Series: Saints of Denver, #0.5
Author: Jay Crownover
Publication Date: November 2, 2015
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary, GLBT, Romance
We all need a hero…let the Saints of Denver begin
Orlando Frederick knows what it is to be leveled by pain. Instead of focusing on his own, he’s made it his mission to help others: sports stars, wounded war vets, survivors of all kinds. But when Dom, a rugged, damaged, sinfully attractive cop, makes his way into Lando’s physical therapy practice, he might be the biggest challenge yet. Lando loved one stubborn man before and barely survived the fallout. He’s not sure he can do it again.
Dominic Voss is a protector. The police badge he wears is not only his job, it’s his identity, so when he’s sidelined because of an injury, the only thing he cares about is getting back on the force. He expects Lando to mend his body, he just doesn’t realize the trainer will also have him working toward a hell of a lot more. As attraction simmers and flares, Dom sees that Lando needs repair of his own…if only the man will let him close enough to mend what’s broken.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
I have to admit that Leveled is my first Jay Crownover book. I chose it because it’s the first book (novella actually) in the Saints of Denver series and I thought it would be a great way to get to know the author’s writing. Well, I miscalculated a little bit because Leveled ties together the Marked Men and Saints of Denver series. There is an overlap of characters between the two series. It wasn’t a big deal, though. Orlando and Dominic’s love story was easily read as a standalone.
Dominic was a rugged cop who was proud of being gay. He may not have flaunted his lifestyle, but he was happy with who he was. I found this very refreshing after reading several M/M romance novels where characters struggle with their sexuality. I liked how he fought hard for both his job and the relationship he wanted with Orlando.
Orlando, a character from previous Marked Men books, was also comfortable with his sexuality. He wasn’t looking for love, but was excited to have found someone who was willing to claim him as his own. But giving his heart away wasn’t as easy for Lando. He has spent years trying to get over the loss of his first love and he’s not sure he’s willing to love again. Lando was a sweet and gentle man compared to Dominic’s cocky persona. The story of his past was so heartbreaking and moving.
Dominic and Orlando’s relationship was super sexy, but also very sweet. I loved how their relationship wasn’t all about what happened in the bedroom. They had a love and respect for each other that helped them deal with the issues they were facing in and outside of their relationship.
Leveled was so much fun to read. I loved it! I’m really excited to finish reading this series and also to go back and read the Marked Men series. If you’re a fan of M/M contemporary romances, you should pick this one up.