Justified by Jay Crownover

5 STARS!

Release Date: June 25, 2019

Publisher: Forever (Grand Central Publishing)

SYNOPSIS

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.

REVIEW

While I figured I would like this book, I was pleasantly surprised at just was a great romantic suspense this really was. It also made me mad that I hadn’t read the prequel novella, Unbroken–which is now on my TBR! This story really showcased the why behind the character’s actions that often go unseen. As human beings, I believe that many of us assume the reasoning behind others’ actions, and often time incorrectly. Justified showed the real and lasting impact of problematic assumptions, which I deeply appreciated.

I also found all of the characters to be very enjoyable. Aspen is just so sweet and strong. I just felt that when she did stand up for what she wanted, she came across as not only powerful, but so caring. She was dealt a crap hand, and yet she perseveres. Case is a stubborn man with a heart of gold. He is so blinded by his own hardships he fails to see the bigger picture. You may think that would make him less endearing, but you’d be wrong! He is fighting his demons, caring for his town, and finding the truth–which makes for a great growth arc. Not to mention his relationship with his son Hayes pulls at all the heart strings. I loved Hayes so much, and I hope we eventually get his story (possibly with a girl that doesn’t really fit in in Loveless, Texas). Lastly, let’s not forget that Case has some awesome siblings! His brother Crew’s story is the novella I mentioned earlier, and I’m really hoping we get Kody’s story in the next book. I’m assuming there will be lots of Hill (the hot lawman) and Shot (the hot motorcycle gang leader), which should make for one hell of a story!

Thank you so much to Forever Publishing for the eARC in exchange for an honest review!

Add it on Goodreads here!

Order it here!