From New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Cathryn Fox comes the scorching Blue Bay Crew series, that follows the sexy, blue collar Owens men who take over their family’s construction business in the small town of Blue Bay, CT.
Jamie Owens doesn’t trust women. Especially not the rich, entitled women looking for a summer fling with a boy from the wrong side of town. But one look at Kylee Jensen in a tiny bikini, and Jamie decides that some rules are made to be broken.
Kylee is tired of being the obedient daughter, and Jamie—shirtless, in a tool belt—is the perfect opportunity to do something for herself, so she hires Blue Bay Construction to work on her cottage. Their hot summer days turn scorching until it’s revealed that Kylee has ties to Jamie’s dark past, forcing them to decide if their dreams, and their relationship, are worth fighting for.
Leveled is a steamy page turner with sizzling emotional intensity and an ending that will hammer readers’ hearts and never let go!
About the Author
New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Cathryn Fox is a wife, mom, sister, daughter, and friend. She loves dogs, sunny weather, anything chocolate (she never says no to a brownie), pizza, and red wine. Cathryn has two teenagers who keep her busy and a husband who is convinced he can turn her into a mixed martial arts fan. When not writing, Cathryn can be found laughing over lunch with friends, hanging out with her kids, or watching a big action flick with her husband. She is the author of the Blue Bay Crew books, including Demolished.
Read an Excerpt
Trouble in a bikini.
Yeah, that's what I see from my rooftop vantage point. Trouble in a goddamn bikini, and I don't plan to get within fifty feet of a pretty little rich girl like her. Been there, done that, and have the scars to prove it.
I squeeze my fingers around the hammer in my fist, my thoughts racing back to when I was eighteen, specifically to the day I received the shit-kicking of a lifetime. All thanks to a girl no different than the one below me, spread out on her chair without a care in the world as she tans her hot body under the scorching noonday sun.
What I'd do to come face-to-face with my ex's asshole brothers today. Four against one. Yeah, they waited until I was alone and jumped me. Fucking cowards, really. Too afraid of a fair fight, or of facing off against me and my army of brothers. At least I have the satisfaction of knowing I'd broken a few of their noses and cracked a few of their ribs. I can almost hear the bones crunching now.
"Come on, Jamie, you can't tell me you don't want to tap that," my cousin Ryan says as the blonde shades the sun from her eyes and glances at us before climbing from her lounge chair. I'm pretty sure she just gave an extra shake to her sweet ass as she made her way inside her beachside cottage. Cottage? Okay, more like mansion. Whatever. Doesn't make a difference to me, and she can shake her ass all she wants. That's wasted on me too.
I ignore my twitching cock and with the back of my hand I wipe the perspiration from my forehead and turn to glare at Ryan. "Tap that? No fucking way." I shake my head. Christ, of all the guys — my four brothers and three cousins included — Ryan knows my motto better than any of them: Avoid rich pampered women at all costs. Fuck, man, he was the one who found me in the alleyway and picked my broken and bloodied body up off the ground, all because I messed around with the wrong girl.
A sound catches in my throat. Wrong girl? More like a bored little rich girl who spent the summer slumming with a boy from the wrong side of the tracks, only to end up accusing me of rape when her father walked in on us. Talk about a shit storm of courts and chaos that followed me around after that.
To think I was so young and naïve — stupid really — the two of us talking about a future together. Christ, I was such a fucking dreamer back then. Even my father would get on my case about it. How many times did I drift off in thought when Dad was teaching me construction techniques? Too many to count, that's for sure. But none of that mattered in the end. After the charges were dropped, I left Blue Bay, my days of dreaming and trusting over, but a dark cloud still hangs over my head here in the town where I grew up.
