Nine-Tenths of the Law

Title: Nine Tenths of the Law
Author: L.A. Witt
Publisher: Samhain
Genre: Contemporary M/M
Length: Novel (160 PDF pages)
Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5

Summary review: Zach and Nathan were one of the more exciting couples that I had the pleasure to know recently. Great sex, wonderful heat and tender emotions made for an unusual romance. This was a really enjoyable story.


Without trust, common ground can get pretty shaky…

“I believe you have something of mine, Zach.” Zach Owens doesn’t even know who this angry stranger is, let alone what the man is talking about—until he learns what they have in common. Their boyfriend, Jake. Once Jake’s out of the picture, Zach’s apology to Nathan Forrester leads to a long conversation, a kiss, and a chemistry that goes far beyond revenge sex.

Nathan can’t help but fall for the sexy movie theater owner, but it’s a long way from sheet-tearing sex to mutual trust. And a series of “coincidences” that throws Zach into Jake’s company leaves him unconvinced Zach was the complete innocent in their previous love triangle.

Zach can’t seem to make Nathan believe that Jake is up to something. But protesting his innocence isn’t working, and Jake’s carefully orchestrated campaign to destroy their love could leave them both with nothing…


Their relationship started under unusual circumstances. Zach’s first meeting with Nathan, his lover’s other lover, was an emotionally charged exchange when they both found out what a lying, devious, cheating snake Jake was. Zach had been with Jake for 6 months and believed his excuses for his frequent absences, until he was face to face with the man that Jake had been with for much longer. Even when he was caught red handed Jake tried to bluff his way out of the mess he had created, but he was playing a losing hand. After Nathan left, Zach wanted to apologise for his unintentional part in hurting him but more important, he didn’t want to let him go, so he caught up with him and offered to buy him a drink. One thing led to another as they sensed underneath their anger was the most incredible lust, and they ended up in bed and had revenge sex.

Neither Zach nor Nathan expected to see each other again because the person they had in common was no longer in their lives, but they couldn’t forget their one-night stand or each other. Zach kept hoping that he would see Nathan again because he felt that they could have something good together, but he had no way of contacting him other than through Jake and he wasn’t going there. However, Nathan knew the theatre that Zach owned, and several weeks later he showed up and they went home together again. This time, instead of revenge sex it was tender as well as hot and their emotions were amplified as they felt their attraction growing stronger. They started dating shortly after, but all was not sweetness and light as Nathan had some major trust issues after what Jake did to him, and he could not let go of his feelings of betrayal. He was suspicious whenever Zach had to work late and assumed he was cheating too because his trust had been shattered by the one constant in his life for a long time. To complicate matters further the guys weren’t sure if their attraction was a rebound affair or the real deal, so they were always testing each other. Was it just sex? A bad idea? Could they have a relationship without trust? Then Jake turned up at the theatre just when Zach and Nathan were working their issues out, and tried to get back with Zach who told him that he was not interested. He was angry and did everything he could to screw up the works because he was dumped by both of his boyfriends; he was livid when he found out that they were seeing each other.

I liked this story for many reasons, not the least of which was the unusual premise of two men who had been cheated on by the same boyfriend getting together and having a real relationship. The characters were fully three dimensional, even Jake who did his best to manipulate the situation to suit himself. The writing was very good and the pacing was excellent. L.A. Witt created both internal and external conflicts in Nine-Tenths of the Law and some of the minor characters who worked in Zach’s theatre made the story even more interesting as I got a glimpse of how to run a theatre on a shoestring, and all the attendant staffing and financial issues. This is one book where I think the sex did advance the plot. It was so hot I fully expected the sheets to burst into flame, but not only was the sex scorching, there was so much tenderness between Zach and Nathan that their emotions were palpable. In the end they knew that if they wanted each other forever there would be two conditions: total trust and surrender.

This is the second book by L.A. Witt that I have reviewed and this is a much better story than Rules of Engagement reviewed here. Of course the story was not perfect – I had a few issues but they weren’t major, so I overlooked them.

I think you will enjoy Zach and Nathan and Nine-Tenths of The Law. I’m really liking this author’s writing.


I live in Canada and I love big dogs, music, movies, reading and sports – especially baseball

L. A. Witt

Just found this review – thanks for taking the time to review Nine-Tenths of the Law!! 🙂

To everyone who’s commented…

Point taken on “smirk”. 😉 It’s been remedied in the books written since Nine-Tenths.



Hi Lori
Thanks for dropping by. I really liked your characters Zach and Nathan and Jake was a well drawn snake. 🙂 Glad you liked the review.

We all learn through trial and error. 🙂 After all this was only your second M/M romance published.

I’m looking forward to your other M/M releases.


To come back about the cover – I just thought it was hugely sappy and cliched, plus terribly static and says absolutely nothing useful about the book. I must admit that because of it, I wasn’t even considering buying it before this review 🙂


Anne Many covers don’t do justice to what’s between them. I have said all along that regardless of the content, most readers are either attracted to or put off by book covers because that’s the first thing they see. Usually Samhain has wonderful covers and this one is by Scott Carpenter, one of their best cover artists. While I respect your opinion, I didn’t see a whole lot wrong with this cover other than the fact that the artist used stock photos and the colour was not saturated. Compared to many other covers I think it’s OK – not great… Read more »

Since I’ve already read this book, I read your review =). I agree with all your points. Amazing book!

