ARC REVIEW Justified by Jay Crownover
Loveless Texas #1, The first full length story, if you haven't read the prequel novella that's fine it's not required. Case Lawton was the golden boy in high school, but then his mother died, he got injured, lost his scholarship, and his girlfriend got pregnant. He joined the military and when he came back he became a Sheriff's Deputy and everyone just assumed he would follow in his father's footsteps. But everyone was wrong working under his abusive, prejudice, I-going-to-use-the-law-in-my-favor father gave Case the ammunition he needed to get his father out of the Sheriff's office and get elected himself and then he cleaned house.
Aspen Barlow always felt like she was the outsider, not having been born in Loveless and being different made her even more of an outcast. Only one person made her feel special in school, Case, he made a point to welcome her and include her in events she ended up falling in love with him. She watched as his life derailed but she never lost faith that he was a better man than his father. In order to protect Case and his son she made an enemy out of the man she once love and represented his wife in the divorce. Eight years later he is still holding a grudge but when he gets called to a break in at her office everything changes.
I loved this book! Being so new to Jay Crownover I haven't read any of the other books in which Case ties into but that's fine I really wasn't missing anything, except now I want to go and read more of her books. Told in duel first person POV you get both sides of the story and that really makes you want to smack Case at different points in the book because he basically made Aspen his scapegoat and when she finally calls him on it you want to pump your fist in the air and cheer her on. I got very attached to the characters, they felt so real and I am really looking forward to Kody's book!! I loved the pacing of the book and it was well balanced of emotional and suspense with just a smidge of humor, usually Kody. Overall, this book has definitely won me over, I am now a fan of Jay Crownover and I can't wait for my next fix.