The long-term summer vacationers, who continue to come back year after year from all over the states, will always treat me like I'm a fucking criminal, and I would have stayed in New Orleans for good if my brother Sean hadn't insisted I return home to help with the business after our dad died. I'm doing my part, but that doesn't mean I have to like it. Truthfully, I don't hate it. I had a hammer in my hand before I could fucking talk. We all did. It's just that I prefer the art of tattooing to construction. At least I have my nights and weekends off, and I was able to buy a small space on the other side of town — where the privileged, self-righteous vacationers never venture. Good. I don't need their business, or their support, when I finally get it up and running.
"She's all yours, bro," I say to my cousin Ryan, who'd also returned home at my big brother Sean's insistence. He was a mechanic down in Georgia, but gave it all up in the name of family. "But take my advice, she's got trouble written all over her, and if I were you, I'd stay as far away from her as possible."
He clucks his tongue and grabs another stack of roofing shingles. He sinks to his knees and pulls a few nails from his tool belt. "Yeah, you're probably right. Who needs that kind of shit in their life, anyway?"
"I sure as hell don't," I say. "Not again." But when I hear a loud shriek coming from the neighboring house — the hot blonde's cottage — every muscle in my body tightens.
"What the fuck?" Ryan asks. He stands and walks over to the edge of the roof with me. Shoulder to shoulder, we go still and listen, but when another loud cry sounds, it prompts me in to action.
"Son of a bitch." I kick my leg out and hurry down the ladder. Ryan's boots echo on the metal rungs as he follows, and he stays tight on my heels as we race to the cottage next door. I peer through her screen door, and even though every instinct I have warns me to run the other way, I was raised better than that, and when push comes to shove, it's not in my nature to turn my back on someone who might need my help. Pampered rich girl or not.
"You okay?" I ask from the other side of the door, and count to three as I wait for an answer. When none comes, I exchange a quick look with Ryan and pull on the handle. With my luck I'll probably get accused of breaking and entering, but I yank it open anyway, worry for the girl's well-being gnawing at my gut. The hinges, rusty from the saltwater spray, groan as I stretch them. "Hello," I call out, and step into the house, which smells like coconut suntan lotion — a scent that takes me back to my days in bed with the girl who fabricated a lie that will forever haunt me.
A loud bang, like something — or someone — is being smashed against the wall, reverberates through me, and without thinking I hurry toward the sound, my work boots scuffing on the polished wood floor. But I'm seriously fucking worried she's being attacked, and I'm not about to stop to take my boots off to save her precious oak from getting damaged. I turn the corner, stop at a bedroom to do a quick scan, but all I see is a sewing machine, a dummy with a dress draping off it, and spools of threads and material everywhere. I continue down the hall and stop at the second bedroom. I grip the doorframe and air leaves my lungs in a whoosh when I see what all the commotion is about.
Fuck. Me. Hard.
I want to turn. I should turn. Actually, I should bolt, leave Blue Bay, Connecticut, for good this time, and never look back. But I don't do any of those things. How the fuck could I possibly think of running when I'm staring at the hottest, most gorgeous naked body I've ever set eyes on? Unable to help myself, I give a fast sweep over her nakedness, taking in her long legs, curvy hips, and small breasts that would fit so nicely in my big hands, or better yet, my mouth.
"Jamie," Ryan says, crashing into me, pushing me a little farther into the bedroom. I stumble and quickly right myself, but not before I get a whiff of the girl's scent. I breathe in her sweet floral aroma, and it strokes my thickening dick, teases and tortures my last working brain cell. Why again is it I don't do pampered rich girls?
"Oh, shit, sorry," Ryan says, when he glimpses the girl scrambling for her robe, and my thoughts come crashing back to the present.
This time I do look away, and grab Ryan's shoulders to turn him too. "Sorry," I say quickly. "We heard a scream. I thought you were in trouble. Didn't mean to walk in on you like this."
"I ... it was a spider," she says, her voice as sweet and seductive as the woman herself.
Get your shit together, dude. She's everything you vowed to stay away from.
The whoosh of silk fills the silence as she dresses, and I can't help but envy that robe as it gets to touch her body, shape her curves, slide between her legs.
