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Tag Archives: Jay Crownover

Cover Reveal: Dignity by Jay Crownover


From New York Times and USA Today bestselling author, Jay Crownover, comes the second standalone title in her The Breaking Point romantic suspense series, DIGNITY. Don’t miss the amazing cover below, and pre-order your copy today!


 

Cover designed By Hang Le

 

– ABOUT DIGNITY –

 

Looks can be deceiving.

I knew that most people took one look at the ink and the impossibly big and strong body it covered and decided I was a brawler…a bruiser…a beast. However, I was hardwired to be a thinker, not a fighter.

I should have chosen to use my brain and talents to be one of the good guys, a hero, a man with dignity and worth.

I turned my back on dignity and sold my soul to the highest bidder, deciding to dance with the devil, instead.

I couldn’t figure out how to help myself, so there was zero chance I knew how to save someone else.

That someone else was Noe Lee. She was the unkempt, unruly thief who was just as smart as I was and twice as street savvy. She was annoyingly adorable beneath the dirt and grime, and she was in trouble. In way over her head, I told myself it wasn’t my job to keep her from drowning. In the Point, it was sink or swim, and I wasn’t the designated lifeguard on duty.

I shut the door in her face, but now she’s gone…vanished…disappeared without a trace. It took less than a second for me to realize that I wanted her back.

When a woman comes along that melts all the frozen, hard things you’re made of; you’ll do anything you have to, to bring her home.

What you see is not always what you get…and with a man like me, what you get is more than anyone ever bargained for.

 

DIGNITY is coming October 17, 2017! Pre-order your copy today!

 

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Add to your Goodreads

 

 

And don’t miss the first standalone title in The Breaking Point series, HONOR! Grab your copy today!

 

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Amazon UK | Amazon Canada | Amazon Australia

 

 

– ABOUT JAY CROWNOVER –

 

Jay Crownover is the international and multiple New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the Marked Men Series, The Saints of Denver Series, the Point Series, the Breaking Point Series, and the Getaway Series. Her books can be found translated in many different languages all around the world. She is a tattooed, crazy haired Colorado native who lives at the base of the Rockies with her awesome dogs. This is where she can frequently be found enjoying a cold beer and Taco Tuesdays. Jay is a self-declared music snob and outspoken book lover who is always looking for her next adventure, between the pages and on the road.

 

– CONNECT WITH JAY CROWNOVER –

 

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

 

Review and Excerpt: Jay Crownover’s Salvaged

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Jay Crownover continues her delightfully sexy Saints of Denver series with the next thrilling standalone, SALVAGED! Order your copy today!

 

 

– ABOUT  SALVAGED

 

Hudson Wheeler is a nice guy. Everyone knows it, including his fiancée who left him with a canceled wedding and a baby on the way. He’s tired of finishing last and is ready to start living in the moment with nights soaked in whiskey, fast cars, and even faster girls. He’s set to start living on the edge, but when he meets Poppy Cruz, her sad eyes in the most gorgeous face he’s ever seen hook him in right away. Wheeler can see Poppy’s pain and all he wants to do is take care of her and make her smile, whatever it takes.

Poppy can’t remember a time when she didn’t see strangers as the enemy. After a lifetime of being hurt from the men who swore to protect her, Poppy’s determined to keep herself safe by keeping everyone else at arm’s length. Wheeler’s sexy grin and rough hands from hours restoring classic cars shouldn’t captivate her, but every time she’s with him, she can’t help being pulled closer to him. Though she’s terrified to trust again, Poppy soon realizes it might hurt even more to shut Wheeler out—and the intense feelings pulsing through her are making it near impossible to resist him.

The only thing Poppy is sure of is that her heart is in need of some serious repair, and the more time she spends with Wheeler, the more she’s convinced he’s the only man with the tools to fix it.

 

– EXCERPT –

 

“Poppy.” I whispered her name and she tilted her head back and blinked up at me.

“Wheeler.” I was astounded that there was a hint of amusement in her voice. How she could find anything to laugh about after what she just told me was unfathomable. Her father had handed her off to a monster like it was nothing. She made her way out of hell with one of the purest hearts I had ever seen.

“I really want to give you a hug, probably more for me than for you, but I told you not to let anyone touch you without permission.” I knew I sounded a little desperate but I didn’t care. “So, can you put me out of my misery and give me permission to hold you, just for a second, please?”

Her eyes widened and then her obscenely long lashes dropped as she nodded timidly. “Okay, since you asked so nicely.” The humor was now thick around every word and she was laughing for real as I carefully wrapped my arms around her.

I sighed into the top of her head as I pulled her to my chest. Her hair smelled like flowers and felt like silk as I rested my cheek against the soft strands. WE stood like that for a long time, me with my arms curled around her as she stood stock-still. I could feel her heart beat and I wanted to think it was racing like it was because she was affected by my touch rather than because she was terrified of being so close to a man she didn’t know all that well.

I told myself not to breathe, not to move a single muscle, as her hands slowly lifted and gently touched my sides above the tops of my jeans. It felt like her palms were burning their imprint into my skin as they slowly, achingly started to inch their way around my back so that she was lightly holding me back. I heard her make a sound that may have been one of pleasure, but just in case it was one of fear, I leaned away from her so I could see her face.

Her gaze was centered on the tattooed candle that was burning bright and surrounded by light and smoke right on the center of my throat. She watched the movement as I swallowed hard and her gaze drifted up to mine.

“No one ever has ever asked me for permission for anything before. No one has ever cared what I wanted before.” The murmur of her words brushed across the base of my throat and my cock went instantly hard. I knew she felt it because her eyes popped wide and her breath hitched as she looked up at me and ordered quietly, “Ask me what I want right now, Wheeler.”

 

– REVIEW –

 

“Even if those scars you have from what you survived were on the outside, I’d still be right here and want you just as much. They’re part of you and you are who I want to be with.”

