Out today! SALVAGED Review and Giveaway!

Hi there! Today I’m sharing an excerpt for a new contemporary romance from Jay Crownover. SALVAGED is the final book in her Saints of Denver series and was the book I’d been expected since finishing CHARGED. I’ve enjoyed BUILT and RIVETED, too, so I couldn’t wait to watch Wheeler and Poppy find love.

About the book:
Hudson Wheeler is a nice guy. Everyone knows it, including his fiancée who left him with a canceled wedding and a baby on the way. He’s tired of finishing last and is ready to start living in the moment with nights soaked in whiskey, fast cars, and even faster girls. He’s set to start living on the edge, but when he meets Poppy Cruz, her sad eyes in the most gorgeous face he’s ever seen hook him in right away. Wheeler can see Poppy’s pain and all he wants to do is take care of her and make her smile, whatever it takes.

Poppy can’t remember a time when she didn’t see strangers as the enemy. After a lifetime of being hurt from the men who swore to protect her, Poppy’s determined to keep herself safe by keeping everyone else at arm’s length. Wheeler’s sexy grin and rough hands from hours restoring classic cars shouldn’t captivate her, but every time she’s with him, she can’t help being pulled closer to him. Though she’s terrified to trust again, Poppy soon realizes it might hurt even more to shut Wheeler out—and the intense feelings pulsing through her are making it near impossible to resist him.

The only thing Poppy is sure of is that her heart is in need of some serious repair, and the more time she spends with Wheeler, the more she’s convinced he’s the only man with the tools to fix it.

How about a little taste?

I didn’t want her to be scared of anything ever again.

Things at home had been rocky, rougher than class-five rapids in winter, but I was paddling for my life and prepared to ride it out. I couldn’t let go. I wouldn’t let go. I saw Poppy the day she walked through my shop and I started to feel how sore my hands and my heart were from holding on.

Her head was down, focused on the tips of her shoes. Her shoulders were hunched over and her long hair hid her face. She was skinny, so skinny, nothing but skin and bones. She was nothing that I should have noticed, not because she was clearly doing everything in her power to be invisible, but because I was supposed to have my eyes locked on my future and doing whatever I could do to salvage it. But I did notice her and I couldn’t look away once I did.

She was obviously terrified, clearly out of her element and uncomfortable, but it wasn’t her unease that called to me…it was her loneliness. I could feel it filling up the space that separated us. Stretching, growing, expanding until it was all I was breathing in and exhaling back out. It was bitter on my tongue and heavy across my skin because I knew the feeling well. I lived with it pressing me down and pushing me forward every minute of every day. The reason I was so set on the way things had to be, the reason I was single-mindedly set on settling down and building a life with the girl that was slipping through my fingers was because I never again wanted to be as alone as this girl was. I didn’t want to be left and forgotten. I’d barely survived it the first time.

I did my best to sell her a car that was as beautiful as she was…a classic with clean lines and a flawless finish. She picked something practical and boring but that was ultimately safe and reliable. I understood her choice but it grated and annoyed me long after she left the shop. When she wasn’t standing in front of me, she should have been easy to forget; after all, everything in front of me, everything I had been working for and toward, was falling down in front of my eyes. My world was collapsing in on itself and everything I thought I was so goddamn sure about turned out to be nothing more than lies and illusions. In the middle of all of it, I couldn’t forget her sad eyes and shivering, shaking form. Her loneliness clung to me, unshakable and unforgettable. I didn’t think I would see her again and against my better judgment I often found myself wondering how she was doing and if she had gotten a handle on all the things that seemed to be crushing her under their inescapable weight.

I was wrong about seeing her again, just like I was wrong about thinking that doing everything in my life differently from how my mother had lived hers would ensure my happiness and a future built on an unshakeable foundation. I was wrong about hard work and sacrifice being enough. I was wrong about holding on when what I was holding on to desperately wanted me to let go. All I was left with was bleeding palms, rope burns around my heart and scars on my soul.

The next time I saw Poppy Cruz it was my loneliness that was filling up the space, suffocating me, choking me, making me forget to handle her with care. I was nothing more than a vast, open wound. One that was raw, aching, throbbing, and leaking my heart and shattered emotions out everywhere. I felt like I’d lost everything, like my entire life had been nothing but a waste of time, nothing more than building blocks knocked over with the swipe of a careless hand. The girl I loved didn’t love me back, my future was ultimately nothing more than a fuzzy, fractured blur. I couldn’t see anything clearly other than waste and ruin.

But I saw her. And I saw that I scared her.

It was the last thing I wanted to do but my loneliness was just as big and just as consuming as hers was. It spread out, hungry and angry, looking to consume anyone that might try and challenge its reign.

I tried to pull myself together, apologized because I knew our paths would cross again now that she lived next door to my best friend. I didn’t want to be another man that she was terrified of. I locked the loneliness down, wrestled it into submission, and tried to quiet down the wild inside of me that was howling, screaming at the loss of its mate. I wanted to be nothing more than gnashing teeth and tearing claws but I swallowed those instincts and allowed myself to be like a kicked puppy that just wanted to whimper and cry.

Poppy had been through more than I could imagine. She was the one I couldn’t look away from, but even then, she managed to slip past me and disappear. She looked like honey but she moved like a ghost. I memorized everything about her even though she hardly let me see her face.

I wasn’t supposed to be looking at anything other than how to salvage the mess my life was in, but she was all I could see.

