Nash by Jay Crownover
Series: Marked Men #4
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult, Romance
Publication date: April 29, 2014
Publisher: William Morrow
Format: eARC, 400 pages
How I got it: Edelweiss
Add it: Goodreads
Buy it: Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Will their past determine their future?
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?
I have nothing but love for Jay Crownover’s Marked Men and Nash, the latest book in this incredible series filled with deliciously complicated pierced and tatted men, is no exception. I don’t like to play favorites, but if I did, Nash and Saint would have just stolen the title of my favorite couple in this series to date.
“Nash Donovan was a beautiful, wicked, and hot flame that burned me when I got too close. He was just the first stop in a journey dotted by disappointment, but somewhere along the way I found my footing. My purpose. I just didn’t know as soon as I did, Nash would manage to turn my world upside down all over again, and only a fool gets burned twice by the same fire.”
After reading other reviews on Goodreads, I was floored by the number of people who didn’t like Saint. I’m going to say it and I’m not even sorry – I loved Saint. In fact, she’s my favorite female in this series so far.. Why, you ask? Because she’s relatable. I think the people who didn’t like her just didn’t “get her.” I, on the other hand, connected with her more deeply than any of the other women because I too know what it’s like to struggle with your weight just like Saint did. Now, thankfully, I don’t have any deep, dark scars from high school, but I can understand how she would. People don’t understand how deeply words can affect you and for just how long they can stick with you. I thought Saint’s insecurity and unwillingness to respond to Nash’s advances, while frustrating at times, was realistic. I could feel how torn she was between wanting to believe he was a different man – or maybe he never truly was the boy she thought – and protecting herself against further disappointment from a guy who hurt her deeply when she was younger. Now, maybe a lot of that was in her head or something she misunderstood, but it doesn’t take that pain away.
Oh, Nash, you poor, misunderstood guy. I heart you so hard. Jay’s male characters are always far more complex than you would expect them to be based on their surface and Nash is probably the most difficult one of all. After reading the first chapter, I wanted to smack Nash for hurting Saint so much. Kids can be cruel and I thought he was being crueler than the rest. But, when we fast forward to present time and have a chance to get inside Nash’s head, there’s a good man there.
“You undo me, Saint.”
Saint and Nash come face-to-face in the hospital where she works, as a result of Rome’s injuries and again after his, ahem uncle’s, illness. He might not have recognized her at first, but he’s immediately attracted to her. Saint is a good person and she befriends Nash to make sure he has support as he’s coming to terms with everything going on in his life right now. There’s definitely a ton of chemistry between them, but she doesn’t know how to handle the still-lingering attraction to him or the fact that he seems to be interested in her now. He doesn’t have any idea what’s holding her back from him. My heart ached for Nash with the truths he just learned and the reality of what lie ahead for him. I just wanted to give him a huge hug and reassure him that it would be all right, eventually.
The romance between Saint and Nash was both sweet and sexy. These characters felt deeply for each other, but had been through so much crap in their lives that they were hopelessly lost. Things were better when they were together, but there was also a health amount of drama in this book. I didn’t find any of it unnecessary though. Because I connected with the characters, I was able to understand where they were both coming from, even if I wanted to scream at them in frustration at times.
The characters are far and away the best thing about this series. Each of them holds a special place in my heart and I love the close friendship they all share. They truly are more like a family than friends and it’s apparent how deeply they love each other. This book brought us up-to-date on the goings on in Rule/Shaw, Jet/Ayden and Cora/Rome’s lives. This series gives me serious chills with its sexy scenes, but it also gives me great big smiles and swoons with the sweet ones. Nash – the book AND the man – definitely did both. I can’t wait for the next book in this series, both to get Rowdy and Salem’s story, but to catch up again with my favorites and see where life has taken them since the end of this book.
I received a copy of this book from the publisher, via Edelweiss, in exchange for an honest review. Quotes come from the review copy and differ in final version.