Hudson Wheeler to Poppy Cruz

Salvaged

Kindle Loc. 2846 of 5015

Jay Crownover is a one-click author for me — just read the above quote from her latest book, Salvaged, and you’ll understand my passion for her writing.

Poppy Cruz and Hudson Wheeler are two people who’ve each been to hell and back, and lived to tell the story. In other words, they are survivors. But life is not simply surviving, marking days off on a calendar. Both Poppy and Wheeler decide that they want to thrive, that maybe they deserve to be happy. Maybe it’s worth it to take a chance on trust and love again, and Salvaged is their tale of taking that chance with each other.

Salvaged is the final novel in author Crownover’s Saints of Denver series, and it’s a most fitting conclusion. Salvaged is a standalone book and you do not have to have read any other books in this series to appreciate Poppy and Wheeler’s story. Both Poppy and Wheeler carry deep and horrific wounds, but instead of their story being dark and angsty, it’s actually uplifting and leaves the reader on quite a high note. (The epilogue alone is priceless, especially for those Saints of Denver and Marked Men series fans.)

As this reader has come to expect from Jay Crownover, the writing is excellent, and the characters are multidimensional and genuine. Other characters from the author’s series appear as necessary to the plot, which only enhances this story. Plus, Jay gets extra points for Happy. Who’s Happy? Grab a copy of Salvaged and discover that happy is more than just a state of mind.

 

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️1/2

*ARC received from Harper-Collins via InkslingerPR in exchange for an honest review.*

 

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 iBooks | Amazon UK | Amazon CAN

ADD SALVAGED TO YOUR GOODREADS

 

 

Jay Crownover continues her Saints of Denver series with SALVAGED, available June 20, 2017

Preorder and fill out the form here

https://a.pgtb.me/MdHvvG

Enter your name, email address, and the order number from your pre-order receipt on the form to receive an advance excerpt of DIGNITY and a Saints of Denver Doodle download to print at home. 

Entries must be received by midnight PST on June 19th to be eligible.

The print-at-home Doodle and Dignity excerpt will be emailed the week of June 20th.

 

CLICK ON THE ‘CHOPPER FOR A GREAT GIVEAWAY!

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Jay Crownover’s SALVAGED – Review & Excerpt Tour Schedule:

June 12th

Aurora B’s Book Blog – Excerpt

Book Angel Booktopia – Review & Excerpt

Ceres Books World – Review

Grownupfangirl – Review & Excerpt

Krista’s Dust Jacket – Review & Excerpt

Panda & Boodle – Excerpt

June 13th

Booknerd1107 – Review

Foxy Blogs – Excerpt

Happily Ever After Book Reviews – Review & Excerpt

Mustreadbooksordie – Review

NallaReads – Review & Excerpt

The Book Disciple – Review & Excerpt

June 14th

Books to Breathe – Review & Excerpt

Prisoners of Print – Review & Excerpt

Tales of the Ravenous Reader – Review & Excerpt

The Book Maven – Review

Two Girls with Books – Review

June 15th

Cocktails and Books – Review & Excerpt

Ficwishes – Review

Night Owl Reader – Review & Excerpt

Read more sleep less – Review

Reading Between the Wines Book Club – Excerpt

Vagabonda Reads – Review & Excerpt

June 16th

A Literary Perusal – Review & Excerpt

Book Sojourner – Review & Excerpt

Literary Gossip – Excerpt

Novel Addiction – Review & Excerpt

Reviews from the Heart – Review & Excerpt

Three chicks and their books – Review & Excerpt

June 17th

Adventures in Writing – Excerpt

BJ’s Book Blog – Review & Excerpt

NotasLiterárias – Review & Excerpt

RentasticReads – Review

Reflections Of A Book Geek – Review & Excerpt

June 18th

I Heart Books – Review & Excerpt

Naughty and nice book blog – Review & Excerpt

Nose Stuck in a Book – Review & Excerpt

Red Hot + Blue Reads – Review & Excerpt

The Escapist Book Blog – Review

Zili in the Sky – Review & Excerpt

June 19th

From the TBR Pile – Review

Books, Coffee & Passion – Excerpt

BookWorm221 – Review & Excerpt

Fictional Rendezvous Book Blog – Excerpt

Smut Book Junkie Reviews – Review & Excerpt

The Readdicts – Review & Excerpt

June 20th

Bookalicious Babes Blog – Review & Excerpt

Crazii Bitches Book Blog – Review & Excerpt

Red Cheeks Reads – Review & Excerpt

Reviews by Tammy and Kim (Rachel and Jay) – Review & Excerpt

TjLovesToRead – Excerpt

Wickedcoolflight – Review & Excerpt

June 21st

Jack of All Trades, Master of None – Review & Excerpt

Movies, Shows, & Books – Excerpt

My Girlfriend’s Couch – Review & Excerpt

Rachel Reads Ravenously – Review & Excerpt

She Hearts Books – Review & Excerpt

Two Book Pushers – Review & Excerpt

June 22nd

A Leisure Moment – Review

Brittany’s Book Blog – Excerpt

Caroline Jane Reads – Excerpt

KeeperShelf – Review

Live Read and Breathe – Review & Excerpt

Musings of the Modern Belle – Review & Excerpt

Queenzany – Review & Excerpt

June 23rd

BFD Book Blog – Review & Excerpt

Dog-Eared Daydreams – Review & Excerpt

Krissy’s Book Nook – Review & Excerpt

Obsessive Book Nerd – Review

The Readdicts – Review & Excerpt

Vera is Reading – Excerpt

June 24th

Blushing babes are up all night – Review

G & T’s Indie Café – Excerpt

Love Drug Book Blog – Review & Excerpt

Renee Entress’s Blog – Review & Excerpt

We stole your book boyfriend – Review & Excerpt

Words of Wisdom from The Scarf Princess – Review & Excerpt

 

– ABOUT JAY CROWNOVER –

 

Jay Crownover is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the Marked Men, The Point, and the Saints of Denver 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 dogs.

