marries Ned, has Ned do that whole "It's not you, it's me, I'll be finding myself" thing and moves on with her life. Being male, he thinks he's done her a favor. What he's really done is make her life a great deal more complex than it needed to be. While she waits for Ned to grow up, Kate works to secretly free abused women from their situations. Ned returns and slowly (again, he's male) discovers that Kate really doesn't trust him anymore. Why should she? He didn't make their marriage (or her) a priority in the past.
Ned's effort to regain Kate's trust plays out beautifully. There are no Big Misunderstandings, no Failure To Express The Heart, none of the standard shortcuts to a relationship on the edge of ending. Ned and Kate's communication issues are ones of assumption and fear. "If I show you who I really am, will you leave me?" I fell for Ned and Kate completely. If you missed this title, go back and take a look at it. Courtney Milan is one of my favorite authors.