Within the Law


By Chelle Cordero

Publisher : Vanilla Heart Publishing

ABOUT Chelle Cordero

Chelle Cordero
I’m the kid with the vivid imagination and a whole slew of very interesting and unique made-up friends, lol. As I grew into a hopeless romantic, I was involved in some rather exciting and interesting jobs and volunteer work: backstage lighting designer, NYC Auxiliary Police, wannabe actr More...


Tom gave up on ever falling in love again the day that he buried his high school sweetheart and fiance. He started a career in law enforcement just so that he could find her murderer and rapist. Just when he is about to see justice done, he meets Alli Davis-the defense attorney for the murdering rapist who took his love from him. Alli and Tom share a mutual and passionate attraction but Alli refuses to make any commitments. She is hiding a huge secret. Tom falls in love with her and pursues her despite a false arrest, kidnapping and attempt on his life.

Forgotten (re-released as His Lucky Charm) and Within the Law are two highly sensual, romantic and edge-of-your-seat tales. Although Forgotten and Within the Law are two separate stories, they are woven together by a common thread-cousins Caitlyn Smythe and Tom Hughes. Some favorite characters appear in both novels and allow the reader to become totally absorbed into the family.

Tom Hughes first came to life in Forgotten (now re-released as His Lucky Charm) as cousin and friend to the main characters. During the story, Tom's past was mentioned and reference was made to a tragedy he had endured. By the time I finished the manuscript for Forgotten, I had fallen in love with Tom and wanted to see him get a happy-ever-after ending. Within the Law is Tom's story.

Within the Law - Where Murder and Love Collide, January 31, 2009
By  Todd A. Fonseca  -
This review is from: Within the Law (Paperback)
Eight years after the abduction and murder of his fiancé, Tom Hughes throws back his last drink pondering the next day's hearing. Her killer had been found. Consumed with rage and wanting to confront the man who took his future away, Tom leaves the bar and stumbles upon an attractive well dressed woman named Alli whose badly bloodied her knee after twisting her ankle. Uncertain why such a woman would be found so late in a rather dangerous part of town, Tom comes to her aid. Though cautious of a complete stranger wanting to help her, Tom insists ensuring that Alli does not suffer the safe fate as his fiancé years before.

At the hearing, Tom begins to think perhaps his life can finally move on with the killer to be tried and a new woman in his life. His dreams quickly unravel when he learns that Alli is the killer's attorney. Taunted by the man as they leave the courtroom, Tom beats him so badly the killer is hospitalized and later found murdered. With his life turned upside down, Tom is now accused of murder and Alli must prove his innocence.

Chelle Cordero begins Within The Law with a great setup of murder, betrayal, and plot twists that engage the reader immediately. As I read the opening chapters, I was reminded somewhat of Scott Turow's Presumed Innocent. Cordero then takes a turn I didn't expect, and the opening story arc closes. In Ken Follet style, the novel subsequently explores the tragic sequence of events keeping Tom and Alli from being together. The novel is, therefore, less courtroom murder mystery and more star-crossed love story.

Cordero's writing and plot is engaging and entertaining. One is drawn to Tom and Alli and their story just as they are drawn to one another. The dialogue is real and crisp and the novel moves quickly. Within the Law makes a great summer beach read.

High RPM Romantic Suspense, May 23, 2009
This review is from: Within the Law (Paperback)
"The woman, an attractive blonde, seemed scared when she first saw him approaching out of the shadows. She tried to stand again and he watched as her ankle turned in and she groaned. Her knee-length tan skirt showed dark smudges from the dirty sidewalk."

When Tom Hughes helps Alli Davis on a dark street in the bad part of town, he definitely wants to know more about her even though they're like ships passing in the night. But, the following day, he finds her in a courtroom. She's part of the team defending the man who killed his fiance Joyce eight years ago. What manner of cruel fate is this?

A state trooper, Tom is in Rome, New York to identify his high school class ring for the district attorney, the ring Joyce was wearing when she was murdered. When police arrested Roy Dunlop on another charge, they found the ring and tied it to the unsolved crime.

Readers of Chelle Cordero's "Forgotten" will remember the supporting role Tom Hughes played in the lives of his cousin Caitlyn Smythe and her lover Brandon Price. This time out, all three characters are back, but Tom's the one standing at the center of another Cordero whirlwind of gut-wrenching danger and prospective star-crossed love.

We know from the back-cover blurb that Tom falls in love with Alli and that he "pursues her despite a false arrest, kidnapping and attempt on his life." The plot of "Within the Law" is intricate, the twists and turns are unexpected, and the writing is compelling.

The needle on this novel's tachometer remains in the red zone throughout a high-speed, 288-page ride.