 

 

 

– CONNECT WITH JAY –

 

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

Chapter Reveal: Jay Crownover’s Salvaged

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Jay Crownover continues her delightfully sexy Saints of Denver series with the next thrilling standalone, SALVAGED! Don’t miss the amazing excerpt below and pre-order your copy today!

 


 

 

 

 


 

– ABOUT SALVAGED –

 

Hudson Wheeler is a nice guy. Everyone knows it, including his fiancée who left him with a canceled wedding and a baby on the way. He’s tired of finishing last and is ready to start living in the moment with nights soaked in whiskey, fast cars, and even faster girls. He’s set to start living on the edge, but when he meets Poppy Cruz, her sad eyes in the most gorgeous face he’s ever seen hook him in right away. Wheeler can see Poppy’s pain and all he wants to do is take care of her and make her smile, whatever it takes.

Poppy can’t remember a time when she didn’t see strangers as the enemy. After a lifetime of being hurt from the men who swore to protect her, Poppy’s determined to keep herself safe by keeping everyone else at arm’s length. Wheeler’s sexy grin and rough hands from hours restoring classic cars shouldn’t captivate her, but every time she’s with him, she can’t help being pulled closer to him. Though she’s terrified to trust again, Poppy soon realizes it might hurt even more to shut Wheeler out—and the intense feelings pulsing through her are making it near impossible to resist him.

The only thing Poppy is sure of is that her heart is in need of some serious repair, and the more time she spends with Wheeler, the more she’s convinced he’s the only man with the tools to fix it.

 

AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | KOBO | GOOGLE

iBOOKS | AMAZON UK | AMAZON CA

ADD SALVAGED TO YOUR GOODREADS

 

 

 

 

– EXCERPT –

 

Poppy

I rounded the corner at the end of my block and came to a halt. The puppy took that as a sign that we were done playing outside and started jumping all over my lower legs and pawing at my shins. He whined at me until I picked him up, and as soon as he could reach my face, his little tongue started darting all over my chin and cheeks. I wondered if he could feel the tension that made my limbs stiff and the anxiety that tightened all my muscles. I felt my breath catch in the back of my throat and there was no stopping my eyes from rapidly blinking to make sure what I was seeing was real and not a figment of my imagination.

He looked like one of those black-and-white art prints that hung in every diner and restaurant I’d ever eaten in. The one that was a throwback to another era when cool was something you had to cultivate and couldn’t buy on Amazon. He was leaning against a black-and-silver car that looked like it should be on the cover of a hot-rod magazine and not parked on a busy and crowded Capitol Hill street. He had on dark jeans and a dark canvas jacket that had the logo of his garage embroidered on the front. His ankles were crossed on the curb in front of him and one booted foot bounced up and down, giving the impression that he’d been waiting for me for a while. His arms were crossed over his chest and his eyes were locked on mine as I stood still, unsure what to do. He had an effortless kind of charisma that radiated off of him. It was equal parts intimidating and irresistible. I was unsure if my feet wanted to rush me toward him or run me as far from him as possible.

The puppy made the decision for me. Seeing another human, and thus another opportunity for pats and rubs, he threw his wiggling little body out of my arms before I could react. He hit the ground with a little yelp and then bolted right for Wheeler. I let out a gasp and took off after him thinking I could catch the end of the leash that was trailing behind him. I didn’t want him to run into the road or veer off into a yard where he didn’t belong. I was light-years away from being able to handle a confrontation with a hostile stranger that didn’t want the puppy in their space.

I didn’t need to worry because Wheeler pushed his long, lean frame off the polished side of the car and reached the scrambling animal within just a few strides. He crouched down as the puppy hurled himself into his arms and scooped the excited bundle up in one fluid motion. Then he was rising back up to his full height, which meant he was towering over me when I made my way over to where he was standing. I was embarrassed at how out of breath I was. I was supposed to be stronger than I was before, but I could hardly handle a little jog up the block or the way my heart raced at the sight of him.

I shook my head and put my hands on my hips as I looked up and into those arctic eyes. He was scratching the puppy under the chin and looking at me from under lashes that had the barest hint of red to them. “Why don’t you have a coat on?”

It wasn’t what I was expecting but his question reminded me that I was cold and that the lightweight hoodie that had the Saints of Denver logo on it wasn’t doing much to keep the bitter chill in the air off my skin. The shirt came from the tattoo shop where both Rowdy and Salem worked and was probably the most exciting garment I had in my closet. It was the only thing I owned that was bright and colorful. I rubbed my arms up and down and fired my own question right back at him. “What are you doing here?”

The puppy barked like he was telling me not to be rude but I was unsettled by Wheeler’s unexpected appearance, and not the typical unsettled that I struggled with because he was a man that I didn’t know. It was the kind of unsettled that made parts of my body I forget could react to an attractive man feel warm and tingly. The kind of unsettled that had me involuntarily leaning closer to him as he started to shift so that he could pull his heavy jacket off one arm without letting go of the dog.

“I wanted to talk to you about the dog. Did you find someone to take him yet?” He shifted the puppy to his now bare arm as I watched the endless amounts of ink that covered his skin move and flex as he shook his other arm free of the coat.

“Uh…not really.” The truth was I hadn’t really put that much effort into finding someone because I didn’t want to let the puppy go. In just a few days I’d grown surprisingly attached even though I knew I wasn’t allowed to keep him in my apartment. I’d already asked since Dixie was allowed to keep Dolly, but the landlord informed they were grandfathered in before the laws surrounding pit bulls in Denver changed. My little guy wasn’t that lucky.

My response made Wheeler chuckle. He stared at me silently as he held out the coat he’d taken off in his free hand.

