Review: Justified by Jay Crownover

JUSTIFIED
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Western
Series: Loveless, Texas #1
Author: N.E. Henderson
Release Date: June 25, 2019

The New York Times bestselling author of the Marked Men series delivers a romance about a rugged Texas sheriff who must protect the woman who was once his sworn enemy…

Case Lawton comes from a family of criminals. So as the sheriff of Loveless, Texas, he’s determined to do everything by the book–until he’s called to Aspen Barlow’s office after a so-called break-in. The last thing he wants to do is help the woman who cost him custody of his son. But Aspen isn’t the heartless lawyer Case remembers, and he starts to question his long-held grudge…

Aspen is scared for her life, and Case is her last hope for protection. But to get him on her side, she’ll have to reveal the painful truth from all those years ago. Now, as they work together to track down a dangerous criminal, Case and Aspen learn to trust each other. And as the threats escalate, it becomes clear there’s a thin line between love and hate… because there’s nothing Case wouldn’t do to keep her safe.

AMAZON

She was the last woman I should have my hands on, but she was the only one who could make me lose all sense of reality.

I love a good enemies to lovers romance, and boy did this book bring it. I will admit, it’s been a hot minute since I’ve read a Jay Crownover book and I’m not even sure why. I forgot just how much I missed her writing until I dove into this one. Having said that, while there’s some carryover from her other series, I had no problems diving right in.

This starts out with a real bang with Aspen representing Case’s ex wife in their divorce settlement. She’s a phenomenal lawyer, but she can barely stifle the guilt over her skill at her job being responsible for the woman getting full custody rights from the man that’s devoted to his son. It’s been years since that moment, but Case has never forgiven her and the animosity has only grown. You can’t help but feel for Aspen. She was the awkward new girl that fell for the town’s golden boy in high school. Only to be the object of his anger years later.

A lot of things have changed over the years. Case now has full custody of his 17 year old son and Aspen is dealing with a divorce of her own supposed perfect. But when her office gets trashed and her life seems to be in danger, none other that sheriff Case can get to the bottom of it. But protecting her also forces them to finally deal with all the years of pain and anger between them and to finally give into the passion that’s been brewing right along it.

The beginning is a bit of a slow build and there’s a lot of backstory that fills the pages, but I really enjoyed that part. I loved seeing Case’s anger slowly defrost and the cloud of judgement begin to dissipate until he sees Aspen for the woman she really is.

There’s a lot of story that’s set up here for some secondary characters that I’m already chomping at the bit to get books for (especially one particular MC). There’s plenty of action and suspense to play along with the evolving romance, and I devoured it. The only quibble I had was with the ending. There’s a certain twist that happens that seemed just way too OTT and grand for be to fully buy into it, especially taking all the other dynamics into account. It felt more like shock value rather than a true twist to me, and it took away from my engrossment of the story a little bit. Don’t get me wrong, I still enjoyed it immensely and can’t wait for book two, I just could have done with a different twist. But this is an entirely subjective thing and I’ll probably be in the very minority with my thoughts. Either way, I can’t wait for the next book!

Review: Unbroken by Jay Crownover

UNBROKEN
Series: Loveless, Texas #0.5
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Western
Author: Jay Crownover
Release Date: May 14, 2019

From the New York Times bestselling author of the Marked Men series comes a captivating novella about a rugged rodeo star who will do anything to protect the people he loves.

When rodeo star Crew Lawton loses everything in a bad bet, he has no choice but to take a new job to pay off his debts – even if it means becoming the face of an expensive male skincare line. Crew is used to getting sweaty and rustling in the dirt, not posing for photo shoots. And he’s certainly not used to being bossed around by a woman who doesn’t even know the difference between bulls and broncs. But Crew owes money to dangerous criminals, and he’ll do anything Della says in order to pay them back and keep them far away from his family in Loveless, Texas…

The launch of her new men’s line for her family’s company means everything to Della Deveaux, and she’s not willing to let some rugged, arrogant cowboy ruin her campaign. Crew Lawton is the last man she would have chosen to represent her chic, sophisticated brand. Unfortunately, her father already invested millions in Crew’s stupidly handsome face. Yet the more time they spend together, Della and Crew realize that opposites doattract. But when the time comes for Crew to face his past mistakes, will he be able to protect his family…and the woman he’s come to love?

