Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Book Review: Rome (Marked Men #3) by Jay Crownover

The blurb as seen on Goodreads:
Release Date: January 7, 2014
Publisher: HarperCollins
387 Pages

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 . . .

Spunky Tinkerbell meets ‘Captain No-Fun’ in the third installment of the Marked Men series. We have met both Rome and Cora in previous books and no one was more shocked than me to realize that these two would be thrown together in the most unlikely of ways. 

Cora Lewis is basically the mother hen for all of the boys. She runs the office part of the Marked business and she always seemed content taking care of her friends. However, when she starts to see how happy and in love some of them are, old feelings resurface and suddenly she’s struggling with the realization that she may never find her ‘one’. And she won’t settle for less than perfect – no baggage, no drama, nothing that rocks the boat. Basically, everything that Rome Archer is not. 

Rome is Rule’s older brother whom we met in the first book. Having just returned from his final tour of duty, he’s unsure of where he fits in. The bombshell that was dropped on his family right before he left last time didn’t help. He hasn’t spoken to his parents since then and his relationship with his brother has also suffered. Instead of the light hearted older brother everyone knew, Rome now spends his days chasing the bottom of the bottle with an unsurly attitude. So of course him and Cora clash – horribly.

One night after too many drinks, Cora is the one cleaning up after Rome and it begins this intricate relationship between the two of them that has Rome seeing a way out of the darkness where he’s been and Cora questioning just what exactly Mr. Perfect is.

What I love about these books is how Crownover writes her characters. They’ve stayed true to who they are throughout the series and none of them get lost or overshadowed by the other. And they are all so different. While Cora’s constant talk of finding the perfect guy did drive me up the wall (Honey, there’s no such thing as perfect), I could see the reasons why she was hesitant to get involved with someone especially someone like Rome. While she is older than the rest of the crew and should know how ridiculous finding a perfect guy is, I understood why she was doing it. Her past relationship left a nasty scar and when it shows back up, she reacts the only way she knows how. Out of all the girls so far, I feel like I connected with Cora the most. 

Then there was the topic of PTSD with Rome. Watching him struggle to find his place was heartbreaking. Here was a guy who had purpose and direction in his life. Now he’s back to civilization and he has no clue what he’s doing. No place to live, no job, just the memories of what happened overseas to keep him up at night. While the relationship was definitely the focus of the story, I liked that it wasn’t the only thing that saved Rome. This book gives meaning to ‘right place, right time’ even if Rome didn’t think so. And it goes to show what can happen with the kindness of strangers.

Up next is Nash’s book and I can’t wait to dive into his mind.


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