My Review:
Hudson Wheeler is a man with a busted heart. The love of his life, Kallie, has finally confessed that she’s not able to marry him–despite loving him–because she’s really in love with another woman. And, also, she’s pregnant with his child. This all happens a few months before their intended wedding date. Wheeler’s an orphan, and only with Kallie’s family did he find a home, but Kallie’s fear of coming out to her parents has left Wheeler looking like a Class-A Jerk to her folks.

So, he’s sexing his way through half of Denver to avoid sitting alone in the Kallie-furnished home he bought for her and their family. He’s a good guy, making bad decisions, but none of that matters when he begins to build a rapport with Poppy Cruz.

Poppy is on the fringe of the Denver cadre of barmen and tattoo artists due to her sister, Salem, attached to Rowdy–their childhood neighbor. She’s lived through emotional and physical abuse, and kidnap, rape and torture by her deceased ex-husband. Her father, a respected minister, is a head case who psychologically battered Poppy, Salem and their mother all their lives. Wheeler has some sense of this, and approaches Poppy with caution, and compassion.

They bond over the training of a rescue dog Poppy brings Wheeler, and each work through their trauma with frank discussions and small gestures. Soon, Poppy recognizes that she’d like more, and Wheeler’s content to move at her pace.

This is a sweet and tender romance that brings Poppy’s family full circle, and closes the loop on the Denver stories from Crownover. We have lots of looks at good friends from the Saints books and also Marked Men, but this always feels like Poppy and Wheeler’s story. They make peace with Kallie, and her family, and their demons, but there’s still more struggle for Poppy to endure. I liked how Wheeler found family when he least expected to, and how he made a life with the family he built. I really loved this one, and recommend it on it’s own–or to cap the series.

Interested? You can find SALVAGED on Goodreads, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, iTunes, Kobo and Google Plus.

****GIVEAWAY****

Click on this Rafflecopter giveaway link for your chance to win signed three-book sets of BUILT, CHARGED and RIVETED for 2 winners .
Good luck and keep reading my friends!

About the Author:
Jay Crownover is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the Marked Men and The Point series. Like her characters, she is a big fan of tattoos. She loves music and wishes she could be a rock star, but since she has no aptitude for singing or instrument playing, she’ll settle for writing stories with interesting characters that make the reader feel something. She lives in Colorado with her three dogs.

Catch up with Jay on her website, blog, Facebook, Twitter and Goodreads.

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Excerpt Reveal for SALVAGED!

Hi there! Today I’m sharing an excerpt for a new contemporary romance from Jay Crownover. SALVAGED is the fourth book in her Saints of Denver series and was the book I’d been expected since finishing CHARGED. I’ve enjoyed BUILT and RIVETED, too, so I’m eagerly awaiting SALVAGED’s June 20th release date.

About the book:
Hudson Wheeler is a nice guy. Everyone knows it, including his fiancée who left him with a canceled wedding and a baby on the way. He’s tired of finishing last and is ready to start living in the moment with nights soaked in whiskey, fast cars, and even faster girls. He’s set to start living on the edge, but when he meets Poppy Cruz, her sad eyes in the most gorgeous face he’s ever seen hook him in right away. Wheeler can see Poppy’s pain and all he wants to do is take care of her and make her smile, whatever it takes.

Poppy can’t remember a time when she didn’t see strangers as the enemy. After a lifetime of being hurt from the men who swore to protect her, Poppy’s determined to keep herself safe by keeping everyone else at arm’s length. Wheeler’s sexy grin and rough hands from hours restoring classic cars shouldn’t captivate her, but every time she’s with him, she can’t help being pulled closer to him. Though she’s terrified to trust again, Poppy soon realizes it might hurt even more to shut Wheeler out—and the intense feelings pulsing through her are making it near impossible to resist him.

The only thing Poppy is sure of is that her heart is in need of some serious repair, and the more time she spends with Wheeler, the more she’s convinced he’s the only man with the tools to fix it.

How about a little taste?

EXCERPT:

Poppy

I rounded the corner at the end of my block and came to a halt. The puppy took that as a sign that we were done playing outside and started jumping all over my lower legs and pawing at my shins. He whined at me until I picked him up, and as soon as he could reach my face, his little tongue started darting all over my chin and cheeks. I wondered if he could feel the tension that made my limbs stiff and the anxiety that tightened all my muscles. I felt my breath catch in the back of my throat and there was no stopping my eyes from rapidly blinking to make sure what I was seeing was real and not a figment of my imagination.

He looked like one of those black-and-white art prints that hung in every diner and restaurant I’d ever eaten in. The one that was a throwback to another era when cool was something you had to cultivate and couldn’t buy on Amazon. He was leaning against a black-and-silver car that looked like it should be on the cover of a hot-rod magazine and not parked on a busy and crowded Capitol Hill street. He had on dark jeans and a dark canvas jacket that had the logo of his garage embroidered on the front. His ankles were crossed on the curb in front of him and one booted foot bounced up and down, giving the impression that he’d been waiting for me for a while. His arms were crossed over his chest and his eyes were locked on mine as I stood still, unsure what to do. He had an effortless kind of charisma that radiated off of him. It was equal parts intimidating and irresistible. I was unsure if my feet wanted to rush me toward him or run me as far from him as possible.

