Salvaged by Jay Crownover – Excerpt

 

 

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Jay Crownover continues her delightfully sexy Saints of Denver series with the next thrilling standalone, SALVAGED! Order your copy today!

 

 

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.

 

 

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ADD SALVAGED TO YOUR GOODREADS

 

 

 

 

 

 

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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.”

 

 

About Jay Crownover:

Jay Crownover is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the Marked Men, The Point, and the Saints of Denver 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 dogs.

 

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

 

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Salvaged by Jay Crownover – Release Day

 

 

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Jay Crownover continues her delightfully sexy Saints of Denver series with the next thrilling standalone, SALVAGED! Don’t miss this amazing new novel and grab your copy today!

 

 

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.

 

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ADD SALVAGED TO YOUR GOODREADS

 

 

 

 

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 singlemindedly 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.

 

 

 

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About Jay Crownover:

Jay Crownover is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the Marked Men, The Point, and the Saints of Denver 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 dogs.

 

 

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

 

Salvaged by Jay Crownover – Excerpt Reveal

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Jay Crownover continues her delightfully sexy Saints of Denver series with the next thrilling standalone, SALVAGED! Don’t miss the amazing excerpt below and pre-order your copy today!

 

 

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.

 

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ADD SALVAGED TO YOUR GOODREADS

 

 

 

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.”

 

 

Jay Crownover continues her Saints of Denver series with SALVAGED, available June 20, 2017

Preorder and fill out the form here: https://a.pgtb.me/MdHvvG

Enter your name, email address, and the order number from your pre-order receipt on the form 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 Jay Crownover:

Jay Crownover is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the Marked Men, The Point, and the Saints of Denver 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 dogs.

 

 

 

 

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

 

Riveted by Jay Crownover – Release Day

RIVETED - header banner

 

 

From the New York Times bestselling author of the Marked Men books comes the next installment in the Saints of Denver series.

 

 

Riveted - cover

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.

 

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RIVETED - RDL teaser

 

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excerpt

Church

She kissed me.

Her lips touched mine and she destroyed me. This tiny ray of light that seemed determined to chase the darkness inside of me away unraveled me with nothing more than the brush of her very soft lips against mine.

I should’ve pulled away, either that or gone all in. The attraction between us was only going to end one way, with me inside of her as we scorched through one another, so a real kiss with tongues and teeth and grabbing hands was inevitable, especially if she was holding the door wide open in invitation. I was already struggling with the friend thing and this wasn’t helping at all. I stood there, holding her, feeling her as she rubbed her mouth over mine, the barest hint of pressure as she took a taste, as she feathered her lips against mine like she was trying to memorize the shape, the feel, the flavor of them. It was the singularly softest touch I’d ever experienced and yet it had the power to make my knees weak and my blood pop with a desire so sharp it felt like it could pierce right through my skin.

Her hand cradled my jaw, her fingers shaking with some of the same things I was feeling. This thing that lived between us was hungry and tired of being ignored. It buzzed around us, electric and hot, refusing to be cooled by the chill in the night air that surrounded us. If we weren’t careful the passion that was hungry and needy between us would consume us, devour us, and leave us nothing more than hollow husks filled with fading satisfaction and jagged disenchantment because no matter how good we were together it couldn’t and wouldn’t last. I didn’t want any part of me to be responsible for burning her out. I liked that her light chased my shadows away and that meant I wasn’t going to have any kind of hand in dimming her internal glow.

Her breasts pressed into the center of my chest as she leaned more fully into me and I could feel the pointed peaks of her nipples stab into my skin. The sensation made my dick twitch behind my zipper and had all the available blood that was still above my belt rushing south. I’d always liked the way Dixie was built. She was on the shorter side, but every single part of her small frame was curved and lush. She looked like a woman that you could grab ahold of without having to watch yourself. She was delicate but in no way did she come across as fragile or breakable. She looked like she could take everything I had to give her, all the pent-up longing, all the nights of frustration I spent hard and alone, all the denied hunger that made me want to eat her up and then go back for seconds and thirds because I knew there was no way I was going to have my fill of her honeyed lips and velvety skin in one go.

There was so much of her to experience, and I wanted to know what all of it felt like, tasted like, sounded like. I wanted to watch her come from every possible position I could get her in, and then I wanted to find some new ones, ones no man had ever had her in before, and watch her come in those, too. Because I knew once I got her she would let me have her in ways she hadn’t let anyone else. Her eyes, so pretty and dark, made me all kids of promises, and I wanted to take her up on every single one of them. But there wasn’t anything I could promise in return, and that always kept me from crossing the invisible line.

She ran the tip of her nose along the edge of my jaw and that little nuzzle made my entire body shudder. She had the ability to bring down all the walls I’d so carefully built up around us in order to keep both of us safe. She didn’t have any clue the kind of damage I could do if I ignored all the warning bells ringing loudly in the back of my mind. I knew the ways in which I could wreck the women in my life that I cared about and there was no way on God’s green and often unforgiving Earth that I would subject her to that. I barely survived the loss of the last woman I loved. I knew if I let Dixie sneak her way inside my heart and something happened to her there would be nothing left of me. There wouldn’t be anyplace left for me to run.

 

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Jay Crownover - headshotAbout Jay Crownover:

Jay Crownover is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the Marked Men, The Point, and the Saints of Denver 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.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

 

 

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Riveted by Jay Crownover – Excerpt Tour

RIVETED - header banner

From the New York Times bestselling author of the Marked Men books comes the next installment in the Saints of Denver series.

Riveted - cover

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.

 

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ADD RIVETED TO YOUR GOODREADS

excerpt

CHAPTER ONE EXCERPT:

I loved my life. I had a job that I enjoyed going to every day, and I worked with people I adored and admired. I was never going to be a millionaire doing what I did, but I was good at it and most of the time it felt more like spending time with friends than actual work. I loved and was deeply loved back by my family, even if my younger sister was an idiot. I had a cute apartment, an active social life, and great freaking hair.

There wasn’t a lot I could complain about on a day-to-day basis and things that did get under my skin were things I had a hard time explaining to anyone that didn’t grow up knowing love at first sight was real and that when you found the other half of your heart life was infinitely better.

I was only twenty-six, still plenty of time to live life and settle down, but I felt ancient and overlooked when I compared myself to my younger sister. She’d found the fairy tale our parents had laid out for us when she was still in high school and I got nothing but lonely nights and a string of dates so bad no one believed me when I tried to tell them how awful they really were.

I jolted when there was a knock at the door behind me, making my ears ring since my head was still resting against the wood. Dolly growled low in her throat when she felt me tense up, so I put my hand on the top of her broad head and used the peephole to see who was interrupting my pity party.

My new neighbor, the girl who moved like a ghost and spoke so softly I often had to struggle to hear what she was saying, stood on the other side. Poppy Cruz, quiet, withdrawn, but so sweet and smitten with my dog. I’d totally leveraged that love she had for my pet into a budding friendship that Poppy was obviously reluctant to have.

