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JUSTIFIED is part of the new Loveless, Texas series and it is available now!

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JUSTIFIED by Jay Crownover

Loveless, Texas #1 | Available Now


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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.

Add JUSTIFIED to your Goodreads TBR here!

My Review

In Unbroken, Crew Lawton’s story, readers were introduced to Case Lawton, Crew’s older brother and the Sheriff of Loveless, Texas, as well as the small country town where the Lawton siblings grew up and seemed determined to leave behind. And I have to be honest, my initial reaction to Case was not a positive one. It seemed like Case was trying too hard to compensate for his father’s corrupt acts as sheriff, making him overly rigid, and in some ways, a bit too self-righteous, especially when it comes to those closest to him.

But I’m happy to say, once I gained a bit more perspective on Case and the reason behind his high strung and glacial demeanor, I understood his need to toe the line as well as his inability to let go of a past that forced his hand in a number of life altering ways. Did I still think he was a bit close-minded and directed his anger and torment at the wrong person, absolutely, but, once again, there’s a reason for his mistreatment, and while it doesn’t mean what he does and how he acts is right, I can’t say that I fault him given how little control he had over the outcome.

I absolutely adored Aspen. She epitomizes the idea ‘she may be little, but she is mighty.’ It’s clear that she spent much of her life feeling like an outsider, never truly fitting in, and then when she finally did, it wasn’t for the reasons she had wanted to be known for, which is why she’s working on reclaiming who she was as Aspen Keating and not a part of the Barlow family she married into when Justified begins. Aspen is an extremely likable and relatable heroine and I loved watching her go toe to toe with the ornery Case, even when she seemed to be crumbling on the inside. And her need to protect the unprotected, doing what’s right by them, even if it costs her personally, made her stand out as one of my favorite Jay Crownover heroines.

The danger that Aspen finds herself in throughout the course of the story is definitely responsible for Case and Aspen confronting their past, giving them a opportunity to clear the air and figure out exactly how they feel about each other outside of their complicated history, and this part of the plot line worked well, but where I struggled a bit with this aspect of the story was with who ultimately was responsible for the shitstorm that became Aspen’s life. Obviously, there needed to be a catalyst for everything that goes down, I guess I just didn’t understand why the story’s main villain was who it was and why/how everything played out the way it did.

Even though I had a bit of an issue with the mechanics of the plot, I really enjoyed Case and Aspen’s story, and I’m more than eager to read Cody’s story. With everything readers have seen and heard about her and her antics, I’m excited to see what Jay has in store for her and who’s going to be the hot alpha male to tame her wild.

4.5 Poison Apples

Purchase your copy of JUSTIFIED today!

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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, 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.

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