Built (Saints of Denver #1) by Jay Crownover
“After everything the past has tried to bury us under, we owe it to ourselves to be brave, to do more than float.”
We caught a glimpse of Zeb and Sayer in the Marked Men series, and now we have their full story in a new series! Zeb Fuller has made some mistakes in his life, leading to him doing a turn in jail. Zeb has reformed himself, building up a successful construction business, but it’s hard for people to look past his rough, tattooed exterior.
Sayer Cole is Rowdy’s half-sister who moved to Colorado the second she found out she had a brother. Sayer hires Zeb to renovate her house, and the two seem to spark an attraction. But every move Zeb makes is shut down until he gives up hope of ever wooing the pretty lawyer. Now, the house is complete and Zeb has no concrete reason to stay in Sayer’s life, until he finds himself in a situation where he needs a lawyer. Now the two are working together, and soon Sayer gives into Zeb’s attention. But inside her head is a myriad of issues holding her back, and it’s up to Sayer to overcome them.
I think my favorite part of all of Jay Crownover’s books is that they make me think. After finishing them, I often find myself reflecting back on them instead of powering on to the next book. Built was no exception, I found my head filled with thoughts of Sayer and Zeb. I was totally enraptured by these two characters, together and as individuals. Sayer is a more complicated heroine with insecurities (which I LOVE), and Zeb has his own insecurities as well. I love stories where the man has to break through the woman’s walls instead of the woman chasing the bad boy.
I loved going through Sayer’s personal journey, seeing the reasons why she was so closed off and how hard she worked to overcome them. I wouldn’t say Zeb helped her get over them but more so was the reason why she fought to overcome her insecurities and issues. Sayer in return helped Zeb realize his worth, that he was a good man deserving of love without judgement. Despite their physical differences, the two were perfect for each other. Crownover’s books contain an excellent theme on how appearance has nothing to do with who someone is on the inside, and not to make snap judgements about someone based on their appearance and to look deeper. And I love how the old series mixed with this new one, it was like visiting with old friends.
I would have liked to see more dialogue and action than inner monologue with the writing. There were times when a character would have an inner monologue and it interrupted a scene, leading me to forgot what was going on or I skimmed ahead to continue the scene and then returned back to read the inner monologue. I would have liked to see more of Sayer and Zeb outside the bedroom, but I can also understand how plot wise that wouldn’t have worked.
Overall I think this is an amazing start to the series and I am dying to read the next one. No really, Quaid and Avett gave me freaking chills in the small amount they were shown together in this book. I can only hope it’ll be explosive in the next book.
“I choose you, Sayer. Lover, lawyer, and all the shit you are in between that, I choose it. I choose us. When you’re ready to accept that, you come find me.”
ARC kindly provided by author in exchange for an honest review