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BOOK REVIEW – Asa (Marked Men #6) by Jay Crownover

BOOK REVIEW – Asa (Marked Men #6) by Jay CrownoverAsa (Marked Men #6)
by Jay Crownover
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
Book Depository
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

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.

Review:

That was the perfect ending to such a pleasurable series.  Not only did we get to watch Asa’s incredible story unfold, but we also got snippets of all of the other characters that we love.  As if that wasn’t enough, we were left with an amazing epilogue!  Happy tears were falling down my face, and I honestly could not be more satisfied with the way this series ended!

To say that Asa had lived a hard life would be an understatement.  Asa went to jail, played people, and did beyond horrific things that earned him that spot in the hospital bed back in Jet’s book.  It took him almost dying and his sister giving him a second chance for him to see the light.  He finally wanted to at least try and live his life on the law abiding side.  Asa and Royal are in the same circle of friends, and there’s no denying their underlying current of chemistry.  But Royal is a cop who has arrested Asa in the past.  After a horrifying event went wrong on a call, Royal wants Asa.  She doesn’t want to fight her feelings anymore, and Asa should be a sure thing right?  But it’s not so simple, and the fun has just begun!

I was ecstatic to read our southern charmer’s story, because Asa had already won me over in the previous books!  And honestly, he made me grin constantly.  I didn’t care that he was a criminal.  I didn’t care that he automatically wanted to do what was “wrong” and had to fight those daily urges.  He was alluring, dark, charming, hot and I had already fallen right into his trap.  And when the good sides of him peeked out, oh my goodness he was amazing!  But at the same time, he made me want to fix him.  He had a tainted view of himself from his past actions, and did not see himself as redeemable or that he deserved anything good in his life.  Even if that good made him exceedingly happy.  I think that’s one of the reasons he started to test Royal.  And while it hurt my heart to watch it all unfold, I loved how Royal reacted!

Just like Asa, I loved Royal when we met her in some of the previous books.  She was smart, straight forward, made me laugh, and I could not wait to see what she was going to say or do next. It warmed my heart that she pushed Asa to try and see himself differently.  And I was rooting for her from page one, even while she struggled immensely with an action she watched unfold.  While they were both wonderful separately, when Asa and Royal were together they were electric!  Their level of sexual tension was through the roof hot!  And when it finally proceeded down that avenue, I didn’t know if fanning myself was enough since you could literally feel their heat radiating off of the pages.  Their chemistry of course led to one of my favorite scenes being about a shower and a cracked door.  WOW, I’ve never read anything like that before! *claps out loud*

I am sad to say goodbye to these characters that I adore and love.  But with the Saints of Denver coming next year, it looks like we might get a peak here and there of our beloved crew.  But till then, it warmed my heart to see how much everyone has grown over time.  That each one of our Marked Men got their own version of a happily ever after!  It’s been a great journey, and I am so happy that I got to discover their world!

P.S. I love that Royal loved pop music and Britney Spears!  I always get a song or two stuck in my head that reminds me of the storyline while reading a book.  For Asa and Royal’s story it was Criminal and Toxic.  And I literally screamed out loud when Jay Crownover had Toxic on Asa and Royal’s Playlist haha!  Of course their playlist was my favorite of this series!

*ARC kindly provided by HarperCollins via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review*

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.***
Rule by Jay Crownover
Rule #1
Reviews:
Jen
jet jay crownover
Jet #2
Reviews:
Jen
rome jay crownover
Rome #3
Reviews:

Jen
nash jay crownover
Nash #4
Reviews:
Jen
Rowdy by Jay Crownover
Rowdy #5
Reviews:
Jen
asa jay crownover
Asa #6
Reviews:
Jen

BOOK REVIEW – Rowdy (Marked Men #5) by Jay Crownover

BOOK REVIEW – Rowdy (Marked Men #5) by Jay CrownoverRowdy (Marked Men #5)
by Jay Crownover
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
Book Depository
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.***
Rule by Jay Crownover
Rule #1
Reviews:
Jen
jet jay crownover
Jet #2
Reviews:
Jen
rome jay crownover
Rome #3
Reviews:

Jen
nash jay crownover
Nash #4
Reviews:
Jen
Rowdy by Jay Crownover
Rowdy #5
Reviews:
Jen
asa jay crownover
Asa #6
Reviews:
Jen

BOOK REVIEW – Nash (Marked Men #4) by Jay Crownover

BOOK REVIEW – Nash (Marked Men #4) by Jay CrownoverNash (Marked Men #4)
by Jay Crownover
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
Book Depository
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

Saint Ford has worked hard to achieve her childhood dream of becoming of nurse. Focused on her work and devoted to her patients, there’s no room for love. She doesn’t need a guy making waves in her calm, serene life—especially when he’s the unforgettable hottie who nearly destroyed her in high school. Dark, brooding Nash Donovan might not remember her or the terrible pain he caused. But he turned her world upside down . . . and now he’s trying to do it again.