I knew some of her history through stories from her friends and family who were all regulars at my bar, so I was careful not to push too hard even though all I wanted to do was cuddle her and tell her the clouds have to part on even the darkest of days. She was comfortable enough with me now to knock on my door well past the acceptable visiting hours, so there was no way I was going to leave her standing in the hall, even if that meant my wine and sob-fest were further delayed.

I pulled the door open and Dolly immediately lunged for the visitor on the other side. Poppy was willowy but she had no trouble bracing for the impact from the dog and she seemed just as excited to receive the slobbery kisses as Dolly was to give them.

“I heard you talking out in the hallway and I just wanted to see how your date went. It didn’t sound like it ended on the best note.” Her quiet voice drifted to me as I shook my head and snorted.

“It didn’t start on a great note either. He showed up with his mom, can you believe that? I need a glass of wine, do you want one?”

She wrinkled her delicate nose and wrestled the big dog into the apartment so she could shut the door behind her. “I don’t drink, but thank you.”

She didn’t do much of anything. The product of a very strict and religious upbringing, Poppy was as straight and narrow as one could get. She’d suffered severely at the hands of a man her father had handpicked for her and it was clear that every single day was one more step in the process of healing from that.

“I forgot. I’m in the bar so often I forget that there are humans in this world that can cope without alcohol.” I lifted an eyebrow at her and made my way into the kitchen. “I’m not one of them.”

She laughed lightly like I meant her to and followed me into the tiny galley-style kitchen.

“So his mom?” Her eyes were the color of hot cider and they gleamed with gentle humor. She was impossible not to like and as much as I wanted a different life for myself I also wanted one for her. I hated that her history was so ugly, but I loved that she’d survived it and was pushing herself to live beyond her experiences. That was beautiful and hinted at an inner strength her delicate appearance kept hidden.

I snorted again and rolled my eyes. “I thought the guy that took off halfway through the date with my wallet was as bad as it could get. I was wrong. Really wrong.”

 

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And read Chapter Two of RIVETED here!

 

 

RIVETED - Preorder graphic

Jay Crownover continues her Saints of Denver series with Riveted, available February 14th, 2017

Give yourself a Valentine’s Day gift in advance…Preorder and fill out the form here: https://a.pgtb.me/t0JkQX

Pre-order Riveted today and on February 14th, you’ll also receive a glossy Saints of Denver poster and an exclusive first-look at Chapters 1 and 2 of Avenged, her forthcoming Mackenzie Family novella.

Avenged combines the grit of Saints of Denver series with the all-out heat of The Point series with a mind-blowing, mystery, yet-to-be-revealed, couple combining both of these worlds. Be one of the first to find out who it is, pre-order Riveted today.

Posters will be mailed the week of February 14th and Avenged chapters will arrive via email.

 

 

Jay Crownover - headshotAbout Jay Crownover:

Jay Crownover is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the Marked Men, The Point, and the Saints of Denver 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.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

 

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Riveted by Jay Crownover – Excerpt Reveal

RIVETED - header banner

 

From the New York Times bestselling author of the Marked Men books comes the next installment in the Saints of Denver series.

 

Riveted - cover

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.

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excerpt

Church

“You’ve been awfully quiet tonight.”

The southern drawl was lighter than mine, more lyrical and smooth. The Blue Hills of Kentucky rolled thick and unmistakable in Asa Cross’s twang as he looked at me steadily from behind the massive oak bar he was currently in the middle of wiping down.

“I talk when I have something to say.” No one would ever accuse me of being the chatty type. When I did choose to speak the Mississippi Delta was deep and locked thickly around all my words. My drawl was much slower than the blond bartender’s and far less practiced. Asa used his inflection and his southern charm to work whoever was sitting on the other side of the bar like they were one of his marks in a long con. He turned up the south in his voice to make hearts flutter and to fool drunks into thinking he was far less sharp than he was. His Kentucky-flavored tone was nothing more than a tool he used to his advantage whenever he needed it, while my unhurried inflection reminded me of a home I hadn’t seen in far too long. That was one of the reasons I never had much to say. Every time I opened my mouth the sound of my voice, like molasses over gravel and deep as the Mississippi River, took me back to a place I had been actively avoiding for over a decade.

I’d spent a little over ten years serving my country in various capacities while enlisted in the army. I’d been around different types of men from a million different walks of life. In all that time I’d never met anyone as hard to unravel as the man standing across from me. He had eyes the exact same color as the aged whiskey on the shelf behind him, and they were picking me apart with a perceptiveness that made me uneasy. I wasn’t used to being so transparent. Whatever shield I had up, whatever ironclad curtains I had pulled around me, Asa Cross saw right through them.

“You are usually quiet, but tonight you didn’t say a single word. You look like you have something on your mind.” His eyebrows lifted and that smirk on his face turned into a grin that I wanted to put my fist in. He wouldn’t be half as pretty as he was with missing teeth and a bloody nose. “Dixie had a date tonight. I figure you were worried about her since she’s been spending time with those internet guys over the last few months, and the bar is never the same on her nights off.”

My back teeth clicked together in aggravation and a low growl escaped my throat. My hands curled into fists at my sides without me being aware they were doing it and I could feel a furious heat climb up the back of my neck.

The idea of Dixie, sweet, sunny Dixie, out there with God only knew what kind of troll she was going to find on the internet made me want to destroy everything. I wanted to break the bar top in half. I wanted to throw chairs through windows. I wanted to smash all the meticulously placed bottles displayed behind Asa into smithereens. I wanted to dropkick the remaining few stragglers nursing their last-call drinks out the door and I wanted to get my hands on whoever had taken Dixie out tonight and throttle him within an inch of his life.

Logically, I knew there were decent, normal individuals using the internet to find love and sex . . . the sex being more likely. There were millions of people online dating and while I thought that was okay for them I refused to think it was an option Dixie should be utilizing. I hated the idea of her dating at all, but there was something about her meeting strangers, meeting men that hadn’t had the opportunity to see her in person before taking her out, that really rubbed me the wrong way.

Dixie Carmichael was the nicest girl I had ever met. She didn’t have a mean bone in her perfectly curvy and petite body. She was always smiling, always laughing, and there wasn’t a moment spent in her company where it didn’t feel like the sun was shining directly on you. She embodied warmth and care. Someone behind a computer monitor would never understand that. They would never feel the way her innate ability to make everything seem like it would be okay made the world seem like it was worth saving. There was a lot of bad shoved at us all on a day-to-day basis but somehow Dixie was a filter for it, and when you were around her it seemed like the only thing you could focus on was the good she let through.

She needed someone that could appreciate that. She needed a man that shined as bright as she did and that would hold her above the shit that was always trying to drag everyone else down. I doubted that guy was on Tinder or Bumble. In fact, I doubted that guy existed at all.

