Series: Saints of Denver #0.5
Author: Jay Crownover
Release Day: November 2, 2015
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.
Ahhhhh, an M/M read from Jay Crownover? One that bridges my beloved Marked Men with the Saints of Denver? GIMME. NOW. <<-- Essentially all the words I was capable of when I found out about it. And now I'm done, my words are more like, ‘I want more. Now!’
Dominic Voss and Orlando Frederick both know what it is to suffer. Dom’s trying to get to back to full fitness and his job on the beat—a job that defines who he is—after a life-threatening injury, while Lando has closed himself off to the idea of love after the worst kind of ending to his relationship with his first—and true—love.
They weren't supposed to be more than therapist and patient—Lando’s job was to put Dom’s broken body back together. But their intense attraction means that Lando isn't the only one doing the healing…if he can break down his barriers, Dom might just have a chance at mending Lando’s broken heart.
Is it January yet? Because I raced through this steamy, emotional novella and now I'm done, I'm so ready for more of this new series. Leveled was an excellent introduction to the Saints of Denver, with a couple of little Easter Egg moments to tease what's to come—and it included cameos from some of those Marked Men characters I didn't (still don't) want to say goodbye to, giving a bit more closure to fans of the original series. Not that you must have read those to be able to enjoy the story of Dom and Lando. Knowing a little of their respective back stories made it easier to get invested in this story for sure (as well as a grip on the relationships that pop up between these characters and their friends/family), but nonetheless, I think you could get by without. Wonderful.
And speaking of wonderful, there were a couple of moments, in particular, that packed a real punch for me—and one of them didn't even directly involve the main couple. Instead, it served as a reminder about the importance of forgiveness and love. And that's really what this book is about. Accepting what's happened, and trying not to let it affect what's to come. Dom’s trying to heal his injury, Lando needs to mend his broken heart, and they both need to embrace the future—whatever it holds.
I loved Dom and Lando’s story, and was thrilled that Ms. Crownover gave them a second chance at life and love. Seeing them struggle to find balance with one another—to heal and move on—was fun, sexy and rewarding. This couple just worked together, and I only wish it could have been longer, since it's STILL not January yet…and I really, really wish it was…
~ Review by Beth
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?”
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.
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