Rowdy (Marked Men #5)
by Jay Crownover
Publisher - Harper
Release Date - October 23rd 2014
Buy - Amazon | Book Depository
After the only girl he had ever loved told him he would never be enough, Rowdy St. James knocked the Texas dust off his boots and decided he was going to do everything in his power to live up to his nickname. Life was all about a good time, good friends and never taking much too seriously. Only now he has a new coworker, a ghost from the past who’s making him question every lesson he ever learned.
Salem Cruz grew up in a house with too many rules – and no fun allowed. She left it all behind as soon as she could, but she never forgot the sweet, blue-eyed boy next door who’d been in love with her little sister. Now, fate and good intentions from an old friend have placed her right in Rowdy’s path and she’s determined to show him he picked the wrong sister all those years ago…
As you all know by now, Jay Crownover's Marked Men series, is one I've followed and loved from the beginning (or the middle if you count Rome, that I reviewed first) Rowdy novel is just amazing... Whilst I was buddy reading this with the lovely Donna from Book Passion for Life, we have both really enjoyed this series and it was great to share it with in the next installment.
Rowdy is an odd character, you only really get to see him from being another member of the Marked Family, I guess you can say that he is a surrogate of the family but considered an equal nonetheless, much like Nash. In the beginning Rowdy sort of reminds me of Rule, where he tends not to commit to relationships and sticks to the one-night stand, the less complicated the better. So when an old flame, and first love rocks up into the new Marked shop...Salem, his new colleague was going to be more than just trouble to mind but to the heart. Rowdy was a kid of many talents including his imaginative and artistic nature, since being chucked here, there and everywhere in the system, he didn't didn't feel like he belonged until he found his family and best friend, next door. Salem and her sister, Poppy saw him for who he really was. One day, Salem got up and left forever, with one kiss she was outta there, and that was the day that Rowdy would never love or go back again.
Salem was certainly nothing we've ever met before, her style, kick-ass persona and strong sense of self really shone through this novel. I mean how cool is her name!?! Salem obviously came here to work in the business for one reason and one reason only...Rowdy. Salem had her reasons for leaving, her family are not the easiest and forgiving to be a part of of. Her father, a vicar, was the culprit in all of it. Poppy was always the golden girl, so her father saw that Salem wasn't worthy of him or God for that matter. He was pushy and forceful and would hardly show any amount of emotion. But her mother was no better, she followed where he followed. So she left, even with the consequences so dear, her sister and her best friend, Rowdy. So when Rule, manager of the Marked shops, phoned her to offer her job, courtesy of the legend Phil, she couldn't say no.
At times her background became a little repetitive and overly dramatic. What was frustrating for about 40% of the book, was that I really wanted them to bash there heads together, yes Salem left, yes Rowdy certainly had his moments with Poppy. The build-up was incredibly tense and made me feel a little impatient. But if they are so hell-bent on ignoring then there is more chemistry, desire and passion between them that they have ever realised. Like Rowdy says he's had plenty of firsts but he wants to only have her as his last!
Whilst we had Rowdy's and Salem's alternate POVs, I felt that there was also more than just them in the background. We have the whole Marked family, seeing some of the old gang building up their futures together. However, what I felt and loved most of all was the presence of Phil. For me, Phil really has inspired and motivates this story, not because he grew the Marked family from scratch but it's that Crownover keeps him living after Nash's story. The Marked Men series is really Phil's written legacy. What I loved though was that there wasn't that horrible and gut-wrenching tension and break-up between them. Instead Crownover encompassed the beginning of a new relationship which we all can't wait to read, Asa.
Rating - 4