Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Release Week Blitz for Asa by Jay Crownover (Review & GIVEAWAY)

The talented Jay Crownover concludes her compelling Marked Men series with Asa, the sixth installment in the series that released a few minutes ago.  Keep reading to get a tantalizing taste of this book, along with my impressions of it, and then add it to your bookshelf.  Celebrate its release by filling out the form below for the chance to win a $25 bookstore GC too!

Jay Crownover’s New York Times and USA Today bestselling Marked Men series continues with the much anticipated story of southern charmer and certified criminal Asa Cross.
Starting over in Denver with a whole new circle of friends and family, Asa Cross struggles with being the man he knows everyone wants him to be and the man he knows he really is. A leopard doesn’t it change its spots and Asa has always been a predator. He doesn’t want to hurt those who love and rely on him, especially one luscious arresting cop who suddenly seems to be interested in him for far more than his penchant for breaking the law. But letting go of old habits is hard, and it’s easy to hit bottom when it’s the place you know best.
Royal Hastings is quickly learning what the bottom looks like after a tragic situation at work threatens not only her career but her partner’s life. As a woman who has only ever had a few real friends she’s trying to muddle through her confusion and devastation all alone. Except she can’t stop thinking about the sexy southern bartender she locked up. Crushing on Asa is the last thing she needs but his allure is too strong to resist. His long criminal record can only hurt her already shaky career and chasing after a guy who has no respect for the law or himself can only end in heartbreak.
A longtime criminal and a cop together just seems so wrong . . . but for Asa and Royal, being wrong together is the only right choice to make.


I pulled the Nova to a stop in front of a duplex that had clearly seen better days. It wasn’t a rusted-out trailer in Kentucky, but it might as well have been. I turned off the ignition and sat back in the seat so I could turn to look at Ayden. She was watching me carefully and I could see how frustrated she was with the entire conversation in the way her shoulders were tensed up and the way her hands had curled into tight balls on her lap. It was the way she used to look whenever I got into trouble and she had to do something desperate and drastic to get me out of it. I reached out a hand and put it on top of her fists.
“I died in that hospital, Ayd. There were no angels playing harps. There was no redemption and repentance. I died and it was very clear that I was going to get exactly the kind of fate I had been courting with all the messed-up shit I had been doing to other people. All I could see was every wrong I had ever committed and every bad decision I had ever made exploding all around me. For once I could see how all of that affected you. I was dying, and I knew what was waiting for me on the other side, yet I couldn’t go knowing that was all you were going to have to remember me by. I had to come back and give you something else to hold on to, some kind of good memory to go with the endless miles of bad I laid at your feet. I wanted to have the chance to show you I could be the kind of brother you deserved all along, so no, I didn’t save myself—you saved me. Just like you’ve always done for my entire life.”
I saw her bottom lip tremble until she snapped her teeth around it to keep it still. Her fists unclenched below my palm and she curled her shaking fingers around my hand and her already husky voice rasped with even more emotion when she told me what I think I had needed to hear from her all along.
“I have always been proud that you’re my brother, Asa. Yes, there have been times in the past I would have gladly fed you to the wolves, and it’s no secret that I had to leave home because I didn’t know what to do to help you anymore, but we both made it out alive and are better people for it. I know you’re sorry for the way things went down when we were younger, but I need you to open your eyes and take some credit for the way you have turned it around to make things the way they are now. I’ve long since come to terms with the Asa from my childhood. What I want to do is love the Asa that’s here with me now. You need to let go of those boulders weighted with all the bad things from past that are dragging you down before you get crushed under them.”
It was eerily similar to what Royal had been telling me the deeper and deeper I sank in with her. I don’t think I was ready to let any part of those stones go just yet, but a sexy redhead was slowly and surely eroding bits and pieces of the rock the more and more time I spent with her. By the time she was done, maybe she would be able to carve out something that was worthwhile, something that didn’t eviscerate me to look at.
I leaned over enough that I could kiss Ayden right on the center of her forehead between her midnight eyebrows and I felt her let out a shuddering sigh.
“I’m never going to let you down again, Ayd. That is the one and only thing in the entire world that I can promise and know it’s a promise I will keep.”
We stared at each other for a long and silent moment. The seriousness of the words I had said to her and the fact that I could see that she understood that I really, truly meant them finally worked to absolve me of some of the guilt that seemed to suffocate me whenever I thought about the things she had done to keep me safe.



