Review: Honor by Jay Crownover

Review: Honor by Jay CrownoverHonor by Jay Crownover
October 18, 2016
Genres: Romance
Pages: 368
Format: Audio
Source: Purchased
Length: 10 hours 15 minutes
Also by this author: Better When He's Bold
Amazon US
Goodreads

Don't be fooled.

Don't make excuses for me.

I am not a good man.

I've seen things no one should, done things no one should talk about. Honor and conscience have no place in my life. But I've fought and I've survived. I've had to.

The first time I saw her dancing on that seedy stage in that second rate club, I felt my heart pulse for the first time. Keelyn Foster was too young, too vibrant for this place, and I knew in an instant that I would make her mine. But first I had to climb my way to the top. I had to have something more to offer her.

I'm here now, money is no object and I have no equal. Except for her. She's disappeared. But don't worry, I will find her and claim her. She will be mine.

Like I said, don't be fooled. I am not the devil in disguise… I'm the one front and center.

Let’s start with a bit of a disclaimer. If you are a fan of the Marked Men series by Crownover, you may not like this book. Reversely, if you are NOT much of a fan of the Marked Men series, you may really enjoy this one. I know some of her long term fan base struggles with Crownover’s more suspenseful bad guys. I, however, do not. I enjoy the baddies. I enjoy the danger, the rough and tough world of The Point and characters it breeds.

Nassir is nothing like any character I have ever read. The prologue tells his past, in all its chilling and tragic glory. Nassir is an ex-terrorist, born and sold into some horrific situations, raised in hate.  He isn’t that anymore, but he’s still not good, he’s just a different sort of bad now and only one thing even remotely tames him.  Keelyn.  The only woman he’s ever loved and never had.

If you’ve read the Welcome to the Point series, you are already aware of these characters. While those titles will give you a bit of a back story on Nassir and Keelyn, you don’t have to read them first to pick up on Honor’s story. Keelyn has left The Point, Nassir stayed behind – building his empire – and is now determined to entice Keelyn back. Back to his city, back to his side and finally into his heart.

It’s clear from the beginning that both want the same thing, ultimately, they want to be together. Yet they are both such strong personalities, they continually butt heads on how to get there. Nassir is controlling by nature, Keelyn is determined to stand on her own.

The romantic struggle between these two isn’t the guts of the story, though. The real story lies in all the outside forces determined to drag Nassir, and everything he cares about, back to Hell. And also, what he and Keelyn learn about life and themselves, in the course of fighting those forces.

Crownover balances the scales of good and evil beautifully with Honor. Finding something worth holding onto in a world of bad things, some light in the dark, some hope in the midst of so much despair.

It’s no great hidden secret that I consider Jay a friend of mine, so you can take this with a grain of salt, if you so wish. But I do truly mean it when I say that her writing has grown so much over the past few years and this book proves it.

About Jay Crownover

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.
Thanks for taking the time to check my stuff out….


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Review: Charged by Jay Crownover

Review: Charged by Jay CrownoverCharged by Jay Crownover
Series: Saints of Denver #2
May 24, 2016
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 361
Format: ARC
Source: Copy for Honest Review
Also in this series: Built
Also by this author: Better When He's Bold
Amazon US
Goodreads

Avett Walker and Quaid Jackson’s worlds have no reason to collide. Ever. Quaid is a high powered criminal attorney as slick as he is handsome. Avett is a pink-haired troublemaker with a bad attitude and a history of picking the wrong men.

When Avett lands in a sea of hot water because of one terrible mistake, the only person who can get her out of it is the insanely sexy lawyer. The last thing on earth she wants to do is rely on the no-nonsense attorney who thinks of her as nothing more than a nuisance. He literally has her fate in his hands. Yet there is something about him that makes her want to convince him to loosen his tie and have a little fun…with her.

Quaid never takes on clients like the impulsive young woman with a Technicolor dye job. She could stand to learn a hard lesson or two, but something about her guileless hazel eyes intrigues him. Still, he’s determined to keep their relationship strictly business. But doing so is becoming more impossible with each day he spends with her.