I'm envying a fucking robe?
"You can turn now," she says quietly.
I slowly inch around, and her blue eyes are wide, alarmed, as her gaze goes from me to Ryan, back to me again. I take a minute to see the situation through her eyes and can understand why she looks so frightened. She's just a tiny thing and both Ryan and I are big men, over six feet and covered in tattoos. We're dressed only in jeans, boots and tool belts, and we're blocking her bedroom doorway. Fuck, if I were her, I'd be scared shitless too. But she has nothing to worry from us. Despite our reputation — poster boys for authority issues — we know right from wrong.
Her gaze leaves mine and travels downward, raking over my bare chest like a hot caress. The fear in her eyes changes to appreciation, and my dick twitches again. Fuck, man, I wish she wasn't looking at me like that. It's making it harder and harder for me, and yeah, when I say harder, I'm talking about my dick. Needing a distraction, I glance away and see shattered glass on her floor.
I clear my throat and hope her gaze stops at my tool belt. No need for her to see my hard-on and get the wrong idea that I might want her. I don't.
"Did you get it?"
"Get what?" she asks, her voice sounding more breathless.
My gaze meets hers again. "The spider."
"Oh." She turns toward the glass. "I hit it with my figurine."
A figurine that probably costs more than I make in a week.
"All right. Everything seems good. Glad you're okay. We'll get out of your way."
I turn, and Ryan is grinning at me. Little fucker knows the girl is getting to me. I give him a shove to set him in to motion, and he walks back into the other room. I'm about to follow when she says, "Can I get you a drink? You look hot ... I mean, it's hot out and you've been on that roof all morning."
I swallow against a dry throat. "No, I'm good."
I nod and walk out to the main room, but Ryan is long gone, leaving the two of us alone. Motherfucker. I'm going to kill him.
"And you are ... ?" she probes.
I scrub my chin again, and as much as I just want to get the hell out of there, I was raised with manners. I know one wouldn't think it to look at me. Christ, I hung out with the toughest bastards in New Orleans, fought alongside the meanest gangs, yet I still don't want to be rude to this girl.
"Nice to meet you, Jamie. Thanks for coming to my rescue."
"Jamie Owens," I say and wait for a reaction, for it to ring a bell. In two seconds I expect a light bulb to go off and her to shove me out the door.
"Kylee Jensen," she says instead.
Guess she doesn't know the Owens boys' reputation. I suppose that shouldn't surprise me. This cottage just sold, and she's new to the area. She's awfully young to own such a big, expensive place on the ocean, though. Either she has a high-paying job, or Daddy bought it for her. I'm going with the latter. And soon enough she'll learn who I am. When all the regular vacationers return next month or so, she'll be warned away from me and won't dare shake her ass at me or invite me into her house again.
Until then, however ...
What the fuck?
Until then, I still plan to avoid her.
I just hope Grandma Nellie doesn't take it upon herself to invite the newcomer to any Sunday dinners. She's been known to do that. If she does, I plan to make myself scarce.
Kylee steps up to me and zeroes in on my sugar skull tattoo. She puts her finger on my body and I flinch. Her eyes go wide again and she pulls her hand back fast.
"Sorry." She shakes her head. "I shouldn't have touched you."
She eyes me for a second, then puts her fingers back on me. Sweet fuck, her fingers are so goddamn warm and soft as she traces the skull tattoo, I can't help but want them on my dick.
"This one is really nice," she says.
"Thanks. I designed it for a client when I owned my shop in New Orleans. Liked it so much, I gave myself one."
Why the fuck am I telling her that?
Her hand drops to her side, and she puts it on her hip. "Wow, a real artist. I'm impressed."
"You should be."
She grins, and despite myself, I grin too. "Modest, I like that," she teases and tightens her robe around her sweet curves. "I almost got a tattoo when I turned eighteen, but my father, the all-powerful Jack Jensen, threatened to disown me."
