Derek Dover is hoping to become a partner with his Boston law firm Nibble & Kuhn (and yes, the name is mentioned with a snicker). He never expected to fall in love with new associate, Maria Parma, who is spoken for by her childhood beau and is torn between her feelings for Derek and her loyalty to her very traditional family. As it becomes increasingly more difficult to hide his secret relationship from the watchful eyes of the senior partners, Derek is assigned with a multi-million dollar lawsuit that is essentially destined for failure. Add to this the worry that the extravagant expenditures made by the firm to re-market its name (eventually shortened to Nibble) and image may ruin Derek’s chance of reaching partnership, if not fiscal distress for the entire firm.
Will Maria ever make up her mind? Will Derek be able to, by some miracle, win his lawsuit? These are the major storylines of Nibble & Kuhn. Author David Schmahmann, a writer/lawyer in Boston, has created such an entertaining peek at the inside workings of a law firm, the relationships between its partners and associates and the pursuit of the “smoking gun” when preparing a case.
The story moves quickly yet the story and characters are completely developed. I found myself keeping my fingers crossed for Derek as he diligently used everything in his limited arsenal to prepare a winning case. On the other hand, I felt like slapping him for allowing Maria to string him along, one minute expressing her love for him (both with words and actions) and the next minute pulling away and stating that there could never be a future for the couple. There are senior partners who are arrogant and pompous and other partners who are relaxed, perhaps a little too relaxed. Derek’s secretary is all business, Derek’s best friend provides comic relief and the new office manager Mrs. Buckles has basically taken over the running of everything other then actual cases.
The relationship between Derek and Maria was a large part of the book. I enjoyed some of the bantering and making up but found myself becoming more and more irritated by both of their behavior. I thought the most enjoyable and riveting part of the story was when it concerned the preparation of the trial. The outrageous limitations placed on Derek by one of the arrogant senior partners made for some creative story telling. The potential failure of the witnesses added to the tension. All of this leads up to a completely surprising, outlandish and satisfying ending. This was a great read!
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I would like to thank Jacob from Academy Chicago Publishers for providing me an ARC to read and review. Jacob has also offered to provide a copy of the book to one lucky winner. This giveaway will run from Monday, November 23rd through midnight CST Friday, December 4th.
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This review, among others, is listed at Cym Lowell’s Book Review Party.