Author: Jay Crownover

Princess Emma Reviews: Retreat by Jay Crownover

Retreat (The Getaway Series Book 1) by Jay Crownover
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5 Stars

Every once in a while, you need to get away from it all.
I was a woman on the edge, shaken and shattered after a breakup that felt like it tore my entire world apart. My best friend, sick of watching me drown in misery and melancholy, harassed me until I agreed to go with her on a week-long wilderness retreat.
She promised days spent bonding and getting in touch with our inner bad-asses. It was supposed to be all about the two of us roughing it and making do with the bare minimum. She assured me we were going to be pushed to our limits in ways that were unimaginable. Neither one of us could have ever guessed just how right she was.
Nowhere in the glossy brochure did it say anything about the fact I was going to have to battle the insufferable but deliciously rugged and sexy trail guide instead of the elements. The brochure also forgot to mention the part that warned when you left civilization behind, there was no place to pack your inhibitions and fears.
I was told that I would be facing a week where the only thing I should expect was the unexpected. However, no one mentioned that I was going to have to fight for my life…and my heart as soon as I ventured into the unknown.
I was a pro at hiding from my feelings but when it came time to face a real threat, one that could change everything, I learned I was more of a no surrender, no retreat kind of girl.
Retreat is a standalone novel, the first in the Getaway series which centers on the hardheaded and brokenhearted Warner brothers and the women that dare to love them. These boys are very good at putting the wild in wilderness.

Series: Getaway #1
Also by this author: Built (Saints of Denver, #1)

5 Crowns

Book 1 in The Getaway series, each book will be a standalone featuring the lives and loves of the Warner brothers. It is completely unrelated to any other series written by this author.

Leo is coming off the back of a really bad relationship. It has left her questioning everyone and everything in her life, but mostly it has left her questioning herself. Fed up of the pity party she is throwing, her best friend Emrys persuades her to go on a wilderness retreat, to get back to nature and to find herself away from the stresses of her life in San Francisco. So when they arrive in the mountains of Wyoming she expects to be greeted by some hot Cowboys; instead she is greeted by the Warner brothers, her hosts for the weeks.

So Cowboys, eh not quite. The Stetsons and chaps are definitely missing, but hot… hell yes. It’s just a shame that their customer care leaves a lot to be desired. Lane the youngest is the friendliest, but Sutton struggles to raise a smile and Cyrus the eldest, well he is just plain rude. If Leo didn’t think this week could get any tougher, having to deal with Cyrus may just finish her off.

So I am purposely stopping right there in my story overview. The synopsis Jay Crownover gives, although lengthy, doesn’t give too much away and man she is spot on in her decision to do that. I went in pretty much blind with this book, but clicked it because of my love for this author. I thought it would be a great romantic story between a city girl and a cowboy, and yes for all intents and purpose it is that. Retreat however is not your run of the mill cookie cutter romance, this book is sooooo good and so much freaking more. It throws a story at you totally out of leftfield. I so didn’t see it coming, and quite frankly I didn’t expect this book to be as bloody brilliant as it was.

So whilst I would usually talk about characters and my thoughts on them, I won’t for this book. I seriously don’t want to give you any spoilers whatsoever. What I will say is that each Warner brother has an interesting backstory and if each brothers story is as good as Cyrus’, then we the reader are in for a hell of a bumpy ride. Told from Leo’s POV, you might question whether this gives you everything you need from the book. Let me assure you it does. Jay has a quality in her writing that ensures that we get the full story without being overloaded with words, inner thoughts and story fillers. I actually think a dual POV would have been too much in the pace of the storyline. As she herself says, it is Leo’s journey into the Warner world. Again she is bang on the money in her thought process on this.

I am a huge Jay Crownover fan, and have been with her since Rule (still one of my top 10 reads EVER) I have loved the Marked Men series, am loving the Saints of Denver, whilst found the  Welcome to the Point series so so. This book, indeed this series is a complete departure from anything she has ever wrote before and I congratulate her on going off her usual path. By doing so she has created a book that is as totally unexpected as it is amazing. So if you aren’t sure, if the cowboy thing maybe isn’t your bag, all I can do is implore you to give it a chance; I can promise you won’t be disappointed.

