Jay Crownover's Marked Men series caught my attention the moment I saw that first cover. These books are full of sexy men, tattoos, and and lots of intense emotions and I'm excited to bring the third installment today, Rome. Keep reading to get a taste of this book, along with my impressions of it, and learn even more by visiting the other blogs hosting this tour. Make sure to fill out the form for your chance to win some awesome prizes of an iPod, Amazon GCs, Marked Men books and swag!
Cora Lewis is a whole lot of fun, and she knows how to keep her tattooed bad boy friends in line. But all that flash and sass hide the fact that she’s never gotten over the way her first love broke her heart. Now she has a plan to make sure that never happens again: She’s only going to fall in love with someone perfect.
Rome Archer is as far from perfect as a man can be. He’s stubborn and rigid, he’s bossy and has come back from his final tour of duty fundamentally broken. Rome’s used to filling a role: big brother, doting son, super soldier; and now none of these fit anymore. Now he’s just a man trying to figure out what to do with the rest of his life while keeping the demons of war and loss at bay. He would have been glad to suffer it alone, until Cora comes sweeping into his life and becomes the only color on his bleak horizon.
Perfect isn’t in the cards for these two, but imperfect might just last forever . . .
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MY IMPRESSIONS OF THIS BOOK:
Not having read the previous two books in this series I thought all I'd get with Rome was an emotional read with a sexy guy and quirky girl looking for a HEA. While I DID get that, I also got so much more as a colorful group of secondary characters were also on hand to be the supportive family these two damaged souls need to find a romantic and heartwarming conclusion.
Oldest brother Rome was always the strong sibling, the one to take care of everyone he cared about. He considered it his job to keep everyone safe which made him a good soldier but left him weighted down by grief and guilt after being forced into retirement. Upon returning home he found himself feeling lost and alone. Life, and his friends, carried on without him and now he feels there's nothing left to him but bloody nightmares and sleepless nights tempered with alcohol. It's made him into a ball of anger that only the colorful and outspoken Cora can return to the land of the living which leads him on an emotional journey of self-discovery and acceptance with a lot of steamy romance along the way. I was drawn to Rome the moment he entered the picture, all brooding and sexy. His pain was apparent but so too was his desire to grasp the brief glimpse of happiness Cora represented. Though it was a battle dealing with the monsters in his head he still did what it took to be the man Cora needed. Like most men he kept his true feelings hidden at first, but once he committed himself to Cora he opened up about his true feelings and was the first to use the L-word. I found him endearing with his scars, both inside and out, and this show of emotions won me over even more and have me choosing him as one of my favorite heroes I've read in a long time.
Cora is an immensely likable heroine with her no nonsense ways and tell it like it is attitude. She's a wild child in looks but the kind of person who always has to fix things. Her own life might be in upheaval but she's good at fixing other people's lives with her outspoken advice. She hates seeing the former hero Rome in such a dark place and sets out to fix him, but ends up in an unexpected relationship with a man she at first thought far from perfect. She soon finds out he's perfect for her as they work through his past as well as her past of mistrust from a cheating ex that's not as easy to overcome until a life altering event makes her realize just how perfect Rome is for her. Theirs is a romance that starts off quickly in a fiery conflagration but soon settles into a steamy yet romantic relationship. These sexual interludes were immensely rewarding and nicely spaced throughout the story and I loved seeing their spicy yet playful sides in these scenes.
I enjoyed so much about this book! I liked that they talked through their issues. There were small misunderstandings but nothing that went on too long to become annoying. I enjoyed seeing past characters play such a supportive role and the close knit family vibe this brought to the story. The emotions were realistic and the issues around PTSD dealt with in a responsible way. The only part of the story that felt out of place had to do with a vengeance-seeking biker club member. His inclusion felt intrusive to the story and added a soap opera element to the story that felt emotionally manipulative in bringing Cora and Rome together forever. Though this is the third installment in the Marked Men series I in no way felt lost as this book can be read as a standalone. But with such a sexy group of bad boys slowly going good, why wouldn't you want to read more?!? I thoroughly enjoyed this book from becoming to end and am counting down the days until the next book in the series.
My rating for this is an A-.
*I received this book from Edelweiss for review in exchange for my honest opinion.
I’m supposed to share interesting details about myself so that my readers get to know me so here we go in no particular order: I’m an natural redhead even though I haven’t seen my real hair color in years, I’m a big fan of tattoos and have a half sleeve on either arm and various other pieces all over the place, I’ve been in the bar industry since I was in college and it has always offered interesting insight into how men and women interact with each other, I have 3 dogs that are all crazy, I live in Colorado and love the snow, I love music and in all reality wish I could be a rock star not a writer or a bartender but I have zero talent so there is that.
I love to write, love to read and all I’m interested in is a good story with interesting characters that make the reader feel something.
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