Friday, June 28, 2019

Review: Justified by Jay Crownover

Publication Date: June 25th 2019 by Forever
Pages: 384
Source: Publisher
Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo

About the book:

The New York Times bestselling author of the Marked Men series delivers a romance about a rugged Texas sheriff who must protect the woman who was once his sworn enemy...

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.

My Thoughts:
Jay Crownover writes the best heroes, especially the ones that start off as kind of a jerk, rough around the edges, but have a big heart.  Case Lawton, the Sheriff of Loveless is exactly that type of guy.  When we’re introduced to Aspen and Case, he’s a full-on jerk to her, he thinks she’s a heartless lawyer after she represented his ex-wife in their divorce and custody battle. There’s a whole backstory as to why Aspen cooperated, it’s a good reason, but Case doesn’t know the details.  There’s a whole unrequited love situation too, as Aspen fell hard for Case upon moving to Loveless as a teenager and he was one of the only students who took an interest and didn’t treat her like the new “weird girl”.  Because of that, the animosity he carries toward her hurts all that much more.  I was all on Aspen’s side, indignant for her when Case treated her with open disdain in the beginning.

Aspen and Case must work together when her office is trashed, and it becomes apparent her life is in danger.  As much as Case dislikes Aspen in the beginning, she’s a citizen of Loveless and as Sheriff, Case is dedicated to keeping his people safe. Forced to “be in each other’s pocket” as they’re faced with so many threats the animosity between them starts to melt away.  There was definite chemistry and desire, even when they were snipping and snapping at each other.  I was eager to have all the details about the divorce to come to light so that the attraction Case felt for Aspen wasn’t an unwanted development, and things finally do come to light. 

I loved Justified! Aspen and Case together were electric, and when they let go it was wicked hot! You know how some books it takes a while to warm to the story? Definitely not a problem here! I was glued to the story, engaged from page one. Trying to figure out where the threat was coming from, and on edge from the dangers presented made for an exciting read.  Aspen and Case’s story wraps up satisfyingly, but there’s another romance to come with Case’s sister Kody and his good friend, Hill Gamble, a Texas Ranger.  A storm is a-brewing between those two, and I can’t wait!

4 Suns


  1. I love Jay Crownover's male leads, and agree with the whole rough around the edges, with a big heart observation. This sounds like such a great story. I love the enemies to lovers trope and that Aspen had a crush on Case when they were younger. I'm really curious about the details of why she took his ex-wife's case. The suspense and hot romance make this sound like a fantastic read! Excellent Review Rachel! I enjoyed reading it :)

    Lindy@ A Bookish Escape

    1. I'm a huge fan of the enemies to lovers troupe, too! I think you'd like this one, Lindy. :)

  2. I've never read anything by this author but I've seen this book floating around for a while and it sounds really good! I'll have to pick it up!
    Genesis @ Whispering Chapters

    1. I hope you do. I'm interested in hearing what you think. :)

  3. I can enjoy the jerk hero when they change. Sounds like one with some good layers and I'm curious.