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Conscious Bias

(Monica Spade #1)

4.03  ·  Rating details ·  172 ratings  ·  68 reviews
A legal drama, laced with a woman's personal growth, that explores visceral bias, cultural alliances, and the power of love in Apple Grove, Wisconsin.

Trevor McKnight, a young white male, is charged with the murder of Abdul Seif, a Saudi Arabian foreign exchange student.

Newbie Attorney Monica Spade's physician clients plan to testify at trial that Trevor's punch to Abdul's
ebook, 466 pages
Published May 24th 2019 by eBookIt
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Average rating 4.03  · 
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I don’t think I’ve read a book using this style for quite some time and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Monica Spade is a lawyer whose biggest client is the local hospital. When a foreign, Muslim student dies after being punched it falls to her to prepare the doctors who treated him for their testimony at the trial. Monica’s life is quite full with her new cross-fit class, some monkey business at the hospital and having to put up with the bigoted, self-important partners at the law firm she works at. B ...more
Jude in the Stars
Jul 11, 2019 rated it really liked it
I have no idea why I was a bit reluctant to read this book. It’s an entertaining legal mystery, with the right amount of romance thrown in.

There’s always something special about novels written by authors who use their professional knowledge for their stories, such as Radclyffe with medical romances or, in this case, Venice’s legal knowledge.

Monica Spade is a lawyer working for a very conservative firm. She was an out lesbian before working there and after three years back in the closet is feeli
Jul 17, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Legal drama.

Monica Spade is a closeted lawyer in Wisconsin. She represents the local hospital. They have some crazy issues that require her legal expertise and representation. To relieve stress and try to shed some extra pounds, she starts a cross fit class and meets, Shelby, a hot woman also taking the class.

I liked the story. I enjoyed all of the characters. Especially the way Monica could not find the will power to pass up a single cookie or pastry regardless of how much she tried. It had un
Jun 26, 2019 rated it really liked it
Alexi Venice has been on my radar for a while, but I'm surprised to see that this is actually my first read of one of her novels. What have I been waiting for?! I loved the legal thriller style of this one!

Monica Spade seems older than her years, but she's a younger lawyer on a fast track to partnership in her all male, very conservative (and bigoted!) firm. She's been out of the closet up until she joined this firm, but knew she needed to hide herself if she wanted to get ahead in this particul
What to make of Concious Bias… okay, first off, you must really really like legal because you will get a blow-by-blow account of Monica Spade’s daily job from getting out of bed to closing her eyes at night. Every phone call, every brief, everything that’s said in court. Alexi Venice writes legal, it’s what she knows, but her San Francisco Mystery series had a much better balance.

In the blurb it says Concious Bias is a legal thriller with a f/f romance. I didn’t find it much of a thriller (or a
Nov 07, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I stumbled upon this book and honestly jumped on it before really reading the synopsis of it. I actually glad I did. Now, I usually read romance novels where everything is pretty predictable, a happily ever after better be in store for the mains, and there is the usual drama/angst and so on and so forth. I don't usually read books where the romance is second and the legal/political issues are first. In essence this is what this book is...not really a romance but a high profile murder for a small ...more
Lexxi Kitty
Book acquired from NetGalley for a fair review

I really had no idea what to expect from this book, and if I had looked at it closer (though I did take a close book before pulling it off NetGalley), I might not have tried it (for a specific reason I’ll mention later). I knew the book involved a lawyer, and that she was somehow involved in a case that involved an individual connected to a ‘popular’ small town family (the father has a construction business and directly or indirectly employees a good
Jun 29, 2019 rated it really liked it
I stumbled upon this book and honestly jumped on it before really reading the synopsis of it. I actually glad I did. Now, I usually read romance novels where everything is pretty predictable, a happily ever after better be in store for the mains, and there is the usual drama/angst and so on and so forth. I don't usually read books where the romance is second and the legal/political issues are first. In essence this is what this book is...not really a romance but a high profile murder for a small ...more
Sep 27, 2019 rated it really liked it
What a pleasant surprise of a read. Not familiar with the author but I like legal thrillers, small towns, and mystery. Nice education about the legal system especially from the district attorney perspective. Monica Spade, attorney, a person with a secret that is eating away at her and she knows she needs to change her reason for keeping the secret. I like her self-talk and her willingness to not just complain but do something about it. A get it done type of person. Shelby St. Clair, high school ...more
Jul 11, 2019 rated it did not like it
Conscious Bias is billed as a legal thriller with f/f romance. I felt primed to read this after coming off Grace Mead's Defense of an Other and was eager to start, but things go awry very quickly.