 

A MUST READ start to a series that is nothing you would expect from this author. I now look forward to Sutton’s story; I have a feeling it will be just as epic as Retreat.

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Princess Emma Reviews: Built by Jay Crownover

Princess Emma Reviews: Built by Jay CrownoverBuilt (Saints of Denver, #1) by Jay Crownover
on January 1st 1970
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4 Stars

From 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.Sayer Cole and Zeb Fuller are as different as two people can be. She’s country club and fine-dining, he’s cell-block and kill it and grill it. Sayer spends her days in litigation, while Zeb spends his working with his hands. She’s French silk while he’s denim and flannel.
The differences between the two of them don’t stop Zeb from dropping every hint he can think of that he would like to get to know her on a more personal level, but Sayer seems oblivious to his interest or is just too nice to tell him to take a hike. To Sayer, a guy like Zeb could never be interested in someone as reserved and boring as she is. She’s never been with anyone that was hot enough to melt the icy exterior she’s had wrapped around hera since her awful childhood. But what if Zeb is the one who might finally thaw her out…?

Series: Saints of Denver #1
Also by this author: Retreat (The Getaway Series Book 1)

4.25 Crowns

Built is book 1 in the new Saints of Denver series. I say book 1, but the series actually kicked off with a standalone novella, Levelled; you do not need to read that book to enjoy Built. For fans of Jay Crownover, this series is a spin-off of the hugely successful and bloody brilliant Marked Men series. Once again you don’t need to have read this series to enjoy the Saints of Denver, but if you have you will enjoy the connections and of course the cameo’s that look likely to appear in each book as the series moves forward.

Sayer has moved across country after finding out, following her father’s death, that she had a half-brother. A family lawyer, she was desperate to meet and bond with Rowdy, leaving behind her life in Seattle without a backward glance. However, it isn’t so easy for her to walk away from the insecurities and expectations that were drummed into her by a father who only cared about image. It has given her a cold and hard exterior that she uses to protect herself, but one man is making lose walls crack. Can she finally free herself from a life that is lonely, bland and without any colour?

Zeb has had it tough. Growing up in a single parent family, he adores his mother and his older sister Beryl. He is a family man at heart and because of his need to protect, he made the ultimate sacrifice when he found himself doing a 5 year prison term. Now years later, he still gets the expected “Once a criminal, always a criminal” treatment, but Zeb hasn’t let that stop him from building a successful life for himself. Having met Rowdy through his love of tattoo’s he soon found himself renovating the new Marked branch for the boys, and his house flip business grew from strength to strength. When he meets Rowdy’s sister, he is blown away. Smart, beautiful and uncaring of his past, he eventually transforms her rundown Victorian house into a palace fit for a Princess. He is determined to scales Sayer’s walls and make her his, but when an event from the past comes back to surprise him, he may need Sayer a lot more than he thinks.

This is a great read and a brilliant start to this spin-off series. The Marked Men series is really special to me. Some of the books in that series are up there with the best I’ve read; in particular Rule. His story is one book I could read over and over again. For me, Jay has really found a niche that works for her, and this book really does carry on the Marked Men flag. What I particularly like is that it looks likely to feature characters very much on the periphery of the original series, you know, those characters that you couldn’t help thinking could have an interesting story themselves. That being said, this can also be read independently of the original series and you will still enjoy it to its fullest.

I won’t lie, Sayer is a difficult character. Her past is so complex, but it is also very much her present. The decisions and lack of warmth at times had me wanting to slap her, but the chinks of pure kindness were visible throughout. Zeb, well what can I say. Jay Crownover writes men WELL. He is the absolute bomb. Patient, loving and determined, unlike Sayer he doesn’t let the past define him. I could say more, but that would give too many spoilers.

 

If you are a fan of good old romance, but with a characters that have depth, light and shade this is a great read. I loved the Marked Men and I think I am going to love the Saints of Denver just as much.

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