“I don’t keep track of her comings and goings.” I rubbed a hand over my mouth and watched as Asa’s eyebrows shot up and his lips twitched. I was a damn good liar. I lied to myself for years and years about the kind of man I was in order to convince myself that the choices I made were the right ones. But I was currently trying to lie to a man that was a professional liar, so it was no surprise that he saw right through the bullshit I was laying down.

“Ahh . . . I see. You have no interest in the fact she might be out there with a serial killer that wants to turn her pretty hair into a coat for his pet hamster?”

I glowered at him and crossed my arms over my chest. I was a big guy. Years of doing PT and boredom in the desert had led to a strenuous fitness routine I still maintained, partly out of habit and partly because when my muscles burned and I made myself sweat I could shut off all the other stuff that was crowding my head. Some of it nagging, niggling regret from the past, a whole lot of it new nightmares and realizations from my present. I had a couple inches in height on the Kentucky charmer and a whole lot more brute strength. Yet none of that or the glower that I was sure was stamped across my face kept Asa from keeping his stupid, sound advice to himself.

“Dixie is a good girl, she deserves someone who can give her that kind of good back.” I could see the surprise on Asa’s face as I finally gave him something that was wholeheartedly true.

He pushed off the bar and hollered that it was time for the last few customers to finish up. There were some grumbles but everyone left was a regular and as soon as the clock hit one thirty they would move towards the door without any hassle. I liked nights like this, where there were no fights to break up, no crying girls to console, no puke to clean off the floor, no amorous couples to shoo out of the bathrooms. Typically on a night like this I would watch Dixie scamper around shutting the bar down while pretending I wasn’t looking at her. I couldn’t help myself. My eyes were pulled to her and when she laughed or smiled I felt it in my gut like a punch. She did things to me that no woman had ever done to me before.

She made me want to smile and that alone was enough to have my feet itching to hit the road before I did something stupid, like fall in love or take her up on her blatant invitation into her bed. I wanted to fuck her, but I knew if I did it would fuck us both. She was nothing but good and when I got good in my life it always went bad, so I didn’t allow myself, or her, to go there. She shone as bright as the sun every single day but I was a man that knew all too well that too much time in the sun could lead to some serious burns.

I’d spent the last few months biting my tongue until it bled while she dated men that weren’t me and I went to bed alone each night wondering why I didn’t just pick up one of the barflies that hung around making it known they were ripe for the picking.

I’d never been the kind of guy that burned through women. My mother, and subsequently the women that stepped in to raise me after my mom was gone, Elma Mae and Caroline, taught me to understand that women’s hearts were fragile and you had to be careful with them. They tried to teach me how to take care of the good when you had it, how to respect it and earn it. I kept the lessons close because they were some of the only things I had left of the women that shared them with me. I never played with a woman’s body if I didn’t know for sure her heart was kept in a separate box somewhere. I liked my hands on soft tits and full hips, and silky legs wrapped around my back as much as any other guy. What I didn’t like was wiping away tears, explaining myself, and dramatic good-byes when I didn’t stick around after a good time. I was picky about who I went to bed with and I made sure they understood all my hard and fast rules about not committing or sticking around before I ever put my hands on them.

“Denver was just a pit stop.” I rubbed my hand over the top of my buzzed head and looked down at the wooden floor under my boots. “With everything that happened with Brite and Avett a few weeks ago I think it’s about time I put some space between me and the Mile High.” A friend and his daughter had recently run afoul of some really nasty people. My old commanding officer and current boss and I had moved in to help in any way we could, which ended with bullets and blood and some seriously pissed-off drug dealers. Holding a weapon in my hand and kicking in doors was second nature to me. I missed the fire of combat in my blood and the adrenaline coursing through my veins. I was made to fight, not to rest on my laurels. “Well past time I made my way home and tried to mend some fences.”

This was why Asa was such a good bartender. He pulled your story out of you whether you were planning on telling it or not, and he listened like he cared even if my story was told in fewer words than he was used to.

He nodded at me and pushed a rocks glass filled with amber liquor towards me. He typically drank Scotch at the end of the night, but I was a bourbon guy through and through. “I know all about mending fences, brother. Not a day goes by that I don’t have to dig a hole for a new post and string up some new wire.” He took a swig of his own drink and plastered that arrogant smirk back on his face. “Plus you might as well run before that girl you’ve been watching when she isn’t watching you fall in love with someone who ain’t you.”

I was going to hit him. My intent must have been clear because he put his glass down on the bar and lifted his hands up in a gesture of surrender. “My girlfriend is armed and she likes my pretty face the way it is. Keep that in mind, soldier.”

I slammed back the rest of the bourbon and let it burn its way down my throat. “Fuck you, Opie.”

He chuckled at me and turned to cash out the register behind him. “That’s why they say the truth hurts, Church.”

Before I had been Church I’d been Dash. And before I had been Dash I’d been Dashel. It was already hard enough being a kid with less than white skin and with parents in an interracial relationship, but having a name that was as uncommon as mine down in the Deep South was fuel on an already burning fire. I’d hated it growing up and even with shortening it to Dash I’d still struggled with it. But now I’d been Church for a long time, and he was a man that didn’t give any kind of shit what anyone else thought of his name. I’d earned that nickname through service and blood. It wasn’t a name that was given to me. It was one I had taken and made my own. Elma Mae was going to hate it and she was still going to call me Dashel even when I begged her not to but there was a part of me that couldn’t wait to hear the stubborn old woman tell me, I’ll call you by the name your mother picked out for you, son. That’s the name she wanted for you and you should respect it. I should, but there were a lot of things I should have done to make my mom proud that I didn’t do.

The truth Asa was laying down did hurt, because there was no hiding from him that part of the reason I was ready to bolt was because I really couldn’t stomach the idea of watching someone else take Dixie’s heart.

“Didn’t ask you for the truth.” I stuck my head out the front door and watched as the last two bar patrons climbed into their Uber. I locked the front door and shut off most of the lights and made my way back to the bar.

I liked the operation Rome had set up here. I liked the people, both the ones who worked for him and the ones he served, and I liked that the atmosphere was usually festive but pretty mellow. On the nights that heads needed to be cracked and tempers needed to be tamed I enjoyed the exertion and physicality of that as well, but I wasn’t meant to be a bouncer. I had too much training, too much experience, and frankly too many demons that needed an outlet, to babysit drunks and party girls for the long haul. It was time for me to stop drifting.

Asa finished up with the money and shot a glance at his phone. I could tell by the genuine smile that crossed his face and the way his gaze sparked that his gorgeous redheaded girlfriend was the one behind the message. Royal Hastings, the pretty Denver policewoman had recently moved in with the annoying southerner and it wouldn’t surprise me if she ended up with a ring on her finger before the year was out. The cop and the con had something special going on even if I firmly believed it was doomed to fail.

“Most folks don’t ask for the truth but that doesn’t stop me from giving it to them.” He gave me a look that told me if I was any kind of man I would take that truth he was so fond of and do something smart with it. I didn’t bother to tell him good and

I didn’t really see eye to eye. We made our way to the back door after a quick stop at the office to lock the money up in the safe. Asa scribbled a note to Rome and then quickly checked the security cameras. He typed out a message on his phone and by the time we hit the parking lot at the back of the bar a brand-new Toyota 4Runner was pulling in with a smiling redhead behind the wheel.

