Reviewed by Tori
Favorite Quote: “The guy across from me was a cherry-red Ferrari and I was a rusted out John Deere tractor.”
Officer Dominic Voss is slowly recovering from falling off a building while in pursuit of a suspect. On medical leave until he recovers, Dominic is seeking out a much in demand physical therapist to help him get back to crime fighting duty.
Orlando Frederick knows all about wanting the impossible. After losing someone precious to him, Lando focuses all his energy into helping others recover from pain even though he is unable to heal from his own. When a sinfully sexy cop begs him for his help, Lando is shocked by the punch of lust that zings him.
The attraction between them grows from a slow simmer to a burning inferno in no time but Lando has already loved and loss one stubborn man…his heart can’t risk another break. While Lando heals Dominic’s body, Dominic sees Lando needs some healing of his own, but Lando isn’t making it easy. Dominic will have to show Lando that love is all about taking risks and sometimes the worse pain of all is not losing, but never trying.
Leveled is the bridge that links Crownover’s Marked Men series to her new spinoff series- Saints of Denver. It is also the perfect farewell for all the fans who have waited patiently for Crownover to ‘lay Remy Archer to rest for good. If you haven’t read the Marked Men series, I wouldn’t start here. Nor would I use this as an introduction to the Saints of Denver series. This novella addresses a long standing storyline that has flowed beneath the entire Marked Men series and was the main conflict for book one-Rule.
SPOILER FROM MARKED MEN SERIES!!!! Remy Archer hid his love for Orlando Frederick from the world, going as far as to use their best friend, Shaw Landon, as his beard. When Orlando has enough and tells Remy either he comes clean with their relationship or their through, Remy leaves and ends up getting into a fatal car accident. For years Orlando blamed himself for Remy’s death and because of Remy’s secrets, wasn’t even able to seek out or offer comfort to the Archers. It’s only after Rome Archer comes home for good that Remy’s double life comes to light and everyone begins to see that no one knew Remy at all.
Leveled picks up years after Remy’s death. Lando still grieves for Remy and walls himself off emotionally to ensure he never suffers that sort of pain again. Now a physical therapist, Orlando helps others get back into fighting shape. When an old friend asks him for a favor, Orlando agrees to see a cop who was injured on the job. When Lando meets Dominic the sparks fly. This built, broody, sexy, scarred, warrior affects Lando something powerful and he experiences something that reminds him of his love for Remy. And that scares him to death.
“The instant I laid eyes on the big brooding cop, it was like a full body assault. There was nothing easy or comfortable about it.”
Dominic doesn’t come looking for anything but help when he meets his new physical trainer but he finds much more when he meets Lando. A tall sexy ginger with a lean build and freckles that beg to be licked and kissed. Dominic knows Lando feels the attraction too but he quickly nips it in the bud when Lando tells him he doesn’t date his clients. Dominic takes offense and the sparks turn to flames.
“You are distracting good looking, Dominic, but I don’t date my clients, and I don’t think I could even get involved with a cop.”
“I don’t know what I find more insulting, the fact you just assume I want to date you or the fact that I’m a cop somehow makes me beneath you. You have a lot of nerve, Mr. Fancy-Pants, a lot of nerve and a lot of ego.”
Even though we get alternating points of view, I couldn’t help but feel this was more Lando’s story. Emotionally poignant and filled with moments of heartache & passion, Leveled touches on several topics, the most important being forgiveness and learning to let go. Crownover writes a sexy, steamy, sorrow touched love story about two men who must deal with their own demons if they want to move forward with their lives and each other. Both are standing on the edge and it take some heavy duty loving, honesty, and a little help from their friends to give this couple their happily ever after.
“We are worth taking risks and venturing into the unknown.“
Crownover also includes a tiny excerpt from Built, the first in her Saints of Denver series, which is scheduled to release January 5, 2016.
Prior Jay Crownover Reviews