Jay Crownover can keep writing sexy books with uniquely named characters who find themselves in sticky situations, and I swear, I will read every single one of them. CHARGED is the latest one in her Saints of Denver series, and it was so awesome. Check out my review and don't forget to enter the giveaway!
Charged (Saints of Denver #2), by Jay Crownover
Publish Date: May 24, 2016
Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks
Format: e-ARC, provided by Inkslinger PR
Genre: new adult contemporary romance
To Buy: Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Rating: 5 STARS
(Synopsis) Avett Walker and Quaid Jackson’s worlds have no reason to collide. Ever. Quaid is a high powered criminal attorney as slick as he is handsome. Avett is a pink-haired troublemaker with a bad attitude and a history of picking the wrong men.
When Avett lands in a sea of hot water because of one terrible mistake, the only person who can get her out of it is the insanely sexy lawyer. The last thing on earth she wants to do is rely on the no-nonsense attorney who thinks of her as nothing more than a nuisance. He literally has her fate in his hands. Yet there is something about him that makes her want to convince him to loosen his tie and have a little fun…with her.
Quaid never takes on clients like the impulsive young woman with a Technicolor dye job. She could stand to learn a hard lesson or two, but something about her guileless hazel eyes intrigues him. Still, he’s determined to keep their relationship strictly business. But doing so is becoming more impossible with each day he spends with her.
As they work side-by-side, they’ll have to figure out a way to get along and keep their hands off each other—because the chemistry between them is beyond charged.
We've met Avett a few times before, but it was her actions in Asa (Marked Men #6) that set the stage for what happened in Charged. After hooking her wagon to a drug-dealing and drug-using loser, Avett got caught up in one bad situation after another. The worst of these situations - an attempted robbery at Avett's father's former bar and the injury of a police officer - have landed Avett in jail with the potential for real time. This is Avett's rock bottom. Or, so she thinks.
No matter how hard I tried, I couldn't get myself turned around, and the longer I was circling this dead end, the darker and more wicked it became.
Quaid is the attorney hired to represent Avett, and his initial impression of her matched my own. He didn't like her, and he especially didn't like her choices. But, he wants to make parter at his firm, and subsequently prove to himself that he's come so far from his poor childhood, so he will take whatever cases are sent his way. But, Avett's stark honesty and bold attitude impress and inspire him, and soon Quaid is questioning everything he thought he had figured out about his adult self.
She was a tiny whirlwind of destruction and I couldn't seem to keep up with the different directions she was blowing my emotions in. I'd never encountered anyone like her. I couldn't remember ever dealing with someone as real, as open with their faults and failures, as Avett seemed to be. I'd never met anyone as reckless with their own fate as she was. Something about that was really intriguing.
Unlike many tortured new adult characters, Avett grew up being loved by both her parents. It was this that made me so angry with her. She had parents who loved her and others in her life like Rome and Asa who were kind to her and wanted to help her, and yet she crapped all over them and did things to deliberately hurt them. Having the chance to be inside Avett's head was awesome. It gave me much-needed perspective on her as a character and it completely changed everything for me.
The depth of Avett's self-loathing was a palpable thing. She hated herself so much more than anyone else hated her, and that absolutely broke my heart. She wanted so badly to make amends with her father, mother, Asa, and others in her life that she wronged, but she didn't think she was even worthy of their forgiveness.
Quaid became the person that started to turn things around for her. Their relationship was volatile at first, given the attorney/client nature of it. But, later on, Quaid became her eye in the storm. And the most awesome thing about this book is, Avett became that for Quaid as well. Because, even though Quaid's problems and issues might not be the same as Avett's, he had them all the same.
She made me forget who I was supposed to be now, and she made me forget the man I had spent a lifetime trying to bury. With her, I was someone new, someone that didn't feel fake or forgotten.
I love the glimpses we see from the Marked Men in this new spin-off series. In Charged, we got to catch up with Asa and Rome, which was so much fun. I loved how they each played their own role in helping Avett crawl out of the hole in which she had fallen.
In the end, this was a book about two people who needed each other in different ways - one was desperately broken and needed the love of another to help her start to put herself back together again. The other didn't even know he was broken until he met the person who fit in all his missing pieces.
"I guess at the end of the day, it's better to have nothing with the right person than to have everything with the wrong person, isn't it?"
“This is a bad idea.” I knew it. I could feel it deep in my bones and the allure of letting go, of doing what I always did, and falling headfirst into disaster, was pulling at me hard. But I was supposed to be changing. I was supposed to actually be sorry, not just saying it and turning around into the next catastrophe. I knew kissing Quaid Jackson was going to lead to all kinds of sorry and sorrow. I knew it as much as I knew I didn’t care and that I was going to kiss him and chase this bad idea until it crashed and burned, like they always did.
“You made a lot of them lately. What’s one more?”
He was right. What was one more? Especially when it looked like him, when it smelled sleepy and expensive like he did, when it felt hot and hard pressed up against me. What was one more awful choice when it came with lips that were firm and demanding as they landed against mine? What was one more when it was attached to rough hands that brushed along my exposed rib cage and paused under the achy swell of my breast? What was one more bad decision on top of all the other ones that had led this particular mammoth-sized bad decision to my door?
I had plenty of time, tomorrow, to do the right thing, but now I was going to enjoy the hell out of the wrong thing as he pressed his mouth more insistently into mine, taking the choice of which came first—the kiss or the story—out of my hands. Maybe that was why I was so drawn to him, so attracted to everything there was about him. He didn’t give me the room or the chance to make any kind of choice, good or bad. He decided and I followed his lead towards victory or towards ruin…and this kiss felt like it had everything in it to ruin both of us.
It was the first time in my life that a bad idea felt like the best idea I had ever had.
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