Asa clapped a hand on my shoulder and gave me a look that burned with understanding and seriousness. I felt like he was speaking directly into my soul when he told me quietly, “The real truth is, I let something good go, so I know how that feels. Got it back and would move heaven and earth to keep it by my side, so I know exactly what you’re walking away from, soldier. Be smarter than I was and don’t let all that goodness slip through your fingers.” He turned around and walked backwards for a second while flashing me that shit-eating grin of his. “It’s always better to be warm than it is to suffer the cold, Church.”

He moved towards the SUV and I had to look away when he leaned into the driver’s side window to kiss his girl. There was so much intimacy there, so much passion that it made everything I swore I knew about love and togetherness pull against the reins that held it tight.

I gave a halfhearted wave as Royal honked the horn at me and pulled out of the parking lot, then made my way over to my Harley. It was still nice enough weather to ride, another reason I needed to get my ass in gear and head south. In a few weeks it was going to be too cold to have the bike on the road and I wasn’t interested in putting the beauty on a trailer and driving her like some expensive piece of luggage back to Mississippi.

I was swinging my leg over the chrome-and-leather beast when my phone vibrated in my back pocket. It was after two in the morning so I knew anything buzzing through at this time of night couldn’t be good. Considering I’d recently shot Denver’s top drug supplier’s right-hand man and put down another one of his henchmen for good, I was dreading seeing what was waiting for me on the display.

It was almost as bad as I expected it to be. The number was one I’d been ignoring since I landed in Denver months ago. It was a number that belonged to a man that I owed more than some simple conversation or a handful of words. It was a call I would have continued to ignore if it hadn’t come in the middle of the night and on the heels of three other calls throughout the day that I had turned a blind eye to.

It was time to stop running from my past. It was time to man up.

It was time to be a better man, the man the person calling had tried his best to raise me to be.

“Hey, Julian.” I rested the Harley back on the kickstand and ran a hand over my face. I could practically feel the shock wafting across the phone line. He hadn’t expected me to answer and that made me a special kind of asshole.

“Dash.” His voice was even deeper and coarser than mine. People often told me I sounded like Johnny Cash but Julian Churchill really had the Man in Black’s rough growl embedded throughout his tone. “I didn’t think you were going to answer.” I sighed and felt like the wild five-year-old he had tried to wrangle all over again. “Been busy. Took a while to settle in and get used to sleeping without bombs going off overhead.”

He didn’t say anything for a long minute and when he spoke I could tell he was trying really hard to keep the hurt and censure out of his deep voice. “You have a perfectly good bed here and last I heard there weren’t any bombs in Lowry.” Lowry was the small town where I had been born and raised, just outside of Tupelo, Mississippi. There weren’t bombs there but there was a bucket load of memories that blasted me with emotional shrapnel that hurt worse than the kind I’d had surgically removed from my skin.

“I needed time, Jules.”

“Had more than enough time, son. You need to come home.” I bristled just like I always did when he tried to tell me what to do. I thought I’d squashed that urge after we stood side by side and lowered my mom into the ground but there was something about him talking to me like I should know better that always made me feel like an unruly kid.

“Planning on it. Have to tie up a few loose ends around here, and I have to make sure I don’t leave my friend that helped me out in a lurch.” Rome would send me on my way with a pat on the back and a foot in my ass if he knew the real reason I was hiding in Colorado instead of hightailing it home. He was understanding, but the man was all about family first and he wouldn’t abide the way I’d been avoiding mine for the last decade or so. I was a coward and I didn’t want a man I’d been in the trenches with, a man I would die for and knew would die for me, to know just how deeply that weakness ran.

“Dash.” There was a sigh and then Julian cleared his throat, so I knew he was struggling to keep his emotions in check. “Elma Mae had an accident.”

I almost dropped the phone as I bolted up from my lounging position on the bike. “What do you mean she had an accident?” My fingers tightened around the phone to the point that my knuckles hurt and the blood rushing furiously between my ears made hearing his response difficult.

“She was carrying her laundry in off the line and tripped going up the stairs. She fell backwards and busted her hip. A neighbor heard the commotion and ran to help. They had to airlift her to the hospital in Tupelo. She’s also got a dislocated shoulder and a sprained wrist. She’s back in the Lowry hospital now recovering and she should be going home at the end of the week.”

“Jesus.” Elma Mae was chasing down eighty if she was a day. None of us knew her exact age and she refused to tell. She would just smile at us and tell us we kept her young. Those kinds of injuries were serious for someone in their prime. In a woman Elma’s age they were life threatening. “She gonna be all right?”

“Elma is a tough old bird. It’ll take more than a tumble to keep her down. She’s been asking about you.”

Well, if that wasn’t just a fucking red-hot poker right through the guts. It was also a slap across the face with the reality of everything I’d purposely been avoiding and denying for way too long.

“I bought a Harley. Gonna have to ride it home, so I’ll be there in a couple days.” My homecoming was happening sooner than I’d planned, but there was no way I couldn’t be there for the woman that had always been my true north. When nothing else in my life made sense there was Elma Mae. She was the only safe place I had ever known and if she needed me I was going to be there to return the favor. I owed the woman everything and the fact I’d waited so long to see her after years of deployment was a startlingly clear reminder of why I was correct and considerate in staying the hell away from Dixie.

She lived in the light and I was far more comfortable hiding in the dark.

“I’ll let her know. That will make her day.” He paused for a second, which made me brace for whatever was coming next. “She mentioned a girl. Elma told me the reason you weren’t in any hurry to come home from Denver was because of a girl. That true?”

Son of a bitch. The truth might hurt but the lies I told, and they were more gray than white, were going to outright kill me. “There’s a girl.” And there was, but she wasn’t entirely the reason I wasn’t ready to face Julian or anyone else back in Lowry. She had been one of my reasons for sticking around Denver longer than I’d planned. She was an excuse that would buy me time and one that wasn’t entirely untrue.

“Do me a favor and see if you can bring her with you. Elma would love nothing more than to see you happy, to know you’re finally settling down and moving past the things that happened with your mom and with Caroline. You bring your girl home with you and give all of us some peace of mind. Make an old woman happy, Dash. You owe Elma a few years where she doesn’t have to worry about you catching bullets or ending up alone.”

Shit. I rubbed my temples and kicked at the loose gravel under the soles of my boots. “I’ll see what I can do.” That was bullshit. Dixie would drop everything and come with me if I explained the situation. She was too nice and too sweet to tell me no. Elma Mae was going to goddamn love her after she gave her a ration of hell in order to make sure she was the right girl for her boy.

“If the girl cares about you then she’ll figure out a way to be here. If she can’t figure it out, she isn’t worth your time. Come home, son, we miss you.”

