by Jay Crownover
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Sometimes the wrong choice can be just right . . .
Fun and fearless, Cora Lewis knows how to keep her tattooed "bad boy" friends at the Marked in line. But beneath all that flash and sass is a broken heart. Cora won't let herself get burned again. She's waiting to fall in love with the perfect man—a baggage-free, drama-free guy ready for commitment. Then she meets Rome Archer.
Rome Archer is as far from perfect as a man can be. He's stubborn, rigid, and bossy. And he's returned from his final tour of duty more than a little broken. Rome's used to filling many roles: big brother, doting son, supersoldier—but none of those fit anymore. Now he's just a man trying to figure out what to do with the rest of his life while keeping the dark demons of war and loss at bay. He would have been glad to suffer through it alone, until Cora comes sweeping into his life and becomes a blinding flash of color in a sea of gray. Perfect may not be in the cards, but perfectly imperfect could just last forever . . .
There’s something about the Marked Men series that makes it so easy to slip back into their world. To re-join this group of friends and watch all of their dynamics and interactions unfold was so much fun. I have missed them! Cora and Rome were the perfect couple to drag me back into this series! Their story was adorable and fierce. They both burned bright, so when they were together their interactions were intense, sexy and heartfelt. Now I have to finish this series!
“We can go as many rounds as you want, Captain No-Fun, you don’t scare me.”
He blinked his eyes at me and we had a stare-down, for a second I wasn’t sure if he was going to scoop me up or push me down. Instead he just shook his head and whispered so quietly that I thought it could have been my imagination had I not seen his lips move, “That’s good, because most of the time I’m fucking scared shitless of myself.” – Cora
Ohhh, we get to step right back into that scene, at the end of Jet and Ayden’s story, where the whole gang is having a bbq at Rule and Shaw’s new house. And Cora dumps a beer on Rome’s head. What a hilarious and perfect way for Cora and Rome’s interactions to being! You see, Rome is Rule’s older brother who is back from war. He was injured while stationed overseas and has just left the military. He is lost, grumpy and the huge looming horrible mood at all of their shindigs. Cora works at the shop with Rule and the rest of the guys. She cares for all of them deeply, but she can’t keep her mouth shut, doesn’t take crap from anyone and is protective of her friends. So when Cora stands up to Rome, it is fiery and fun! And I loved how she called him Captain No-Fun, ha! But neither of them can deny their intense chemistry, and that chemistry is about to make them embark on a journey they never thought they would!
I got used to everyone needing me, to them relying on me , and now that I wasn’t needed anymore I simply just didn’t know what to do with myself. That honestly terrified me more than any war zone or bar brawl with armed bikers ever could. – Rome
I adored Rome in Rule’s book. He was the big brother, the one who tried to help set Rule straight, helped give Shaw ‘big brother’ advice, he was everyone’s rock. And now he’s just a shell of himself. He is lost, confused, unsure of where to go and what to do with his life. My heart hurt for him. Clearly both of the Archer’s brothers have tons of baggage in common. But on top of that, he suffers from PSTD. It was beyond horrifying. I could feel him spiraling down while being suffocated from his confusion, hurt and suffering. But when Cora stepped into his life, he could finally find a tiny bit of light.
Rome was not on my agenda, he was not what I was looking for, but I couldn’t stop thinking about him and all his imperfections. That wasn’t good. – Cora
I always liked Cora in Rule and Jet’s story. She was a great friend to everyone and was always no-nonsense. She called it like it was and was someone that you knew where you stood and would have your back in the blink of an eye. In this book, I got an even clearer picture of how intense and feisty she was! And while she suffers from her own baggage from a broken engagement and refusing to settle down with anyone who is short of perfect, I loved how she tried her hardest to pull Rome out from his downward spiral. Together, they were imperfectly perfect for each other, as Shaw said.
What if he’s your imperfect Mr. Perfect? – Shaw
So while I still love Rule and Shaw’s book the most so far, Rome and Cora’s story was charming and enjoyable. While I guessed how some events played out, I never would have guessed how hard one of them impacted me. That I would be trying my hardest not to bawl my eyes out. That I would be biting my lip so hard in hopes that I would get my chin to stop quivering. Wow, those last few chapters blew me away! Now I can’t wait to finish the rest of the Marked Men’s stories!
P.S. I love how we get to watch the female friendships and male friendships take place. They felt real, heartfelt and I loved how they weren’t filled in drama and betrayal. They were just honest to goodness close friends.
|Reading Order & Links:
Amazon (click on covers), iBooks (click on titles) & Book Depository (click on book #)
***Each book can be read as a standalone, but best enjoyed in order.***