“Put this on.” I stared at him like he’d suddenly started speaking Russian until he shook the coat again and frowned at me. His voice was serious and left no room for argument when he repeated the command. “Put this on, Poppy.”

 

 

Jay Crownover continues her Saints of Denver series with SALVAGEDavailable June 20, 2017

Preorder and fill out the form herehttps://a.pgtb.me/MdHvvG

Enter your name, email address, and the order number from your pre-order receipt on the form to receive an advance excerpt of DIGNITY and a Saints of Denver Doodle download to print at home. 

Entries must be received by midnight PST on June 19th to be eligible.

The print-at-home Doodle and Dignity excerpt will be emailed the week of June 20th

 

 

– ABOUT JAY CROWNOVER –

 

Jay Crownover is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the Marked Men, The Point, and the Saints of Denver 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 dogs.

 

 

 

– CONNECT WITH JAY –

 

WEBSITE | FACEBOOK | TWITTER | GOODREADS

 

Excerpt Reveal: Jay Crownover’s Riveted

RIVETED - header banner

From the New York Times bestselling author of the Marked Men books comes the next installment in the Saints of Denver series.


 

Riveted - cover

 


 

– ABOUT RIVETED 

 

Everyone else in Dixie Carmichael’s life has made falling in love look easy, and now she is ready for her own chance at some of that happily ever after. Which means she’s done pining for the moody, silent former soldier who works with her at the bar that’s become her home away from home. Nope. No more chasing the hot as heck thundercloud of a man and no more waiting for Mr. Right to find her; she’s going hunting for him…even if she knows her heart is stuck on its stupid infatuation with Dash Churchill.

Denver has always been just a pit stop for Church on his way back to rural Mississippi. It was supposed to be simple, uneventful, but nothing could have prepared him for the bubbly, bouncy redhead with doe eyes and endless curves. Now he knows it’s time to get out of Denver, fast. For a man used to living in the shadows, the idea of spending his days in the sun is nothing short of terrifying.

When Dixie and Church find themselves caught up in a homecoming overshadowed with lies and danger, Dixie realizes that while falling in love is easy, loving takes a whole lot more work…especially when Mr. Right thinks he’s all wrong for you.

 

AMAZON | iBOOKS | BARNES & NOBLE | KOBO | GOOGLE

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– EXCERPT –

 

Church

“You’ve been awfully quiet tonight.”

The southern drawl was lighter than mine, more lyrical and smooth. The Blue Hills of Kentucky rolled thick and unmistakable in Asa Cross’s twang as he looked at me steadily from behind the massive oak bar he was currently in the middle of wiping down.

“I talk when I have something to say.” No one would ever accuse me of being the chatty type. When I did choose to speak the Mississippi Delta was deep and locked thickly around all my words. My drawl was much slower than the blond bartender’s and far less practiced. Asa used his inflection and his southern charm to work whoever was sitting on the other side of the bar like they were one of his marks in a long con. He turned up the south in his voice to make hearts flutter and to fool drunks into thinking he was far less sharp than he was. His Kentucky-flavored tone was nothing more than a tool he used to his advantage whenever he needed it, while my unhurried inflection reminded me of a home I hadn’t seen in far too long. That was one of the reasons I never had much to say. Every time I opened my mouth the sound of my voice, like molasses over gravel and deep as the Mississippi River, took me back to a place I had been actively avoiding for over a decade.

I’d spent a little over ten years serving my country in various capacities while enlisted in the army. I’d been around different types of men from a million different walks of life. In all that time I’d never met anyone as hard to unravel as the man standing across from me. He had eyes the exact same color as the aged whiskey on the shelf behind him, and they were picking me apart with a perceptiveness that made me uneasy. I wasn’t used to being so transparent. Whatever shield I had up, whatever ironclad curtains I had pulled around me, Asa Cross saw right through them.

“You are usually quiet, but tonight you didn’t say a single word. You look like you have something on your mind.” His eyebrows lifted and that smirk on his face turned into a grin that I wanted to put my fist in. He wouldn’t be half as pretty as he was with missing teeth and a bloody nose. “Dixie had a date tonight. I figure you were worried about her since she’s been spending time with those internet guys over the last few months, and the bar is never the same on her nights off.”

My back teeth clicked together in aggravation and a low growl escaped my throat. My hands curled into fists at my sides without me being aware they were doing it and I could feel a furious heat climb up the back of my neck.

The idea of Dixie, sweet, sunny Dixie, out there with God only knew what kind of troll she was going to find on the internet made me want to destroy everything. I wanted to break the bar top in half. I wanted to throw chairs through windows. I wanted to smash all the meticulously placed bottles displayed behind Asa into smithereens. I wanted to dropkick the remaining few stragglers nursing their last-call drinks out the door and I wanted to get my hands on whoever had taken Dixie out tonight and throttle him within an inch of his life.

Logically, I knew there were decent, normal individuals using the internet to find love and sex . . . the sex being more likely. There were millions of people online dating and while I thought that was okay for them I refused to think it was an option Dixie should be utilizing. I hated the idea of her dating at all, but there was something about her meeting strangers, meeting men that hadn’t had the opportunity to see her in person before taking her out, that really rubbed me the wrong way.

Dixie Carmichael was the nicest girl I had ever met. She didn’t have a mean bone in her perfectly curvy and petite body. She was always smiling, always laughing, and there wasn’t a moment spent in her company where it didn’t feel like the sun was shining directly on you. She embodied warmth and care. Someone behind a computer monitor would never understand that. They would never feel the way her innate ability to make everything seem like it would be okay made the world seem like it was worth saving. There was a lot of bad shoved at us all on a day-to-day basis but somehow Dixie was a filter for it, and when you were around her it seemed like the only thing you could focus on was the good she let through.

She needed someone that could appreciate that. She needed a man that shined as bright as she did and that would hold her above the shit that was always trying to drag everyone else down. I doubted that guy was on Tinder or Bumble. In fact, I doubted that guy existed at all.