I missed home, too, but I could do without the memories and reminders that had kept me away since the day I signed my life away to my country.

It was my turn to sigh. “I’ll see you soon, Jules.” He hung up and I wanted to kick myself because after all these years and all the time and effort he put into raising me I still couldn’t call the man Dad. He deserved the title, after all it was his last name I carried around with me, not that of the man who had knocked my mom up and run. He had earned it much like I had earned my name, but whenever I tried to say it the word got stuck and I fell back on something that seemed less important. It felt like I was fooling God and everyone under the sun about just how important Julian was to me if I refused to call him the only thing he had ever been to me. I was trying to trick fate so Jules didn’t end up the way so many others I loved had.

I was also going home, and I was going to put some sunshine in my pocket and take it with me.

 

RIVETED - Preorder graphic

Jay Crownover continues her Saints of Denver series with Riveted, available February 14th, 2017

Give yourself a Valentine’s Day gift in advance…Preorder and fill out the form here: https://a.pgtb.me/t0JkQX

Pre-order Riveted today and on February 14th, you’ll also receive a glossy Saints of Denver poster and an exclusive first-look at Chapters 1 and 2 of Avenged, her forthcoming Mackenzie Family novella.

Avenged combines the grit of Saints of Denver series with the all-out heat of The Point series with a mind-blowing, mystery, yet-to-be-revealed, couple combining both of these worlds. Be one of the first to find out who it is, pre-order Riveted today.

Posters will be mailed the week of February 14th and Avenged chapters will arrive via email.

 

 

Jay Crownover - headshotAbout Jay Crownover:

Jay Crownover is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the Marked Men, The Point, and the Saints of Denver 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.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

 

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My Favorite books of 2016

These are the books that I would recommend highly that I have read this year. I read 181 last year and these are the 16 books I enjoyed the most. They are in the order that I read them in and not sorted by by favorites. For more books that I enjoyed last year please check out this list.

Built – Jay Crownover

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

Sometimes you have to tear everything down to build something new…

Sayer Cole is frozen inside. At least, that’s what it’s felt like for as long as she can remember. She’s yet to let anyone past her icy exterior – and the one guy she thinks might melt her heart couldn’t possibly be interested in someone so uptight.

Rough, hard and hot-as-hell, Zeb Fuller has rebuilt his life and his construction business since protecting his family sent him to jail all those years ago. His elegant client, Sayer, makes him feel like a Neanderthal in denim, but despite the many hints that he’s been dropping to get to know her better, she seems oblivious to his charms.

Just as things finally start to heat up, Zeb’s past comes back to haunt him and he needs Sayer’s professional help to right a wrong and to save more than himself. As these opposites dig in for the fight of their lives, fire and ice collide in an unstoppable explosion of steam…

goodreads

review

5 Stars

I don’t think anyone can top Captain No Fun as my favorite book boyfriend, but Mr. Fix-It came pretty damn close. This was an amazing story all around and is now one of my all time favorites. I cannot wait for the rest of this series.

amazon1nookibooks

 

Listen To Me – Kristen Proby

Listen-to-Me-cover

Seduction is quickly becoming the hottest new restaurant in Portland, and Addison Wade is proud to claim 1/5 of the credit. She’s determined to make it a success and can’t think of a better way to bring in new customers than live music. But when former rock star Jake Keller swaggers through the doors to apply for the weekend gig, she knows she’s in trouble. Addie instantly recognizes him—his posters were plastered all over her bedroom walls in high school—he’s all bad boy…exactly her type and exactly what she doesn’t need.Jake Keller walked away from the limelight five years ago and yearns to return to what’s always driven him: the music. If he gets to work for a smart-mouthed, funny-as-hell bombshell, all the better. But talking Addie into giving him the job is far easier than persuading her that he wants more than a romp in her bed. Just when she begins to drop her walls, Jake’s past finally catches up with him.

Will Addie be torn apart once again or will Jake be able to convince her to drown out her doubts and listen to her heart?

goodreads

review5 Stars

Jake Keller is by far my favorite Kristen Proby character, but Addison comes in a close second. One of my favorite parts of a Kristen Proby story is the close knit groups and their relationships with each other. I am looking forward to seeing a lot more from the Seduction family and the amazing strong women she has created.

I have now read this book 3 times since it was released and I am still at a loss for words. I loved every aspect of this book so much I can’t decide where to start and how to convey my overwhelming love for this book. I’ll leave it to I wholeheartedly recommend you pick up this book. It has all the swoons, all the banter and all the steam you would expect from a Kristen Proby novel and then some.

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Dirty Ugly Toy – K. Webster

Her time is over.
Things are looking up.

She’s dirty and ugly.
He’s wicked but handsome.

Six months to toy with her.
Six months of vacation and a ton of money.

I’ll hurt her beyond repair.
I’ve been through much worse.

She’s difficult to control and doesn’t obey.
I’m done submitting to anyone or anything in this life.

I should hate her.
I should hate him.

The game has changed.
I will win.

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review

This book is not for everyone, but it was so beautiful, haunting, heartbreaking, terrifying and intriguing that I could not put it down. I read it in one day and already want to start again. This book was more than a book, it was an experience that I would happily undertake again and again.

My Thoughts
From the second I read the synopsis of this book I was hooked. I love dark and twisty reads, so this was right up my alley. I didn’t think that I would fall so hard for Braxton or Jessica. These two broken people found each other in the most messed up of ways, but ended up being better than they could have imagined. For all the darkness and rawness of the story there was an underlying goodness in both Jessica and Braxton that called to me and made me abandon all responsibility and read through this book from start to finish in one day. I highly recommend this book if you want something that is a little different, a lot beautiful, and a little ugly all at the same time

I pre-ordered this book because of the synopsis and I was extremely happy I did.

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This is WAR, Baby and This is LOVE, Baby by K. Webster

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My life had a plan. Until he invaded it and stole it all away. My captor took me and I became a pawn.His strategy changed and he sent me away to WAR, because money is everything in this world.

In my WAR, though, I found peace.

I couldn’t help but find love where I least expected it, with a man who lived a battle every day of his life
…all inside his head.

But then my captor came back for me.
Yet, this time, battle lines had been drawn and I was protected.

So we thought.
Even though my WAR was raging,
my captor would fight to the death.

The good guys always win, right?
Not always.

All’s fair in love and WAR, right?
Not this time.goodreads

review

5 Stars

As soon as I finished this book I wrote this on Goodreads “I have no words. This book was so incredible I don’t know how to write a review. As soon as I can gather my thoughts about the amazingness I just read, I will write a full review.” In some ways I still feel like that. How am I going to review this and express the amazingness without being spoilery? I will say that it is not an easy read and please heed the following warning : “This is War, Baby is a dark romance. A really dark one. So dark you’re going to wish you had a flashlight to see yourself to the end and someone to hold your hand. Human trafficking, dubious consent, and strong sexual themes that could trigger emotional distress are found in this story. This story is NOT for everyone.”

