Note: This ARC was provided by HarperCollins in exchange for an honest review.
We watched each other, both changed in unspeakable ways as our heart rates returned to normal. I put my hands on either side of his cheeks and lifted my head so I could give him a kiss. There, against my lips, I felt his lips twitch and move. Slowly at first. Rusty and out of practice. He smiled as I kissed him and I felt it all throughout my soul.
I had given him something good to replace the bad and he had given me something that was going to be cherished and unforgettable when this moment with him was nothing more than my favorite memory.
Originally introduced in the third novel in the Marked Men series, Rome, and then making appearances in most of one other novel from the series, respectively, plus most of the Saints of Denver books, Dashel Churchill--also known as Church--and Dixie Carmichael finally get their happily-ever-after in Riveted, the third full-length novel and the fourth release in the series. I have yet to come across one single book in this series that I consider wanting, and Jay Crownover has repaid the faith I put in her storytelling skills with this winner of a read. She takes us on a trip from the mountains of Colorado to the plains of Mississippi as Church attempts to make amends and rebuilds the bridges he once burned, and he's got Dixie along for the ride. As Church tries to touch base with the family he left behind, he and Dixie are suddenly facing danger from an unknown source. He promised to have her back and to make sure that she returns to Denver the same way she was when they left, but figuring out who could be after them isn't easy; neither is keeping his promise because the last thing he wants now is for her to leave him behind.
Okay, I'm going to be perfectly honest here: I wasn't a fan of Church's until probably halfway through this book. I felt that he take advantage of the fact that Dixie always went out of her to help others and that she would put everyone else around her first, a fact that he knew all too well. I mean, the guy was pushing her away from the get-go and then suddenly, he decides to pull the "friend" card, even though it wasn't really a secret that she had a thing for him. So yeah, Church was an ass, at least in my eyes, because of that. However, he did win me over while he and Dixie were in Mississippi, and I think it had a lot to do with him seeing things from a clearer, wider perspective instead of the skewed one he had for far too long, no thanks to the losses he experienced in his life. Once I felt he was deserving of Dixie--yeah, I was all Elma Mae but more protective of Dixie--I saw their being a couple in a whole new light. After months of keeping their feelings in check, it was great to see them interact with one another with the pent-up desire and openness that was missing. Dixie was exactly what--who--Church needed.
As always, Jay Crownover more than satisfies my need for her brand of angst and levity. She's delivered a story about love and family, and how we should appreciate what we have for the time that we have them rather than mourn what we've lost or fear what it is we could lose should we invest time in them. With the addition of suspense to Church and Dixie's tale, Crownover ratcheted up the thrills that were already there courtesy of the romance between the two. I had someone else in my head during the first couple of incidents that Church and Dixie encountered, but then I went in a different direction as to who I suspected was the guilty party and I'm happy to say that I was right! The revelation had me all excited and I couldn't wait to see how it would all be resolved, along with what kind of future would lay waiting for the soldier and the bartender. I've already read the synopsis for the fourth full-length novel, Salvaged, and I'm excited to see how that story plays out especially given what the main characters have experienced. But for now, I'm happily giving five-plus stars to the riveting read that is Riveted. ♥
Read my reviews for the Saints of Denver series:
Leveled (prequel novella) - five-plus stars - My Review
Built (book one) - five-plus stars - My Review
Charged (book two) - five stars - My Review
Riveted (book three) - five-plus stars - My Review (posted above)
Release Date: 14 February 2017
Date Read: 13 February 2017
Learn more about Jay Crownover.