“I don’t keep track of her comings and goings.” I rubbed a hand over my mouth and watched as Asa’s eyebrows shot up and his lips twitched. I was a damn good liar. I lied to myself for years and years about the kind of man I was in order to convince myself that the choices I made were the right ones. But I was currently trying to lie to a man that was a professional liar, so it was no surprise that he saw right through the bullshit I was laying down.

“Ahh . . . I see. You have no interest in the fact she might be out there with a serial killer that wants to turn her pretty hair into a coat for his pet hamster?”

I glowered at him and crossed my arms over my chest. I was a big guy. Years of doing PT and boredom in the desert had led to a strenuous fitness routine I still maintained, partly out of habit and partly because when my muscles burned and I made myself sweat I could shut off all the other stuff that was crowding my head. Some of it nagging, niggling regret from the past, a whole lot of it new nightmares and realizations from my present. I had a couple inches in height on the Kentucky charmer and a whole lot more brute strength. Yet none of that or the glower that I was sure was stamped across my face kept Asa from keeping his stupid, sound advice to himself.

“Dixie is a good girl, she deserves someone who can give her that kind of good back.” I could see the surprise on Asa’s face as I finally gave him something that was wholeheartedly true.

He pushed off the bar and hollered that it was time for the last few customers to finish up. There were some grumbles but everyone left was a regular and as soon as the clock hit one thirty they would move towards the door without any hassle. I liked nights like this, where there were no fights to break up, no crying girls to console, no puke to clean off the floor, no amorous couples to shoo out of the bathrooms. Typically on a night like this I would watch Dixie scamper around shutting the bar down while pretending I wasn’t looking at her. I couldn’t help myself. My eyes were pulled to her and when she laughed or smiled I felt it in my gut like a punch. She did things to me that no woman had ever done to me before.

She made me want to smile and that alone was enough to have my feet itching to hit the road before I did something stupid, like fall in love or take her up on her blatant invitation into her bed. I wanted to fuck her, but I knew if I did it would fuck us both. She was nothing but good and when I got good in my life it always went bad, so I didn’t allow myself, or her, to go there. She shone as bright as the sun every single day but I was a man that knew all too well that too much time in the sun could lead to some serious burns.

I’d spent the last few months biting my tongue until it bled while she dated men that weren’t me and I went to bed alone each night wondering why I didn’t just pick up one of the barflies that hung around making it known they were ripe for the picking.

I’d never been the kind of guy that burned through women. My mother, and subsequently the women that stepped in to raise me after my mom was gone, Elma Mae and Caroline, taught me to understand that women’s hearts were fragile and you had to be careful with them. They tried to teach me how to take care of the good when you had it, how to respect it and earn it. I kept the lessons close because they were some of the only things I had left of the women that shared them with me. I never played with a woman’s body if I didn’t know for sure her heart was kept in a separate box somewhere. I liked my hands on soft tits and full hips, and silky legs wrapped around my back as much as any other guy. What I didn’t like was wiping away tears, explaining myself, and dramatic good-byes when I didn’t stick around after a good time. I was picky about who I went to bed with and I made sure they understood all my hard and fast rules about not committing or sticking around before I ever put my hands on them.

“Denver was just a pit stop.” I rubbed my hand over the top of my buzzed head and looked down at the wooden floor under my boots. “With everything that happened with Brite and Avett a few weeks ago I think it’s about time I put some space between me and the Mile High.” A friend and his daughter had recently run afoul of some really nasty people. My old commanding officer and current boss and I had moved in to help in any way we could, which ended with bullets and blood and some seriously pissed-off drug dealers. Holding a weapon in my hand and kicking in doors was second nature to me. I missed the fire of combat in my blood and the adrenaline coursing through my veins. I was made to fight, not to rest on my laurels. “Well past time I made my way home and tried to mend some fences.”

This was why Asa was such a good bartender. He pulled your story out of you whether you were planning on telling it or not, and he listened like he cared even if my story was told in fewer words than he was used to.

He nodded at me and pushed a rocks glass filled with amber liquor towards me. He typically drank Scotch at the end of the night, but I was a bourbon guy through and through. “I know all about mending fences, brother. Not a day goes by that I don’t have to dig a hole for a new post and string up some new wire.” He took a swig of his own drink and plastered that arrogant smirk back on his face. “Plus you might as well run before that girl you’ve been watching when she isn’t watching you fall in love with someone who ain’t you.”

I was going to hit him. My intent must have been clear because he put his glass down on the bar and lifted his hands up in a gesture of surrender. “My girlfriend is armed and she likes my pretty face the way it is. Keep that in mind, soldier.”

I slammed back the rest of the bourbon and let it burn its way down my throat. “Fuck you, Opie.”

He chuckled at me and turned to cash out the register behind him. “That’s why they say the truth hurts, Church.”

Before I had been Church I’d been Dash. And before I had been Dash I’d been Dashel. It was already hard enough being a kid with less than white skin and with parents in an interracial relationship, but having a name that was as uncommon as mine down in the Deep South was fuel on an already burning fire. I’d hated it growing up and even with shortening it to Dash I’d still struggled with it. But now I’d been Church for a long time, and he was a man that didn’t give any kind of shit what anyone else thought of his name. I’d earned that nickname through service and blood. It wasn’t a name that was given to me. It was one I had taken and made my own. Elma Mae was going to hate it and she was still going to call me Dashel even when I begged her not to but there was a part of me that couldn’t wait to hear the stubborn old woman tell me, I’ll call you by the name your mother picked out for you, son. That’s the name she wanted for you and you should respect it. I should, but there were a lot of things I should have done to make my mom proud that I didn’t do.

The truth Asa was laying down did hurt, because there was no hiding from him that part of the reason I was ready to bolt was because I really couldn’t stomach the idea of watching someone else take Dixie’s heart.