The puppy made the decision for me. Seeing another human, and thus another opportunity for pats and rubs, he threw his wiggling little body out of my arms before I could react. He hit the ground with a little yelp and then bolted right for Wheeler. I let out a gasp and took off after him thinking I could catch the end of the leash that was trailing behind him. I didn’t want him to run into the road or veer off into a yard where he didn’t belong. I was light-years away from being able to handle a confrontation with a hostile stranger that didn’t want the puppy in their space.

I didn’t need to worry because Wheeler pushed his long, lean frame off the polished side of the car and reached the scrambling animal within just a few strides. He crouched down as the puppy hurled himself into his arms and scooped the excited bundle up in one fluid motion. Then he was rising back up to his full height, which meant he was towering over me when I made my way over to where he was standing. I was embarrassed at how out of breath I was. I was supposed to be stronger than I was before, but I could hardly handle a little jog up the block or the way my heart raced at the sight of him.

I shook my head and put my hands on my hips as I looked up and into those arctic eyes. He was scratching the puppy under the chin and looking at me from under lashes that had the barest hint of red to them. “Why don’t you have a coat on?”

It wasn’t what I was expecting but his question reminded me that I was cold and that the lightweight hoodie that had the Saints of Denver logo on it wasn’t doing much to keep the bitter chill in the air off my skin. The shirt came from the tattoo shop where both Rowdy and Salem worked and was probably the most exciting garment I had in my closet. It was the only thing I owned that was bright and colorful. I rubbed my arms up and down and fired my own question right back at him. “What are you doing here?”

The puppy barked like he was telling me not to be rude but I was unsettled by Wheeler’s unexpected appearance, and not the typical unsettled that I struggled with because he was a man that I didn’t know. It was the kind of unsettled that made parts of my body I forget could react to an attractive man feel warm and tingly. The kind of unsettled that had me involuntarily leaning closer to him as he started to shift so that he could pull his heavy jacket off one arm without letting go of the dog.

“I wanted to talk to you about the dog. Did you find someone to take him yet?” He shifted the puppy to his now bare arm as I watched the endless amounts of ink that covered his skin move and flex as he shook his other arm free of the coat.

“Uh…not really.” The truth was I hadn’t really put that much effort into finding someone because I didn’t want to let the puppy go. In just a few days I’d grown surprisingly attached even though I knew I wasn’t allowed to keep him in my apartment. I’d already asked since Dixie was allowed to keep Dolly, but the landlord informed they were grandfathered in before the laws surrounding pit bulls in Denver changed. My little guy wasn’t that lucky.

My response made Wheeler chuckle. He stared at me silently as he held out the coat he’d taken off in his free hand.

“Put this on.” I stared at him like he’d suddenly started speaking Russian until he shook the coat again and frowned at me. His voice was serious and left no room for argument when he repeated the command. “Put this on, Poppy.”

Interested? You can pre-order SALVAGED on Goodreads, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, iTunes, Kobo and Google Plus.


Jay Crownover continues her Saints of Denver series with SALVAGED. Preorder and fill out the form here with your name, email address, and the order number from your pre-order receipt to receive an advance excerpt of DIGNITY and a Saints of Denver Doodle download to print at home.
Entries must be received by midnight PST on June 19th to be eligible.

The print-at-home Doodle and Dignity excerpt will be emailed the week of June 20th

About the Author:
Jay Crownover is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the Marked Men and The Point series. Like her characters, she is a big fan of tattoos. She loves music and wishes she could be a rock star, but since she has no aptitude for singing or instrument playing, she’ll settle for writing stories with interesting characters that make the reader feel something. She lives in Colorado with her three dogs.

Catch up with Jay on her website, blog, Facebook, Twitter and Goodreads.

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Choosing to Stay RIVETED–A Review

riveted-bannerHi there! Today I’m sharing a review for a brand-new contemporary romance from Jay Crownover. RIVETED is the third book in the Saints of Denver series. Though I’ve read BUILT and CHARGED, this romance follows a new couple, and is fully enjoyable on its own.

riveted_finalAbout the book:
From the New York Times bestselling author of the Marked Men books comes the next installment in the Saints of Denver series.
Everyone else in Dixie Carmichael’s life has made falling in love look easy, and now she is ready for her own chance at some of that happily ever after. Which means she’s done pining for the moody, silent former soldier who works with her at the bar that’s become her home away from home. Nope. No more chasing the hot as heck thundercloud of a man and no more waiting for Mr. Right to find her; she’s going hunting for him…even if she knows her heart is stuck on its stupid infatuation with Dash Churchill.

Denver has always been just a pit stop for Church on his way back to rural Mississippi. It was supposed to be simple, uneventful, but nothing could have prepared him for the bubbly, bouncy redhead with doe eyes and endless curves. Now he knows it’s time to get out of Denver, fast. For a man used to living in the shadows, the idea of spending his days in the sun is nothing short of terrifying.

When Dixie and Church find themselves caught up in a homecoming overshadowed with lies and danger, Dixie realizes that while falling in love is easy, loving takes a whole lot more work…especially when Mr. Right thinks he’s all wrong for you.

My Review:
Dixie Carmichael is a woman bent on finding the perfect man to stand beside her. She’s decided that man is Dashel Church, but Church isn’t having it. See, he’s a man on his own, destined to live without love. All the women he’s ever loved died young, and he won’t risk his heart. Recognizing a lost cause when she sees one, Dixie backs off from Church, and takes her future by the horns–getting her app-dating on. Expect disastrous results.

