Review – Built by Jay Crownover

Built Tour Banner_edited-1SynopsisFrom 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.


Rebecca Review-001As a huge fan of the Marked Men, I have been eagerly awaiting this spin-off series for months. While Built can be read as a stand-alone, I highly recommend reading at least Rowdy and Asa. Jeb and Sayer make appearances in these books, and it will provide insight into their backstory and relationship. Both were intriguing characters, and there was little doubt their story would be interesting and full of chemistry. This story reminded me of why I first fell in love with Jay Crownover’s style and is an excellent beginning of a new series.

I like most of Crownover’s heroes, but no one has ever come close Rule Archer as my favorite. However, Zeb is the closest anyone has come, even remotely, to dethroning Rule. He is everything I desire in a leading man; passionate, loyal, loving, devoted, and sexy. I had a difficult time finding a single flaw in his character, which is unusual, considering his background. He gives a completely new meaning to the word “Renovator.”

Renovation takes time and there is always something unexpected behind the walls when you knock them down.

Some people are not going to feel the same love and compassion for Sayer, but I admired her character a lot. She is battling a lifetime of hurt and insecurities. Despite her icy exterior, she really is compassionate and caring. Her relationship with Poppy is one of my favorites throughout the book. For all their differences, they both are broken women trying to heal wounds. I focused on that when she would frustrate me in her relationship with Jeb; there is a lot of angst and push/pull between these too. I appreciate the message Crownover attempts to convey with readers and most will understand and empathize with Sayer.

I adored the chemistry between Zeb and Sayer from the beginning. They are so completely different, but a perfect balance for each other. The alternating POVs are perfect, and I especially enjoyed Zeb’s thoughts and interactions with his family. My only complaint is I wish there were more dialogue between characters. Despite that, it is an intense and emotional ride.

“You have to be wounded in order to heal.”

For those who have read Leveled, a few little carrots thrown in will make complete sense now. I really enjoyed seeing characters from MM again as well. My favorite series are ones that continue to incorporate characters I have come to love and see as friends; it’s like never truly saying good-bye. I can’t wait to see what happens in the next installment of SoD.
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And don’t miss the novella, Leveled!

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I dug my fingers into his wrists and scowled right back at him as his pulse kicked into my touch. “I don’t think you’re an asshole or a player at all, Zeb, but I also have no experience with men like you.”

“Men like me? What does that mean? What kind of man am I?” He was getting angry and frustrated and I couldn’t blame him. It was hard for me to explain why he was everything I wanted but everything I could never have. We were on two different levels when it came to our personalities and I knew there was no way someone as passionate and expressive as he was would ever be interested in someone as reserved and closed off as I was. Where I was the frozen tundra when it came to emotional availability, he was the blazing heat of the desert. I could see the fire of his annoyance in his gaze as he waited for my shaky explanation.

“You’re a man who is sure of himself and confidant. You’re a man who is used to having women fall at his feet. You’re a man who is exiting and interesting.” I lifted an eyebrow at him. “You’re a man who is tattooed and drives a cool vintage truck around, you’re a man who doesn’t mind getting dirty and can create things for a living. All of that is the total opposite of everything I’ve ever known, Zeb.”

His eyebrows went from the deep frown over his nose to shooting up on his forehead and disappeared under the dark fall of hair that rested there. A grin that could only be described as wicked slashed through his beard and his hands tightened where they were still holding on to my face.

“I thought you were going to say a man with a past. A man that has been to jail. I thought you were going to say a man with my history is the kind of man you have no experience with. You surprised me.”

If I was a different type of woman, I might have smacked him for that kind of ignorance. “Where you have been doesn’t define who you are, Zeb. I told you when we first met that I understand that people make mistakes.”

He grunted and moved his face closer to mine. “And here I am on your doorstep with another one. You want me to teach you about a man like me, Sayer? I’m pretty simple to figure out.”

I didn’t believe that for a single second, so I opened my mouth to tell him. There was never anything simple about passion. I didn’t get a chance to utter a sound because before I got a word out I suddenly knew exactly what it felt like to be kissed by a guy with a beard because he dipped his head and devoured my mouth with his.

It felt phenomenal.

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Meet The Author-001

headshot-9-1-1Jay Crownover is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the Marked Men and The Point series. 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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