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Overruled (The Defiant Kings #4) by Bella Matthews


“You gonna catch me if I fall, Becks?”

I should have known those words, whispered to my best friend’s brother, would come back to haunt me . . . But I had no idea he’d be the only one who could save me when my world threatens to come crashing down.

Becket Kingston is a lot of things. Tall, dark and deliciously handsome, he’s corded muscle hidden beneath an expensive suit, with eyes the color of an angry ocean, and a sharp tongue good for so many things.

And this future US Senator with a brain even bigger than his bank account is about to be my fake husband.

It was supposed to be easy . . . until it wasn’t. This relationship we carefully curated for the public has become something completely different behind closed doors—and the occasional open ones.

I knew we needed to lie to everyone we loved to pull this off.
But how long can we lie to ourselves?


I can always rely on one of Ms. Matthews’ books to lift me up and Overruled does the trick. Her characters are so mesmerizing and charismatic and her stories are so realistic and heartfelt.

Overruled is told in first-person dual perspectives by Juliette “Jules” Fairchild, newly retired supermodel, and Becket “Becks” Kingston, attorney and future U.S. Senator. Jules is a woman fighting for guardianship of her deceased cousin’s children and Becks is a candidate who needs an uptick in his numbers so the long-time friends agree on a “just-friends” marriage of convenience. What they didn’t count on was their undeniable attraction to each other and the fabulous Kingston family force of nature cheering them on.

I have to admit Jules and Becks are my favorite couple in the series… so far. Jules is confident and independent and I love how she becomes a fierce mama bear to keep her cousin Liz’s children safe. Her heart-to-heart talks with Easton and Kenzie made me tear up more than once. She is a natural as a mother. Then there is Becks. My heart! This man is swoon material. He is passionate about becoming a senator to create a better future for the younger generation. He doesn’t hesitate to be a good father to the kids, and he’s an attentive and responsible partner to Jules. The chemistry is sizzling between these two and their growing love for each other is enchanting to witness. Let’s just say, I didn’t want their story to end.

What really makes this series so endearing to me is the interaction between the Kingston family members. The love and support they have for each other is heartwarming and they will move heaven and earth to protect each other. The family text chain is a hoot and the gatherings are chaotic, hilarious, and loving. 

From the beginning, this book grabbed my heart and never let go. Read this book. Better yet, read this series. It won’t disappoint.

Thank you to Ms. Matthews for giving me the opportunity to read this book with no expectation of a positive review.

The Defiant King Series:

1. Caged (2022)
2. Shaken (2023)
3. Iced (2023)
4. Overruled (2023)
5. Haven (2023)



I wake up the next morning with a killer headache and a foggy memory of last night.

Shots on the beach with Becket Kingston.

A lot of shots.

What the hell was I thinking, drinking like that with him?

I don’t typically have more than a single drink. It’s not worth the hassle. But apparently, that didn’t matter last night. With a bass drum beating a nasty rhythm behind my eyes, I look around the room, quickly realize it’s not mine, and then pull the covers over my head. “No  .  .  .”

The blanket is pulled slowly from my body, and the deliciously gorgeous man in question stands at the foot of the bed. “Get out of bed, Juliette. The plane takes off in three hours.”

I sit up, grateful to be wearing a t-shirt, even if it does smell like Becks. If I thought I could get away with it, I’d try to inhale the intoxicating scent, but he’s watching me. Not all men smell good, but this one always does. Like fresh rain and something else. Something sexy. “Remind me again why I’m in your bed  .  .  . and your clothes, Becks.”

He drags his sweat-drenched t-shirt over his head and tosses it into an open suitcase. I guess Prince Charming just came back from a run on the beach. My eyes stall, unavoidably glued to his glistening abs. All eight of them.

What the hell is Becket doing with an eight-pack?

He works in an office and wears suits for a living.

“My eyes are up here, Juliette.”


“You’re in my room because you went a little heavy on the shots last night and couldn’t remember which room was yours.”

Relief washes over me in a cool, refreshing wave. Lenny’s brother is fun to fight with, but that’s all he can ever be. “Right. Sorry about that. I can’t believe I drank so much. It’s been years since I’ve wasted carbs on alcohol. I guess it hit me harder than I thought it would.”

