{Review} Leveled by Jay Crownover

{Review} Leveled by Jay CrownoverLeveled by Jay Crownover
Also by this author: Jet, Rome, Charged
Series: Saints of Denver #0.5
Also in this series: Charged
Published by William Morrow on November 2, 2015
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Falling for Client, M/M Romance
Character(s): Doctors/Medical Guys, Police Officers/Sherriffs
Pages: 224
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We all need a hero...let the Saints of Denver begin

Orlando Frederick knows what it is to be leveled by pain. Instead of focusing on his own, he’s made it his mission to help others: sports stars, wounded war vets, survivors of all kinds. But when Dom, a rugged, damaged, sinfully attractive cop, makes his way into Lando’s physical therapy practice, he might be the biggest challenge yet. Lando loved one stubborn man before and barely survived the fallout. He’s not sure he can do it again.

Dominic Voss is a protector. The police badge he wears is not only his job, it’s his identity, so when he’s sidelined because of an injury, the only thing he cares about is getting back on the force. He expects Lando to mend his body, he just doesn’t realize the trainer will also have him working toward a hell of a lot more. As attraction simmers and flares, Dom sees that Lando needs repair of his own...if only the man will let him close enough to mend what's broken.

Erin: While this book is loosely tied to Jay Crowover’s Marked Men series, it is not necessary to have read them in order to appreciate and enjoy this book. And trust me, enjoy it you will! This is Jay’s first foray into writing M/M and she did an excellent job, so much so, I hope that she does it again. Leveled is everything we’ve come to love in a Jay Crownover book: gritty, sexy, and real.

In Leveled we meet Orlando (Lando) and Dom, two men we’ve seen briefly before in the Marked Men novels. I, for one, was ecstatic to see them again! Lando and Dom’s instant attraction to one another pushed all my buttons. Both men are successful at their careers, but know that something is missing. Lando is wary of getting involved not only with one of his clients, but with someone who has a dangerous job as well. Dom never expected his attraction to Lando, but he doesn’t let that get in the way of wanting the man. I loved watching these two get closer and closer until they’re unable to give in to their growing feelings. For Crownover’s first foray into M/M fiction, she handled their conflicting feelings and emotions remarkably well and realistically.

This story has a bit of everything. Plenty of sexual tension, lots of flirting and swoony moments. Some drama thrown in, feels all over the place, and yeah, the sexy times were hot and intense.
We have moments like this:

There was nothing subtle or hidden about Dominic Voss and that forthrightness was irresistible and a balm to the hidden parts of me that were just as broken as his body was.

And this:

“I wondered how something so rash, so sudden and unexpected, could feel so necessary, so vital.”

And then this. *sigh*

“I’d kissed plenty of boys in my time but never one that made my head spin to the point that it made me forget where I was.”

ANNNNNND this one which … *swoon*

“How can things begin if you’re already planning the ending? Doesn’t seem fair.” His breath was warm and tingled the skin at the side of my neck. “You’re right. It doesn’t, so since the beginning is where things usually seem perfect and the ending is always tragic, why don’t we just skip to the middle? There’re good things in the middle.”

For anyone who hasn’t read a Jay Crownover book, Leveled would be a fantastic introduction to her work. All the characters are well-developed and complex. The story flows naturally and nothing feels forced. I was captivated from beginning to end and I will be anxiously awaiting the next book!

Erin

Erin is a book addict! She loves books of all kinds, but her favorites are Contemporary Romance or YA (and she reads both boy/boy AND boy/girl, sometimes even girl/girl!) She's been reading since she could hold a book in her hands and doesn't see that changing any time soon. Give her a Coke, kick ass tunes from her favorite playlists, and a book, and she's in reading heaven.

She's a Texan, though she drinks her tea plain and NOT sweet. She loves cheesecake, strawberry limeade's from Sonic and her favorite color is purple. In her books, she loves an HEA, but she never minds if the road is rough to get there, as long as the reward is worth the struggle.

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