I nod. "Fathers are protective like that."
She angles her head and her soft curls fall down her slender shoulder. Jesus fuck, what I'd do to twist those long strands around my palm as I fuck her bent over her sofa.
"You sound like you know firsthand."
"I've had a few come into my shop, ready to kill me after inking their daughters. But I don't ink underage girls, and they have to be sober. Still, some fathers want to challenge me."
She frowns, and the deep sadness on her face is like a punch to the gut. What did I say to upset her? And why the fuck does seeing her upset bother me so much?
"That's what my father would have done." She wipes away the sorrow and smiles, but it's forced. Ah, I get it. Daddy issues. All the more reason for me to keep my distance. "He's a bit overprotective." Her big eyes race over my naked chest again.
"There are ways to get around that, you know," I say.
My gaze drops, lingers at the juncture between her thighs. "Places to ink where he'll never see."
What the fuck am I doing?
When my gaze returns to hers, there is a pink flush on her cheeks. It's been a long time since I've seen a girl blush. Damned if it isn't sexy as fuck. She looks over my body again, her eyes questioning.
"What?" I ask.
"I ... uh ... was just wondering ..." She shakes her head. "Nothing. Never mind."
Don't ask, dude. Don't ask. Just leave.
"Just ... where did you put your girl's name?"
I hook my thumbs into my tool belt, needing to restrain my hands before I do something I could only regret later. You know, like pull her to me and see if those lips taste as sweet as they look.
"Nowhere." I don't elaborate, don't tell her ink is permanent and relationships aren't — at least for me they aren't. I'm an Owens. The kind of guy a girl fucks, not one she brings home to Daddy. Especially a protective one like hers.
She toys with the silk belt on her robe. Jesus, one tug and she'd be naked again. "You sure you don't want a drink? It's the least I could do after you ran to my rescue."
"I'm good." Good? No, not really. I got a fucking monster boner, and that's not good at all. I'm all about fucking, just not girls like her. Jesus, man, I need to get back to work and get back to minding my own business before things take a turn for the worse and I act on my fucking urges. Seems to me like she wants me to, though, from the way she's eye fucking me and all and asking if I have a girl. But I'm done with bored women looking to spice up their dull lives with a little danger. I don't trust her, but more importantly, I don't trust myself around her.
"I better get back to work," I say.
"Before you go, can I ... ah ... show you something?"
Yes, please ...
I open my mouth, afraid of what's going to come out — yeah, all the blood is in my dick — but I pinch my lips shut when she points toward the ocean. "I was thinking my back deck needs to be replaced. It's pretty weathered. Hang on." She darts to her kitchen, her sweet ass dragging my focus, and comes back with a piece of paper. "I was thinking something like this."
I take the paper from her and look at the drawing. "You sketched this?"
She nods. "Impressed?"
"You should be."
I can't help but smile. Beautiful and witty. A dangerous combination.
Like I said, trouble in a bikini, and I'd be wise to remember that.
I tug a business card from my back pocket and hand it to her. "My brother
Sean will check it out and give you a quote."
She reads the print, then flicks the card against her hand. "Blue Bay Construction. Concise. To the point. I like that."
Yeah, and I like her.
Fuck me twice.
"Sean will find the right man for the job."
"Oh, I thought you —"
"Busy next door," I say, even though the job is almost done. "But if you want my opinion, I'd go with composite next time. The salt water is a bitch, and you'll end up replacing the wood in another ten years."
"Good plan. Thanks. I'll give your brother Sean a call, or maybe I'll stop in to see him. I have to run to town anyway." I turn to leave, and she says, "See you soon, Jamie."
Not if I fucking see her first.
I stand in the living room, unable to tear my eyes off Jamie Owens — his broad back and perfect ass, to be precise — as he exits through the screen door. He disappears around the corner, out of my line of sight and I suck in a breath to refill my collapsed lungs.