Calling this a thriller is just plain wrong. There is little to no tension in this story. I was propelled forward as I struggled to figure out what was going on instead of being compelled by the plot. The main character is a gifted lawyer, but she takes a backseat in the case central to the book. In the
Jun 21, 2019 rated it really liked it

I received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for a honest review.

It's the first time I'm reading something from this author and it certainly won't be the last. The story was very intriguing, it literally kept me reading and finishing the whole book in a day. The chemistry between the two MCs was sizzling hot even though the romance was not the main plot but it was satisfying and well executed.

Cardyn Brooks
This review was first posted to as a #CardynBrooksReviews #books.

Monica Spade is keeping a secret. To protect her chances of someday making partner at the prestigious law firm controlled by men whose attitudes are trapped in the homophobic hysteria of earlier centuries, she’s not “out” in her professional life. Conscious Bias mixes workplace drama, personal crossroads, small-town politics and quirky humor into serious social commentary about identity and power. Re
Jun 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
Conscious Bias dealt with many topics such as : homophobia, workplace harassment, hate crime, felony murder, bias in many forms, and intimidation tactics.

Monica Spade was an intelligent young gay lawyer on a fast track to make partner in an all male law firm. Initially, she decided not to come out at work, fearing her male colleagues would not accept her and possibly dismiss her. But after a lawyer friend was treated harshly when his sexuality was discovered, Monica knew she had to take action.
Mildred Digby
This book is a complex read with a lot of different storylines happening throughout. The author knows her legal stuff and it really shows in the flawless delivery of the technicalities of Monica’s job.

The MC, Monica is professional, poised and almost cold when she’s on the job, which makes a dramatic contrast to who she is in her CrossFit class where she is emotional and awkward in front of the object of her lustful thoughts and wayward feelings, Shelby. We also see a playful and loyal side of
Jeremy Reppy
Jun 19, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was an enjoyable legal drama with a little romance on the side. Monica Spade is a lawyer at a conservative law firm in small-town Wisconsin; the first female lawyer employed at the firm. She is also a lesbian, a fact she has kept secret in order to keep her job. However, a potential love interest, Shelby, and the behavior of some of the attorneys in the firm towards Nathan, a male attorney, when he comes out as gay has caused Monica to question whether she needs to be true to herself and "o ...more
Jul 23, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Let's get this out of the way right now--the cover sucks, makes me cringe, and is completely inaccurate for the novel. However, the great thing about e-books is one really can't spend much time judging them by the cover.

Monica Spade is a young attorney with a lot on her plate. She's lesbian, but had to go back into the closet in order to work for a law firm in the small town of Apple Grove, WI, that's dominated by right-wing good ol' boys. She's taken up CrossFit to get back into shape, and deve
Jun 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing

I had not read anything from this author, but I will be looking for her other books now!

Monica Spade is an attorney in a law firm. She specializes in health care law and she represents the local hospital in the little town of Apple Grove, WI.

Shelby St. Clair is an art teacher at the elementary school in Apple Grove. Monica and Shelby meet at an early morning workout class.

Attorney Spade becomes embroiled in a case involving the hospital when a young man, Trevor McKnight allegedly causes the dea
Heather Martin
Oct 22, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Conscious Bias

A new to me author. I’ve really been into romantic suspense lately and this came up as a recommendation to me. It was more romance than I typically like but good for a first book in a series. It had a nice mix of humor with a serious, very relevant case. I liked the characters though I could tell the type of books I’ve been reading when I was waiting on Jim to screw Monica over. And I really liked the character of Monica. I love strong, female leads! I can’t wait to read the next b
Linds Sloan
Jun 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
Thanks to Netgalley for the free review copy of this very enjoyable, slow-burn F/F romance with some courtroom drama thrown in. Venice did a great job of capturing being a lesbian or gay in the Mid-West, having grown up there myself. I loved the way she captured the age-old gay lady issue of having absolutely no idea if a woman is attracted to you, even if when she is trying to spell it out. I'll definitely be following this series and recommending it.