As they work side-by-side, they’ll have to figure out a way to get along and keep their hands off each other—because the chemistry between them is beyond charged.

Charged is Crownover’s twelfth book. I believe. I’m not actually going to go count. I’m much too lazy to perform math. Over the course of her writing career, her heroines have gotten a bit of flack.  I don’t expect this to change with Avett. But, here’s the thing…Crownover writes REAL women.  Women with flaws, women with pasts, women with issues. If you are, and have always been, a perfect human – perhaps you can’t relate.  I personally was a fuck up.  I screwed up. A lot. I hurt other people. It may have been unintentional, but it’s still something that weighs on me years and years later. I was Avett Walker. Therefore, I can absolutely relate to her plight. To her self loathing and her self destruction.

I’m not going to go over the all the plot points here, you can read the synopsis and if you’ve read the other books by Crownover you already have a solid idea of where this story is going to take you. Also, there is that lazy thing I mentioned earlier. 😉

Avett has gotten herself into a situation that she can’t get herself out of and it prompts her to accept help from Quaid. A man who on the surface, seems to be her complete opposite.  Wading through her legal troubles together, however, shows them that they do have some common ground.  They also balance each other out rather nicely.  Avett showing Quaid that life doesn’t always have to be picture perfect and Quaid showing Avett that it doesn’t always have to be tinged with a level of destruction.

I really liked these two together and the naked times were probably the best I’ve read from Crownover. I’m all about some #executivesex it seems.

I also liked the level of drama and excitement that Avett’s criminal ex brought to the story. Though, there was one point in the book where I was annoyed with the conversation happening. To keep it spoiler free, I had a Titanic moment and was mentally yelling at the characters to shut up and save their strength!

If you read Built (which you so totally should) and you’ve read the Marked Men series, you may have noticed Built had a more adult feel. I think this continued with Charged even though Avett is still young and at the start of this story – has a lot of growing up to do.  I do think she’s on the right track though and I always appreciate when an author shows me real growth.

Anyway… I enjoyed this one. I four star loved it. I am #teamquaid if that is a thing and I definitely am team #iwasavettwalker.  Don’t ask why I am hash tagging everything, I don’t have an answer for that.

 

About Jay Crownover

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.
Thanks for taking the time to check my stuff out….


read more

RERUN Reviews: Better When He’s Bad by Jay Crownover

RERUN Reviews: Better When He’s Bad by Jay CrownoverBetter When He's Bad by Jay Crownover
Series: Welcome to the Point #1
June 17, 2014
Genres: New Adult
Pages: 384
Format: ARC
Source: Copy for Honest Review
Also in this series: Better When He's Bold
Also by this author: Better When He's Bold
Amazon US
Goodreads

Welcome to the Point

There’s a difference between a bad boy and a boy who’s bad . . . meet Shane Baxter.

Sexy, dark, and dangerous, Bax isn’t just from the wrong side of the tracks, he is the wrong side of the tracks. A criminal, a thug, and a brawler, he’s the master of bad choices, until one such choice landed him in prison for five years. Now Bax is out and looking for answers, and he doesn’t care what he has to do or who he has to hurt to get them. But there’s a new player in the game, and she’s much too innocent, much too soft…and standing directly in his way.

Dovie Pryce knows all about living a hard life and the tough choices that come with it. She’s always tried to be good, tried to help others, and tried not to let the darkness pull her down. But the streets are fighting back, things have gone from bad to worse, and the only person who can help her is the scariest, sexiest, most complicated ex-con The Point has ever produced.

Bax terrifies her, but it doesn’t take Dovie long to realize that some boys are just better when they’re bad.

Rerun Reviews features reviews by Debbie, previously published on Keep Calm Read Romance or Talk Supe — and reviews by Ali previously published on GingerRead Reviews.

 

There is this thing. This infatuation that so many women have. Some would say it is a sickness, some would call it a weakness.  What is this thing I speak of?

Bad Boys

You’ve read them, in many forms, I’m sure.  Though, I would venture to say you have not read one quite like Shane Baxter.

Bax is bad. He doesn’t just dress the part, he isn’t one guy on the streets and another behind closed doors.  He’s a thief, a fighter, an ex con. He’s self serving, no Robin Hood type hiding in a inked up, tough guy disguise.  He lives the part because that is who he is. It’s all he’s ever known.  Thrown into the life of crime at an early age, he thrived on it. It was that or starve, get your ass kicked, or worse…die.

Prison did nothing to dampen the bad boy within. Spending years behind bars gave him a purpose when released. Find the bastards who put him there and put them down.

What he didn’t expect to find was a feisty redhead dogging his every move, determined to be by his side as he finds the clues needed.

Dovie knows of Bax.  Her brother told her, before vanishing, that he was the only guy she could trust. Everyone else tells her Bax is the worst of the worst and will use her for his own needs and leave her with less than nothing.  But having less than nothing isn’t a new concept for Dovie and she will do anything to find her brother. Even if that something is Bax.

Dovie is just as bad ass as Bax, in her own way.  I stated that some people would think loving a bad boy is a weakness. For Dovie it isn’t.  It’s a strength.  It takes courage and resolve to find even the smallest amount of good in someone and love it. Dovie is that kind of woman. She wades through the shit with her head held high, finds that little withered seedling of hope and nurtures it until it becomes something stronger. In the process, making the bad and the good a cohesive unit. She doesn’t want to beat the bad out of Bax, it’s who he is. She just wants the good to help balance him. She believes in him. She knows him, sees him.

He, however, does not believe in himself.  But damn, when that boy puts a little effort and care in to Dovie, I melted.  His bad is bad but his good is panty melting good. It’s just a little rare.  His struggle to reconcile his feelings for others and their feeling for him, was sad but also a little adorable.  It’s easy to see the worst in everything you look at and watching him try to wake up from that…loved it! He made my heart stutter, that’s a good thing right?

Crownover has started this new series with a big punch. Literally and figuratively.  The characters of The Point are all hard hitting, tragic in their own rites and altogether captivating.  She’s delivered a introduction to something dark, sexy, exciting and dangerous. I have a feeling I’m going to love every bit of it.

 

About Jay Crownover

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.
Thanks for taking the time to check my stuff out….


read more

Behind the Cover Story: Charged by Jay Crownover

Behind the Cover Story: Charged by Jay CrownoverCharged by Jay Crownover
Series: Saints of Denver #2
May 24, 2016
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Also in this series: Built
Also by this author: Better When He's Bold
Amazon US
Goodreads

From the New York Times bestselling author of the Marked Men books comes the second installment in the Saints of Denver series featuring a bad girl and a by the book attorney who could be her salvation...or her ruin.

Avett Walker and Quaid Jackson’s worlds have no reason to collide. Ever. Quaid is a high powered criminal attorney as slick as he is handsome. Avett is a pink-haired troublemaker with a bad attitude and a history of picking the wrong men.

When Avett lands in a sea of hot water because of one terrible mistake, the only person who can get her out of it is the insanely sexy lawyer. The last thing on earth she wants to do is rely on the no-nonsense attorney who thinks of her as nothing more than a nuisance. He literally has her fate in his hands. Yet there is something about him that makes her want to convince him to loosen his tie and have a little fun…with her.

Quaid never takes on clients like the impulsive young woman with a Technicolor dye job. She could stand to learn a hard lesson or two, but something about her guileless hazel eyes intrigues him. Still, he’s determined to keep their relationship strictly business. But doing so is becoming more impossible with each day he spends with her.

As they work side-by-side, they’ll have to figure out a way to get along and keep their hands off each other—because the chemistry between them is beyond charged.

cover story

Behind the Cover Story is a cover reveal with an exclusive guest post from the author about said cover. Maybe, it’s an explanation of how they came up with the concept. Maybe, it’s how they found their model. Maybe, it’s more than that. Maybe, you need to check back in next time to find out! 😉

 

To pop our cherry on this feature, we asked Jay Crownover to tell us if she was a pain in the ass to her publisher, while coming up with the cover of Charged. We already knew the answer, but we asked anyway. Charged is the second book in her Saints of Denver series, the follow up to Built and a spin off of the Marked Men. If you have not checked out Built yet, you should! 

 

~ Jay’s Response ~

 

I’m always a pain in the ass you should know this!
My covers are always a little bit of “this is what I want” vs “this is what I get”.
It’s hard when you write men and woman with distinctive tattoos and other traits.
Most of the time we compromise and get pretty close to where I want to be…sometimes we end up on the other side of the road but the money has been spent and ultimately the publisher is paying the bill so I get left in the dust. Out of 13+ books that’s only happened twice so I consider myself pretty lucky, and for the most part I love my covers.

With CHARGED I more than love it. I think it’s perfect and sexy and everything I could ask for considering it’s my first couple cover.

I wanted to move away from the single guy(not that I won’t go back to that) on the cover for a few reasons. This series is different, it’s more about the central couple than the Marked Men was and it’s also much more contemporary. This book in particular also has a female lead that is dynamic and kind of a showstopper. I knew there was no way I couldn’t feature her and her pink hair on the cover. Everyone in production that read the book agreed. Plus she might even be sexier than Quaid!

It’s hard to find good looking blonde dude…really hard! My editor Amanda actually found this image and the guy was SO very much Quaid I told them to do whatever they had to in order to make the girl resemble Avett because I just loved him so much…he even looks a little older than the girl which is perfect. In the right hands Photoshop really is magical and amazing.

So there ya have it…all my meandering and spazzing to get the perfect cover!

 

 

About Jay Crownover

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.
Thanks for taking the time to check my stuff out….


read more

Review: Built by Jay Crownover

Review: Built by Jay CrownoverBuilt by Jay Crownover
Series: Saints of Denver #1
January 5, 2016
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 400
Format: ARC
Source: Copy for Honest Review
Also in this series: Charged
Also by this author: Better When He's Bold
Amazon US | B&N
Goodreads

From the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the Marked Men books comes an electrifying new spin-off series,Saints of Denver, featuring all the characters fans have been dying to read about.

Sayer Cole and Zeb Fuller couldn’t be more different. She’s country club and fine-dining, he’s cell-block and sawdust. Sayer spends her days in litigation, while Zeb spends his working with his hands. She’s French silk, he’s all denim and flannel.

Zeb’s wanted the stunning blonde since the moment he laid eyes on her. It doesn't matter how many smooth moves he makes, the reserved lawyer seems determinedly oblivious to his interest—either that or she doesn't return it. Sayer is certain the rough, hard, hot-as-hell Zeb could never want someone as closed off and restrained as she is, which is a shame because something tells her he might be the guy to finally melt her icy exterior.

But just as things start to heat up, Zeb is blindsided by a life altering moment from his past. He needs Sayer’s professional help to right a wrong and to save more than himself. He can’t risk what’s at stake just because his attraction to Sayer feels all consuming. But as these opposites dig in for the fight of their lives, battling together to save a family, the steam created when fire and ice collide can no longer be ignored.

Crownover ventures back to her roots with Built, the first installment of her new series The Saints of Denver.  She’s back to her contemporary romance ways, yet with a more mature tone.  I’m sure Built will be shelved by many as New Adult, but I found it much more grown up than most in the genre.

If you’ve read the Marked Men, you’ve briefly met both Zeb and Sayer. Zeb, the rugged builder and friend to Rowdy – Sayer, the polished and sophisticated attorney sister of Rowdy. As with most couplings from Crownover, they are not the most likely pair.  But that’s never stopped us from loving them before and it sure as hell won’t stop you now. 

I almost dare anyone NOT to love Zeb. Go ahead, I double dog dare you.  He’s…well, kind of just perfect.  He’s patient and thoughtful and jumps right into every responsibility whole-heartedly.  Even the ones he could have never seen coming. 

