Series: Marked Men #3
Genres: New Adult, Romance
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 . . .
A sexy, fun, poignant read in what is becoming an addicting series.
I loved Rome. I loved him even before I knew who he was completely. Of course, I loved him. Give me a wounded veteran, and I’m golden.
Rome’s story was about his struggle to acclimate to the ‘real’ world after being discharged from the military. His story was about him dealing with his broken family, and coming to terms with the fact that everything that he fought for is very different than what he envisioned. His story is also about Cora. I don’t usually pay more notice to one protagonist than the other (and usually if I do, it’s the heroine since I try to place myself in their positions and experience the love story as if it’s mine), but I feel like the men in this series have a stronger voice. So, yes, Rome’s story was also about Cora. It’s about him finding someone who he doesn’t have a complicated past with, someone who doesn’t have any expectations because she doesn’t know who he used to be, someone who won’t take his shit, but someone who sees what he’s going through and is willing to help him find his way.
Cora was a great heroine. She was a take-no-prisoners teddy bear. She was fire, and sass, but she was also warmth and heart. I loved the contradictions in her personality, which made her more real and lovable. Cora lived through heartbreak and I loved seeing her struggle (she didn’t really struggle much) with her intense attraction to Rome, and with her unrealistic expectations (😏 Though, is it unrealistic? I’m still looking for the perfect man…). I loved Cora’s voice. I did listen to this on audio, and I thought the production was top notch, and I enjoyed the narrator, but I also just liked the rhythm of Cora’s voice. She seemed like a cool New York chick. She was a great complement to Rome, and the opposites attract trope is one I always love.
Crownover did an outstanding job portraying feelings of disconnect and insecurity that some vets feel when they return home to find that life has moved on without them. Rome’s struggles were real and it added intensity to the book that I loved. It wasn’t as intense as it could’ve been, but I think it matched the mood of the series. And of course the romance was beyond romantic. Cora and Rome were fire and I loved feeling their heat.
I am seriously loving this series (why did I take so long to read it?). I think a lot of people compare this book to the first one, and I do think that Rule’s story is still my favorite, just because I’m such a sucker for the long-time friends-to-lovers story. I love backstory. I need backstory, and that’s why Rome didn’t overtake Rule as my favorite, but Rome is a very close second.
I loved the peeks of both of these characters that I got in the two previous books in the series; I think that development helped me connect to them on a deeper level than I would’ve if I’d read it as a standalone. Which is why I recommend that you start with book one, Rule, if you’re considering this series. It’s just too great to miss.
The Marked Men are quickly leaving their mark on me. Read these books!