Also by this author: Unbroken
Also in this series: Unbroken
Series: Loveless Texas
Published by Forever on June 25th 2019
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Tropes: Cowboys Format: eARC
Source: Forever, Netgalley
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Case Lawton comes from a family of criminals. So as the sheriff of Loveless, Texas, he's determined to do everything by the book--until he's called to Aspen Barlow's office after a so-called break-in. The last thing he wants to do is help the woman who cost him custody of his son. But Aspen isn't the heartless lawyer Case remembers, and he starts to question his long-held grudge...
Aspen is scared for her life, and Case is her last hope for protection. But to get him on her side, she'll have to reveal the painful truth from all those years ago. Now, as they work together to track down a dangerous criminal, Case and Aspen learn to trust each other. And as the threats escalate, it becomes clear there's a thin line between love and hate... because there's nothing Case wouldn't do to keep her safe.
by Jay Crownover
There is something about cowboys that gets me every time. I can’t put a finger on it because it’s the whole package, the alpha goodness, the rough and strong and earthy men. When I finished Unbroken, the novella that kicks off this series, I knew I needed to know more about those Lawton siblings.
Case was everything I hoped for. Loveless’s sheriff is a little broody, trying everything he can to make people believe that he is nothing like his corrupt old man. After losing the custody battle for his son to his ex-wife because a certain counselor was better than his own he loves to antagonize said lawyer.
Aspen on the other hand has always tried to protect Case and his family without the sheriff having a clue about it. These two have a complicated history. Aspen used to have a crush on Case in high school because he was always nice to the transplant from Chicago, the girl who didn’t fit in anywhere. For that alone she had a soft spot for him. Case’s hatred for her hurts but while their verbal sparring sometimes gets to her she never stops caring about Case and his family.
It seemed like with everything else we did, it was all or nothing. We either loved or hated. We were either in or out. There was no middle ground.
There is a lot of suspense that kept me invested because I really wanted to know who was out to make Aspen’s life hard. I gave the twist a little the stink eye because there was no indication that the perp would be who it was – the author failed to show me that this person was capable of the awful things they did because Jay Crownover only mentioned them in passing. So that twist wasn’t a pleasant surprise, if you know what I mean.
However, I enjoyed this story despite the little weakness in the suspense part. Case and Aspen had great chemistry and I really liked how they got closer. Should have Aspen make Case grovel a little more? Hell yes, I love a good grovel! But in the end I loved their relationship and how solid they were.
I’d been staring at my past for so long it had all started to blur together in one big void of regret. But I could say for certain when I got a good look at the future I was facing, there was a small, dark-haired woman standing directly in the center of it.
There is a plethora of side characters I need to read about. I am really hoping to get Hill’s story next and that the heroine will be who I think. There is also a very intriguing MC president who I can’t wait to find out more about. And finally, Case’s son Hayes, who seems to get a big dose of heartbreak in the future.
Justified is an enemies-to-lover, small town romance that turned out to be fast and satisfying. Jay Crownover is a new-to-me author and I’m looking forward to reading more of her!
I told the darkness, “I’m going to ask you to stay.” I was. There was no time for fear or doubts—hers or mine. I didn’t need to be apart to figure out this was real. I wanted to start our lives together as soon as possible. I just had to be as brave as she was.