Friday, January 8, 2016

Built (Saints of Denver #1) by Jay Crownover: Blog Tour Review, Excerpt & Giveaway


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

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

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

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

Click to Buy the Saints of Denver Series on Amazon:


Review by Yvette:

From the moment Zeb Fuller and Sayer Cole were introduced to each other in Jay Crownover’s Rowdy, I was intrigued by the contrasting combination of the gruff and intimidating ex-con and the aloof, sophisticated lawyer. Sexual tension crackled between them, their mutual attraction roared to life, and my curiosity was piqued. With both the Marked Men and The Point series, the author has proven herself to be particularly adept at pairing unlikely couples, so it seems fitting that she introduces the Saints of Denver series with an opposites-attract romance. With its three-dimensional characters and its engrossing narrative, Built is an emotionally compelling and exceptionally steamy love story about embracing fate, fighting for what you want, and making the most of a second chance.

I went into Built fully expecting to fall head-over-heels for Zeb (which I did), although I was pleasantly surprised by how much I loved Sayer, a.k.a. the self-professed ice queen. The two seem so different at first glance – Zeb is coarse, blunt, and passionate, laying everything out in the open, while Sayer is elegant, reserved, and mysterious, preferring to mask her emotions – yet their undeniable draw towards each other suggests a deeper connection. These are two complex characters that undergo a tremendous transformation over the course of the narrative and it was both heartbreaking and exhilarating to experience these changes alongside them. Zeb and Sayer’s relationship is raw and it's messy, filled with doubts, insecurities, and fears, but it’s also incredibly beautiful and hope-filled.

I can’t mention Zeb and Sayer in the same sentence without lingering on their intense, all-consuming chemistry. I’ll say this about Sayer: reserved she may be but a prude she is not. And Zeb? *Insert audible sigh here.* If you look up "swoon-worthy" in the dictionary, you would find a picture of the bearded, tattooed charmer. The man had a way with words that made me want to linger on every sentence he uttered. I loved that Zeb and Sayer’s romance was as a slow-build, a push-and-pull dynamic filled with undisguised need and a single-minded determination on Zeb's part, and a hesitant but powerful yearning on Sayer's part. The resulting intimate encounters were well worth the anticipation, and the two definitely made up for lost time.

Maybe it’s the fact that I’ve read quite a few character-driven romances lately, but I found it refreshing that Built not only included characters that I could connect with on an emotional level, but also included an intricately-plotted narrative, in which a dozen subplots seem to simultaneously occur. I enjoyed the fact that each new chapter was filled with something or someone new, engaging my mind and demanding I take note of characters and storylines that will undoubtedly be revisited in future books in the series. Built is a blending of the wonderfully eclectic world made familiar by the Marked men, with new surroundings, fresh perspectives, and a hopelessly romantic, yet still realistic love story. Zeb and Sayer’s story was the perfect official start to the Saints of Denver series and I can’t wait to get my hands on the next book.

*complimentary copy provided by publisher in exchange for an honest review

Rating: 5 Stars 

About the Author:

Jay Crownover is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the Marked Men series. She also introduced the dark and sexy world of The Point that started with BETTER WHEN HE's BAD and is currently working on her newest series The Saint of Denver. Like her characters, she is a big fan of tattoos. She loves music and wishes she could be a rock star, but since she has no aptitude for singing or instrument playing, she'll settle for writing stories with interesting characters that make the reader feel something. She lives in Colorado with her three dogs.

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“One battle at a time, Zeb. That’s all we can tackle, okay?”

He was quiet for a long moment, but I could hear him breathing and then finally he grunted a little bit and replied, “Well, then the battle I need to tackle right now is those god-awful walls. Thank you for talking me off the ledge. It’s impossible not to hope for the best when I talk to you.”

Maybe it was the overwhelming quiet of my house or it was the wistfulness in his voice. Or maybe it was really the fact that no matter how hard I tried to keep a clear divide between the two of us, I was always going to be too eager to cross over it when an opportunity presented itself. Like a goddamn fool.

Calling myself every kind of name there was in the book, I blurted out, “I’m not doing anything tonight, and Poppy went out with Rowdy, so if you need an extra set of hands to help with the paint I can swing by the house.” I wanted to groan. I was the least handy person in the whole world and I don’t think I had ever even held a paintbrush, but the idea of getting to spend some one-on-one time with him was just so tempting that I ignored all of that and secretly hoped he would ignore it, too.

He chuckled a little. “Are you serious?”

I shrugged even though he couldn’t see it. “Sure. Why not?”

“Well, I’m not going to turn down free labor, especially when that free labor looks like you. Do you even own anything that you won’t be pissed to get paint on, Say? What I do tends to get dirty.” His voiced dropped a little bit and there was a husky timbre to the words that made me shiver.

There was a double entendre there that was impossible to miss and it made all of my skin heat up from the inside out. Not to mention no one had ever shortened my name before. I wasn’t exactly the cutesy nickname type. My father wouldn’t have approved and as such I was always just “Sayer.” Zeb’s shortening my name felt intimate. It felt far more familiar than I should be allowing myself to get with him. Still I didn’t say anything other than “I’m sure I can find something.”

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  1. Thank you so much! ~Jessica, InkSlinger PR

  2. A cabin in the mountains! Maybe I could read in peace. Lol