Release Date: October 21, 2014
Publisher: William Morrow
Series: Marked Men #5
Review Source: Edelweiss
Synopsis: (from Goodreads)
The New York Times and USA Today bestselling Marked Men series continues with this sizzling, sexy story of love, heartbreak, fate, and second chances.
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 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.
I was highly, highly anticipating this book, which is always a dangerous thing. It may be why I liked this book, but didn’t completely love it. Don't get me wrong, Rowdy is a good book, but I didn't fall into it like I did the other books in the series.
What’s great about this series, and one reason why I loved the past books so much, is that the couples coming together is quite a surprise. Even when there’s a long history between the two characters, or a “working up to it” type of situation, it’s still something fresh and new for those characters to come together and find themselves in love. Here the situation is a bit different, and it didn’t quite click for me. It rubbed me the wrong way a bit for Salem to come sailing back into Rowdy’s life after a decade of absence and just automatically assume she’s going to make him hers.
I think for me to really love a book I have to understand the main characters, and that’s where things got a bit murky. Rowdy has always been the sweet good-time guy on the edge of the stories, so I can understand why the readers might not fully know his character until this point. However, it felt off to me that Salem came sweeping in, revealing that Rowdy is this broken character using happiness as a mask. I can understand the readers not knowing him completely, but what about the characters who he says saved him? They are the ones who presented him as a happy, joyful guy, so is Salem saying that these people, who he calls his family, don’t know him? I had a hard time understanding who the real Rowdy was.
Another thing that bugged me about this book is that there was so much sex. That might sound weird considering all of Jay Crownover’s books are sexy, but hear me out. Usually I find her books sexy in a good way -- in an empowering way, where the couples further their emotional connection through sex. Here the sex scenes felt gratuitous. I mean, seriously, besides maybe going on a picnic and hanging out at a bar once or twice, it honestly felt like all they did was have sex. This will work for a lot of people, but it didn't for me. Where were the "get to know you" chats? Despite what Salem thinks, just because you grew up together for five years does not mean you know each other ten years down the line. I wanted to see them getting to know one another again, seeing how they fit into each other’s worlds, but that didn't really happen.
At this point you probably think I hated this book, but I truly didn’t. I liked it, and I liked some aspects a lot, I just didn’t like it as much as the previous books in the series. I have high expectations for Jay’s books, and they make me feel a lot of things even when I’m not in love with them. Despite some of my problems with this book I’d still recommend it over a lot of other New Adult books, and I’d definitely still label this series as one of my favourites in NA.
What I liked about this book especially was the subplot with Salem’s family. It gets especially crazy at one point, but it still didn't feel over the top. I liked seeing into their background, as it explained a lot about Salem and her sister. I also liked the lawyer character, who can’t really be talked about because of spoilers. Even though the build up for that felt obvious it was still a great subplot, and I liked the way it played out. Since I didn’t absolutely love Rowdy/Salem, I actually found my favourite parts of the book to be the group scenes, seeing what the rest of the gang was up to, and seeing the build up for Royal/Asa.
It's clear that this definitely wasn’t my favourite of the series (Rome is holding on to that spot, with Jet being a close second), but hey, it might be your new fave! I still have a lot of faith in Jay’s writing, and I’m excited for Asa (April 2015) and for the second book in her Welcome to the Point series, Better When He’s Bold (February 2015).
Not my fave of the series, but it definitely works.
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Jay Crownover is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the Marked Men series. She also introduced the dark and sexy world of The Point in a new series this last summer starting with BETTER WHEN HE's BAD. Like her characters, she is a big fan of tattoos. She loves music and wishes she could be a rock star, but since she has no aptitude for singing or instrument playing, she'll settle for writing stories with interesting characters that make the reader feel something. She lives in Colorado with her three dogs.
Where to find Jay:
Website | Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads
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