Rome (Marked Men #3)
by Jay Crownover
Publisher - HarperCollins
Release Date - January 2nd 2014
Buy - Amazon | Book Depository
Cora Lewis is a whole lot of fun, and she knows how to keep her tattooed bad boy friends in line. But all that flash and sass hide the fact that she’s never gotten over the way her first love broke her heart. Now she has a plan to make sure that never happens again: She’s only going to fall in love with someone perfect.
Rome Archer is as far from perfect as a man can be. He’s stubborn and rigid, he’s bossy and has come back from his final tour of duty fundamentally broken. Rome’s used to filling a role: big brother, doting son, super soldier; and now none of these fit anymore. Now he’s just a man trying to figure out what to do with the rest of his life while keeping the demons of war and loss at bay. He would have been glad to suffer it alone, until Cora comes sweeping into his life and becomes the only color on his bleak horizon.
Perfect isn’t in the cards for these two, but imperfect might just last forever . . .
Marked Man, Rome Archer is a lot to be desired for. An ex-soldier fighting in the Afghanistan has a lot of scars both metaphorically and physically. He was easily engaged and liked before his release into the war, now he stands between his future and the reality to get there. As a man conflicted by war and death, he has a depth to him that is even more desirable, when it come to the main characters of a NA novel. Jay has a way with words, it didn't take me long to really love him, I mean if this is anything to go by then Rule and Jet must be...yummy for what of a better word I couldn't think of. When an unusually perky, tattooed and lovable character such as Cora swings by the counter of the family tattoo shop, he knew he is in a new lot of trouble.
Written from Cora's perspective, she has suffered a hard loss from a broken heart of being cheated on... constantly absent minded about others around, all she wants is to forget her past and move on with someone else. When you plan you life with a person who doesn't love just as much it become hard for Cora to really be invested in a relationship. She has been surrounded by a family of brothers for all her life, brought up and raised so they will protect her from anything. What touched me a lot was the love, care and support from such a tight knit family that aren't blood related but are just as close. Rule is a personal favourite of mine and I really looking forward to getting know him a lot more intimately in his own novel.
I think that's how I think of these NA novels of the Marked Men, they are individual because they focus so much on the main character. But the background of their relations form such a loveable family that there is where the series lies within. If you want a Marked Man or a whole family of gorgeous Marked Men then check out Jay Crownover novels, I encourage you all too *winks at you maddly*
Rating - 4.5
A Q&A with Jay Crownover...
1. The Marked Men series is about men with physical or metaphorical scars, what influenced you to take this theme into a series and how does this differ from other NA novels?
We as humans are all marked in one way or the other, but it's those marks that really define who we are as individuals. I loved the idea of having Rule and Remy...identical in so many ways but really marked in totally different ones. Rule is hyper-honest, blatantly says what’s on his mind and marked his body as a way to stand out and claim his skin as his own. Remy kept secrets, lied and used people, and it affected his life really tragically which we find out in Rome. Of the twins Remy is really the one carrying around ugly, painful marks even though on the outside he his perfect and polished. It was just an interesting concept that could be applied to all of the characters I was dealing with.
I think my NA is different than most other NA because it tends to be a little more on the sexy side and while the stuff I deal with is socially current and relevant I'm looking at it through a much narrower scope of this specific sub-culture of tattooed and rock and roll people. I really think my NA comes from inside the heart of the world rather than me just guessing about how people that move in that circle act. I really do write what I know, I just had way sexier guys, prettier girls and a whole bunch more drama!!
2. Do any of the Marked Men have similar or inspirational qualities from your personal life?
Sure. The Marked Men and their ladies represent MY kind of people. People that are interesting and modified, people that are artistic and interesting. I write all of them from a place where I think this group is a group of characters I would seamlessly fit into if they were real. I think each and every one of the characters thus far has a character trait I either admire in others or find attractive in the opposite sex, or do indeed posses myself. They are all very much a piece of me.
3. There was one question that left me wondering at the end of Rome was; did Cora have the baby, or does that spoil some of the background plot in the next book?
Of course she's going to have the baby. This always baffles me. She's pregnant and clearly can't stay pregnant forever so a baby has to be coming sooner or later. I write about a world that is moving, living and evolving with each book. I didn't feel like she need to go into labour at the end of her book just because. It would have rushed the timeline and it's silly to just wrap a story up with bow just because. Not every romance needs to end with a wedding or a baby or an engagement - and considering my books always move the world and the plot for the previous couples forward I have more space and more room to work with long-term happy endings. If readers really want to learn about the baby or really want to see what happens after Rule proposed to Shaw then they just have to read Nash!
4. Does this series have a moral or personal message you wanted to convey through your writing?
I feel like I always try and convey some major issues that matter to me. You are okay just the way you are, no matter how you look, what you are told, or what the world tries to make you believe.
There is always someone out there that will love the heart of you no matter what it might be buried under physically or emotionally. I like to think the idea that we can make our own family that goes beyond blood ties comes through in my books.
And of course I really try and show that sub-culture and things that are less mainstream are still relevant to the world and that just because someone has made some choices that set them apart from the norm it doesn't mean they love or live any differently than the average Joe.
Thank you to the lovely Jay for being on my blog and interviewing her. So PLEASE read her books... they are brilliant!