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.
She puffed out a breath and her bangs fluttered over her winged brows. “He’s a survivor for sure, but there is a difference between merely getting by and living the life you’re supposed to live. I had no idea how love was supposed to look or feel until I met Jet. I wasn’t living a full life until he gave me the strength to let go of everything else.”
Her eyes flared hot, gold just like Asa’s did when he was excited about something. I was a tiny bit jealous that just saying her man’s name had that effect on her.
“I want Asa to do more than survive, Royal. I want him to finally be happy for once in his life. I want him to do more than just get by. I want him to have something that is his and his alone that he doesn’t ever feel like he has to fight for.”
I gulped a little bit as emotion started to clog my throat. I set my almost empty beer down on the table in front of me and twisted my fingers together. “He has all of that within his grasp, but his hands are too busy holding on to the past and reaching for the future to grab on to it.”
She opened her mouth and then snapped it closed as she leaned back in her chair. She crossed her arms over her chest, covering up the Valkyrie straddling a flaming guitar and the word enmity as she did so. The shirt with the ripped-off sleeves that showed the sides of her black bra seemed out of place with her pointy red cowboy boots, but it was Ayden, so she rocked it and looked perfect doing so.
She shook her dark head. “I know he is. I was hoping that since he can’t stop staring at you, and keeps looking at me like he wants to drop-kick me across the bar, maybe you had convinced him to let some of that go. We can’t go back in time and we can’t predict the future. He’s living in suspended animation.”
*Review copy received from the author for an honest review*
4 “second chances matter” stars!
Have you read the Marked Men series?!? I sure hope so. Especially if you are fond of tattooed men, alpha males, or just plain bad boys! I personally have read most of this series and loved every one. And was anxiously awaiting Asa’s story, because of his past. I felt like there was going to be a lot to him.
“You and me alone is the dumbest idea I ever had, Red. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.”
But I was VERY surprised by his story. Not that it wasn’t a great story, but I wasn’t as sucked in to his as much as I was all the others. Bummer, right!! Not really 🙂 I still enjoyed it and was happy to see how things worked out for him and Royal. Weird combination, right?!? I definitely went in to this one expecting lots of drama and emotional moments when you take into consideration Asa’s past and Royal’s occupation. But, surprisingly, it was very different than what I expected. And that’s good, because the author knows how to surprise us with these bad boys 😉
“Every time I can’t seem to figure out where I’m going lately I always end up wherever you are.”
Don’t get me wrong, though, Asa and Royal’s story is still very emotional, just not how I expected. They start out with the heat!! And boy do they have heat! Here I was thinking Royal was going to reject Asa due to his history. When in reality Royal is the aggressor here. The girl wanted that bad boy and she was determined to get him!! But only after the two get all their emotional baggage straight first.
“I knew from firsthand experience that some hurt and some mistakes could weigh you down forever.”
Plus, like all the others, the rest of the crew pop in for some updates on their happy little lives. I love reading about how everyone is getting along in their lives. It’s a little sad that this series is over. A series like this is easy to become addicted to and the characters start to stick with you after reading about them so many times.
If you haven’t started this series, get to it!! It definitely is one that comes highly recommended by this Book Bitch 🙂
And don’t miss the previous books in The Marked Men Series!
Jay Crownover is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the Marked Men series. She will also be introducing the dark and sexy world of The Point in a new series this summer starting with Better When He’s Bad. Like her characters, she is a big fan of tattoos. She loves music and wishes she could be a rock star, but since she has no aptitude for singing or instrument playing, she’ll settle for writing stories with interesting characters that make the reader feel something. She lives in Colorado with her three dogs.