The guy is all rough and tough, so freaking sexy in a tool belt, my knees wobble and my damn ovaries are seconds from exploding. They sure as heck don't make them like that back in Atlanta, and once I go to work in Daddy's law firm come fall, the only men I'll face off against will be wearing suits and ties. Not that there is anything wrong with suits and ties, but shirtless in low-slung jeans and a tool belt, well, that trumps white-collar any day. Honest to God, Jamie is alpha male personified. The antithesis of Trevor Jackson, the suit-andtie guy my father has been trying to set me up with for some time now. I went on a few dates at my father's insistence, but there was no chemistry, no connection, but my father is still pushing him on me — and Trevor has yet to let up. He wants what Dad wants.
Excerpted from "Leveled"
Copyright © 2018 Cathryn Fox.
Excerpted by permission of St. Martin's Press.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Table of Contents
Chapter One: Jamie,
Chapter Two: Kylee,
Chapter Three: Jamie,
Chapter Four: Kylee,
Chapter Five: Jamie,
Chapter Six: Kylee,
Chapter Seven: Jamie,
Chapter Eight: Kylee,
Chapter Nine: Jamie,
Chapter Ten: Kylee,
Chapter Eleven: Jamie,
Chapter Twelve: Kylee,
Chapter Thirteen: Jamie,
Chapter Fourteen: Jamie,
Chapter Fifteen: Kylee,
Chapter Sixteen: Jamie,
Chapter Seventeen: Kylee,
Chapter Eighteen: Jamie,
About the Author,
Also by Cathryn Fox,
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
This is a smoking hot romance by Cathryn Fox! Leveled is the second book in the series and Jamie and Kylee's love story. Jamie doesn't trust women especially rich ones who live off their father's money and don't take life seriously. He's back in town trying to help his family run the family business and is working on opening his own tattoo shop when he stumbles upon Kylee sunbathing. Kylee is enjoying her much needed break at her family's vacation home before starting her high stress job in the fall at her father's law firm. Having the Owen's family redo her back deck is an added bonus because Jamie is definitely worth watching while he is working and as an added bonus he is nothing life the man that her father has picked out for her to marry. Their attraction to one another is what draws them together, but they soon realize that there is more to them and their relationship than what is just on the outside. I was given an ARC from the author/publisher. All conclusions are mine and mine alone.
Another great addition to this series. The Owens boys have trouble in their past but as they all come back to blue bay they face what happened and move forward. Jamie was wronged but that doesn’t stop him from falling for the pretty vacationer With some meddling from family, the two have an undeniably match. The sex is steamy, the drama is real and the banter is fun. Great all around read! Looking forward to the next owen’s boy to get his story!
Deliciously Sexy! Cathryn Fox brings the sizzle as well as heart to this fantastic story that was captivating from the first page to the last. Prepare for thick sexual tension, off the charts chemistry and sex scenes so hot and tender your fingers and heart may burn. I loved the dynamics between this couple. Jamie Owens has been burned before by a rich pampered woman and was left heartbroken and battered. He is still living in the shadows under scrutiny by all in the small coastal town of Blue Bay. Kylee Jensen is spending the summer in the house her father bought for her when she graduated from Law School. She is tired of doing everything that her father wants her to do. This summer is to relax and have fun by the beach, because starting in September, she will be working 12 to 14 hour days with no time for a life, at her fathers’ firm. So when Kylee sees a hunk of a man with a tool belt on the roof of the house next door she is taken by his gorgeous tattoos and muscular build. Now she just needs to get his attention and leave a lasting impression with this hunk of a man. But what starts out as a one night summer fling turns into a exhilarating, loving and fun summer affair. But as these two become entangled in each other’s dreams of the future, they soon find they have more in common than they would ever would’ve expected. And soon their hearts are invested. But soon Jamie is again traveling down a road that could just leave him broken for good. Will Kylee give up her career and family for a future with Jamie? You will have to read to find out. I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
