Series: Marked Men #3
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult, Romance
Publication date: January 7, 2014
Publisher: William Morrow
Format: eARC, 384 pages
How I got it: Edelweiss
Add it: Goodreads
Buy it: Amazon | Barnes & Noble
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 . . .
I loved Jay Crownover’s first two books about hot, tatted and pierced bad boys with hearts of gold. Rule and Jet were both fantastic. But, Rome was something so much more. It offered the same spunky female characters and ridiculously sexy, but flawed, men but there was a deeper and more complex, more serious, storyline here than in the previous two books.
“In order to prevent the same mistake, to prevent myself from giving my heart away so carelessly, I was bound and determined to wait for a guy who was all in with me. I wasn’t settling for anything less than perfection, even if I had to wait forever to find it.”
I’ve been intrigued by Cora from the first time she appeared in this series. She was tough, protective, sassy, but vulnerable. She’s the type of girl everyone should have as a friend. She’s the one who would protect her friends and those she loves to the ends of the earth. Interesting as she’s such as tiny little thing. I wouldn’t want to mess with her though. She had been betrayed and deeply hurt in the past, so she wasn’t planning on getting involved with anyone in the near future. Fate had something a little different in mind though…
“I got used to everyone needing me, to them relying on me, and now that I wasn’t needed anymore, I simply 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.”
I’m so glad Rule’s big brother, Rome, finally got a chance to tell his story. And what a story it was. A soldier that went through hell overseas and ultimately came back unable to serve because of injuries he received, he put on a strong show and seemed like an asshole on the surface. But, lurking under that tough exterior was a man who was deeply emotionally damaged. He was used to being the big brother, protecting everyone, fighting to protect people he didn’t even know. Life changed while he was overseas and he wasn’t really sure how to handle it. There’s a line in the book about Rome finally reaping the rewards he earned by always protecting everyone around him. It really stuck out to me and I think it was a perfect summary of the book. (I would love to post it, but it’s a little too spoilerish for my review.)
“I know you aren’t on the same page as me just yet, Cora, and for right now I’m happy enough we’re reading the same book. Eventually you have to turn the page, though, you got me?”
There was something magical about Cora and Rome together. He was so serious, so BIG in so many ways. She was tiny and spunky. They made a great pair. There never really was a lot of sexual tension between them because their connection really came out of nowhere with little build up. But, they had an intense chemistry that just seemed so right. I did get more than a little frustrated with Cora though. I understand she was hurt in the past and afraid of opening up to someone else, but I needed her to let go and go all in with Rome.
“Love isn’t perfect. It’s hard work and sometimes it’s more effort to be in love than it is to just run away. If you keep looking for perfect, the real thing is going to pass right by you.”
I can’t tell you how much I love these characters. This entire group of friends is incredible and real. I want to go out for beers with them. I want them to be my friends. They each have their own issues, but they all work so freaking well together. The friendships are true, the love is real. They’re the complete package. For anyone who might have preconceived notions of pierced and tatted people, this series would absolutely prove them wrong. That’s one of my favorite things about it. That and the hot ass men. ::fans self:: It was great to catch up with Shaw and Rule and Jet and Ayden in this book.
This book was full of twists and turns and situations I never saw coming a mile away. There was love and sex and friendship and danger. Poor choices led to tough decisions and tougher circumstances. Rome (the book, not the man… although…) was a crazy and intense roller coaster ride. It totally played with my emotions along the way. One minute I was swooning, the next I was laughing… then suddenly I was on the edge of my seat wondering what would happen. Oh, and there were tears. Definite tears.
So fuh-reaking good.
I received a copy of this book from the publisher, via Edelweiss, in exchange for an honest review. All quotes come from the review copy and may differ from the final version.