Release Date: October 21, 2014
New Adult Contemporary Romance
4 out of 5 Beautifully Inked Stars
Reviewed by Yesi
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.
The Marked Men series has been and continues to be one of my absolute favorites. I was always a lover of the clean-cut suit or popular jock in my reads but when the talented Jay Crownover brought us Rule, I was instantly converted. My love for inked men in my romance reads grows more and more each day and I have to credit Ms. Crownover for that. The men in this series are unique not only in their style but in their personalities. Each man, starting with Rule, Jet, Rome, then Nash, and finally Rowdy, has brought their own special qualities to the table including a hotness factor like no other. Rowdy is the latest installment in the Marked Men series and it did not disappoint.
“I was once again left behind by someone that was supposed to care about me forever. Salem left me gutted and hollowed out.” ~Rowdy
This is Rowdy and Salem’s story, it is a story about second chances, forgiveness, and healing. Salem and Rowdy were childhood best friends, both of them, along with Salem’s sister Poppy were inseparable during their preteen and teenage years. They lived in a tiny Texas town named Loveless where Salem and Poppy’s father was the local preacher and Rowdy was the boy next door. Loveless is the perfect name for that town because both Salem and Rowdy were already battling demons at an early age. They found comfort in each other and turned to each other for just about anything. Then, almost out of nowhere, Salem decides to leave Loveless behind without so much as a goodbye.
“I just wanted to go back to a point where I was happy pretending like the Cruz sisters were nothing but a distant memory I only dusted off when I had too much to drink or sentimentality snuck up on me and gave me a sucker punch.” ~ Rowdy
Fast forward ten years and we see that Rowdy has good life with his Marked Men shop family. He is a really good guy enjoying life with his friends, his job, and no commitment hookups. Until one day Salem Cruz comes crashing into his world again and soon all the anger and heartache is brought back to the surface. Salem has lived on the go the last ten years but when an opportunity for a great job near the man that she could never forget pops up, she jumps at the chance. When these two come together, it is explosive! Rowdy wants nothing to do with her and Salem wants him back in her life. They are forced to see each other every day and slowly but surely their connection begins to intensify. Eventually they just can’t hold back any longer. I loved Salem’s kick ass character and I loved Rowdy’s passion.
“It wasn’t a sweet kiss. It wasn’t a delicate kiss. I could taste the past and his resentment in it. I could feel that he was chasing down ghosts as his teeth nipped a little harder than they should have along the plush curve of my bottom lip. None of that mattered though because this was Rowdy and to me he felt like everything that had ever been good or made me happy in this whole entire world.” Salem
Rowdy brings back all of the good things that make the Marked Men series so addictive. He will capture your heart and you’ll never want him to let go. I enjoyed the push and pull, I enjoyed the angst, and I especially enjoyed the love story. The only reservation I had was that there was simply too much focus on Salem’s sister Poppy. I honestly was over her in the first 25% of the book, yet had to endure her presence for much, much longer. Overall, I think fans of this series will love Rowdy and Salem and will be satisfied with the latest addition to this great series. Jay Crownover continues to give us what we love and I already have my calendar marked for Asa. <3
About Jay Crownover:
Jay Crownover is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the Marked Men series. She will also be introducing the dark and sexy world of The Point in a new series this 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.
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