For defense attorney Samantha Brinkman, it’s not about guilt or innocence—it’s about making sure her clients walk.

In the follow-up to bestselling Blood Defense, Samantha is hired as the legal advocate for Cassie Sonnenberg after a brutal stabbing left the teenager’s father and brother dead, and her mother barely clinging to life. It’s a tabloid-ready case that has the nation in an uproar—and Sam facing her biggest challenge yet. Why did Cassie survive? Is she hiding something?

As Sam digs in to find the answers, she’s surprised to find herself identifying with Cassie, becoming more and more personally entangled in the case. But when Sam finally discovers the reason for that kinship, she faces a choice she never imagined she’d have to make.

My Thoughts: In the first outing with Samantha Brinkman, Blood Defense, I was drawn in by this tough but vulnerable defense attorney, and in Moral Defense, I loved finding out more about her world. From the author’s descriptions, I could visualize everything about her current life, and her past had a way of poking into her world via a client with whom she identifies.

Sam’s father Dale Pearson made himself available to her in her cases as she struggles to deal with nefarious clients and a dirty cop. But would he continue to support her when he discovers some of her less than legitimate methods?

Cassie Sonnenberg was the kind of teenage girl that made me want to roll my eyes, but I could also feel empathy for her situation as more of her story came to light.

Will Sam find enough information to help her client? Will she gather enough evidence to win the case? Or will we all be blindsided when we finally see the truth?

Midway through the book, we think we know how it all plays out…but then we are thrown a curve with an unexpected character. When that twist turns everything in a completely different direction, we get to watch how Sam makes the system work for her. A 5 star read for me.***


When Maggie Mahoney became a partner at a top Wall Street law firm, she had earned her position; however, some felt that her husband Bryce was more than a little bit responsible for her success.

With his death came a change in how she viewed herself and how others saw her. Additionally, the attorney chosen to replace her husband had some questionable qualities, including a tendency to intimidate the female attorneys and other female employees.

So when Maggie is appointed to a committee to investigate sexual harassment, she is enthused. Until she begins to realize that the whole task force might just be a smokescreen, and that the chairman of the firm and his ambitions might just be at play.

What will Maggie have to do to expose the dark underbelly of the firm? Will she be able to win justice for the women in the firm before it is too late?

Terminal Ambition: A Maggie Mahoney Novel was an exciting, page-turning thriller that illuminated the issues and revealed an intriguing glimpse of how the Big Boys play their power games. I would have enjoyed a more in-depth glimpse into the lives outside the law firm, but I do look forward to more books about Maggie Mahoney. Four stars.