Series: Loveless Texas #1
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Setting: Loveless, TX
Source: ARC, NetGalley
Also in this series: Unbroken, Unforgiven
Also by this author: Asa, Built, Charged, Honor, Retreat, Riveted, Salvaged, Shelter, Unbroken, Unforgiven
The New York Times bestselling author of the Marked Men series delivers an "emotional, unforgettable" (Lori Wilde) 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.
Justified takes enemies to loves to a NEW level. Y’all, she was the divorce lawyer who represented his ex!!!! We met Case in the prequel novella so we know he is the sheriff of the town. We also know Lawton’s father is seriously crooked. And finally, this is small town Texas: drama and danger are a given, right.
Case’s disdain for Aspen is legit. He does not pull punches either. But, he is a good guy, so when there is a credible threat to her, he, as sheriff, steps in to help. So, this relationship is slow build in the sense that the trust takes time. There is sexual attraction, but Case can’t just ‘forget’ what Aspen cost him. He is kind of an ass. I was torn between understanding his position and thinking “Dude, Aspen isn’t your ex. Be mad at the ex!”. And kind of like “Dude, you married your ex. Be mad at yourself”. But, being sheriff is one of Case’s ways of making amends. He feels horrible for the sins of his father. He becomes super straight laced in an attempt to show the town that all Lawtons aren’t bad.
Aspen is likable! You recognize she is good at what she does and that being a good lawyer means some people will hate you. She also has a crap-ton going on in her life. It was kind of exhausting just to read about it! Seriously, girl needs a break. But, she isn’t a shrinking violet. She sees the mistakes in her life and deals with them. But, she also isn’t afraid to get help.
Justified is a yummy blend of hate to love you, small town mystery. Crownover writes such wonderful stories. Her characters, including Case and Aspen are complex and dynamic as as their lives.
- POV: dual 1st
- Tears: no
- Trope: enemies to lovers, small town
- Triggers: none
- Series/Standalone: stand alone
- Cliffhanger: View Spoiler »no « Hide Spoiler
- HEA: View Spoiler »yes « Hide Spoiler