My Thoughts

This book starts off like any romance involving high school age people, but you are quickly thrown for a loop. This part of the story was seriously hard to read, but at the same time I was compelled to keep reading because of Baylee. I loved her character from the start. She was strong, smart and seeing the events through her eyes made the story a little bit easier to read.

So the basics… she was kidnapped by a crazy, intense, messed up man who has claimed her as his own. He will stop at nothing to keep her, and that is where he is truly terrifying. Enter War the man she was sold to. This part of the story was still hard to read but in a different way. War is a broken man that also happens to be a gorgeous rich young man who has a slew of mental issues and is in a prison of his fears and obsession.

War… I loved War. His obsessions were debilitating and it was heartbreaking. Ever time we got to see the world through his POV I fell a little harder for him. It was so real and brutal and beautiful that your heart breaks while you swoon. They are an old couple at first but as they start sharing and trusting each other they from something that neither of them expects but both welcome. She is his peace and he is her savior, until it is all wrecked again by her kidnapper and tormentor. At the end we are left with more questions that we started with, but it has been a week since I read this book and I still can’t get these characters out of my head, luckily there is not a very long wait for book two. I cannot wait to revisit these characters and get answers.

I highly recommend this book if you can handle a little darker of a read and some uncomfortable situations. I was hooked from the first word and could not put this down. I felt compelled to finish this book and am so happy that I did. K. Webster’s writing in this book is phenomenal. She can take a monster and make you feel for him, and at the same time fear and loathe him. Everything about this story felt so real and raw and beautiful that I have a feeling this will be one of my go to books.

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My War was over and I had lost. My captor reminded me I was nothing more than his pawn.
His strategy never changed…it was always me.
But what he didn’t know was that LOVE always wins.In my War, I’d found not only peace
but LOVE as well.I’d been through a battlefield with my War and LOVE was what brought us to the other side.
Our LOVE was beautiful and pure. Undying.My captor thinks he has won this war. That I will LOVE him.
What he doesn’t know is this time, I’m the one with a strategy. I’m always thinking several moves ahead of him, my War taught me that.I will outsmart him and find peace again.
This is a war I will win.
My LOVE will conquer all.goodreads

review

5 Stars

I just finished this book and I have no words. Of all the things I could imagine would happen in this book, somehow K. Webster was able make the perfect ending I didn’t know I needed.
Every word, every feeling, every second of this book was everything.
The amazing story weaving between War and Peace was enough to shatter your heart, but was also so powerful and all encompassing that it put you back together again, piece by piece, word by word. I loved every second of this journey and highly recommend picking up this series if you want something that has a dark side, but also has enough light to lead you through.

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Hate to Love You and Love to Hate You by Isabelle Richards

Opposites in every way, Chase and Arianna have been bitter rivals since childhood. Constantly in competition, they fight incessantly, making it nearly impossible for them to be in the same room with each other. Until they slept together.
Sex changes everything.
In one emotional evening, they go from enemies to lovers. Hate quickly evolves into passionate lust, but old habits die hard. The love growing between them can’t erase a lifetime of animosity. The two quickly fall back into old routines of spite and vengeance, and their relationship crumbles under the weight of their deep-seated distrust.
Chase and Arianna spend the next two years on opposite sides of the globe, avoiding each other at all costs. Despite the lies they tell themselves, neither one is ready to let go. Even though they are both engaged to other people, they can’t find it in their hearts to forgive each other or to move forward.
A family emergency calls Arianna home, where they have no choice but to face each other again. Will they finally admit the truth, or will they remain forever trapped between love and hate?

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Some connections are so powerful they will not be denied. Despite doing everything in their power to fight their feelings, Chase and Arianna decide to give their love a second chance. They hope that the long, painful journey back to each other will have taught them not to make the same mistakes again. This time they’ll get it right. All they need is a little time for the wounds to heal.
Unfortunately, life doesn’t stop just because love is in the air. Just as they begin to reconcile, their relationship is bombarded by crisis after crisis throwing their lives into a tailspin. Had they learned from their past, Chase and Arianna would find a way to lean on each other during trying times. But some people never learn.
Instead of revealing their strength, each challenge exposes their vulnerabilities. The cracks in their relationship turn into chasms as they let each other down time and time again. Hurt and betrayal overshadow the love, and they slip back into old habits. Hiding behind hatred for each other is much easier than facing the truth.
Will they find their way back to each other or will they stay trapped in the space between love and hate?

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Edge of Chaos and East of Redemption by Molly E. Lee

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Blake Caster has been in an emotionally abusive relationship with Justin for so long, she can’t tell what is normal anymore, and so she clings to the one thing that is solidly hers—her passion for extreme weather.

Three years into her Meteorology degree, Blake meets professional storm chaser, Dash Lexington, who is as gorgeous as he is daring. Instantly recognizing her passion and skills in analyzing weather data, he makes a spot for her on his tight-knit storm chasing team. Dash and Blake form a fast friendship and it forces her to realize just how toxic her relationship with Justin is. She can’t deny the lightning-worthy chemistry she has with Dash or how her heart stalls every time he gets too close to a tornado.

With each chase and the cherished moments with Dash, Blake discovers her own self-worth and gains the strength to end things with Justin for good. But he won’t go easily. As Blake tries to sever ties with one man, she fears she’ll lose the other to his dangerous obsession—and she doesn’t know if she’ll be enough to save him from the impending storm that could end them all.

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East of RedemptionFINAL-high

Easton Wells has spent years burying his guilt by digging up some of the world’s most renowned treasures while surviving the dangerous terrains in which they’re located—all captured for television. When his producers threaten to axe the show, he has no choice but to turn to the last person he still trusts—the girl he left behind.

Rain Walker has made a name for herself documenting wild and endangered animals, and the last voice she expects to hear while shooting in South Africa is Easton’s. He’s more gorgeous than she remembers, but the pain in her heart is as fresh as ever. They’d once planned on spending the rest of their lives together, but after her father’s tragic death while on expedition in Israel with him, Easton bailed on their future together without an explanation. It’s been nine years, and yet the intense love they shared seems only a moment ago.

When he asks her to film his latest treasure hunt, Rain wants to turn him down instantly. But when he explains it’s to the same cave that swallowed her father, she can’t say no. She wants to experience the last place her father was alive, and she’s beyond curious about what happened to the boy she used to love.

They’ve got two weeks to locate a treasure that’s been lost for centuries, or Easton will lose the one thing in his life he’s come to depend on. As their old passion is reignited—and dark secrets uncovered—they face the extreme terrain of the mountain range that threatens them at every turn. As more than the wildlife and sharp drop-offs tries to kill them, Rain starts to question if the legendary treasure they seek—the same one her father had died trying to unearth—is truly meant to be found, or if some things, including their feelings for each other, are better left buried.

goodreads

review

5 Stars

This book kept me on the edge of my seat from the very first word. I was packed full of action, intrigue, mystery, love, steamy moments and so much fun to read.

My Thoughts

I’m going to keep this a short and spoiler free as I can, because this is one of those books that you have to experience for yourself in order to really get it. This book has such depth, emotion and heart stopping adventure, that you almost forget you are reading a romance novel. (Yes, there are some steamy scenes) It’s this total immersion in the world that draws me to Molly E. Lee’s books. She has this uncanny way of combining all these elements into an all engrossing story that makes you forget everything other than the story unfolding on the pages.

The first page will have you hooked, but by the end you will be in love with this world, these characters, and the hunt for treasure. I knew going in that it had an Indiana Jones vibe, and I was not disappointed. It’s full of adventure, humor, a perilous journey, survival skills, and a second chance with your first love. It is a very fast-paced read that will keep you turning the pages and keep you on the edge of your seat to see what’s going to happen next with Easton and Rain. I highly recommend the Love on the Edge series for anyone that’s looking for a different kind romance that stands head and shoulders above the others.

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Good Girl by Lauren Layne

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Jenny Dawson moved to Nashville to write music, not get famous. But when her latest record goes double platinum, Jenny’s suddenly one of the town’s biggest stars—and the center of a tabloid scandal connecting her with a pop star she’s barely even met. With paparazzi tracking her every move, Jenny flees to a remote mansion in Louisiana to write her next album. The only hiccup is the unexpected presence of a brooding young caretaker named Noah, whose foul mouth and snap judgments lead to constant bickering—and serious heat.

Noah really should tell Jenny that he’s Preston Noah Maxwell Walcott, the owner of the estate where the feisty country singer has made her spoiled self at home. But the charade gives Noah a much-needed break from his own troubles, and before long, their verbal sparring is indistinguishable from foreplay. But as sizzling nights give way to quiet pillow talk, Noah begins to realize that Jenny’s almost as complicated as he is. To fit into each other’s lives, they’ll need the courage to face their problems together—before the outside world catches up to them.goodreads

review

5 Stars

It’s no secret that I love Lauren Layne books, but this book is so much more than that. Every word, every page was special. It was so beautifully written, full of heart, heat and the things we expect (and some we don’t, in a good way) from a Lauren Layne novel, that i was blown away.

My Thoughts

Jenny Dawson has been dubbed America’s Sweetheart by the media and hounded by the paparazzi. I love that she is so down to earth and a still a country girl at heart. It was fun seeing her prove everyone wrong about the preconceptions they had about her. Actually I loved everything about Jenny. If I could have a book character be a real friend I would definitely choose Jenny Dawson. She is smart, funny, fun, not afraid to get dirty, and full of sass. And Noah talk about a dreamy brooding hero.

I loved every second of this book so much I finished and immediately started reading again. Even the side characters of this book are amazing. I highly recommend picking this book up, you will not regret it.

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Style by Chelsea M. Cameron

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Kyle Blake likes plans. So far, they’re pretty simple: Finish her senior year of high school, head off to a good college, find a cute boyfriend, graduate, get a good job, get married, the whole heterosexual shebang. Nothing is going to stand in the way of that plan. Not even Stella Lewis.

Stella Lewis also has a plan: Finish her senior year as cheer captain, go to college, finally let herself flirt with (and maybe even date) a girl for the first time and go from there.

Fate has other plans for Kyle and Stella when they’re paired up in their AP English class and something between them ignites. It’s confusing and overwhelming and neither of them know what to do about it. One thing they do know is that their connection can’t be ignored. The timing just isn’t right.

But is there ever a good time for falling in love?goodreads

review

5 Stars

I loved this book. It was adorable, sweet, and a great read.

My Thoughts

I loved this book. It was adorable, sweet, and a great read. It was nice to have a sweet coming of age story with very little angst and a happy ending. This book was hard to put down. It was a beautiful story of first love, figuring out relationships in High School and finding yourself.

“What I DO know is that I can’t go back in time and put a book in my hands, but I CAN put it in someone else’s.” Thank you for writing for this book, Chelsea M. Cameron for all the people that need these words and all those that support and love them unconditionally.

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Restored by Kate Canterbary

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Can a reformed player ever truly play by someone else’s rules?

Sam Walsh has finally put an end to decades of self-destruction, turned over a healthy new leaf, and now he’s ready to call himself a married man. But love and marriage are only the beginning, and life is about to get much more complicated.

Will tying the knot tie down a free spirit?

Tiel Desai never imagined herself getting married again, and before she can blink, she’s swept up into the Walsh wedding whirlwind. If that chaos isn’t enough, she’s also busy winning over her future in-laws, grappling with a bumpy adjustment to her new job, and staying afloat when a string of disappointments hit.

They’re building a future, but can they ever fully demolish the past?

Sam and Tiel beat back their demons and learned to love each other, but love might not be enough to solve every problem that crawls their way.goodreads

 review

5 Stars

I fell in love with Sam and Tiel all over again in this book. This book felt organic like you were checking in with old friends instead of reading a sequel just for a sequel’s sake. Restored had it all, ups and downs, serious steamy moments, laugh out loud antics, incredible banter and a whole lot of love. It will make you break out the tissues one moment and laugh out loud the next and was the perfect combination of each. This is what Kate Canterbary does best and what makes her one of my top auto buy authors.

My Thoughts

At the end of Necessary Restorations we got a happy for now, but it felt like these two still had something else to say. I am thrilled that Restored picked up right where Necessary Restorations left off and we get to hear the rest of their story. Being privy to the evolution of this relationship felt like you were spying on the couple next door at times. It was so real and so beautifully written that these characters feel like they could be real. That is what makes this book so special and what makes this one of my top reads of 2016.

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Sparking The Fire – Kate Meader

Actor Molly Cade, America’s fallen sweetheart, finally has her shot at a Hollywood comeback with a dramatic new role as a tough-as-nails firefighter that promises to propel her back to the big time and restore her self-respect.

Wyatt Fox, resident daredevil at Engine Co. 6, needs a low-key job to keep him busy while he recovers from his latest rescue stunt. Consulting on a local movie shoot should add just enough spark to his day. Especially when in struts Molly Cade: the woman who worked his heart over good, and then left him in the Windy City dust.

Their story is straight out of a script: irrepressible, spunky heroine meets taciturn, smoldering hero. But these two refuse to be typecast, and when the embers of an old love are stoked, someone is bound to get burned…

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review

I have been intrigued by Wyatt Fox since I read Rekindle the Flame in an anthology before Flirting With Fire came out. He is the strong silent type, but also fiercely protective of his family and sticks to the background. I was not disappointed. Wyatt was so much more than I imagined and I loved every second of his story.

My Thoughts

I loved the way this book started. We got to see a side of Wyatt we haven’t seen before and it was refreshing. I loved both Wyatt and Molly in this story so much. Molly is a firecracker, but still reeling from public scandal, and Wyatt is dealing with a whole host of guilt and overprotectiveness. When these two collide the sexual tension is off the charts. You can feel the draw they have on each other and I loved every second.

