Review: Leveled (Saints of Denver #0.5) by Jay Crownover

Leveled (Saints of Denver, #0.5)Leveled (Saints of Denver #0.5) by Jay Crownover

Publication Date: November 2, 2015
Page Count:224
Published by: William Morrow
Source: Kindle Purchase

Synopsis from Goodreads:

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.

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Leveled is the first book in the new Saints of Denver series, and many of the characters from the Marked Men series make an appearance here. I didn't enjoy reading Leveled as much as I hoped I would. I've only read one of the books in the original series, and I'm interested in starting the Saints of Denver series when it comes out. So I thought I would give this a chance because it's a transition from one series to the next. And that's pretty much all it is. A lot of backstory and updates on the characters, and those same characters in new scenes with Dom and Lando. This was long for a novella, but I still needed more of Dom and Lando's story. I kept waiting for that hard, emotional impact that would make me really fall for the characters, but it never came.

Although I usually love books told in dual POV, I don't think it worked this time because the voices weren't distinguishable enough. I had to look at the top of each chapter to see who's POV it was. I even got confused a few times while reading and had to go back to find out who's chapter it was. Oops.

I'm not an expert at M/M romance (although I've read plenty) but I thought the scenes were awkward and weird. I don't think the author was comfortable with that aspect of the story. That makes me sad because the characters didn't have any spark or sizzle, and I wasn't feeling any chemistry between them. They were just 2 really nice guys trying to sort their crap out and be happy together.

Overall, I thought Leveled was just alright, but not too memorable. I liked Dom and Lando well enough, but I didn't love them.

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My rating: 3 stars


  1. It is although tough when you cant feel the connection between the characters. I've been meaning to read this author, but I think I'll start with a different book from her. Great review!

    1. I think she considers herself 'edgy', so her Marked Men series characters have tattoos and *ahem* piercings, if you're into that kind of thing. Or not.

  2. That's disappointing that there wasn't much chemistry between the characters :( I loved the first few Jay Crownover books I read but I enjoyed them less and less and am completely behind on most of her books now. I'm not sure if I'll give this series a go but thanks for the review!

    Zareena @ The Slanted Bookshelf

    1. There was no chemistry because the author isn't used to writing M/M. Just because it's 2 males doesn't mean they don't show or act on their feelings. They were both out and proud, so it didn't have anything to do with that either. They were just awkward. I was interested in reading Built and the new series, but I may hold off.


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