Saint has no idea that Nash isn’t the cocky player he once was. Uncovering a devastating family secret has rocked his world, and now he’s struggling to figure out his future. He can’t be distracted by the pretty nurse he seems to meet everywhere. Still, he can’t ignore the sparks that fly between them—or how she seems so desperate to get away from him. But the funny, sweet, and drop-dead gorgeous Saint is far too amazing to give up on—especially since she’s the only thing in his life that seems to make sense.

When Nash discovers the truth about their past, he realizes he may have lost her heart before he could even fight for it. Now, Saint has to decide: is Nash worth risking herself for all over again?

Review:

It’ so easy to take pleasure in each of the Marked Men’s stories!  They are fun and always have some grit to them.  I don’t realize how attached I’ve become to the characters until their world falls apart beneath their feet.  Here I am flipping through the pages, enjoying how the storyline is proceeding, and then BAM something happens that is so deep, so emotional, that it’s impossible not to cry or feel ripped apart.  I do wish that I felt those stronger emotions throughout the rest of the book.  But that doesn’t take away from the fact that I was so excited to read Nash’s story.  But wow, I struggled connecting with Saint.  She was just…well keep reading and you’ll see why she wasn’t my favorite.

She was beautiful, breathtaking, and she absolutely despised me. – Nash

Nash just learned that the man who truly loved and helped raise him has cancer, and it’s terminal.  While dealing with Phil’s prognosis and his evil mother drama (she’s the devil btw, seriously) he is struggling to emotionally stay afloat.  But through it all, Saint Ford keeps appearing in his life.  Saint is not only a nurse at the hospital, but she went to high school with Nash.  She was shy, chubby and had a huge crush on him.  After having her heart and confidence ripped to shreds by Nash, can she really let him back in when he so desperately needs her?

“What’s right for me isn’t what’s right for you because I’m an actual human being with feelings and emotions, and you, Mom . . . you’re a goddamn monster.” – Nash

I’ve always loved Nash.  Out of that crazy, dramatic group of friends, Nash was the good guy!  He was the sexy, mellow, level-headed one.  And being inside his head made me fall for him even harder.  While I prefer bad boys, Nash and his tortured soul kept sucking me in!  He was sexy, broken, hurt and jaded from his past because of his evil mother.  But that didn’t affect what a beautiful person he became.  Because Nash is patient, kind, loving, loyal and he MADE this book for me!

“I don’t know that you would like me once you got to know me, and the Nash I thought I knew . . .” She looked so lost all I wanted to do was give her a hug. “I hated him, but you . . . this Nash . . . all I do is want him.” – Saint

Saint isn’t the typical type of girl that I can connect with.  She’s shy, quiet and struggles speaking her mind at times.  And while I tried my hardest to give her a chance, she definitely tried my patience!  I have a lot of leeway and understanding when it comes to characters having their hang ups and issues.  We all make mistakes, I’ve seen a lot of crazy stuff over the years, and I know that I can be more forgiving than I probably should be with characters.  But this girl just drove me insane at times!  She would flip like a light switch and I just wanted to smack some sense into her.  Especially during the couch part……that was just, wow….shocking, frustrating, maddening and CRAZY!!!  Who in the world does that, really?!?!  I’m still in shock!  But of course there is a but!  She questioned her own sanity, and I was so thankful that she wasn’t clueless to her actions.  I liked how she made me laugh, how she cared for Nash and tried to have his best interests at heart. Unfortunately the positives did not outweigh her negatives.

“Why are you so certain I’m going to hurt you? That I’m going to fuck up and disappoint you?”
She gave me a lopsided smile and she worked her hands under the collar of my shirt so she could stroke the base of my neck.
“Because it’s bound to happen, but I really want to enjoy what we have before then.” – Saint

Nash’s story was adorable and frustrating.  While I wish he would have had a different love interest, I still enjoyed his story.  It was fun to watch another one of the guys find their way and sort out their past.  I love this group of Marked Men.  I love how these stories always involve their deep friendships!  That we get to watch them help one other throughout each book!  And that I get to continue to see Rule from time to time, gah I love him!!  Now I’m off to read Rowdy’s story but I have to say that I LOVED the scenes that involved either Asa and Royal.  They haven’t met yet, but they are both so intoxicating that I can’t wait for their story!!

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.***
Rule by Jay Crownover
Rule #1
Reviews:
Jen
jet jay crownover
Jet #2
Reviews:
Jen
rome jay crownover
Rome #3
Reviews:

Jen
nash jay crownover
Nash #4
Reviews:
Jen
Rowdy by Jay Crownover
Rowdy #5
Reviews:
Jen
asa jay crownover
Asa #6
Reviews:
Jen

BOOK REVIEW – Rome (Marked Men #3) by Jay Crownover

BOOK REVIEW – Rome (Marked Men #3) by Jay CrownoverRome (Marked Men #3)
by Jay Crownover
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
Book Depository
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

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 . . .

