May 24 2016 3:30pm

First Look: Jay Crownover’s Charged (May 24, 2016)

Jay Crownover
Charged (Saints of Denver #2)
William Morrow / May 24, 2016 / $14.99 print, $4.99 digital

As readers we’ve been sitting back and watching the tail spin that is Avett Walker’s life for several books now. We’ve seen her shift from a moody teenager to an accessory in her bad boy boyfriend's armed robbery at a bar. Now, Charged opens with the Avett, scared out of her mind, and dealing with the consequences of her actions up to this point. 

While the Marked Men series dealt with redefining family—and coming to terms with the one you have—the theme of the Saints of Denver seems to be one of redemption. First Asa (while not part of this series, he is the bridge to both series) finds redemption for his own past—and now pays it forward in Avett's story—then Zeb finds his redemption through his child. However, Avett, and Quaid's redemption comes more from finding their own self-worth—Avett as she navigates the rocky terrain of young-adulthood, and Quaid as he searches for all the things he lost in a messy divorce. 

What truly makes this story shine is the partnership these two eventually form. They are yin to the other's yang, and while they are miles apart in life experience, age, and looks—Quaid is the buttoned up lawyer type on the outside, while Avett is everything a Crownover heroine should be, down to her pink hair—their journeys are the same. 

“We're in this together, Avett. We gamble together, which means we win or we lose together.” 

As with all Crownover books, Charged is an ensemble piece, and I loved seeing more of Avett's biker-dad (every time he called her Sprite, my heart melted). Her dad was unflaggingly, almost to her detriment, there for her, and we saw the wise and loving father through every single one of Avett's redemptive actions:

“Avett, you need to understand how I got to a place where I learned how to forgive. The main reason I can hang in there until someone that's lost finds their way is because I was a man, not too long ago, that needed that kind of forgiveness and needed someone to show me the way. All the choices we make, good and bad, have a lesson in them. I think it's time you quit letting those lessons go over your head, Sprite.”

The lessons weren't going over my head. They were hitting me right in the heart, right in my very soul, and I deserved all of them. Those lessons reminded me every single day what kind of person I was; they reinforced the fact that when you were a bad person, bad things happened to you, and I knew I deserved them all. 

Avett certainly doesn't deserve all the bad things that happen in life, but in the case of Charged, she certainly needed this wake-up call. Like all “bad” things, they happen for a reason (I like to think), and we get to see that this “bad thing” led to Avett finally growing up, Quaid finally finding happiness, and, of course, a happily ever after. With sexy times. Lots of sexy times. 

Learn more about or order a copy of Charged by Jay Crownover, available now:

Buy at Amazon

Buy at B&N

Buy at iTunes

Buy at IndieBound




Jennifer Proffitt is a Midwest transplant to New York City. You can usually find her wishing time-travel was possible so she could go back to Victorian England or that she was a paranormal creature. But in the meantime, she fills her time being the Community Manger for Heroes and Heartbreakers, and reading and writing romance. You can find her on Twitter at@JennProffitt

Subscribe to this conversation (must be logged in):
Post a comment