Church is a mixed-race man, who’s always had an inferiority complex. His young, unwed mother was disowned because her racist parents wouldn’t accept Dashel as a grandchild. Then, after his mother married another man, he wasn’t sure he would be accepted. While his stepfather was fantastic, Church’s mother died while he was a young teen–and he’s been emotionally adrift for a while. While he may desire Dixie, he doesn’t feel worthy of her generous nature, and goodwill. Plus, Church is a loner, and a roamer. He’s not been back to his small Mississippi town since he went to war more than ten years ago. Thing is, one of his dearest childhood caregivers is ill, and begging for him to return…with the woman he said he’d been dating in Colorado. This is a big, fat lie–Church hadn’t been dating anyone, he was too torn up by his military experiences to go home. He does have a definite attraction to Dixie, and he knows she’s the kind of friend who’ll do whatever she can to help him out; even drive two days on a motorcycle from Denver to Mississippi. It’s a little exploitative–Church knows she’s attracted, and he kind of appeals to that side to get her to agree.

Being together in close quarters gets Dixie where she wants to be, without the satisfaction of Church’s heart being engaged–at first. He’s definitely super protective, and Dixie’s a gal to admire for lots of men. It soon becomes clear that someone is targeting Church, to get him away from Dixie–and that leads to some serious conflict. We also have the “Church makes amends to his family” plotline which is tender and the sexytimes are satisfying. Expect a lot of brooding on Church’s part, and lots of sunshine from Dixie–that gal could make a gargoyle smirk, I think. Plus, a few of Church’s family getting caught in the crossfire of a lunatic, and huge changes for a woman who finally gets her heart’s desire. There’s an HEA ending for Church and Dixie.

As for the series, we get an inside look at Wheeler’s dilemma–which began unfolding in the previous book, CHARGED, and I’d expect that guy to find a new love pretty darn quick.

Interested? you can find RIVETED on Goodreads, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iBooks, Kobo, and Google.

About the Author:
Jay Crownover is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the Marked Men and The Point series. Like her characters, she is a big fan of tattoos. She loves music and wishes she could be a rock star, but since she has no aptitude for singing or instrument playing, she’ll settle for writing stories with interesting characters that make the reader feel something. She lives in Colorado with her three dogs.

Catch up with Jay on her website, blog, Facebook, Twitter and Goodreads.

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Coming Soon! Their Love Became HONOR–Review and Giveaway!

honor-tour-bannerHi there! Today I’m sharing a review for a new contemporary gangster romance from Jay Crownover releasing October 18th. HONOR is the first book in her Breaking Point series but features two characters from previous books: cold and calculating mob boss Nassir and the sexy stripper he fell for long ago, Keelyn.

Catch the excerpt and review below and enter the giveaway for a chance to win signed copies of all the books in the The Point series.

honorpbAbout the book:
Don’t be fooled.
Don’t make excuses for me.
I am not a good man.

I’ve seen things no one should, done things no one should talk about. Honor and conscience have no place in my life. But I’ve fought and I’ve survived. I’ve had to.

The first time I saw her dancing on that seedy stage in that second rate club, I felt my heart pulse for the first time. Keelyn Foster was too young, too vibrant for this place, and I knew in an instant that I would make her mine. But first I had to climb my way to the top. I had to have something more to offer her.

I’m here now, money is no object and I have no equal. Except for her. She’s disappeared. But don’t worry, I will find her and claim her. She will be mine.

Like I said, don’t be fooled. I am not the devil in disguise… I’m the one front and center.

A delicious beginning…

KEELYN

“What are you doing here, Nassir?”

Nassir Gates, half man and half monster. He was lethal and toxic, keeping all that sinister beauty covered up in a ridiculously expensive suit that made him look elegant and falsely civilized. To the untrained eye, Nassir was an outrageously handsome man that looked like he was on his way to a business meeting, but if you had spent any time on the streets, were familiar with life in the gutter, there was no missing who he really was, what he was. The top of the food chain. If you knew about what it took to make it where I came from, you could look at Nassir and see that he not only thrived in chaos, but was comfortable there. He even managed to make it look good.

I left all of that behind. I liked Denver. I liked the laid-back vibe. I liked the monotony. I liked the predictability. I liked that I could walk to my car after my shift at the diner and not have to worry about taking a knife in the ribs or getting a revolver shoved in my back. I liked that I didn’t have to shake my ass or get naked to pay my bills. I liked that here, soccer dads were just that, and weren’t secretly banging hookers in the back room or gambling the family’s grocery money away at an illegal poker game. Most importantly I liked that I didn’t have to look my biggest addiction, my worst temptation, in the eye every single day and pretend like I didn’t want him. Here I didn’t have to deny that I had been infatuated with him for years. I was foolishly obsessed with this particular devil in a designer suit and I knew he was absolutely detrimental not only to my safety but to the thing I valued above all else…my independence.

After a childhood spent evading the hands of my mother’s overzealous and unhinged boyfriends and barely escaping the clutches of a sick and twisted stepfather, and too many years working my ass off—literally—to make a life for myself, I could never risk letting myself care for Nassir the way I wanted to because I knew that if I did, I would become nothing more than his, and I refused to be any man’s possession or accessory.

