Wow. All I can say is wow! Even though I haven’t read the two previous books in this amazing series of the Marked Men I absolutely loved it! I may have to trace my steps backwards.
So, Rome has just returned from service a couple of months or weeks ago and is having difficulty transitioning back into civilian life with his friends and family. He doesn’t even know if he really belonged anywhere anymore.
He’s angry at the world and angry for not being able to protect the ones he cared for. Having anger towards everyone: his parents and Shaw for hiding secrets about his youngest brother Remy; at Remy for keeping secrets from him and dying; at Remy’s twin brother Rule, for taking up a relationship with Shaw, being happy, and not needing him anymore; the army for letting him go; the civilians for not understanding; at himself for being weak, scared, and failing as a big brother and good son; and at Cora, for picking, probing, and getting into his heart. He’s just been drowning himself in sorrow and vodka.
Rome has a huge bridge he needed to cross over and I love how it all came out. Him being angry at everyone and everything made a lot of sense seeing that he was now a veteran and back home to a place he finds he doesn’t fit in anymore, do to all the changes in him. But as the story plays out he finds his way back through the help of a bar, its customers and owner, and the one girl he didn’t think would ever help him, Cora. She’s the only one to ever make him feel…tamed. With her two different eye colors and its piercing gaze, she always tend to see right into his soul with just a glance. And soon she becomes the bright color in his gray world with her tiny blonde frame, colorful flower tattoos, and fluffy fashion. But who is there for her?
Cora is an all out girl who speaks her mind and doesn’t hold back to anyone; most especially to Captain No-Fun, Rome. She’s the headstrong member of the Marked and she doesn’t hold back when her boys are hurt. At first Cora didn’t like Rome because he was ruining the peaceful aura around her friends with his cranky return and always getting into trouble and arguments with Rule one way or another; mostly about Rule’s relationship with Shaw and their parents. Though everyone in the gang claims Rome to be a great guy that was just having a bad day, Cora thinks otherwise. She’s holding out for her Mr. Perfect and Rome isn’t it, he’s a punk and no one needs him around, especially not her because he makes her feel weird and his hunkiness and hug frame is just un-nerving. But little does she know she’s going to be the one person to stand up to the big guy and bring him down to earth. But she has her own insecurities and Rome is making it difficult to choose to let herself go or hold on tight because she has been broken before and she never wants to return to that ever again.
I love their chemistry and how they speak and respond to each other; physically, emotionally, and mentally. They’re both the opposite of what each wanted but they were meant for each other and and I’m not saying just the difference in their body sizes. They’re both mentally able to stand up to each other and knows when to back down. Both of them have the stubborn, leader, and protective personalities which I thought would have been a problem but Jay Crownover made it work for the story and it’s fabulous.
Now, control. Both these characters Love to have control and I love how Rome was able to give up his control and hand it to Cora. He wasn’t so “up in your face” in charge and was very likable with his easy going self under all that roughness and crankiness throughout the whole story. I found I liked him more than Cora in fact. Cora was more, “in your face,” very pushy, and masculine? Yes, she has reason to be that way but it took me more time to see her as the girly girl that she was. I liked her because of her “I’m not a dixie blonde” who can’t stand up for herself personality and strong character-ship, but I did have moments where I wanted to smack her because of her bossy and selfishness. The sex between them were steamy hot, fast, and just mind blowing! Sure they did it many time in the book and I wanted it to have focused more on their relationship but it worked and I got more of their relationship as I read on to the end.
Should I also say I teared and about cried in this book? Yup, it was such an amazing “moving forward and forgive” kind of story that it got to me. Not sure if it was because I was just super moody or because the book previous to this read was still clinging to my emotions or what but yes, I teared. Moving forward was a huge part of this story so that was a huge hit for me.
Oh, and the secondary characters were amazing! I know Rule, Shaw, Jet, and Ayden already had their stories told but the rest of the gang I just can’t wait! Nash will be next in line and I’ve always liked him. It’ll be a rough ride indeed with his, and then there’s Rowdy. I definitely like him! Anyone that can make Rome jealous, it’s Rowdy.
So the only con I had was the editing. It was really getting on my nerves but I did receive an ARC so it was understandable. I just hope they fixed it for the final.
But all in all, I absolutely enjoyed this read and will definitely be looking forward to read Nash’s, since we did end on a huge, Major end for him where we’ll pick up with in his story.
This eARC was provided by Harper Collins via Edelweiss.
Rating: 4.5 out of 5