Title: Built by Jay Crownover (Saints of Denver #1)
Genre: New Adult Romance
Rating: 5 Stars
Summary: Goodreads Summary
Sayer Cole is frozen inside. At least, that’s what it’s felt like for as long as she can remember. She’s yet to let anyone past her icy exterior – and the one guy she thinks might melt her heart couldn’t possibly be interested in someone so uptight.
Rough, hard and hot-as-hell, Zeb Fuller has rebuilt his life and his construction business since protecting his family sent him to jail all those years ago. His elegant client, Sayer, makes him feel like a Neanderthal in denim, but despite the many hints that he’s been dropping to get to know her better, she seems oblivious to his charms.
Just as things finally start to heat up, Zeb’s past comes back to haunt him and he needs Sayer’s professional help to right a wrong and to save more than himself. As these opposites dig in for the fight of their lives, fire and ice collide in an unstoppable explosion of steam…
Built is the first novel in the Saints of Denver series by Jay Crownover and my first experience with her as an author. I came across built as part of this months January Read for the ‘New Adult Book Group’ on Goodreads and I owe them my gratitude for introducing me to such a great book. I adored to read Built; I loved the aspect that Zeb was a construction worker. An everyday job which is easy to identify with whereas a common career for the male protagonist in other novels in this genre is a manager or a CEO of a big multi million dollar company.
Another aspect which I loved about Built and which made my 5 star rating so easy for me is the fact that Jay Crownover made both her main protagonists flawed, therefore allowing them to be easy to identify with. Sayar is emotionally stunted, she struggles with letting people in and understanding that they could truly love her and Zeb struggles with his emotions in terms of his anger. Built is truly a heart warming book filled with character development, they each undertake a journey. Sayar’s journey is to learn to love and choose herself then she must learn to let people close to her to know they choose and love her. Zeb and Hyde both take a similar journey to learn to be father and son and establish a relationship. Furthermore Hyde takes on a journey where he must learn that he will not be left.
The fact that Zeb has spent time in prison for a crime also sets this book apart from others as it incorporates how he has changed within the 2 years of his jail term and the man he is now. Offering other ‘criminals’ a chance at a fresh start with no judgement in his construction business; it was nice to see Jay Crossover’s take on the judgmental nature of our society, how easy it is to judge a book by its cover or by simply knowing these men have committed a crime and been to prison how society has brushed them away unwilling to offer them a chance when in the case of Zeb he was protecting his family.
In terms of content; I would say that Jay Crownover ventures into more serious and deep themes by featuring abuse. Zeb’s sister suffers physical abuse at the hands of her boyfriend and we also see Sayar’s emotional and psychological abuse by her father which has shaped her into being ‘cold’ and makes her distance herself away from others. He literally made her strip her life of color. I loved this element of the book how Jay Crownover is drawing attention to such serious content and showing that abuse is more than just the physical, it is more than what can be seen as well as showing the extent of this abuse.
Despite offering s more deep content Jay Crownover’s writing style is easy to identify and fall into. It isn’t overly descriptive therefore it is easy flowing and we are able to see the extensive character development in the alternative point of view from Sayar to Zeb in each chapter which is a popular element to the New Adult Genre.
Overall a heartwarming read which features the right amount of romance woven within the story, I would fully recommend if you like books which break away from the rich man vs ‘middle class’ woman relationship.
If you have read built for yourself I would love to hear your thoughts, let me know in the comments!