When the opportunity arose to take off without an explanation or without looking like I was running from him and the promise and future I saw so clearly in his eyes, I grabbed it. Ran away with both my heart and my tail tucked between my legs. But now he was here in this fragile and predictable paradise and I wanted to stab him with the broken pen and jump in his lap and put my mouth on his smirking lips all at the same time.

You’re here, Key. Where else would I be?”

My Review:

This is the first book in a new spin-off series that carries two characters from The Point books into a whole new group of stories. Nassir Gates is the cold and enigmatic boss, ruthless and feared. He fell for Keelyn Foster the moment he laid eyes on her–on her first day working the pole at Spanky’s strip club. He didn’t care a bit about her assets; he was thrilled by the awe in her eyes.

Keelyn’s known that Nassir wanted her, but she was never ready to accept him, or his attention. She knew his reputation was well-deserved, even if she only understood the barest tip of what gave him that razor-honed edge. In a previous story Keelyn had been shot and Nassir saved her. It’s several months later that he meets her in her new hideaway life in Denver, and urges her to move back to The Point–back to him.

This has been a simmering attraction neither had ever moved on, until now. Nassir wants Keelyn to buy-in to his newest venture, a sex club, as a managing partner–and it’s an offer she can’t refuse. She also can’t refuse pressing all Nassir’s buttons and moving herself into his secluded mountain home. Things don’t go easy however. There’s lots of violent shenanigans, and each harrowing near-death escape further cements their lives together–if they probably won’t have a long life together, there’s not a moment to waste posturing and protecting one’s heart, after all.

The initial part of the book is an extensive history of Nassir, and his abusive, tumultuous childhood in the West Bank region of Israel. It certainly went a long way to humanizing Nassir–which I think best benefited The Point readers who likely had their hate on for Nassir. As I’d not read those books I found it a little overwhelming, and not essential. But that was me and I was a blank slate. I could have enjoyed Nassir without it, but it certainly made him a more well-rounded character. The Pinocchio references were very cute, and gave me smiles. There’s some sexytimes, but there’s a lot more hardship than happiness, though this one ends in a way that’s mostly positive.

It’s not easy loving a couple that’s bottom-of-the-barrel. Nassir is a death-dealer turned mafioso. He runs The Point, the fictional world where they live. It’s a city time forgot ruled by drugs, greed and crime. While there are admirable men and women who live here, Keelyn and Nassir aren’t counted among that number. Keelyn grew up quickly, and got out of her house before her step-father could rape her. Stripping was her saving grace, and her brief escape to Denver gives her new perspective: if she didn’t have Nassir guarding her every move in The Point, maybe she’d have needed another way out. Now that she’s a woman of means, she wants to provide that “way out” for women who were in her situation, or worse, and don’t want to sell their bodies to survive. Nassir grew up being a tool of revenge and his life is very different now. He makes his own path, controls his own destiny. When he can, he now offers his adversaries a choice to leave their criminal lives behind–thus removing his competition in a more humane fashion than he’d ever been offered. So, while these two start out as borderline despicable–mostly Nassir–they both make admirable choices. I think readers will really enjoy their story, which has lots of tough twists and some super bloody turns.

Interested? You can find HONOR on Goodreads, and pre-order it in advance of it’s October 18th release on Amazon (US, UK, Can, and Aus) Barnes and Noble, iBooks, and Kobo.

If you preorder HONOR you will receive a super sweet bonus scene that features both Rule and Bax…as well as their leading ladies. The scene will NOT be shared anywhere else. It will be exclusive to those who preorder HONOR and fill out this form.

****GIVEAWAY****

Click on this Rafflecopter giveaway link for your chance to win a signed copy of the The Point series books.
Good luck and keep reading my friends!

DSC02158-EditAbout the Author:
Jay Crownover is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the Marked Men and The Point series. Like her characters, she is a big fan of tattoos. She loves music and wishes she could be a rock star, but since she has no aptitude for singing or instrument playing, she’ll settle for writing stories with interesting characters that make the reader feel something. She lives in Colorado with her three dogs.

Catch up with Jay on her website, blog, Facebook, Twitter and Goodreads.

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Odd Hearts CHARGED–Review and Giveaway!

Charged RWB BannerHi there! I’m so excited to share an excerpt, review and giveaway in support of a brand new contemporary romance from Jay Crownover. CHARGED is the second book in her new Saints of Denver series. You know I really enjoyed BUILT, so I had to keep reading this series!

Catch the excerpt and be sure to enter the $25 GC and signed book giveaway below!

Charged (Saints of Denver, #2)About the book:

From the New York Times bestselling author of the Marked Men books comes the second installment in the Saints of Denver series featuring a bad girl and a by-the-book attorney who could be her salvation…or her ruin.

Avett Walker and Quaid Jackson’s worlds have no reason to collide. Ever. Quaid is a high powered criminal attorney as slick as he is handsome. Avett is a pink-haired troublemaker with a bad attitude and a history of picking the wrong men.

When Avett lands in a sea of hot water because of one terrible mistake, the only person who can get her out of it is the insanely sexy lawyer. The last thing on earth she wants to do is rely on the no-nonsense attorney who thinks of her as nothing more than a nuisance. He literally has her fate in his hands. Yet there is something about him that makes her want to convince him to loosen his tie and have a little fun…with her.

Quaid never takes on clients like the impulsive young woman with a Technicolor dye job. She could stand to learn a hard lesson or two, but something about her guileless hazel eyes intrigues him. Still, he’s determined to keep their relationship strictly business. But doing so is becoming more impossible with each day he spends with her.