AMAZON 

You can be my bad habit, Crew. You can be the entirety of my rebellious phase.”

Confession: it’s been a hot minute since I read a Jay Crownover book. I know, I know! I’m ashamed of myself and I don’t even know why it’s been so long. And it has been. TOO LONG. And this was the perfect novella to throw me right back into my Jay lovefest. Consider me hooked. Line and sinker. I’m frothing at the mouth for more of her Loveless series. FROTHING AT THE MOUTH I TELLS YA.

This was a short yet satisfying story to introduce readers to the Lawton siblings. Starting with the bad boy rodeo star, Crew. Crew has been drowning in his own mistakes for a long while under the water starts rising over his head and he realizes just how much trouble he’s in. When a deal that he would never jump on under any normal circumstances lands in his lap, he knows it’s his only way out.

Della Deveaux is Crew’s exact opposite. The good girl to the bad boy. The woman that’s never so much as stepped out of line and has worked her butt off to prove herself to her father and show him that she has the chops to run their company. The attraction between Della and Crew is inconvenient but undeniable and it’s not long before the sparks ignite into flames.

Now look, I hate to be one of those readers that knowingly picks up a novella and then complains that it was too short to be satisfying. But…I am. Because here’s the thing. I couldn’t help but feel that this story should have been a full length novel. There was so much that happens off page (Crew’s fall from grace specifically) as well as some other things that I would have loved to sink my teeth into. There are some stories out there that you know are better suited as a short novella. Yet this didn’t feel like one of them. Don’t get me wrong, I still enjoyed it, and it was most definitely satisfying. But I also would have loved more. So much more!

I will definitely tell you that it did a heck of a job introducing and launching this new series. Because this reader is instantly hooked! If you’re looking for a quickie novella that has a little of everything, opposites attract, and some sexy cowboys, definitely give this one a go!

Release Blitz & Giveaway: Dignity by Jay Crownover

DIGNITY
Series: The Breaking Point #2
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Author: Jay Crownover
Release Date: October 17, 2017

Looks can be deceiving.

I knew that most people took one look at the ink and the impossibly big and strong body it covered and decided I was a brawler…a bruiser…a beast. However, I was hardwired to be a thinker, not a fighter.

I should have chosen to use my brain and talents to be one of the good guys, a hero, a man with dignity and worth.

I turned my back on dignity and sold my soul to the highest bidder, deciding to dance with the devil, instead.

I couldn’t figure out how to help myself, so there was zero chance I knew how to save someone else.

That someone else was Noe Lee. She was the unkempt, unruly thief who was just as smart as I was and twice as street savvy. She was annoyingly adorable beneath the dirt and grime, and she was in trouble. In way over her head, I told myself it wasn’t my job to keep her from drowning. In the Point, it was sink or swim, and I wasn’t the designated lifeguard on duty.

I shut the door in her face, but now she’s gone…vanished…disappeared without a trace. It took less than a second for me to realize that I wanted her back.

When a woman comes along that melts all the frozen, hard things you’re made of; you’ll do anything you have to, to bring her home.

What you see is not always what you get…and with a man like me, what you get is more than anyone ever bargained for.

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And don’t miss the first standalone title in The Breaking Point series, HONOR! Grab your copy today!

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Jay Crownover is the international and multiple New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the Marked Men Series, The Saints of Denver Series, the Point Series, the Breaking Point Series, and the Getaway Series. Her books can be found translated in many different languages all around the world. She is a tattooed, crazy haired Colorado native who lives at the base of the Rockies with her awesome dogs. This is where she can frequently be found enjoying a cold beer and Taco Tuesdays. Jay is a self-declared music snob and outspoken book lover who is always looking for her next adventure, between the pages and on the road.

 

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