I am so loving this series and the Owens Brothers. Damn hot! That's the way Cathryn writes them and that's the way I like these men. This was a great story, Jamie, Sweet boy as his Gram called him burned beyond belief in his younger days by a little rich girl and her nasty brothers. So badly he leaves town. Heads to NOLA and starts his own tattoo shop and is damn good at it. That works well for him leaving home and the foul taste in his mouth until his father calls the boys home to take over the construction business and then dies. The boys are all back, even the cousins and we get to see them once again in this book. Kylee is there in a cottage along the water he father bought for her to appease her agreeing to work at his law firm. He's got her all set up to marry some dork wad she barely can stomach and runs her life. Meanwhile she's over the top with Jamie. She sees, she wants and as much as he tries to stay away, he can't. These two launch into a great and smoking hot relationship with Jamie and fits right into the rest of the family. Kylee doesn't want to be a lawyer, she wants to design clothing. And she's really good at it. When her father and what he is to be pay an unexpected visit, the proverbial crap hits the fan in the worst way and hurt Kylie goes back to Atlanta. She's not happy. He's not happy knowing what he's done and it takes a few prods from Gram and his brother to go get his girl. But does he? This is another must read and as I said, I'm loving these brothers. Cathryn writes such a great book with plenty of steamy and the men will melt your socks. 4.5 stars **arc from NetGalley and Publisher** **I received an advanced copy of this book for review. The opinions and honest review above are mine alone. **
Hot and sexy from the get-go, with just enough emotional baggage to make both characters loopy until the end. This book has some seriously sexy heat between the two leads, an instant attraction that they both take advantage of immediately. They are hot together, and while burning through that heat, their emotions start to a hold. They both deny it when it happens, each of them, for their own reasons, believe this to be a summer fling Jamie and Kylee will have you wanting to reach out and hug them, there are so many reasons you'll want to comfort them. They do offer comfort to each other, even when they don't know the root. They slowly open up to each other, and even as they tell each other it is only a fling, the plans for the future start to enter their minds. So sweet at moments, so sexy in others, and a solid fledgling romance that grows solid through it all!
Wow, this was one steamy, sexy, fun and romantic read! Kylee is spending the summer at the beach before turning her life completely over to her father and his demands for her to practice law. When she meets Jamie she decides it won’t hurt to spend a little time with a local bad boy, just this once. Jamie has returned home to help his brothers fix the family business. His dream is a tattoo shop and while he’s working on that, deep inside he knows the idea of it was always a disappointment to his dad. He’s been burned, badly by an incident in his past and he’s learned to stay away from the rich tourist women that frequent his town. However, when pretty little Kylee comes on to him he can’t walk away I loved Jamie and Kylee. When they were together the chemistry was off the charts. Both of them had a history of fathers not believing in them or their passions and dreams. Together they learned how to reach out and grab hold of those things that make them happy and embrace life and all the love it had to offer. The twist was a bit expected but still well done as well as the angst it added to the end of the story. I enjoyed this book very much. I would instantly recommend it to anyone looking for a quick spicy read, that doesn’t ask more from you than for you to sit back and just enjoy. This is an honest review of an advanced copy provided by NetGalley and St. Martin’s Press.