As they work side-by-side, they’ll have to figure out a way to get along and keep their hands off each other—because the chemistry between them is beyond charged.

How about a little taste?

Quaid

              She let her arms fall and scooted forward on the chair. She leaned forward and looked at me intently. Her eyes were mesmerizing and I found myself distracted by all the different colors trapped there. I had to ask her to repeat herself when I realized she said something and was waiting for a response from me. I needed to get my head in the game where this girl was concerned…this girl…that was the part I seemed to keep forgetting.

              “What did you say?” My voice dipped lower than it normally was and I shifted in my seat as other parts of me started to notice all the interesting and attractive things about Avett Walker as well.

              “I said, I Googled you.” She swept some of her hair back from where it had fallen over her shoulder, and I literally had to force myself to keep my gaze locked on her face as the motion pushed her chest up higher and tighter against the plain, black T-shirt she had on.

              “Oh, yeah? How did that work out for you?” I knew what she would find: my service record, my wedding announcement, my work history from the firm, various tidbits on my most high profile cases, and various articles chronicling my divorce. Most divorces weren’t newsworthy, but when one of the people involved came from money and the other was as high profile as I was, it made for good filer on a slow news day. I was curious to see what her interpretation of the snapshot of my life that existed on the internet was.

              She got up from the chair and started to pace back and forth in front of my desk as she talked. “It worked out well enough, I guess. I saw that you were enlisted when you were younger, which explains why my dad immediately liked you.” She looked at me over her shoulder and a tiny grin tugged at her mouth. “He doesn’t usually like anyone instantly. It takes him a while to warm up.”

              I listened with half an ear as I watched her brightly colored hair swish around her shoulders. She didn’t come across as the girly or overly feminine type, so I wondered why she had gone with such a delicate and pretty pink when coloring her hair.

              “I learned that you’re a Colorado native, that you grew up in the mountains, that your birthday is right around Christmas, which means you’re almost thirty-two, so you’ve accomplished a lot in your career in a short amount of time. I also learned that you own a lot of suits.”

              I snorted out a surprised laugh at that last part, which made her stop pacing. She took a step closer to my desk and put her hands on the opposite edge, leaning forward. The new position made her T-shirt gape at the collar, and even though I refused to look down, I could see the hint of a leopard-print bra peeking out. That hint of something forbidden made my mouth go dry and had my pulse kicking. It was a powerful reaction to very little provocation, and I made myself beat it back, forcibly.

My Review:

While this is the second book in a series, it can be enjoyed on its own. Avett Walker is a 22 year old mess. She’s been arrested as an accessory to rob her father’s former bar, even though she didn’t do it. Nope, her good-for-nothing junkie boyfriend thought up that scheme, and he hit Avett when she wouldn’t help.

Still, he’s claiming it was all her idea and Avett’s in jail awaiting arraignment when a clearly high-priced (if his suit means anything) lawyer arrives. Quaid Jackson doesn’t want to hear Avett’s story. He’s used to defending scumballs if the price is right and he’s on a retainer from the new owner of Avett’s father’s bar–Rome. Avett can’t even fathom the reason behind that.

Thing is, there are tons of people who owe Avett’s father a debt of honor, as one might call it. Avett is one of them, but she can’t seem to ever make the right choice. That she’s attracted to the no-nonsense Quaid is simply proof-positive.

Quaid Jackson is a poor boy done good. Literally. He worked his way from nothing to an almost-guaranteed partnership in his firm. Unfortunately, all his wealth and standing is beginning to feel a bit hollow. His marriage to his high school sweetheart turned out to be a big sham, and he’s on the hook for the divorce. His luxury apartment has every furnishing, but no soul. Meeting Avett, who is so completely woebegone over her bad choices and earnest in her desire to make reparations, is a gust of fresh air for his jaded heart.

You can expect Avett’s troubles to double, and triple in this romantic suspense. See, her ex turned to selling drugs to support his habit, and…well, like a lot of junkies, he used the drugs he was supposed to sell. Knowing his suppliers will kill him if he doesn’t turn over the cash causes him to implicate Avett! Just when she’s almost getting things worked out with her family–WHAM!! Huge problems with the drug lords. While Quaid is no longer on her case, he’s totally willing to bear Avett’s burdens for her.

I liked the book a lot. I really identified with Avett’s sorrow and desire to fix things. She’s had some bad experiences, including losing a good friend a few years back for reasons she takes as her own. It’s made her semi-self-destructive. Being around Quaid helps her take steps to building back her self-esteem, and each time she makes amends to someone she’s hurt brings Avett more in-line with the kind of woman she wants to be.

Quaid is a stand-up guy, and he’s ready to defend Avett against snarky district attorneys and murderous drug kingpins. I had a LITTLE trouble accepting his rationalizations at times–any physical relationship with a client is really frowned upon, ethically, but I totally dug how he wanted to get a new start in life, and that meant thinking beyond his nouveaux-riche world. I liked how he took charge of his career, and made choices that were healthy for him.

I totally saw the end coming, and yet wasn’t even a little disappointed, which I think is a hallmark of a good story. There’s some nice sexytimes, but the book is mostly all about redemption, and how to get out of a bad mess of your own making.