These two fit in every way you could imagine. She makes him laugh and smile more, he grounds her and protects her, even when she doesn’t want it. I loved they way they brought each other out of their self-imposed shells and how the Dempsey’s welcome everyone into the fold. It was so fun getting to catch up with the other couple’s throughout this story. I highly recommend this series, but in particular this book. It was so much fun to read, had so much heart, and was off the charts steamy. I am sad to see it go, but happy I can revisit the Dempsey’s anytime I want.

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HIgh Sided – LP Dover

Wild, reckless, and fast.

That’s how I raced until a fatal accident on the track ruined my riding career. I had no choice but to leave that life behind; at least, until now. My name is Logan Chandler, one of the best FBI agents in the country. When an old friend calls for help and winds up dead, I take matters into my own hands. In order to do that, I have to go back to my past, back to the racetrack and to the one girl I never thought I’d see again . . . Kassidy Bennett.

She’s the key to solving it all, but bringing her in could put her in grave danger. Unfortunately, I didn’t realize she was already there. To save her, I have to put everything on the line. It’s a race against time, a race to the death, and only one will make it to the end.

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Out Of Love – RC Boldt

Foster Kavanaugh, former Navy SEAL, knows what it’s like to be the top dog, the man in charge, the one calling the shots. Now that he’s running his own security consulting firm, not much has changed.

Except the curvy blonde he hired as his office manager.
Noelle Davis has been through the damn ringer. Swearing off men after escaping a toxic relationship, she’s grateful for a fresh start—new job included. Except her job isn’t tranquil and calm. In fact, it’s quite the opposite because her boss is the most infuriating man on the planet.

And, not to mention, sexy as hell.
Foster has limits. Rules. No attachments allowed because he doesn’t do love—and Noelle Davis foiled that plan and took a red pen to his list of rules. With her smart mouth and quick witted banter, he found the woman beginning to creep past his defenses.

When circumstances put Noelle in a perilous position, the first person to come to her rescue is none other than Foster Kavanaugh. She gets to see the man in action—not as her aggravating boss, but the man who will stop at nothing to keep her safe.

The same man who makes her want to reconsider her self-imposed embargo of men.

The man she wants to get to know now that she’s seen another side of him.

The man who makes her want…more.

But is more possible when you’re OUT OF LOVE?

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review

4.5-Stars

 

I knew Foster and Noelle’s story would be one of my favorites from their banter in the last few books, But I was completely blown away. This book had it all, fun back and forth banter, a strong smart heroine, steamy sexy times, and a bad ass alpha with a soft spot for Disney movies.

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Some One Like You – Lauren Layne

Sometimes you have to tear everything down to build something new…

Sayer Cole is frozen inside. At least, that’s what it’s felt like for as long as she can remember. She’s yet to let anyone past her icy exterior – and the one guy she thinks might melt her heart couldn’t possibly be interested in someone so uptight.

Rough, hard and hot-as-hell, Zeb Fuller has rebuilt his life and his construction business since protecting his family sent him to jail all those years ago. His elegant client, Sayer, makes him feel like a Neanderthal in denim, but despite the many hints that he’s been dropping to get to know her better, she seems oblivious to his charms.

Just as things finally start to heat up, Zeb’s past comes back to haunt him and he needs Sayer’s professional help to right a wrong and to save more than himself. As these opposites dig in for the fight of their lives, fire and ice collide in an unstoppable explosion of steam…

goodreads

review

5 Stars

Wow. I knew Lincoln’s story was going to be special, but this was way more than I expected. It is safe to say that Lincoln is my new favorite Stiletto/Oxford man. There is so much more to the charismatic ladies man that we have grown to love over the course of this series and it really was special to peel back all of those layers and see the “real” Lincoln.

My Thoughts

From the other books in this series we have met the infamous ladies man Lincoln Mathis, but what you see is not always what you get. I had a feeling this book was going to pull out all of the stops and bring all of the feels, and I was not disappointed. The man behind the reputation is incredible, his story is moving, and his journey is both heartbreaking and endearing all at the same time.

Daisy is Emma’s twin sister, but is so wholly and completely different from Emma that if they didn’t look-alike you would never know. Neither of them are what they show the world, so it is no surprise that they become fast friends. Lincoln lets her see behind the veil so to speak and both of their worlds change from that moment on.

I loved every second of this book. I forced myself to slow down several times so that I could savor the story a little more and have it last just a little longer. After 2 readings I still think this is my favorite Lauren Layne book. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book and highly recommend it if you like strong characters that grab you from page 1 and don’t let go until long after you have finished the story.

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The Spire – Kate Canterbary

Not all those who wander are lost.

Rebel, runner, recluse, rich girl.
Nine years ago, Erin Walsh ran away from everything.

Home.
Family.
Secrets.
Tragedy.
Herself.

The only permanence in her life is catastrophe.

She travels from country to country, chasing disaster, teasing fire, playing with poison. She guards against real connections, and shuns the only family she has left.

She holds everyone—even her siblings—at a mile-long distance. It’s the only way to protect herself.

But she can’t protect herself from him.

He’s the ice to her fire, and he’s willing to sacrifice everything to bring her home.

goodreads

review

5 Stars

I honestly have no words for this book. It was such a beautiful journey home. If I could give it all of the stars I would. So for now I am using GIFs to convey my feelings for this amazing book.
The book starts and we are all:
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And then there is quite a bit of this:
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With a little bit of this:
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And this:
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And this:
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And this:
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And a whole lot of this:
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Retreat – Jay Crownover

Every once in a while, you need to get away from it all.

I was a woman on the edge, shaken and shattered after a breakup that felt like it tore my entire world apart.

My best friend, sick of watching me drown in misery and melancholy, harassed me until I agreed to go with her on a week-long wilderness retreat.

She promised days spent bonding and getting in touch with our inner bad-asses.
It was supposed to be all about the two of us roughing it and making do with the bare minimum. She assured me we were going to be pushed to our limits in ways that were unimaginable. Neither one of us could have ever guessed just how right she was.

Nowhere in the glossy brochure did it say anything about the fact I was going to have to battle the insufferable but deliciously rugged and sexy trail guide instead of the elements. The brochure also forgot to mention the part that warned when you left civilization behind, there was no place to pack your inhibitions and fears.

I was told that I would be facing a week where the only thing I should expect was the unexpected. However, no one mentioned that I was going to have to fight for my life…and my heart as soon as I ventured into the unknown.

I was a pro at hiding from my feelings but when it came time to face a real threat, one that could change everything, I learned I was more of a no surrender, no retreat kind of girl.

Retreat is a standalone novel, the first in the Getaway series which centers on the hardheaded and brokenhearted Warner brothers and the women that dare to love them.

These boys are very good at putting the wild in wilderness.

goodreads

review

5 Stars

I was hooked from the first word of this story. This is so unlike anything I have read from Jay before, but she knocked it out of the park with this one. Cowboys, suspense, action, bad ass heroines, grumpy alpha males and super steamy scenes make this book one of my top reads of 2016.

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