Review: Leveled (Book #2: Blue Bay Crew Series) by Cathryn Fox

LeveledJamie 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!

Review. Text on the string. Conceptual 3d image

Source: Netgalley          My Rating: 4/5 stars

I have no idea what’s in the water in Blue Bay, but it sure produces some beautiful, hard-bodied bad boys looking to settle down and behave.  Lickable, right?

Jamie Owens has one rule, avoid rich girls looking for a little fun on the other side of the tracks.  When he was a much younger man, Jamie played that game with the wrong girl, and all it earned him was time in jail on a false rape charge.  Experience is the most valuable of teachers, and Jamie learned his lesson well.  For years, Jamie hasn’t had a bit of difficulty abiding by his one rule.  However, for all those years, he didn’t know Kylee Jensen existed. 

Blue Bay is Kylee Jensen’s last hurrah before she returns to the life her father wants for her.  Thanks to her father’s coercion, Kylee is a lawyer and not a fashion designer; thanks to her father’s coercion, Kylee is associated with a man she has no interest in nor attraction to and; thanks to her father’s coercion, Kylee is going to be saddled with a life she doesn’t want rather than forging her own path.  However, in the months before all the awful comes crashing down around her, Kylee is going to enjoy her summer and the hot construction worker next door looks like the precise kind of enjoyment Kylee needs and wants.

From the moment he sees Kylee, Jamie’s instincts war against one another.  One instinct says to stay far, far away from the hot, rich girl, and the other says to run straight toward her and regret nothing.  Unfortunately, that second instinct is backed up by Jamie’s libido and in no time flat he finds himself in Kylee’s bed.  From the outset, the ground rules are in place: this is nothing more than sex, Kylee is leaving at the end of the summer, and Jamie is not the kind of man you bring home to daddy.  Once the understandings are in place and agreed upon, the sexcapades begin in earnest and holy hell are they hot!

Though neither Kylee nor Jamie are keen to take their arrangement public, it isn’t for the reason either would suspect.  Jamie is struggling with his feelings for Kylee and that makes him incredibly nervous given his history.  He doesn’t want his past to color his future, especially given his growing and very real feelings for Kylee.  He knows if they go public, she’s going to find out about him and that is as terrifying as his actual feelings.  For Kylee’s part, revealing her “relationship” with Jamie would mean opening herself up to more pain than she knows she’s going to experience when her fling comes to an end and she is forced to leave Blue Bay.  Furthermore, she isn’t at all embarrassed by Jamie, but he’s right, Jamie isn’t the guy she introduces to her father, and that has everything to do with her father’s attitude and control over her life and not Jamie.

As so often happens when there are secrets and very little verbal communication, all the secrets come crashing to the forefront in one spectacular public display. Kylee’s father and her “fiancé” come to town unannounced and Jamie’s past is outed with little to no preamble.  In fact, Jamie and Kylee are both so surprised by the revelations that neither is surprised when everything falls apart.  To be sure, both are incredibly hurt, but neither is particularly surprised.

The Bottom Line:  Here’s the deal, Leveled is all about the sexcapades and while that would normally cause me to grumble, it makes sense to the characters in this particular read.  Both Kylee and Jamie agree to a sex-only arrangement, and boy do they make the most of the time they have with one another.  It isn’t really until the end of the book that the story takes precedent over the sex.  Depending on where you land on this issue, you’re either going to love this book or hate it, and I don’t see a great deal of in between.  Having read the first book in the series, I went into this one with my eyes wide open and suspecting the high-count sex scenes which means I wasn’t disappointed.  I got what I expected and enjoyed the ride.  😊

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