Interested? You can find CHARGED on Goodreads, Amazon, iBooks, Barnes & Noble, and Kobo. And don’t miss the first titles in The Saints of Denver Series, LEVELED and BUILT.

****GIVEAWAY****

Click on this Rafflecopter giveaway link for your chance to win a $25 gift card to Amazon or Barnes & Noble–winner’s choice–and a signed copy of BUILT.
Good luck and keep reading my friends!

DSC02158-EditAbout the Author:
Jay Crownover is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the Marked Men and The Point series. Like her characters, she is a big fan of tattoos. She loves music and wishes she could be a rock star, but since she has no aptitude for singing or instrument playing, she’ll settle for writing stories with interesting characters that make the reader feel something. She lives in Colorado with her three dogs.

Catch up with Jay on her website, blog, Facebook, Twitter and Goodreads.

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Their Love Was BUILT–Excerpt, Review and Giveaway

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Hi there! Today I’m sharing an excerpt and review for BUILT, the first full-length novel in Jay Crownover’s new Saints of Denver series. Releasing next week, BUILT is a contemporary romance featuring a hard-working man with a checkered past, and the ice queen lawyer whose heart he melts.

Be sure to check out the excerpt and enter to win a $25 gift card and a set of The Point book series!

Studio portrait of young bearded man --- Image by © pinkypills/Corbis

Studio portrait of young bearded man — Image by © pinkypills/Corbis

About the book:
From the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the Marked Men books comes an electrifying new spin-off series, Saints of Denver, featuring all the characters fans have been dying to read about.

Sayer Cole and Zeb Fuller couldn’t be more different. She’s country club and fine-dining, he’s cell-block and sawdust. Sayer spends her days in litigation, while Zeb spends his working with his hands. She’s French silk, he’s all denim and flannel.

Zeb’s wanted the stunning blonde since the moment he laid eyes on her. It doesn’t matter how many smooth moves he makes, the reserved lawyer seems determinedly oblivious to his interest—either that or she doesn’t return it. Sayer is certain the rough, hard, hot-as-hell Zeb could never want someone as closed off and restrained as she is, which is a shame because something tells her he might be the guy to finally melt her icy exterior.

But just as things start to heat up, Zeb is blindsided by a life altering moment from his past. He needs Sayer’s professional help to right a wrong and to save more than himself. He can’t risk what’s at stake just because his attraction to Sayer feels all consuming. But as these opposites dig in for the fight of their lives, battling together to save a family, the steam created when fire and ice collide can no longer be ignored.

How about a little taste?

                   I dug my fingers into his wrists and scowled right back at him as his pulse kicked into my touch. “I don’t think you’re an asshole or a player at all, Zeb, but I also have no experience with men like you.”

“Men like me? What does that mean? What kind of man am I?” He was getting angry and frustrated and I couldn’t blame him. It was hard for me to explain why he was everything I wanted but everything I could never have. We were on two different levels when it came to our personalities and I knew there was no way someone as passionate and expressive as he was would ever be interested in someone as reserved and closed off as I was. Where I was the frozen tundra when it came to emotional availability, he was the blazing heat of the desert. I could see the fire of his annoyance in his gaze as he waited for my shaky explanation.

“You’re a man who is sure of himself and confidant. You’re a man who is used to having women fall at his feet. You’re a man who is exiting and interesting.” I lifted an eyebrow at him. “You’re a man who is tattooed and drives a cool vintage truck around, you’re a man who doesn’t mind getting dirty and can create things for a living. All of that is the total opposite of everything I’ve ever known, Zeb.”

His eyebrows went from the deep frown over his nose to shooting up on his forehead and disappeared under the dark fall of hair that rested there. A grin that could only be described as wicked slashed through his beard and his hands tightened where they were still holding on to my face.

“I thought you were going to say a man with a past. A man that has been to jail. I thought you were going to say a man with my history is the kind of man you have no experience with. You surprised me.”

If I was a different type of woman, I might have smacked him for that kind of ignorance. “Where you have been doesn’t define who you are, Zeb. I told you when we first met that I understand that people make mistakes.”

He grunted and moved his face closer to mine. “And here I am on your doorstep with another one. You want me to teach you about a man like me, Sayer? I’m pretty simple to figure out.”

I didn’t believe that for a single second, so I opened my mouth to tell him. There was never anything simple about passion. I didn’t get a chance to utter a sound because before I got a word out I suddenly knew exactly what it felt like to be kissed by a guy with a beard because he dipped his head and devoured my mouth with his.

It felt phenomenal.

My Review:
Sayer is on her own for the first time in her life, but that doesn’t mean she’s left her baggage back in Seattle. Six months ago her father died dropping the bombshell that he’d fathered another child–Rowdy from the Marked Men books. Sayer’s mother committed suicide while Sayer was in her teens, and her father was an emotionally abusive man who found fault with everything Sayer did–including crying at her mother’s funeral. It’s not been easy to open herself up to Rowdy and his friends, but she’s trying hard to rebuild her life.

In doing so, she buys a beautiful historic home that needs renovation. For this job Sayer hires Rowdy’s good friend Zeb. Zeb had spent 2 years in jail for assaulting his sister’s abusive partner. Since then, he’s put all his effort into being a model citizen, including starting his construction/renovation business from scratch and hiring guys with criminal histories, training them to be overcome their past and develop a worthwhile trade. Zeb makes no secret of his attraction to Sayer, and while she’d like to sate her desire for more with Zeb, she’s so ingrained with insecurity thanks to her daddy issues it’s hard for her to relax around him.

