From the New York Times bestselling author of the Marked Men books comes the second installment in the Saints of Denver series featuring a bad girl and a by the book attorney who could be her salvation…or her ruin.
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.
4.5 Star review
I loved this book more than I expected I would. The first book I ever read by Jay Crownover was Zeb’s story, “Built,” and, while I liked this book, it was really the writing style of the author that tempted me to pick up the second book in this spin-off series. It was certainly a good decision!
The story is told in a circular plot structure by opening with the saying of Avett’s father, “Don’t worry, Sprite, bad decisions always make for good stories,” and this story certainly begins with Avett make a life-changing bad decision. This, of course, leads to her involvement with Quaid, her legal-eagle, and begins their journey together. The ending to story is tied back to the opening chapter when Avett says, “Every mistake was a piece of me, a part of my story, without each of them there was no way I would be starting my own happy-ever-after…” Throughout this whole book, the idea of making bad decisions leading to good stories was prevalent, and it drove home the idea that mistakes and bad decisions are part of who we are and form the story of our lives, which we shouldn’t be ashamed of.
Another aspect of the book that I enjoyed was the complex characters; each of them had multiple layers to who they are. Avett, on the surface, seems like a complete wreck, a person who consistently makes bad choice after bad choice. However, underneath, she is hurting over a choice to do nothing that cost one of her friends from the past dearly. Her behavior, while it seems foolish to the people around her, is to punish herself in order to atone for her past mistakes. Then we have Quaid. His public persona is a successful defense lawyer who is living the high-life of luxury; however, his personal life is crumbling. The reader comes to learn that his lavish life-style is, similar to Avett, a cover for insecurities from his childhood. These two characters come together and peel the layers away to see each other for who they really are, and they ultimately see that while the versions of themselves that they present to society might not match, their true selves are perfect for each other.
Finally, what really made me like this book was the suspenseful part of the plot. I thoroughly enjoy books that don’t follow typical conflict patterns. Jay Crownover could have easily let the insecurities of the couple, the pressure of Quaid to make partner at his firm, or a bad decision from Avett be the conflict of this story, but she chose to take an alternate path, leaving the reader to keep the respect and love for Quaid and Avett in tact. I also loved that the conflict exhibited how a bad decision can be the best choice if it means protecting the people that you love.
As a bonus, I really enjoyed Brighton and Darcy. They, just like Avett and Quaid, had layers, even though they were secondary characters. The unconditional support of their daughter is amazing and is an attribute all parents should strive to achieve. The references to past characters is also an element of the story that I enjoy, and the little preview of Dixie and Church’s story made me excited fort he next series.
Overall, this is another solid hit from Jay Crownover!