Saturday, 9 January 2016

Review - Built by Jay Crownover

Title: Built
Series: Saints of Denver #1
Author: Jay Crownover
Release Date: January 5, 2015

Sometimes a real hero lets you save yourself . . .

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. But none of that has stopped Zeb from wanting the stunning blonde since the moment he laid eyes on her—even if the reserved lawyer seems determinedly oblivious to his interest.

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. When he shows up at Sayer’s door needing her professional help, she’s both disappointed and relieved that she won’t get the chance to find out just how good he could be.

But as they team up to right a wrong and save a family, the steam created when fire and ice collide cannot be ignored.

“Crownover weaves a tale that touches every emotion and keeps the pages turning.” —Liliana Hart, New York Times bestselling author

A series—even a spin-off—needs a good, solid foundation upon which to build, and Jay Crownover has given her new series, the Saints of Denver, that and more in this excellent first installment. Built was fantastically enjoyable from start to finish, and I found myself so invested, I didn't want to put it down.

So, you know what? I didn't. I read Built in one day, tucked up in my bed with my sick baby boy, and devoured the words Ms. Crownover left on the page like I was starving for them. Because, in a way, I was. I've been interested in Zeb and Sayer since Rowdy, one of my favorite Marked Men books, and I feel like I've been waiting forever to find out what happened to this perfectly mismatched pair. To finally get their story—and to have it be so right—made me a very happy reader indeed.

I simply loved this couple. Together, and separately. Zeb was easy. He's a tattooed, bearded mountain man with a dark past, and he’s just trying to make good in the world. He was kind, passionate and (mostly) patient. It would have been impossible not to love him, when he was so amazingly alpha and yet, so sweetly sexy. He was dirty words and genuine gestures, and his decisions—from protecting his family which landed him in trouble, to standing up and being a man when he needed to be—just made this giant a GIANT yes in my book.

But here's the thing. This book was Sayer’s. Truly, it was. Broken, beat-down Sayer, whose emotions were on ice and whose biggest, rashest decision came when she moved to Colorado to find Rowdy, her brother. Yes, she was cold, closed off and made the wrong choices, but she was human and she grew. She'd been hurt and Ms. Crownover did an excellent job of portraying that throughout Built. There were enough glimpses of the real Sayer—the one that helped the people she loved just because she loved them—and her chemistry with Zeb was intense enough to carry her past her flaws and into my heart. I was rooting for this person that needed to find her color, and when she did? Ugh, my heart pounded.

With fun (but not over-the-top) moments with some of the Marked Men series’ finest, this book was a perfect starting point for the Saints of Denver. It can be read completely standalone (or after the also excellent Leveled, which is book #0.5), so new readers are in for a real treat. An introduction to Denver, Jay Crownover-style. And a rock-solid foundation upon which this new series can be Built
~ Review by Beth

Jay Crownover is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the Marked Men and Welcome to 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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