The only drawbacks for me were some cringe-
Yana   (Ms. Yana reads)
I have received an ARC copy of this book through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
This book is a great read and in my opinion, would be a great subject for discussion in a sociology class. The book and its narrative covered it all from cultural alliances, conscious biases to great love while allowing us to see behind the scene how trials are conducted. The author did a great job developing the characters and allowing us to see their internal conflicts and their resolutions. The way cha
Jun 16, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Wow, I did not expect that. I don't know I read many great reviews over this book, and true to their option it was. very very informative in the legal department. I skipped most tbh since i'm into romance books, the romance was soooo minimum and that the only critic i can give, It was that good. excellent writing

thank you for giving me free copy in exchange of honest opinion
Jun 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Another great book Alexi!!! Took me two days to read it.... Went on vacation with it, great entertainment... I am very happy to have Monica Spade as a new series.... Couldn't put it down... Can't wait until the next one!!!!
Cynthia Corral
This book was fine, but I definitely didn't like it as much as everyone else seems to.
It is super timely for today's news, with a "Go back where you came from" legal drama.
It's a bit of a fluff book, which is fine when you want one, but... I guess it's that the fluff levels didn't match up in all the plots and sub-plots.

First we have a really serious court case involving murder and racism set in the middle of Trump country with a victim from the Middle East. That is not fluff, and it is treated
Sep 26, 2019 rated it did not like it
There is so much that puzzled me about this book! Starting with the cover, it gives the impression that this is going to be a trashy (and I use that word with nothing but love!) romance or thriller. It is neither. Sure, there is a legal component in that the protagonist, Monica Spade, is an attorney and the story more or less centers around a racial-bias murder trial. However, the story does not unfold in any which way that could possibly be considered a "thriller". Most of the book is taking th ...more
Becky Baldridge
Conscious Bias left me with mixed feelings. The book had great potential but I felt like it never quite got there. In the acknowledgements, the author calls this one a legal thriller with strong female leads. I did appreciate the strong women in the story, but I didn't find anything even remotely thriller-like. There is some action, but the story reads more like a cozy mystery except there really isn't much in the way of mystery here either. We know who the bad guys are pretty quickly. That said ...more
Conscious Bias appears to be the first in a series following lawyer Monica Spade who spends the book juggling representing a local hospital for a sundry of issues, struggling to deal with a workplace populated by misogynistic and homophobic assholes and a budding romance with a woman from her new Crossfit class . The book blends legal, workplace drama and romance but the three story lines seemed to to be run separately and just didn't come together as well as I had hoped - it didn't have a cohes ...more
Jun 25, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: lgbt
I wasn't sure if I'd like this book or not, but I do tend to like courtroom novels and the blurb/summary made it sound like a very interesting one, and so I gave it a try.

It's mainly about Monica and Shelby. They don't actually meet anywhere near Monica's lawyer life/courthouse, which was great in my mind. There was tension in their romantic subplot, but, it wasn't 'am I going against you in court or do I have to charge you/defend you from criminal stuff' tension. Instead they meet at a CrossFit
Jul 27, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Monica is a lawyer who works hard however she works in a homophobic environment and must keep her sexual identity deep undercover. At the gym she meets Shelby who is an art teacher. The two women seem drawn to one another, but Monica is afraid to flirt with her. She’s working on a significant case at the hospital, who is one of her biggest clients in a murder case, also she’s working with of all things a loose monkey in the hospital that is evading capture.
The part of the book the deals with t
Brooke Banks
-Slow, almost quit at 22% but then we heard the recorded hospital conversation and things started happening.
-It felt very male gaze-y.
-Monica is like every male protag. You could change her to "Monico" &  couldn't tell besides the relationship turning straight.
-Needs better balancing & pacing. Like making the McKnights an actual threat instead of bumbling or have more people acting out on their behalf. We hear how supposedly rich & powerful they are-prove it. Linger & shatter Monica's POV w/
Kristen Lewendon
Sep 09, 2019 rated it liked it
There’s a lot going on in this book and it’s very detailed. For the average lay-person it’s too detailed in the medico-legal jargon. There’s a lot of repetition within the story. I understand that’s probably very accurate in a court setting, but for a reader, it’s quite frustrating. The most notable occurrence is a piece of evidence that’s repeated word for word, that could have been summarized the second time around without losing any of its impact. I also thought this book got lost in the weed ...more
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Amazon bestselling author Alexi Venice writes legal thrillers and crime drama with a dash of romance. She is a member of International Thriller Writers.

Venice’s 31-year legal career informs her medical and crime fiction. She is legal counsel under a different name at an international healthcare system, specializing in preparing nurses and physicians to testify in court in both civil and criminal t

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Monica Spade (2 books)
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“Like she could control what fell out of her mouth when she was this close to Shelby anyway. At the moment, she was struggling to remember how to breathe.” 0 likes
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