Before they can even begin to gain ground together Zeb needs Sayer in a professional capacity. Sayer’s not thrown off by Zeb’s past–or present–she only feels unequal to the strong love she knows he gives unflinchingly. Watching both Poppy and Beryl, strong women friends who have overcome physical abuse, gives Sayer a guide to dig her true self out from beneath her callous mask. While Sayer helps Zeb she becomes more and more involved in his life, and the relationship they both wanted begins. It’s still a hard path, but I liked how they were honest–even when it hurt and meant temporary separation.

I don’t want to give away too much, but I think readers are REALLY going to love Zeb. He is a stand up man, who takes on too much responsibility for others, perhaps. He does the hard work for himself and Sayer, and his steadfast love is the balm to her chafed heart. I think he’s one of the best hetero male leads I’ve read in a long time. There’s not too much sexytimes, though when it happens it’s yummy. Readers may not find Sayer approachable–and that’s by design. I still could appreciate her compassion, even if I didn’t connect with her self-loathing. The end is a spectacular HEA.

Interested? You can find BUILT on Goodreads and pre-order it in advance of its Jan 6th release on Amazon, iBooks, and Barnes & Noble.

***GIVEAWAY****

Click on the Rafflecopter link below for your chance to win a $25 gift card and a set of The Point book series!
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Good luck and keep reading my friends!

Jay CrownoverAbout the Author:
Jay Crownover is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the Marked Men and The Point series. Like her characters, she is a big fan of tattoos. She loves music and wishes she could be a rock star, but since she has no aptitude for singing or instrument playing, she’ll settle for writing stories with interesting characters that make the reader feel something. She lives in Colorado with her three dogs.
Catch up with Jay on her website, blog, Facebook, Twitter and Goodreads.

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Happy Book Birthday to LEVELED! Excerpt and Giveaway

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Hi there! Today I’m sharing the word about LEVELED a new novella from Jay Crownover. This book marks the beginning of a new Saints of Denver contemporary M/M romance series and is sure to please all Jay’s fans.

Check out the meet-cute scene below, and make sure to enter the giveaway to win a $25 GC and an advanced reader copy of BUILT, the first novel in the Saints of Denver series.

LeveledREVISEDAbout the book:
We all need a hero…let the Saints of Denver begin.
Orlando Frederick knows what it is to be leveled by pain. Instead of focusing on his own, he’s made it his mission to help others: sports stars, wounded war vets, survivors of all kinds. But when Dom, a rugged, damaged, sinfully attractive cop makes his way into Lando’s physical therapy practice, he might be the biggest challenge yet. Lando loved one stubborn man before and barely survived the fallout. He’s not sure if he can do it again.

Dominic Voss is a protector. The police badge he wears is not only his job, it’s his identity, so when he’s sidelined because of an injury, the only thing he cares about is getting back on the force. He expects Lando to mend his body, he just doesn’t realize the trainer will also have him working towards a hell of a lot more. As attraction simmers and flares, Dom sees that Lando needs repair of his own…if only the man will let him close enough to mend what’s broken.

How about a little taste?

He reached out and shut the medical file in front of him and leaned back in his chair. His eyebrows arched up, and he laced his fingers together and put his index fingers under his chin.

“What exactly are you after, Mr. Voss?” His voice was smooth and modulated. I was a disaster, a bundle of nerves and anxiety, and this dude was acting like we were talking about the weather, not my entire life and everything I had ever worked my ass off for.

Defiantly I spread my legs apart and slumped back in the chair across from him, making it a point to affect a posture that was as casual as his was professional. I had on a faded DPD T-shirt and a pair of jeans with a hole in the knee, and both were a little baggy since I’d lost some of my bulk being laid up in the hospital after the accident. If the guy across from me was a cherry-red Ferrari, then I was a rusted-out and battered John Deere tractor in comparison.

“I want my life back, Mr. Frederick. I want to be able to move the way I used to. I want to pass the department physical so I can go back on patrol. I want to be able to walk without needing a crutch or a cane. I want to be the way I was before I got hurt.” I was asking for the impossible and I knew it. “And please call me Dom.”

He dipped his chin down a little, and the edge of his mouth tilted up in a slight grin. Damn the man was good-looking. I blew out a breath and lifted up my hands to run them over the top of my shorn hair. I was hanging on to my sanity by a thread and my unexpected reaction to the guy that I was hanging every hope I had left on wasn’t helping matters.

“All right, Dom. You can call me Lando. That’s what my friends call me.”

I felt one of my eyebrows shoot up. “Are we going to be friends?”  

Leveled Teaser4This one looks like it’s going to be fun!

Interested? You can find LEVELED on Goodreads, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iBooks, Kobo, and Harper Collins.

****GIVEAWAY****

Click the Rafflecopter link below for your chance to win a $25 GC and an advanced reader copy of BUILT the first novel in the Saints of Denver series.
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Good luck and keep reading my friends!

Jay CrownoverAbout the author:
Jay Crownover is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the Marked Men and The Point series. Like her characters, she is a big fan of tattoos. She loves music and wishes she could be a rock star, but since she has no aptitude for singing or instrument playing, she’ll settle for writing stories with interesting characters that make the reader feel something. She lives in Colorado with her three dogs.

You can find Jay online on her website, Blog, Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads.

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