“Didn’t ask you for the truth.” I stuck my head out the front door and watched as the last two bar patrons climbed into their Uber. I locked the front door and shut off most of the lights and made my way back to the bar.

I liked the operation Rome had set up here. I liked the people, both the ones who worked for him and the ones he served, and I liked that the atmosphere was usually festive but pretty mellow. On the nights that heads needed to be cracked and tempers needed to be tamed I enjoyed the exertion and physicality of that as well, but I wasn’t meant to be a bouncer. I had too much training, too much experience, and frankly too many demons that needed an outlet, to babysit drunks and party girls for the long haul. It was time for me to stop drifting.

Asa finished up with the money and shot a glance at his phone. I could tell by the genuine smile that crossed his face and the way his gaze sparked that his gorgeous redheaded girlfriend was the one behind the message. Royal Hastings, the pretty Denver policewoman had recently moved in with the annoying southerner and it wouldn’t surprise me if she ended up with a ring on her finger before the year was out. The cop and the con had something special going on even if I firmly believed it was doomed to fail.

“Most folks don’t ask for the truth but that doesn’t stop me from giving it to them.” He gave me a look that told me if I was any kind of man I would take that truth he was so fond of and do something smart with it. I didn’t bother to tell him good and I didn’t really see eye to eye. We made our way to the back door after a quick stop at the office to lock the money up in the safe. Asa scribbled a note to Rome and then quickly checked the security cameras. He typed out a message on his phone and by the time we hit the parking lot at the back of the bar a brand-new Toyota 4Runner was pulling in with a smiling redhead behind the wheel.

Asa clapped a hand on my shoulder and gave me a look that burned with understanding and seriousness. I felt like he was speaking directly into my soul when he told me quietly, “The real truth is, I let something good go, so I know how that feels. Got it back and would move heaven and earth to keep it by my side, so I know exactly what you’re walking away from, soldier. Be smarter than I was and don’t let all that goodness slip through your fingers.” He turned around and walked backwards for a second while flashing me that shit-eating grin of his. “It’s always better to be warm than it is to suffer the cold, Church.”

He moved towards the SUV and I had to look away when he leaned into the driver’s side window to kiss his girl. There was so much intimacy there, so much passion that it made everything I swore I knew about love and togetherness pull against the reins that held it tight.

I gave a halfhearted wave as Royal honked the horn at me and pulled out of the parking lot, then made my way over to my Harley. It was still nice enough weather to ride, another reason I needed to get my ass in gear and head south. In a few weeks it was going to be too cold to have the bike on the road and I wasn’t interested in putting the beauty on a trailer and driving her like some expensive piece of luggage back to Mississippi.

I was swinging my leg over the chrome-and-leather beast when my phone vibrated in my back pocket. It was after two in the morning so I knew anything buzzing through at this time of night couldn’t be good. Considering I’d recently shot Denver’s top drug supplier’s right-hand man and put down another one of his henchmen for good, I was dreading seeing what was waiting for me on the display.

It was almost as bad as I expected it to be. The number was one I’d been ignoring since I landed in Denver months ago. It was a number that belonged to a man that I owed more than some simple conversation or a handful of words. It was a call I would have continued to ignore if it hadn’t come in the middle of the night and on the heels of three other calls throughout the day that I had turned a blind eye to.

It was time to stop running from my past. It was time to man up.

It was time to be a better man, the man the person calling had tried his best to raise me to be.

“Hey, Julian.” I rested the Harley back on the kickstand and ran a hand over my face. I could practically feel the shock wafting across the phone line. He hadn’t expected me to answer and that made me a special kind of asshole.

“Dash.” His voice was even deeper and coarser than mine. People often told me I sounded like Johnny Cash but Julian Churchill really had the Man in Black’s rough growl embedded throughout his tone. “I didn’t think you were going to answer.” I sighed and felt like the wild five-year-old he had tried to wrangle all over again. “Been busy. Took a while to settle in and get used to sleeping without bombs going off overhead.”

He didn’t say anything for a long minute and when he spoke I could tell he was trying really hard to keep the hurt and censure out of his deep voice. “You have a perfectly good bed here and last I heard there weren’t any bombs in Lowry.” Lowry was the small town where I had been born and raised, just outside of Tupelo, Mississippi. There weren’t bombs there but there was a bucket load of memories that blasted me with emotional shrapnel that hurt worse than the kind I’d had surgically removed from my skin.

“I needed time, Jules.”

“Had more than enough time, son. You need to come home.” I bristled just like I always did when he tried to tell me what to do. I thought I’d squashed that urge after we stood side by side and lowered my mom into the ground but there was something about him talking to me like I should know better that always made me feel like an unruly kid.

“Planning on it. Have to tie up a few loose ends around here, and I have to make sure I don’t leave my friend that helped me out in a lurch.” Rome would send me on my way with a pat on the back and a foot in my ass if he knew the real reason I was hiding in Colorado instead of hightailing it home. He was understanding, but the man was all about family first and he wouldn’t abide the way I’d been avoiding mine for the last decade or so. I was a coward and I didn’t want a man I’d been in the trenches with, a man I would die for and knew would die for me, to know just how deeply that weakness ran.

“Dash.” There was a sigh and then Julian cleared his throat, so I knew he was struggling to keep his emotions in check. “Elma Mae had an accident.”

I almost dropped the phone as I bolted up from my lounging position on the bike. “What do you mean she had an accident?” My fingers tightened around the phone to the point that my knuckles hurt and the blood rushing furiously between my ears made hearing his response difficult.

“She was carrying her laundry in off the line and tripped going up the stairs. She fell backwards and busted her hip. A neighbor heard the commotion and ran to help. They had to airlift her to the hospital in Tupelo. She’s also got a dislocated shoulder and a sprained wrist. She’s back in the Lowry hospital now recovering and she should be going home at the end of the week.”

