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.
Thanks for joining me on my stop for the Charged by Jay Crownover tour. This is a great tour with tons of great blogs, and a nice little giveaway on offer. Let’s get down to business and get this book reviewed, shall we?
Charged is a book that you will recognize immediately as a book that was written by Jay Crownover. It has her signature storytelling voice and the book aligns with her other series, Marked Men. Charged is the third book in the Saints of Denver series. Check out my review for Leveled, which is the first book in the series here.
We have seen Avett pop-up a time or two in Jay’s Marked Men series, but if you haven’t read any of them, there are a couple of things to know. One, the bar that Avett’s dad owns is a location that reappears often. Second, some of the men that are in this series protecting Avett are men from Jay’s previous Marked Men books that she has written and told their stories. Reading Charged without reading the Marked Men series will not be a problem. You can read this as a stand-alone and be on your merry way not caring to read the other series if you want to or not. (I do suggest that you do become those boys have really great stories.)
We meet a defense attorney, Quaid, that for all tense and purposes, Avett doesn’t really deserve, and she knows it. Talking about Quaid as a professional lawyer, at the beginning of the story he really cared about his career. He had all the “things” that a lawyer has to present himself as professional. Once he gets with Avett, it’s like all of a sudden he doesn’t give a shit. It gave me whiplash.
My overall review of the book is that is was very meh. I found myself putting it down several times, never consumed with the need to keep reading, keep reading, keep reading. There was an element of suspense, which isn’t something we see very often from Jay. That part of the story really drew me in.
I felt that Avett and Quaid’s romance didn’t make a lot of sense. He really would never give a girl like Avett the time of day, but even he said in the holding room of the jail that there was something about her that just pulled him in. I found myself asking why suddenly Quaid was interested in Avett and the solution never came to me. Was it because of who hired him to bail her out of her predicament? Did he find her someone to consider since his friend was willing to put his neck on the line for her?
The two of them together was very hot and cold. There wasn’t much sexual tension at all in the book, or even very heated scenes. It was very missionary. Meh. Now, I don’t need sex in a book, but, if you are writing a romance that is about a badass chick that hangs out with other badass people, I expect some badass sex, and will be happy with sweet and loving sex. Like I said, the sex was just very missionary in feeling.
I guess I’m not selling Charged to you very well, but I am giving you a honest review, which is the whole purpose of writing this blog, right? If you love Jay, which I do, you will recognize and feel that she wrote this book. You will enjoy all the nostalgia of characters from her other books. I sure enjoyed linking them all together. That was somewhat what Jay was trying to do with this book. I always recommend everyone to go and download the free sample that is something like 20% of a book to get a feel for it and see if it is for you. I love Jay and I will continue to read all her books. If you haven’t read her Marked Men series, you really need to get on that. The family is so complex and each have such soulful stories to tell. Jay does it amazingly well.
Excerpt from Charged:
I tapped the edge of my thumb on the black-and-white mug shot photo and couldn’t stop the grin from tugging at my mouth.
She tried to fire me.
She was five-foot-nothing, a lifetime younger than me, had multicolored hair that had seen better days, wild eyes that couldn’t decide if they wanted to be green, gold, or brown, while dressed in convict orange and obviously scared out of her ever loving mind, yet she still tried to fire me. If it had been any of my other clients—the cop accused of sexual battery, the frat boy accused of manslaughter over a bet on a football game gone wrong, the middle school teacher accused of pedophilia and having an inappropriate relationship with several of her students, or the pro football player accused of domestic abuse—I would have tipped my proverbial hat, wished them luck while I cut my losses, and walked away without a backward glance. People always committed crimes. People always needed a good defense, so it wasn’t like I was hurting for clients, but there was something about the girl. Something about the defiant tilt of her chin and the raw desperation in her tone when she begged me not to call her father.
“I don’t want your help. I don’t want anything from you.” She sounded like she meant it when she said it, but I figured she was too young and too scared to know exactly what she wanted or needed. Regardless, it was still refreshing to hear.
Everyone always wanted something from me and my help was usually the least of it.
I tapped the picture again, wondering why I found it so easy to believe that she really hadn’t been a part of the boyfriend’s plan to rob the bar. She wasn’t anyone’s idea of a model citizen and she had the shady track record to prove it. She was too young, and frankly too adorable, to have a file this thick. From what I could see, she had a set of parents always willing to ride to the rescue when she got herself into trouble. She looked like some kind of colorful woodland fairy from a Disney movie with her odd hair and delicate features. None of it added up, but the sincerity in her tone when she said she would never have gone with the boyfriend if she knew his intent and the fear in her eyes when I mentioned her father seemed genuine.
I learned long ago to treat everyone like they were guilty of whatever it was I was paid to defend them against. I didn’t want to know the truth. I didn’t want to know the circumstances. I wanted my clients to listen to me and let me do my job as I tried to convince the rest of the world they were innocent, regardless if they were or not. But this girl with her faded, rose colored hair and turbulent eyes oozed innocence through the cracks of a very guilty façade.
Because I was intrigued and actually believed the girl might be innocent, I wasn’t going to let her fire me. I was going to call her father and hope that he would help me keep her out of the slammer while I figured out how to plea bargain her charges down or get them dismissed altogether. Again, because a cop was involved in the robbery and because the boyfriend, junkie or not, was offering up a pretty plausible explanation for Avett’s involvement in the crime, nothing was a slam dunk, yet. I was going to help her whether she wanted me to or not.
Saints of Denver: