October 10, 2013

Book Review: Marked Men Series by Jay Crownover

I was lucky enough to be able to download both of these books from Edelweiss for free in exchange for an honest review.  I have to say, a lot of times the books you are allowed to download from Edelweiss and NetGalley are always a toss-up on whether they are any good or not.  Luckily for me, these books were awesome, and I hope after reading my reviews you decide to give them a try too.  You won't regret it!

Title:  Rule (Marked Men #1)
Author: Jay Crownover
Genre:  New Adult, Contemporary Romance

Purchase Links:
Barnes and Noble

Shaw Landon loved Rule Archer from the moment she laid eyes on him. Rule is everything a straight--A pre-med student like Shaw shouldn’t want--and the only person she’s never tried to please. She isn’t afraid of his scary piercings and tattoos or his wild attitude. Though she knows that Rule is wrong for her, her heart just won’t listen.

To a rebel like Rule Archer, Shaw Landon is a stuck-up, perfect princess-and his dead twin brother’s girl. She lives by other people’s rules; he makes his own. He doesn’t have time for a good girl like Shaw-even if she’s the only one who can see the person he truly is.

But a short skirt, too many birthday cocktails, and spilled secrets lead to a night neither can forget. Now, Shaw and Rule have to figure out how a girl like her and a guy like him are supposed to be together without destroying their love . . . or each other.

Rule (Marked Men, #1)Rule by Jay Crownover

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

God, I love how perfectly flawed the characters in this story are. Not only the main characters, Rule and Shaw, but even the supporting characters have their own demons to face. And the entire cast is great: Rome, Nash, Rowdy, Jet, Cora, Ayden. They are all perfect in their effed-up imperfect ways. I can't wait to read each and every one of their individual stories and see how things end up for them.

Now for the review.
I loved Rule like it was my mission in life. I loved him like it was inevitable, like no matter how many times I was shown what an awful idea it was, what a bad match we were, what a callous asshole he could be, I couldn't shake it.
Shaw has been in love with Rule Archer ever since she was 14. Rule's twin brother Remy took her under his wing when he saw her being tormented one day at school. He scooped her up and took her home with him, and that was that. Rule, his older brother Rome, and their parents all assumed that Remy and Shaw were an item, but that couldn't have been further from the truth. From day one, Shaw only had eyes for Rule. Her and Remy were best friends, and she was fiercely loyal to him and the secrets he hid from his family...but she wasn't in love with him. Then, when Remy was killed in a car accident when he was 20 and Shaw was 18, life turned upside down. The Archer family is torn apart. Rule's mom blames him for what happened to Remy, and can't get over her resentment and grief. Shaw tries her hardest to keep the only family she has ever felt loved by, together. But when it just all becomes too much, and Margot (Rule's mom) goes too far in her hatred towards Rule, Shaw draws a line in the sand and sticks up for Rule.

Rule has never looked at Shaw in that way. He always thought she was his brother's girl, and now that his brother is gone, she is strictly in the "off limits" group. Until one night changes everything.

I loved how Rule and Shaw were polar opposites, and fought each other tooth and nail at every crossroads. They were perfect for each other, but each one of them was so messed up in their own way that they couldn't see how they fit together. They were oil and water, fire and ice, light and dark.
It's like all hot and bothered but sweet and fuzzy, too.
And neither one of them have ever been loved unconditionally by their families, so they don't really know what love is, or how to do it. They struggle to find their way to each other, but there are a multitude of obstacles that keep getting in the way. Luckily, Rule and Shaw love each other so fiercely and so completely, even if they don't know it fully, that they seem to keep finding their way back to each other.
"Here's my heart, Shaw. You have it in your hands, and I promise you're the first and last person to touch it. You need to be careful with it because it's far more fragile than I ever thought, and if you try to give it back I'm not taking it. I don't know enough about love to know for sure that's what this is between us, but I know that for me it's you and only you from here on out."
The story flowed beautifully, and was written expertly. I don't know if I received a newer, edited version, but I didn't see all of the punctuation and editing problems that some of the other reviewers mentioned. So maybe that problem has been fixed. Or, I was so caught up in the story I just didn't notice. Either way, I loved it. The pace of the story was right on. At 256 pages on my e-reader it didn't feel rushed or too drawn out. It was just right. I can't wait to read book #2 in this series, and book #3 will be on my TBR list for when it comes out in January 2014.

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Title:  Jet (Marked Men, #2)
Author:  Jay Crownover
Genre:  New Adult, Contemporary Romance

Purchase Links:
Barnes and Noble

With his tight leather pants and a sharp edge that makes him dangerous, Jet Keller is every girl’s rock and roll fantasy. But Ayden Cross is done walking on the wild side with bad boys. She doesn’t want to give in to the heat she sees in Jet’s dark, haunted eyes. She’s afraid of getting burned from the sparks of their spontaneous combustion, even as his touch sets her on fire.

Jet can’t resist the Southern Belle with mile-long legs in cowboy boots who defies his every expectation. Yet the closer he feels to Ayden, the less he seems to know her. While he’s tempted to get under her skin and undo her in every way, he knows firsthand what happens to two people with very different ideas about relationships.

Will the blaze burn into an enduring love. . . or will it consume their dreams and turn them to ashes?

Jet (Marked Men, #2)Jet by Jay Crownover

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Can I just say how much I LOVE this Marked Men series by Jay Crownover! It is the first series in a while that has me seriously hooked on every single character, and impatiently waiting for each one of them to get their own book. I want to hear everyone's story! Oh, and what stories they are. As if it weren't enough that we are getting to read about seriously sexy, hardcore metal-pierced and tattooed man-gods, each one of them has a seriously messed up past that makes them dark and brooding and complex. And the girls have it just as bad. Seriously, if you were to imagine the worst case scenario for a person's past and/or childhood, I can guarantee you that someone in this cast of characters has lived through ten times worse than that. I don't know how believable that is in real life, that there would be a group of people this messed up that just happen to all be friends, but it makes for really freaking good stories!
"Sometimes, things need to change, because there just isn't any way for them to stay the same."
This book revolves around the heavy metal rocker Jet, and the super hot overachiever Ayden. Except, even though Jet has enough talent in his pinky finger to be an international superstar, there are things holding him back from achieving his potential. And on the outside Ayden may seem like the perfect college student, and the unattainable virgin girl, but she has a bad girl past that would make a stripper cringe. When two people like this are drawn together by outrageously off the charts sexual chemistry, you would expect a lot of fireworks. Instead you get an atomic bomb that irrevocably changes the both of them permanently.
"You keep telling me I don't know you, and that I don't have a clue, but the truth is, we don't know each other, and I don't know that either of us is really ready to handle the other. What I do know is I want you more than I want to keep breathing."
Ayden has been trying to keep a lid on her past ever since she came to Denver to go to college. She has tried and tried to forget all of the awful things that she used to do, and the kind of girl she used to be. In fact, she has built this facade so perfectly that when she throws herself at Jet after seeing one of his shows, he turns her down reluctantly, telling her that she's too good for him and she'll regret it in the morning. If only he knew how perfect they were for each other. Not because of Ayden's past, but just because they are both so hurt and broken apart that they would know how to help put the other back together.
"He makes me smile just by being in the same room. When he touches me, I forget to breathe and when he sings to me, oh my Lord, when he sings to me there are no words to describe what he does to me. He has his own struggles, and his own bright and hot place that's hard to get around because of the heat it generates, but that never stops him from trying to get to me. I've never felt about anyone the way I feel about him."
It amazes me how well Jay Crownover can write about people that are so flawed, so damaged, and yet give you so much hope for them. I was pulling for Jet and Ayden from page one, even before they began fighting for each other. And there is so much back and forth, push and pull, that my heart hurt for them by the end of the book. Just like in book one, Rule, the two main characters are so wrong for each other in every way that it just makes them right. This is not an easy book to read. It's not a typical bright and shiny happy ever after with two perfect people. It's dirty and gritty and rough and real, but it is oh so worth it. Ayden and Jet's ending feels so much more satisfying because they both had to fight so damn hard to get there.

I loved this book, and I loved this serious and I can not freaking wait for Rome to come out in January, and Nash in April. (And then hopefully Rowdy, and maybe even Asa, lol)

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*****  And, coming in January 2014:  Rome, the story about Rule's big brother.  
I CAN NOT WAIT!! *****

Author Bio:
I'm supposed to share interesting details about myself so that my readers get to know me so here we go in no particular order: I'm an natural redhead even though I haven't seen my real hair color in years, I'm a big fan of tattoos and have a half sleeve on either arm and various other pieces all over the place, I've been in the bar industry since I was in college and it has always offered interesting insight into how men and women interact with each other, I have 3 dogs that are all crazy, I live in Colorado and love the snow, I love music and in all reality wish I could be a rock star not a writer or a bartender but I have zero talent so there is that.
I love to write, love to read and all I'm interested in is a good story with interesting characters that make the reader feel something.

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1 comment:

Thank you so much for your comment! I read each and every one of them, I swear. :)

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