With the release of Asa, Ms. Crownover's Marked Men series comes to a resounding and immensely satisfying conclusion.  Throughout each book these men have become like family with their struggles making me weep and their triumphs making me cheer.  Though the themes in this story are familiar, Ms. Crownover's talent sets it apart and makes the entire series not to be missed.

For most of his life Asa was a wild child, a proverbial bad boy with the rap sheet to prove it.  He was left to his own devices with only a sister to care about him which left him living his life on the edge.  Fast money and fast women were all he cared about and the people he associated with helped in leading him astray.  Being gravely injured and having his heart stop have led to a new lease on life and a changing of his ways.  Whereas he'd once ignore his conscience, he's now heeding its advice and trying to do right.  The temptation that police officer Royal presents is hard to ignore though and it's not long before they give in to their combustible connection.  Theirs isn't a relationship that goes smoothly however as his past, as well as his own self-doubts, eat away at their burgeoning connection and put their HEA in doubt.  Asa's a compelling character who's always seemed so lost and alone.  He has his sister but being so full of negative feelings had him taking the easy way out.  I admire the changes he's now making and ache for him as even he doubts he can stay out of trouble.  With so many pressures weighing on him, both from his own expectations and those of others, I felt constantly on edge waiting for him to either succeed or fail and applaud Ms. Crownover in providing such an engaging dichotomy of good and bad.

Royal and Asa's first meeting was unique as she was the cop who arrested him.  She's always kept herself separate from the criminals before, but something about Asa calls to her.  While watching him struggle to reform she too is left struggling after a severe injury to her partner has left her weighted down with guilt and her confidence shaken.  She's desperate to numb the pain she feels over not keeping her partner safe and sets out to party hard and drink harder.  She also wants Asa and the distraction his sexy body could offer but she'll have to wear down his newfound conscience first.  Royal's a strong-willed woman trying to be successful in a male-dominant career who wants to do good and be successful.  She's looking for some peace and quiet from all the pressures and on a physical level Asa can give that, on a deeper level though he's a complicated man full of substance that Royal finds worth exploring.  Theirs is a relationship full of twists and turns where each is willing to sacrifice for the other's happiness.  It's a steamy yet mature relationship that will be put to the test and that love will hopefully conquer.

With its easily relatable and multi-faceted hero Ms. Crownover has once again crafted a hero who readers will be dying for.  His internal struggles over self-doubt and self-worth will leave readers cheering him on as well as comforting him.  In Royal, we're introduced to another strong-willed heroine more than a match for the hero which makes for a combustible relationship marked by witty banter and teeming with sensuality.  Their connection is crackling and I found myself fully immersed in Asa's redemption and the role Royal played in it.  From the first book to the last this series has given us admirable yet complicated men and the strong and likable women who love them despite their flaws and I count them as family.  Though I'm sad to see the Marked Men series come to an end I'm excited for where Ms. Crownover will take us next with The Saints of Denver series on the horizon.

My rating for this is an A-

*I got this book from Edelweiss for review in exchange for my honest opinion.

Don't miss the previous books in The Marked Men Series!

RULE  |  JET  |  ROME  |  NASH  |  ROWDY


Jay Crownover is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the Marked Men series. She also introduced the dark and sexy world of The Point that started with BETTER WHEN HE's BAD and is currently working on her newest series The Saints of Denver. Like her characters, she is a big fan of tattoos. She loves music and wishes she could be a rock star, but since she has no aptitude for singing or instrument playing, she'll settle for writing stories with interesting characters that make the reader feel something. She lives in Colorado with her three dogs.



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  1. Still haven't read the book, so don't really have a favorite Marked Man...

  2. Congratulations on the new release! Looking forward to reading it! This is a new to me series so i don't have a favorite.