Leveled is book two in the Blue Bay Crew series by Cathryn Fox. I first fell in love with this bunch of guys in the first book, Demolished, which was the oldest brother, Sean’s story. Now it’s Jamie’s turn. And wow, this one blew my mind. Jamie Owens was called back to Blue Bay, Connecticut by his older brother, Sean. All his brothers and cousins were called back after their father died so they could try to save his construction business. Jamie has four brothers and three cousins. All eight of them were raised by his Grandma Nellie, who is a force to be feared. When Jamie was younger, he thought he had fallen love with a rich girl. He was picturing a future with her, white picket fence and all. Until her Daddy found out. It turns out all he was to her was a fling with a bad boy from the wrong side of the tracks. He now has scars, both on the inside and the outside from that situation. Never again will he trust his heart like that. In the years Jamie was away, he learned the art of tattooing. His designs are beautiful and original. His father always called him a dreamer and told him there was no future being a tattoo artist. That he needed to work construction. But now that he’s back in Blue Bay, he is working for his brother during the day but at night he is working on opening up a tattoo shop of his own. It’s his dream, to own his own shop. Jamie is working on a roof when he first sees her laying in the sun in her bikini. She looks like a rich, pampered girl but boy is she worth looking at, just no touching. But, she has other ideas. Kylee Jensen has passed the bar exam and is expected in Atlanta at the end of the summer to start work for her Daddy’s law firm. Working for her Dad is what is expected of her, just not what she wants to do. Kylee loves to design clothes and she’s talented at it. At least she used to think she was until her father repeatedly told her she was no good. Kylee’s father has controlled every aspect of her life, even going so far as to telling her who she will marry. At least Kylee has this summer of freedom. And she sees just how she wants to spend her free time when she sees him working on the roof next door. “If I’m going to be bad this summer, I want to be bad with him.” Kylee and Jamie start a sex only type of relationship. The first time was supposed to be the only time, but they couldn’t stay away from each other. And let me tell you, these two together are like gasoline and a match! They are hot, hot, hot! Kylee finds a closeness in Jamie’s family she never had. Grandma Nellie and Summer immediately accept her into their group. As Kylee and Jamie get to know each other, feelings begin to develop. The closer they get to the end of the summer, the more they both dread the time when Kylee will have to leave. Jamie can’t ask her to give up everything to stay, can he? He hasn’t told her yet of what happened to him all those years ago. Will it make a difference when she finds out? And who is Kylee constantly texting with? Where is she running off to when she goes out? “I’ve always been a good girl, but there is something so deliciously naughty – almost taboo – in the way we’re making out in his tattoo shop. How will I ever go back to white-collar after a night with him?” “My body is yours, Jamie.” “Good, because Kylee, I have to touch you everywhere. It’s not a want, it’s a need.” I love this family so much. Can you imagine raising eight boys?
This book is written in first person, present and trades between the hero-Jamie Owens and heroine-Kylee Jensen, with each chapter. It was hard for me to adjust to this style of writing. The story drew me in and because I was enjoying it so much the writing style got easier to deal with. Jamie Owens, former tattoo artist, who's been in New Orleans, is back in town to help the family get their dad's construction business, Blue Bay Construction, back on its feet after he died. He left home at 18 after being wrongly accused and convicted of rape by a pampered rich girl who spent her summers in Blue Bay, an oceanside vacation town. He was beat up by her 4 brothers and was in the hospital for a long time. As you can guess he was emotionally scared by this, especially because his dad didn't believe his innocence. Kylee Jensen just moved into an oceanfront cottage her big city attorney father bought her as a law school graduation present. She's a goodie-two-shoes who has spent her life seeking her father's approval. She never seems to be good enough. He wants her to marry Trevor Jackson, another attorney in the firm. Kylee has no chemistry with the guy and so that's a no but she can't seem to get her father to see that. She sees Jamie on the roof next door and we have insta-lust. She decides to give herself something she wants this summer and lets him know she's available for a fling for the summer. Little did they know it would me so much more than that. I really liked how these two very different appearing people find commonalities and open up their lives to each other. The sex, which is explosive, was just the catalyst to get the process started. Neither one is willing to commit their heart and expose secrets that work to tear them apart later in the story. Cathryn weaves the story to a satisfying HEA. Thank you Cathryn and St. Martin's Press for the NetGalley ARC for my unbiased review.
