Rome (Marked Men #3) by Jay Crownover

Sometimes the wrong choice can be just right . . . Fun and fearless, Cora Lewis knows how to keep her tattooed “bad boy” friends at the Marked in line. But beneath all that flash and sass is a broken heart. Cora won’t let herself get burned again. She’s waiting to fall in love with the perfect man—a baggage-free, drama-free guy ready for commitment. Then she meets Rome Archer. Rome Archer is as far from perfect as a man can be. He’s stubborn, rigid, and bossy. And he’s returned from his final tour of duty more than a little broken. Rome’s used to filling many roles: big brother, doting son, supersoldier—but none of those fit anymore. Now he’s just a man trying to figure out what to do with the rest of his life while keeping the dark demons of war and loss at bay. He would have been glad to suffer through it alone, until Cora comes sweeping into his life and becomes a blinding flash of color in a sea of gray.Perfect may not be in the cards, but perfectly imperfect could just last forever . . .

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First and foremost… this book has a hate-to-love ratio that’s crazy quick. It’s so quick that even I (who loves it when a book moves along really quickly) was a little bit shocked at the speed. But in truth… I really loved that – a whole lot. There’s little about this book that I didn’t like very much. It’s a 5 star read for sure… the only issues I would point out is that there isn’t much drama in this book. Not really between Cora and Rome. More really between other characters – which I didn’t know very well since I haven’t read the first two books in this series. This was a concern going in but I soon found out it didn’t create much of an issue for me. What I needed to know, was explained. What I didn’t have any clue about was made clear enough for me to ‘get the idea’ but not so much that it took away from Rome’s story. However… from the little I gathered regarding the previous characters from the first two books… I’m not excited to dive into reading them. I found them boring and not at all intriguing enough to actually read their books.

The bottom line here is that you don’t have to read either Rule or Jet to understand the backstory and you don’t need to follow this series in order. A bonus for me since I was never interested in reading Rule or Jet at all before Rome came along and like I said… I’m still not pumped up to do so.

Cora and Rome meet… they instantly form a love-hate relationship… which quickly transpires into a love-needy (must be with each other) relationship.

This was all cool. I enjoyed it. Rome kept me reading and definitely ignited intrigue. What doesn’t and hasn’t created intrigue is the next book Nash. I’m not entirely sure why this is the case… perhaps his character just didn’t grab me enough to lure me to reading it… Rome might actually be a one-hit-wonder for me with regards to the Marked Men series.

A short background: Rome is damaged. He’s been to war. Suffers guilt for the loss of his fellow soldiers. He lives with a very real, very deep rooted Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Cora is a real punk, tattooed chick who has a big mouth with very little filter and this is one of the main reasons Rome actually takes notice of her.

There relationship progresses super fast. And when I say this I mean crazy super super fast. Maybe a little unrealistically fast for what’s considered the norm. I couldn’t help but wonder if it wasn’t for the major development between their relationship – that they just wouldn’t end up the way they did. I just kept wondering if it was the ‘real’ reason they ended up being tied together. But again… I can’t deny that Rome – although hard-core, badass… is kind of a real romantic and I did love that about him no matter how far-fetched I thought their initial reason for staying together was. And let’s not mistake the fact that they were kind of pushed to be together due to circumstances. And boy was this ‘circumstance’ a little predictable. I knew it the minute Cora opened her mouth to declare … I’m not gonna spoil it… but I instantly knew where this was all going.

But again, I did love the book. I did love their chemistry and I adored the way in which they handled each other. It was sweet yet not at all fluffy. Hot is really the word to describe what happens when these two get together. If it wasn’t for the unbelievable hot guy on the cover on this book… I may have given it a skip… but I’m so glad I didn’t. I enjoyed it – even with all the predictable moments… I freaked when the unpredictable happened and my heart nearly stopped right then and there.

All-round this was a great read and one well worth investing time and money on. As for the previous two book and the followup – I’m not so sure, but perhaps it will call to me one day. Who knows 🙂

As a whole I loved this book. Would I have adored it more if it held a little more gasp, shock and breath-holding moments… the answer is yes!

Rating: 5 Stars

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