Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for Jay Crownover’s latest, Charged! Below you’ll find my review, some teasers, an excerpt and, of course, a giveaway. Don’t forget to enter that before you leave to go pre-order Charged. 🙂
Charged by Jay Crownover
Series: Saints of Denver #2
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Publication date: May 24, 2016
Publisher: William Morrow
Format: eARC, 400 pages
How I got it: From the publisher
Add it: Goodreads
Buy it: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iTunes
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.
I narrowed my eyes at her, shifted my weight from foot to foot as her proximity and the charge of her pushing and me pulling thickened both my blood and my cock. I was an attorney for a reason. I never met an argument I didn’t like or that I didn’t feel compelled to win. The way Avett always seemed to challenge me was as much of a turn-on as her curvy little body was.
“Where is your father?” I lifted my eyes from her penetrating gaze in search of the big biker. I didn’t need to try and explain a black eye or a broken arm to Orsen on top of why I suddenly had no interest in searching out a pretty piece of ass to spend time with.
“He’s waiting at the truck. I told him I had some questions I needed to ask you about what happens next.”
“Do I what?” She was getting increasingly annoyed and I wanted to groan at the way it made her cheeks flush and her breathing hitch. I bet she looked the same way when she was about to come.
Shit. That was not the direction I needed my thoughts to go, but now that they were there I didn’t have a chance in hell of wrangling them back into the safe zone.
“Do you have questions about what happens next?” My voice didn’t sound like my own and I knew there was no hiding the wayward direction of my thoughts as they played out in my gaze as I watched her carefully.
Slowly, her head shook back and forth, dislodging the bun at the back of her head. Pink strands of hair floated around her face, curling over her shoulders, and my fingertips itched to reach out and push it off her face.
“I know what happens next, Quaid…do you?” Her tone had dropped to a husky whisper that hit me right in the dick. My entire body tensed up and I almost, very nearly, leaned down and met her as she lifted up on her tiptoes towards me. I wanted to kiss her. I wanted her to kiss me. But over the top of her head, as she moved towards me, I caught sight of a familiar face. The heady, little bubble of seduction and intoxicating risk that Avett had created around me popped, dropping me hard, back into reality.
I turned my head as her lips grazed my cheek, and even though it was as innocent as any kiss had ever been, it felt more erotic, more forbidden, and more illicit than any of the actual sex I had ever had. This little slip of a woman could demolish me, waste me, annihilate me, and if I allowed her to do it, I knew it would feel better than anything had in a very long time.
I was equally parts excited and worried when it came time to read Charged. Excited because I love Jay’s writing and this series, but nervous because I wasn’t familiar with either of the characters when I read the blurb. It’s been awhile since I read the other books and I had a tough time remembering if we’d previously met Avett and, if so, who she was. Jay’s amazing letter to readers at the beginning of the novel also made me a little nervous because, while I like flawed characters, I need to connect with them in some way to be able to enjoy a book. I didn’t doubt her, however, because I’ve read enough of her books to know that she always gives the reader a great story, the right story for the characters and, more often than not, the exact story we (I) need, even if I wasn’t sure what it was I wanted to begin with. I didn’t have to be nervous for all that long though. The book got off to a little bit of a slow start for me as I pieced together the connections from the past, but it didn’t take that long before I remembered and found myself appreciating both Avett and Quaid for the characters they were – and, more importantly, who they were becoming. It was then I found myself completely sucked into the story.
Both Avett and Quaid were flawed characters. This gave me great hope for growth for them over the course of this book. I hoped they could be a catalyst for change in each other – and they were. If I’m honest, they weren’t the most likable characters in the beginning either. But I tried not to get totally wrapped up in who they were, but to focus more on the potential they each had. I suspected before it was all over that Jay would make me love them. (I wasn’t wrong.)
Avett repeatedly made bad decisions. REALLY bad decisions. Primarily where men are involved. Of course, the fallout from her latest decision – and from her trusting the wrong person – was huge. It led to Rome and Royal being injured. She hurt family and family friends. She could’ve gotten herself killed. She was totally in over her head and I hated that for her, but she was the one who put herself in the situation… not that it was cut and dry. It was complicated, as things often are, and things got out of hand. It was all this that led her to sexy lawyer Quaid.
On the outside, Quaid was fairly buttoned up and reserved. He was an excellent lawyer, which is exactly what Avett needed. He’d been through some tough times in the past and it had turned him fairly cold. Meeting Avett, however, started to thaw him. He wanted to do more than get her free of the charges against her. He wanted to save her. He wanted to devour her. She was sweet and wild and our Legal Eagle couldn’t get enough of her. Quaid started off the book as someone who valued possessions over people, but after his experiences with his ex-wife, it made sense. And, as someone who grew up with no possessions, you couldn’t really blame him for placing a high value on them now that he could afford them. Seeing Avett unimpressed with the things he valued most – making it obvious she wanted HIM not the things he had – made him start to think differently. But, I digress. I could go on forever, but I won’t.
I loved Avett and Quaid together. I appreciated how she helped him grow as he helped her navigate the tricky – and dangerous! – waters she found herself in. We knew going in that her ex was a bad person, but the depth of that wasn’t really apparent until later in the novel when we learned just how far he would go to save himself… at the expense of Avett and those closest to her. Because of that threat, this book wound up being part romance and part suspense, which I found I really enjoyed. It could probably go without saying, but I’m going to say it anyhow… the sexy times between Avett and Quaid were hot AF. There was more than just passion between these two, but there’s no denying the importance of that part of them. I loved seeing some of my old Marked Men favorites (Rome!!! <3) and, even if they were off-camera so to speak, how several of those characters embraced Avett in her time of need.
I definitely enjoyed this book. I thought it made for a great addition to the Saints of Denver series and I just can’t wait to see what Jay will give us next. I hope it’s Church’s book. I’m intrigued by him and what his story could bring to this universe.
I received a copy of this book from the publisher, via Edelweiss, in exchange for an honest review.
Bad decisions make for good stories, Sprite.
Falling meant I had to land eventually. The falling was scary and endless, but the landing… that was where things really got rough. That was what left a mark.
I wanted to eat her up. I wanted her wild to consume me, to burn and purge all the things that had long since turned sour and stale inside of me. I ached for her sweet to soothe me after we scorched through each other and were left in a heap in our own wreckage, covered in ash and satisfaction.
“I don’t want to be chaos. I want to be something and someone that doesn’t destroy everything that it cares about without even trying.”
Wild was fun. Sweet was addicting, and I wondered if I could live inside chaos forever if this was what it looked like.
Are you reading Jay’s Saints of Denver series?
Are you enjoying it as much as I am?