I just could not put down this book!!! In fact I finished it in less than a day and that is only because I have a four year old who needs my eyes on him constantly because he is determined to get into trouble. It's not suspense or anxiety that kept me from putting "Leveled" down. It's the constant and intense chemistry between the hero and heroine. The spark and sizzle that never ebbs. It's how their relationship morphs from a physical and sex-only relationship into trust, loyalty and finally love. But don't take my word for it, read it and you will see that this book is passion personified. Jamie Owens has returned to Blue Bay after having to leave his hometown many years ago due to a horrific lie told by a spoiled rich girl whom he trusted and cared about. Left with the scars to prove her deceit, Jamie is trying to make a new life for himself while chipping in in his family's construction business. He may be good at what he does, but his dream is to open a tattoo parlour, which he is diligently working to realise. His determination to avoid sexy, rich and entitled girls comes to a screeching end when he lays eyes on a sexy blonde in a bikini while working on the construction next door to her cottage. But try as he might, fate intervenes and he finds himself not only making her acquaintance but also unable and unwilling to avoid her in the small seaside town. Kylee is on a summer long vacation before she has to give in and go work in her father's law firm in Atlanta. She has been the obedient and good daughter her whole life, giving up her dreams and needs to make her parents happy. All she wants is to design clothes and burn the sheets with the hot man covered in tattoos. But what starts out as a one time thing, becomes two then three and turns into a summer fling. But with summer quickly coming to an end, will Jamie and Kylee be able to go their separate ways and forget this intense chemistry? A HOT HOT HOT romance that will leave you wanting more and anxiously waiting for the next Owens man to find his own happily ever after. I'm truly glad that there are a lot of Owens brothers and cousins and hope that this series will be a long one!! Thank you Netgalley and St. Martin's Press for providing this ARC in exchange for an honest review.
Leveled is the second book in the Blue Bay Crew series but can be read as a stand alone. Cathryn Fox creates a world of interesting (& very sexy) characters & their stories will keep you reading late into the night. I liked both of the main characters & loved watching their story unfold. One of my favorite people in the series has been the Grams- she is feisty & tough. And loves her boys. I look forward to reading the next book in the series. I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.
I have to pay homage to the covers of this series. I thought book one was very eye catching but it has nothing on this cover. I'm the type of reader that would pick up a book to read if a cover catches my eye. As for the story, overall it was good with the same family from book 1. Jamie has the same personal struggle with his deceased father that Sean did in his book and Kylee comes with her own set of daddy issues. I did struggle a bit with this book because of a personal dislike in the story. This is one of those stories where the to main characters are instantly drawn to each other but one of them is so determined to stay away that it became a secret relationship. Jamie was burned big time by a past girlfriend who happened to come from a very prominent family. He has vowed to stay away from all pampered, rich girls because of this. Since it's pretty obvious Kylee comes from money, he wants nothing to do with her. However, as much as Jamie wanted to push her away, he just couldn't keep his distance. As for Kylee, she was instantly attracted to Jamie but was willing to just go along with what he wanted or she would lose him. She doesn't feel like there is a future for them anyway since she has such a controlling father who expects her to start at his law firm when the summer is over. As the two spend more and more time together, they struggle with not having any clear boundaries. I'm not a huge fan of pushing away but I will say for Jamie, you could really tell how much he wanted to be with Kylee and that made up for it. Kylee did not come off as the spoiled rich girl he thought she would be and was a likeable character in the story. She just struggled with standing up to her father. I really enjoy Gram in this story. She is bound and determined to see her boys married off. ARC provided by Netgalley.
Cathryn Fox makes sure readers feel the burn with book 2 in her Blue Bay Crew Series. A spark of attraction is the beginning of heartache, regret and guilty pleasure for Jamie, a working class stiff and Kylee, the poor little rich girl. Leveled offers more than sensual delights, Ms. Fox makes sure she tackles issues like social class and prejudice. Burned by love at a young age, Jamie has a hard time trusting women, particularly ones with money. Kylee is tempting him to rethink that rule, until his past comes back to darken his present. Can two people with the weight of the world on their shoulders defy the odds and build their own happily ever after? Wrapped up in a saucy little romance is a valuable lesson that we all should live by. Respect has no basis in money but in who we are and the code we live by.