Paperback editions coming July 3, 2014
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"He wasn't perfect, I wasn't perfect, but the love we had for each other . . . nothing was more perfect than that."
*I received an ARC via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.*
It was time to meet Rule's oldest brother Rome. Released from the army and now a civilian, Rome has to learn how he slots back into his old role of older brother, friend and son. This would be a whole lot easier if Rome returned as the same man he had left as. But war changed Rome and the death of his brother Remy devastated him. Rome had to pick up the pieces and carve out a life for himself with what he had left.
Cora is known as the rock of the group, she looks after her boys and is fiercely protective of her girlfriends. That doesn't leave much time for Cora's own personal life but she's holding off for Mr. Perfect so she doesn't have time for anyone who doesn't fit the bill. It takes a fallen hero and a broken family for Cora to realise that maybe perfection doesn't exist and she can be blissfully happy with her own imperfect version of love.
Unlike the previous books, this time around it was the girl with all the tattoos and piercings. I really liked this dynamic. I loved Cora being this burst of colour with a sharp mouth that didn't sugar coat the truth. And this was something that Rome needed. He and Cora got off on the wrong foot and Cora set Rome straight by telling him to stop wallowing and get his act together, that wouldn't have been so bad if she didn't highlight her point by pouring beer all over him! The clash of both their strong personalities made for some hot passion between the sheets. The chemistry between the two was palpable and the smexy times were hot.
Rome was looking for some direction and he found it in the most unlikely place. Brite, and ex-veteran himself, could recognise Rome's struggle and handed him a lifeline. I really liked this element of the story and it also incorporated Asa, Ayden's brother and I was intrigued about his character.
Cora had her own demons to face, she was convinced she could never give her heart away again as she barely survived it breaking the first time but she didn't count on Rome owning her heart from day one. Even though it killed me at times to see Rome hurting as he gave his all and Cora held a part of herself back, it was refreshing to read that it was the female of the duo being hesitant to declare her feelings and the hot sexy Alpha was showering her with his declarations of love. *sigh*
Cora wanted to fix every element of Rome's life and that included his broken family. Truths had to be faced and painful memories confronted head on. That was when my tears appeared. Rome's dream had me tearing up, it was so touching. Rome and Cora's relationship might have been accelerating really quickly but with some wise words from someone so dear to Rome, he knew it was right and meant to be.
Cora and Rome are my favourite couple to date. I don't know if it's because they started off so fiery or if it was Cora's burst of colour lighting up Rome's otherwise grey world. Whatever the reason, they were perfectly suited and I enjoyed watching them fall in love. I really didn't want to put this book down.
I enjoyed Jay's writing, it goes from strength to strength with each book and my highlighter was used a lot with Rome. There were so many beautiful passages and Jay created two equally broken characters but in two entirely different ways. I was rooting for both of them. I was caught off guard with the drama at the end but it worked so well, and I had a split second panic when I thought Jay was going to do the unthinkable and break my heart but luckily that wasn't the case.
It was nice to read about the other members of the gang, they are beginning to settle down and become a tighter knit, I liked reading about their relationship developments and how they worked as a group. With all the talk about Remy and what his life must have been like, I couldn't help but wonder what his story would have told. I would love to read more about him.
I must admit at the end of the story I wanted more from the epilogue, it does set up the story for the next book and that works as it makes me long for Nash's story but on the other hand I wanted more Cora and Rome, I wanted all the mushy stuff an epilogue usually holds. Their story will continue during the other books in the series but it would have been nice to experience what's to come from their point of view. With that being said, I love this couple dearly-the whole gang actually-and I can't wait to continue this journey with them.
Rome can be read as a standalone but I recommend readers start from the beginning and fall in love with one sexy bad boy at a time ;-)
"You went off to save the entire world, Rome, we just did the best we could while you were gone." ~ Nash
"Now that I wasn't needed any more I simply didn't know what to do with myself. That honestly terrified me more than any war zone or bar brawl with armed bikers ever could."
"Rome felt dangerous and exciting at the same time even if perfect was nowhere in the picture."
"And right now being with you is the one thing that feels solid and real . . . You're so full of colour, so vibrant you never get lost in all the grey in my head. I don't want to lose that."
"I could chase the shadows with him, as long as he was willing to let me bring the light in."
"She tasted sweet. She tasted like Redemption. She tasted like the future I didn't need to figure out any more."
"Happiness wasn't something I remembered bright and clear, but this feeling, it was powerful enough that I understood why men went to war over it, fought to the death for it."
"I realised now love didn't do any good if you held on to it in a death grip. It only had purpose, had power, when you had the courage to hand it over to someone else for safekeeping." ~Cora
Jay Crownover lives in Colorado, and is the author of the New York Times bestselling novels RULE and JET. ROME is the third in her hugely successful Marked Men series, and all three are available in paperback, with special new cover designs, 3rd July 2014.
Jay loves tattoos and body modification, and incorporating what she sees into her writing. She loves to read, particularly any kind of great story that engages; and of course a pretty, tatted-up bad boy always makes it better.
@JayCrownover | jaycrownover.com