“Jesus.” Elma Mae was chasing down eighty if she was a day. None of us knew her exact age and she refused to tell. She would just smile at us and tell us we kept her young. Those kinds of injuries were serious for someone in their prime. In a woman Elma’s age they were life threatening. “She gonna be all right?”

“Elma is a tough old bird. It’ll take more than a tumble to keep her down. She’s been asking about you.”

Well, if that wasn’t just a fucking red-hot poker right through the guts. It was also a slap across the face with the reality of everything I’d purposely been avoiding and denying for way too long.

“I bought a Harley. Gonna have to ride it home, so I’ll be there in a couple days.” My homecoming was happening sooner than I’d planned, but there was no way I couldn’t be there for the woman that had always been my true north. When nothing else in my life made sense there was Elma Mae. She was the only safe place I had ever known and if she needed me I was going to be there to return the favor. I owed the woman everything and the fact I’d waited so long to see her after years of deployment was a startlingly clear reminder of why I was correct and considerate in staying the hell away from Dixie.

She lived in the light and I was far more comfortable hiding in the dark.

“I’ll let her know. That will make her day.” He paused for a second, which made me brace for whatever was coming next. “She mentioned a girl. Elma told me the reason you weren’t in any hurry to come home from Denver was because of a girl. That true?”

Son of a bitch. The truth might hurt but the lies I told, and they were more gray than white, were going to outright kill me. “There’s a girl.” And there was, but she wasn’t entirely the reason I wasn’t ready to face Julian or anyone else back in Lowry. She had been one of my reasons for sticking around Denver longer than I’d planned. She was an excuse that would buy me time and one that wasn’t entirely untrue.

“Do me a favor and see if you can bring her with you. Elma would love nothing more than to see you happy, to know you’re finally settling down and moving past the things that happened with your mom and with Caroline. You bring your girl home with you and give all of us some peace of mind. Make an old woman happy, Dash. You owe Elma a few years where she doesn’t have to worry about you catching bullets or ending up alone.”

Shit. I rubbed my temples and kicked at the loose gravel under the soles of my boots. “I’ll see what I can do.” That was bullshit. Dixie would drop everything and come with me if I explained the situation. She was too nice and too sweet to tell me no. Elma Mae was going to goddamn love her after she gave her a ration of hell in order to make sure she was the right girl for her boy.

“If the girl cares about you then she’ll figure out a way to be here. If she can’t figure it out, she isn’t worth your time. Come home, son, we miss you.”

I missed home, too, but I could do without the memories and reminders that had kept me away since the day I signed my life away to my country.

It was my turn to sigh. “I’ll see you soon, Jules.” He hung up and I wanted to kick myself because after all these years and all the time and effort he put into raising me I still couldn’t call the man Dad. He deserved the title, after all it was his last name I carried around with me, not that of the man who had knocked my mom up and run. He had earned it much like I had earned my name, but whenever I tried to say it the word got stuck and I fell back on something that seemed less important. It felt like I was fooling God and everyone under the sun about just how important Julian was to me if I refused to call him the only thing he had ever been to me. I was trying to trick fate so Jules didn’t end up the way so many others I loved had.

I was also going home, and I was going to put some sunshine in my pocket and take it with me.

 


 

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Jay Crownover continues her Saints of Denver series with Rivetedavailable February 14th, 2017

Give yourself a Valentine’s Day gift in advance…Preorder and fill out the form herehttps://a.pgtb.me/t0JkQX 

Pre-order Riveted today and on February 14th, you’ll also receive a glossy Saints of Denver poster and an exclusive first-look at Chapters 1 and 2 of Avengedher forthcoming Mackenzie Family novella.

Avenged combines the grit of Saints of Denver series with the all-out heat of The Point series with a mind-blowing, mystery, yet-to-be-revealed, couple combining both of these worlds. Be one of the first to find out who it is, pre-order Riveted today. 

Posters will be mailed the week of February 14th and Avenged chapters will arrive via email.


 

– ABOUT JAY CROWNOVER –

 

Jay Crownover is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the Marked Men, Jay Crownover - headshotThe Point, and the Saints of Denver 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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Cover Reveal: Salvaged by Jay Crownover

 

– ABOUT SALVAGED –

 

Hudson Wheeler is a nice guy. Everyone knows it, including his fiancée who left him with a canceled wedding and a baby on the way. He’s tired of finishing last and is ready to start living in the moment with nights soaked in whiskey, fast cars, and even faster girls. He’s set to start living on the edge, but when he meets Poppy Cruz, her sad eyes in the most gorgeous face he’s ever seen hook him in right away. Wheeler can see Poppy’s pain and all he wants to do is take care of her and make her smile, whatever it takes.

Poppy can’t remember a time when she didn’t see strangers as the enemy. After a lifetime of being hurt from the men who swore to protect her, Poppy’s determined to keep herself safe by keeping everyone else at arm’s length. Wheeler’s sexy grin and rough hands from hours restoring classic cars shouldn’t captivate her, but every time she’s with him, she can’t help being pulled closer to him. Though she’s terrified to trust again, Poppy soon realizes it might hurt even more to shut Wheeler out—and the intense feelings pulsing through her are making it near impossible to resist him.

The only thing Poppy is sure of is that her heart is in need of some serious repair, and the more time she spends with Wheeler, the more she’s convinced he’s the only man with the tools to fix it.

 

– ABOUT JAY CROWNOVER –

 

jay-crownover-headshotJay Crownover is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the Marked Men, Welcome to the Point, and Saints of Denver 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 and make the reader feel something.

 

 

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Release Week Blitz and Review: Honor by Jay Crownover

Note From Vagabonda Reads: Reading is (and always has) been a source of escape, of learning, of entertainment for me. When I’m graced to find a story that captures all those elements, that story and its characters are burned into my memory — they become a part of me.  Such is the case with Jay Crownover’s  stunning new novel, Honor. The character of Nassir Gates, his story, has now become a part of my story. I urge you to read, enjoy, and learn . . . .

