BOOK REVIEW – Rowdy (Marked Men #5) by Jay CrownoverRowdy (Marked Men #5)
by Jay Crownover
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
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Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

After the only girl he ever loved told him that he would never be enough, Rowdy St. James knocked the Texas dust off his boots and set out to live up to his nickname. A good ol’ boy looking for good times and good friends, Rowdy refuses to take anything too seriously, especially when it comes to the opposite sex. Burned by love once, he isn’t going to let himself trust a woman again. But that’s before his new co-worker arrives, a ghost from the past who’s suddenly making him question every lesson he ever learned.

Salem Cruz grew up in a house with too many rules and too little fun—a world of unhappiness she couldn’t wait to forget. But one nice thing from childhood has stayed with her; the memory of the sweet, blue-eyed boy next door who’d been head over heels in love with her little sister.

Now, fate and an old friend have brought her and Rowdy together, and Salem is determined to show him that once upon a time he picked the wrong sister. A mission that is working perfectly—until the one person that ties them together appears, threatening to tear them apart for good.

Review:

Rowdy was not really a dominant character in the previous Marked Men’s books, in my eyes.  He appeared here and there, but I never really had a good grasp on him and his whole story.  Luckily we got to dive right into his history, and it wasn’t long before I knew him just as well as the others.  But his story has a different element, which made it even more enjoyable.  Two more stories become intertwined with his, and it made for a great addition.  I don’t want to give them away, and they aren’t related to the other Marked Men characters, but be prepared to have fun as you watch all of the drama, feelings and events unfold!

Rowdy and I had ties that bound us together, it was just proving more difficult than I thought to unwind them and tie them back up into a pretty bow. – Salem

Just like all of the other Marked Men, Rowdy had a tough past.  His mother was murdered, which forced him into the foster system.  He eventually ended up with a family that lived next door to the Cruz sisters.  They helped him find his way in life and gave him memories he could smile about.  BUT they both ended up breaking him in the end.  And now one of them is forcing her way back into his life.  Salem has accepted a job at the new studio.  She was not the sister that Rowdy dated, but she’s back to show him that he made the wrong choice.  That it should have been her all along!

You were everything to me and then you were gone and I was lost all over again. – Rowdy

Rowdy has made a great life and “family” for himself.  But now with Salem back in town, all of his old fears are materializing.  He always felt as though he was never good enough for anyone to stick around.  His mother ‘left’ him when she was murdered, Salem left him to escape her overprotective father when she turned 18, and Salem’s sister, Poppy, left him too.  If he lets Salem back into his life, what’s not to say that she will leave him again?  And while he’s come a long way, underneath it all he is still a broken little boy.  He wouldn’t be able to handle being abandoned again.

I saw his eyes widen, watched them fill with recognition and trepidation. I couldn’t help but smile. Even though he looked less than thrilled to see me, everything about seeing him made me happy, and I knew, just knew I had made the right choice. – Salem

It’s impossible not to like Salem.  She was sassy, strong and knew what she wanted in life, and that was Rowdy!  But she’s insecure at the same time.  Not only about the relationship that Rowdy had with her sister, but anytime life got too hard, she would pick up and run.  Unfortunately, her mind ends up becoming her own worst enemy wondering if she could even compete with the past and her sister.  But you know what?  I got it!  It made sense.  I think that’s one of the things I loved the most about Rowdy and Salem’s story.  They were so easy to understand.  Their thoughts and actions were not only relatable but completely believable.  And it made me love them that much more!

Salem and Rowdy’s journey was sweet!  Watching them push each other out of their comfort zones was hot.  And when they would re-live their history, their memories and stories were adorable.  And through it all, all of the other Marked Men and the women we love are constantly thrown into the mix.  Shaw’s news, while not surprising, had me elated, I loved watching Cora grill Salem, and seeing a huge event occur between Ayden and Asa was the icing on the cake. I can’t wait to see how all of their lives will be tied up in hopefully a pretty bow in Asa’s story, since it is the last in the series.

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.***
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Rule #1
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Jet #2
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Rome #3
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Rowdy #5
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