I absolutely love L. A. Witt’s books, and I am eagerly anticipating her upcoming releases.


Hi Steve
As I mentioned to Kathy, I didn’t know anything about this author until Rules of Engagement was released through Samhain. I’m glad my review met with your approval. 🙂

Kathy B

Since I’ve already read this book, I read your review =). I agree with all your points. Amazing book!

I absolutely love L. A. Witt’s books, and I am eagerly anticipating her upcoming releases.


Hi Kathy

I’m so happy we were in sync on the review. 🙂

This is only the second book that I’ve read by this author – that’s because this is her second M/M book. I saw that she has a book coming out in June called The Best Man but there’s no information on who’s the publisher.

Kathy B

Wave wrote: This is only the second book that I’ve read by this author – that’s because this is her second M/M book. I saw that she has a book coming out in June called The Best Man but there’s no information on who’s the publisher.

The publisher is Carnal Passions. Here are the next ones: July 2010, “The Distance Between Us”- Samhain Publishing
September 2010, “Cover Me”-Carnal Passions


Thanks so much for the information. I hadn’t heard about Carnal Passions – yet another new M/M publisher. 🙂 I will definitely check them out. Since you’re such a huge fan of this author, if it’s not too much trouble, could you please email me when L.A. Witt’s books are released through Carnal Passions? Thanks. I normally get notifications from Samhain about their M/M books so I will definitely know when The Distance Between Us is released.


Thanks for the review, Wave. I remember I liked this wrtier’s writing in her last book (first book?), but there are too many over-the-top characters in it, so it kind of didn’t work for me. But I guess I’ll try this one as well. 🙂


If you check out my review of Rules of Engagement (there’s a link in this review) you’ll see that I had many problems with the book. Even though I recommended the book it was because she writes well.

I liked this book a whole lot better and I think you will too. After all, who could resist that premise. 🙂 She does have imagination which is more than I can say for many other M/M writers.


I read this one last week and loved it. I also liked RULES OF ENGAGEMENT so obviously this author works for me.
I wanted to smack Nathan a few times for his jealousy and I agree about the overuse of the word “smirk”. Also one or the other would “wink” at the other too often, but other than those tiny problems it was a great story. And pretty hot.

Hi Melissa I love L.A. Witt’s writing but I think she needs a Thesaurus. 🙂 I had forgotten about “wink”. One would think that when the book was being edited that someone would pick up all the words she uses ad nauseum. I did like Rules of Engagement but I had some major concerns about Dustin and the way he tried to figure out whether he was gay, including having a few one night stands. I thought there was too much that the author was trying to address in that book (the ex wife and other issues.) This book is… Read more »

Hi Ingrid
I did like Rules of Engagement but I had some difficulties with the story which I explained in the review. I think this one is a much better book and you will love the premise.


I liked the other book so I think I will like this one as well even more because you say this is the better read.


What a wild premise. It sounds like a good one though. I can understand not wanting to date the guy your ex cheated with, bad memories and they both probably would want to hate the other for the affair. I’m adding this to my TBB list. Thanks for another great review Wave.


The premise is what caught my eyes, but the story exceeded my expectations. I know you’ll like it, plus the sex is really, really hot. 🙂


Hi Wave,
I enjoyed the story very much. Amusing and hot.
….Malicious glee at Jakes`expense!… *rubbing hands*…
Thanks for the review.



Hi Simsala

>>….Malicious glee at Jakes`expense!… *rubbing hands*…<<

You're so bad but I agree with you. Jake needed a kick in the nuts, several times. 🙂


Sounds fun and I’m adding this one to my list. But oh how I hate that awful cover!!! Arrgghh!!


Alexi Silversmith

I don’t get it. What’s wrong with the cover? I mean, it’s not a wow, exactly, but I don’t think it’s dire either. Is it the hands-in-pockets thing? ‘Cos I think even that is better than the same old headless naked torsos.


It might be the colour which is kind of washed out, but other than that it certainly was better than a lot of others although it wasn’t great. No headless torsos please. 🙂

Alexi Silversmith

The image is kind of obviously a stock one, and the colour is a bit desaturated, but I definitely wouldn’t call it a bad cover. Or at least, we’ve seen muuuch worse:-)


This is a really fun book so I disregarded the cover. 🙂 I hope you get it because I really enjoyed the story.


I did enjoy this one but I never quite got why they kept saying it was a bad idea to date. So yeah, you both dated the same guy (simultaneously) but so what? They were free to date whomever they wanted. *shrug*

But it is a good read and I liked both characters and the background about the old movie theatre was kind of neat too.


That was one of the issues I had with the story, in addition to the fact that the author uses the word “smirk” waaay too many times. However, considering some of the dreck I had been reading lately this was a really good story. But back to the point that they couldn’t stop saying “what are we doing here?” or something like that, I thought that was a normal reaction, although not as many times. I know I would be thinking along the same lines

Alexi Silversmith

Intriguing review, Wave. Now I definitely want to read this.


I think you will definitely like the characters and the story. I also loved the fact that I got more than a glimpse of Zack’s business life so he definitely wasn’t 2 dimensional. This author is beginning to grow on me. 🙂

Alexi Silversmith

This is what we were talking about before, right? Authors learn lessons, improve their craft, and write better books. All part of the great circle of life – er – I mean, M/M publishing.

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