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New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author Jay Crownover returns with her most complicated hero yet, in the first book in the romantic suspense series The Breaking Point. 

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Don’t be fooled.

Don’t make excuses for me.

I am not a good man.

I’ve seen things no one should, done things no one should talk about. Honor and conscience have no place in my life. But I’ve fought and I’ve survived. I’ve had to.

The first time I saw her dancing on that seedy stage in that second rate club, I felt my heart pulse for the first time. Keelyn Foster was too young, too vibrant for this place, and I knew in an instant that I would make her mine. But first I had to climb my way to the top. I had to have something more to offer her.

I’m here now, money is no object and I have no equal. Except for her. She’s disappeared. But don’t worry, I will find her and claim her. She will be mine.

Like I said, don’t be fooled. I am not the devil in disguise… I’m the one standing front and center.

– EXCERPT –

KEELYN

Maybe if I hadn’t spent the last six months slinging pancakes and greasy hash to hungover hipsters and avoiding the too-curious eyes of the cops who like to hit up the diner for early-morning breakfast, I would have noticed the ominous shift in the air.

Before I came to Denver six months ago, my senses had been honed to pick up on the slightest threat. Before, anything that might be dangerous, that might put me in peril, had made my skin tingle, made everything inside of me vibrate with awareness. Now I had settled into a simple, dreary rhythm. Every day was the same as the one before it and there was no outside threat constantly hounding me, hunting me, haunting me. I let my guard down. I had gone soft, and as a result the biggest danger of them all managed to slip into my new normal without giving any kind of hint he was there.

My nonslip shoe—that were probably the ugliest things ever made but absolutely necessary considering the greasy food the tiny kitchen pumped out—squeaked on the laminate floor as I made my way over to the lone patron who had taken the last available seat in my section. The massive plastic menu completely covered his face, but the Rolex on his wrist and the perfect cut of his suit jacket let me know he wasn’t my typical kind of customer. There wasn’t a flannel shirt or police blues in sight, and as I got closer, a whiff of something exotic and familiar engulfed my senses and stopped me in my tracks. Of all the things I had left behind, he was the one I had tried hardest to forget.

The tingling across my skin spread. My tummy tightened. Blood rushed loudly between my ears. My shaking fingers curled around the pen in my hand like a weapon. Before I could pull it together and walk away, the menu lowered and I was pinned to the spot, immobilized by eyes the color of spice rum.

They were wicked eyes. Eyes that saw far too much and gave nothing away. Eyes I daydreamed about. Eyes that caused me to wake up in a cold sweat. Eyes that turned me inside out and shook me up as they made a slow perusal from the top of my head to the tips of my god-awful shoes, returning to my face and staying there as I struggled to keep my shit together.

He slowly put the menu down on the cracked tabletop and leaned back in the booth. He was strikingly out of place here and I absolutely hated how that sexy twist of his mouth, a mouth that I dreamed about almost every night, made my traitorous heart flutter and my pulse kick.

I was also strikingly out of place here, but I’d learned to fake it. He, obviously, never bothered to fake anything. He wasn’t a man with virtuous intentions and he never pretended to be.

Gone were the mile-high stilettos that I always wore. In their place I now donned work shoes that prevented me from falling on my ass as I ran food and dirty dishes to and from the kitchen. I was hiding in plain sight, knowing that the last place on earth anyone who might come looking for me would check out would be this greasy spoon. This was the opposite of me and the life I had always lived, so even though I could afford better, craved more, this was where I needed to be…until he showed up.

– REVIEW –

Nassir Gates exists in a place most people can’t even conceive of, much less relate to. Born to a mother insane for a cause in a land where survival is measured not even on a daily basis, but rather in increments of seconds, Nassir Gates knows that in his life, there is no room for error. Trusting no one, Nassir becomes his own arbiter of justice. He accepts he’s a monster and he makes no apologies. Not one person, not one cause warrants his loyalty, until the day Nassir sees Keelyn Foster.

Keelyn Foster, young, jaded, works as a dancer in Spanky’s, a seedy club located in The Point. She dances under the name of “Honor”. Keelyn knows the mindset of her audience and she can take care of herself. One particular day, a customer charges her stage in an attempt to grab her. But before Keelyn can react to the assault, an enraged Nassir Gates comes to her rescue.

So begins the story of Nassir and Keelyn in Jay Crownover’s stunning novel, Honor.

More than a romance, author Crownover gives her audience a study into the mind of a soul tortured out of its humanity. Nassir Gates is essentially a dark machine until the appearance of Keelyn Foster. So appropriately named, Keelyn holds the key to Nassir’s remaining vestiges of humanity:

“She was my endgame. She was what had given my life meaning . . . She was everything.”

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Crownover sets the tone of Honor with such a cold and riveting prologue, the reader is immediately seduced into the story — it’s a masterful piece of writing. The body of the novel is told in alternating points of view, between Nassir and Keelyn. Secondary characters from Crownover’s Welcome to The Point Series make appearances in sub plots that contribute rather than distract from the story.

Honor is not a story for the faint of heart. It contains scenes of graphic violence and sex. The tone of the novel is very dark — this is not a hearts and flowers romance. Rather, Jay Crownover’s Honor is a story about those who survive, and ultimately, thrive on the fringes of an illusion we like to call civilization.

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

*ARC received from Inkslinger via Edelweiss, courtesy of William Morrow in exchange for an honest review.*

– BUY THE BOOK –

Order HONOR in ebook or paperback, releasing 10/18/16

Amazon US | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo 

Amazon UK | Amazon Canada | Amazon Australia

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– ABOUT JAY CROWNOVER –

jay-crownover-headshotJay Crownover is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the Marked Men, The Pointand the Saints of Denver 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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