Zeb hasn’t had the easiest time in life, his fierce sense of protectiveness got him into to trouble before and it could keep him from completing the most important thing to ever come his way. He needs legal help to wade through the murky waters and knows of only one person he could trust implicitly with such a monumental fight.

Sayer. The woman who’s skirted around him for months. The woman who is determined to never let herself go with Zeb. The woman who has no clue what she really has to offer. The woman with such a crippling and skewed sense of who she is. The woman who would have totally lost that double dog dare I threw out because you can’t NOT LOVE ZEB. 

I enjoyed Sayer as well. She’s got some severe daddy issues and at times I wanted to slap some sense into her. But when it really counts, she’s a balls to the walls warrior.  Not only when it comes to fighting for others but also when she finally sees she needs to fight for herself too.

Sayer’s character grows exponentially by the end of this book and I admired how Crownover allowed it to happen only when Sayer was ready for it to happen.   She had to have the courage to be the woman she always wanted to be, deep inside.  That’s not a journey people make quickly and it’s not always a decision that you come to lightly.  We don’t all start out strong and confident, most of – in fact – don’t.  I enjoyed reading the character arcs of both Sayer and Zeb and lengths they’d go through for each other.

Built is a sweet love story with real life issues and real life emotions.  And I loved every little bit of it.

 

 

About Jay Crownover

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.
Thanks for taking the time to check my stuff out….


read more

Review: Better When He’s Brave by Jay Crownover

Review: Better When He’s Brave by Jay CrownoverBetter When He's Brave (Welcome to the Point, #3) by Jay Crownover
Series: Welcome to the Point
August 11th 2015
Genres: New Adult
Format: ARC
Source: Copy for Honest Review
Also in this series: Better When He's Bold
Also by this author: Better When He's Bold
Amazon US
Goodreads

In New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Jay Crownover’s third novel in her sexy, thrilling Welcome to the Point series, a woman’s search for repentance leads her to the one man from her past she can’t forget as they join forces to save their city—and the explosive love neither can live without.

Titus King has always seen his world in black and white. There is a firm right and wrong in his mind, which is why as a teenager he left behind the only family he’d ever known to make a better life for himself. Now a police detective in one of the worst cities in the country, he can’t deny his life has turned into a million different shades of gray.

The new criminal element in The Point has brought vengeance and destruction right to Titus’s front door, and walking the straight and narrow seems far less important now. The difference between right and wrong is nothing compared to keeping those he loves alive. To add to his already strained moral compass, the beautiful and mysterious Reeve Black has made her way back to town. This girl might be as dangerous to Titus as the guy trying to destroy the Point but he can’t walk away because he needs her—in more ways than one.

Reeve knows all about the threat trying to destroy The Point. She knows how ruthless, how vicious, and how cruel this new danger can be… and instead of running away, she wants to help. Reeve knows that she has a lot to repent for and saving the city, plus the hot cop that she hasn’t been able to forget might just be the only way she can finally find some inner peace.

With an entire city poised on the brink of war, Titus and Reeve stand in the crossfire—and it will take two brave souls to fight for the ultimate love.

My initial thought upon finishing Better When He’s Brave  –  ‘Titus surprised the hell out of me’.
 
We’ve met Titus in the two previous Welcome to The Point titles, but those glimpses really only led me to believe that he was a hard ass cop, with perhaps a small soft spot for his half brother. Nothing gave away that he could be this giant, domineering, teddy-bear type guy.  But that is what he is, regardless of how strange that combination may be.
 
He’s not always a nice guy. In fact, he is usually not. He’s usually hard, a bit callous and he makes some mistakes where Reeve is involved.
 
Reeve finds herself back in The Point with the intention of righting some of her wrongs. If you’ve read the series, you know what those are and you know what it led to.  She has a tough road to travel and she expects to have to do it alone.  Titus is willing to help in as far as it helps him get what he wants too.  Turns out, maybe he wants more than he’s willing to admit.
 