I stand up, stretch out my legs, and tug the tee down over my ass. Then I look up at him. I always liked that Lenny’s brothers are taller than me. It happens less than you think when you’re five foot ten. “So, you let me sleep in your bed? Where did you sleep?”

Becks chuckles a deep, gravelly laugh that sends a tingle down my body. “It’s a king-sized bed, Juliette. I slept on the other side.” Before I can say anything else, he adds, “Nothing happened.”

“Oh, thank God,” I laugh nervously. “Phew. Lenny would have killed me if I defiled you.”

Becket saunters closer and drags a finger up my neck, sending a violent shiver down my spine. “You might want to remember that the next time you decide to strip out of your clothes in front of a man, Juliette. I doubt most would show the same restraint I did.”

For a second, I feel bad.

“But it’s nice to see the carpet really does match the drapes.”

Fuck feeling bad. Now I feel stabby. Asshole.

I grab my clothes off the floor and find my purse on the dresser. “You’ve always got to ruin the nice moments by being a dick, Becket.”

“See you on the plane, Jules.” His lips tip up into a crooked, cocky smile, and if I had any panties on, they’d spontaneously burst into flames. There’s just something about Becket Kingston. Damn him.

I’m pretty sure I growl in response.

Great. One week with the Kingstons, and I’m as feral as the rest of them.

I let myself out of his hut, and yup  .  .  . this morning has officially gotten worse. Lenny, her husband, Bash, and their two boys are talking to her brother Hudson and his wife, Maddie, and their daughter. All of them—even the kids—stop talking as soon as I walk out onto the sand, and I want to crawl in a hole and die. Maybe I should have put my dress back on, but in my defense, Becket’s t-shirt is the same length on my legs as my dress was. I watch as Lenny’s brows shoot up in question before she looks behind me at the damn hut.

And of course, that’s when Becket opens the door.

“You forgot your shoes—” The words hang heavy in the air when he walks into me because I don’t move. Frozen, even though I’m completely off balance.

Becks steadies me with his hands on my hips, and I swallow down my quickly rising hysteria.

Everyone is staring.

“You didn’t,” Lenny hisses, low and mean. Bash ushers her boys down the path toward the main resort before they see their mother explode. “Please, sweet baby Jesus, tell me you did not screw my best friend.”

Oh  .  .  . She’s pissed at him. Oops.

“Really, Eleanor?” Becks taunts her.

“Len  .  .  . we didn’t.” I try to end the conversation before these two get into a fight. “I was drunk and couldn’t find my key. I slept here. Slept, Len. That’s all.”

Lenny eyes me skeptically while Hudson laughs. These damn Kingston men are all such shits. His wife slaps his chest and takes their daughter’s tiny hand in hers. “Come on, Hud. We need to get breakfast before the flight home.”

Hudson tips his chin toward Becket and me. “Bet you two worked up quite an appetite.”

“You’re awful.” Maddie pushes him to move, then looks back at me with a playful smile. “But I wouldn’t mind hearing about it on the plane.”

“Oh my God.” I blush furiously. “There’s nothing to tell. We literally slept.” I cringe and step away from Becket while my best friend shakes herself out of whatever crazed trance she’s fallen into.

“Whatever.” She throws her hands up in the air and slants her eyes my way. “You’re miles better than Medusa. Just don’t hurt him.” She tosses a calculated look back at her brother. “Becket is a serial monogamist.”

“Eleanor,” Becks stops her.

I reach out and grab Lenny’s arm. “Seriously, Len. Nothing happened.”

Her oldest son, Maverick, comes flying down the path. “Come on, Mommy. We’re hungry.”

“Mommy’s coming, sweetie.” She scoops him up on her hip and kisses his mop of floppy brown hair, then looks over his head at Becks and me. “We’ll talk about this on the plane.”

I watch her walk away and cringe as I turn toward Becket, who’s holding my shoes with a wicked grin. “She absolutely thinks we slept together.”

“I’ve seen your dates in the tabloids, Jules. You could do worse.” Becks winks and walks away, leaving me in the sand, ready to scream.



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Bella Matthews is a Jersey girl at heart. She is married to her very own Alpha Male and raising three little ones. You can typically find her running from one sporting event to another. When she is home, she is usually hiding in her home office with the only other female in her house, her rescue dog Tinker Bell by her side. She likes to write swoon-worthy heroes and sassy, smart heroines with a healthy dose of laughter and all the feels.

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