Review:

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.***
Rule by Jay Crownover
Rule #1
Reviews:
Jen
jet jay crownover
Jet #2
Reviews:
Jen
rome jay crownover
Rome #3
Reviews:

Jen
nash jay crownover
Nash #4
Reviews:
Jen
Rowdy by Jay Crownover
Rowdy #5
Reviews:
Jen
asa jay crownover
Asa #6
Reviews:
Jen

BOOK REVIEW – Jet (Marked Men #2) by Jay Crownover

BOOK REVIEW – Jet (Marked Men #2) by Jay CrownoverJet (Marked Men #2)
by Jay Crownover
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
Book Depository
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

With his tight leather pants and a sharp edge that makes him dangerous, Jet Keller is every girl’s rock and roll fantasy. But Ayden Cross is done walking on the wild side with bad boys. She doesn’t want to give in to the heat she sees in Jet’s dark, haunted eyes. She’s afraid of getting burned from the sparks of their spontaneous combustion, even as his touch sets her on fire.

Jet can’t resist the Southern Belle with mile-long legs in cowboy boots who defies his every expectation. Yet the closer he feels to Ayden, the less he seems to know her. While he’s tempted to get under her skin and undo her in every way, he knows firsthand what happens to two people with very different ideas about relationships.

Will the blaze burn into an enduring love. . . or will it consume their dreams and turn them to ashes?

Review:
Ayden – We were two people forever marked by those around us, and it hurt to know it was enough to keep us apart.

Jet was a sweet love story that made me smile as I closed the book.  The slow build of their relationship, their banter that had me laughing out loud, and the drama that came crashing down on them made me care for both of them.  Shockingly, I had to wipe the tears from my eyes from time to time and that just made me fall for Ayden and Jet’s story that much more.  I am so glad that I continued on with this series!

Ayden – When I looked at him I had a hard time remembering the rejection and what I should be doing and instead let his wicked grin ruin all of my self-control.

Thankfully we get to start back at THAT night. The night where Ayden throws herself at Jet and Jet of course turns her down. Finally we get to understand what was going on in Ayden’s head. We get to see why she became so withdrawn and why the whole experience shook her to her core. And of course it gave us insight into her infatuation with the hard-core rocker. I loved that the book started at that scene! Then we fast-forward one year later where Jet is now living with Ayden and Cora.  We get to feel the sexual tension and watch what makes them tick, explode and run.

Ayden – Jet was going to undo me in every way he could, and I just didn’t know if I was going to be able to stop him.
Jet – I thought she was going to look remorseful or ashamed; I wasn’t prepared for her to be mad. Those whiskey eyes lit with a fire I had never seen in her and before I could react, she slapped me across the face hard enough to make my back teeth rattle and my face flame.

Jet has so much more going on than one would ever think. The outside that he shows the world doesn’t even hint on how potent and intense he is on the inside. When he starts pulling back the layers and allowing you into the core of himself, wow, you almost need to step back by the intensity of it all. He is filled with so much rage, so much talent and so much passion that it’s a lot to take in. His accumulation into this person is partly because because an aspect of his life is so depressing, so unfair and the weight of it is crushing him into the ground. Jet is one very conflicted, complicated person and for me I never really knew what he was going to do next.

Ayden – Who I was and who I wanted to be were being torn into separate parts, and the me that was left was vulnerable and raw, I had no idea how to stitch it all back together again, or even if I wanted to.
Jet – None of us is shooting sunshine out of our asses, girl, so I don’t know why you think you should suffer alone.

Oh Ayden, I just loved that girl, huge mess and all! She made me smile, laugh and her “I’m not going to be some defenseless little girl” attitude made me love her even more. Ironically, Ayden reminded me of the opposite of what Shaw was trying to mold herself into in Rule. Where Shaw was portraying to the world what she thought others wanted her to be, Ayden was portraying to the world the exact opposite of what others wanted and expected her to be.  Coming from a shady past that constantly haunted her and in her desperate need to have that past fade away forever, she created the current Ayden.  But they say you can’t always outrun your past, and unfortunately Ayden is no exception to that rule.

Ayden – It would take torture to get me to admit it, but my main goal in life was to see how far down that damn angel tattoo went, and to trace the entire thing with my tongue.

Together they are nothing short of endearing and I liked watching Jet and Ayden interact. They are both two broken souls that are just trying to figure out how to put all of their pieces back together.  It was funny, sad and frustrating but I thoroughly enjoyed their story and I will definitely be continuing on with the series.

P.S. The song used on Page 93 was so WRONG and HYSTERICAL. I couldn’t stop laughing, shaking my head and shouting no, no, no!

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.***
Rule by Jay Crownover
Rule #1
Reviews:
Jen
jet jay crownover
Jet #2
Reviews:
Jen
rome jay crownover
Rome #3
Reviews:

Jen
nash jay crownover
Nash #4
Reviews:
Jen
Rowdy by Jay Crownover
Rowdy #5
Reviews:
Jen
asa jay crownover
Asa #6
Reviews:
Jen
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