Reeve was a good match for Titus.  She sees through his bullshit, she challenges him in all the right ways.  I had a bit of a girl crush on this girl. She’s through letting her environment fuck her over, she’s ready to take control. Come what may.
 
Crownover has a talent for pairings.  In her couples, she partners people with entertaining push/pull relationships. With her worlds she builds these hard edges but allows softer people to survive in them.  I love that about her writing.  While Titus and Reeve are more edgy than cushy, their lighter sides still appeared and that’s what makes you fall in love with them.

 

 Miss Ali - Transparent

About Jay Crownover

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.
Thanks for taking the time to check my stuff out….


read more

Review: Asa by Jay Crownover

Review: Asa by Jay CrownoverAsa by Jay Crownover
Series: Marked Men #6
April 21, 2015
Genres: Contemporary Romance, New Adult
Pages: 400
Format: ARC
Source: Copy for Honest Review
Also by this author: Better When He's Bold
Goodreads

Jay Crownover’s New York Times and USA Today bestselling Marked Men series continues with the much anticipated story of southern charmer and certified criminal Asa Cross.

Starting over in Denver with a whole new circle of friends and family, Asa Cross struggles with being the man he knows everyone wants him to be and the man he knows he really is. A leopard doesn’t it change its spots and Asa has always been a predator. He doesn’t want to hurt those who love and rely on him, especially one luscious arresting cop who suddenly seems to be interested in him for far more than his penchant for breaking the law. But letting go of old habits is hard, and it’s easy to hit bottom when it’s the place you know best.

Royal Hastings is quickly learning what the bottom looks like after a tragic situation at work threatens not only her career but her partner’s life. As a woman who has only ever had a few real friends she’s trying to muddle through her confusion and devastation all alone. Except she can’t stop thinking about the sexy southern bartender she locked up. Crushing on Asa is the last thing she needs but his allure is too strong to resist. His long criminal record can only hurt her already shaky career and chasing after a guy who has no respect for the law or himself can only end in heartbreak.

A longtime criminal and a cop together just seems so wrong . . . but for Asa and Royal, being wrong together is the only right choice to make.

Crownover shows such artistic growth and maturity in Asa, the final installment in her Marked Men series.  The writing style, the character development and the way the problems are dealt with, were all head and shoulders above where she started with Rule.  She’s hitting her stride and Asa is proof of that.
 
Those who have been reading my reviews for some time know that my favorite characters are the broken ones.  The more messed up they are, the more I want to read their story.  Asa is beautifully, tragically broken.  Growing up with no care other than himself has left him with a past full of selfish and criminal acts.  When a second lease on life puts him in a world surrounded by people who are gracious, selfless and full of forgiveness… all those past misdeeds begin to weigh heavily on his mind.
 
Asa proves that changing who you are is hard and forgiving yourself is even harder.  His inner struggle brought me to my knees a little bit.   It was so easy to believe that someone who was such a bad person could believe they could never really change. Or believe that they never deserved anything good to happen to them.
 
Royal is in a similar mindset but for vastly different reasons.  She’s lost some confidence in herself and ironically, it’s the man with no self worth that helps her find hers again.
 
For me, Royal was the perfect match for Asa.  She’s soft to his hard but with her own edge. She won’t back down, she goes after what she wants but not to the point of bending who she is for him.  Yet, she won’t allow him to bend for her either.  She just wants him to see himself how others do, not change, not be better, just be who he is now instead of living in the shadow of who he was.
 
That is where the maturity comes in to play.  Both Asa and Royal are willing to walk away from each other for the sake of each other.  They are both ready to make hard calls, to give up personal happiness for the chance of the other person to follow the path they need to. To have ultimate trust in each other when trust doesn’t come easy to either of them.  It’s not the easiest resolution to their problems, but it’s a resolution I have immense respect for.  It’s the only choice that could have been made with unconditional love for another person. 
 
Asa is a beautiful end to the Marked Men series, showing that love is sacrifice, it’s trust, it’s selfless. 

 

 Miss Ali - Transparent

About Jay Crownover

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.
Thanks for taking the time to check my stuff out….


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