Author: Jay Crownover
Series: Marked Men #3
Publication date: January 7th, 2014
Synopsis (according to Goodreads):
Cora Lewis is a whole lot of fun, and she knows how to keep her tattooed bad boy friends in line. But all that flash and sass hide the fact that she’s never gotten over the way her first love broke her heart. Now she has a plan to make sure that never happens again: She’s only going to fall in love with someone perfect.
Rome Archer is as far from perfect as a man can be. He’s stubborn and rigid, he’s bossy and has come back from his final tour of duty fundamentally broken. Rome’s used to filling a role: big brother, doting son, super soldier; and now none of these fit anymore. Now he’s just a man trying to figure out what to do with the rest of his life while keeping the demons of war and loss at bay. He would have been glad to suffer it alone, until Cora comes sweeping into his life and becomes the only color on his bleak horizon.
Perfect isn't in the cards for these two, but imperfect might just last forever...
I received a physical copy of this book from the publishers in exchange for participation in a blog tour as well as an honest review.
I took part in a blog tour for the first two books in Jay Crownover's esteemed Marked Men series back in November. I fell in love with the men in her stories as well as the New Adult genre in it's entirety. I started reading nothing but New Adult afterwards. Knowing that the sequel to Jet and Rule was set to be released soon I watched all the various blog tour hosts I am subscribed to in hopes of the book being picked up for a tour. I was delighted to find that the same host that featured the first two books, TLC book tours, was also doing a tour for Rome. I e-mailed the host and begged to be let in on the tour to which she accepted. I had heard about Rome in the first two books but knew I wanted to know more about the eldest Archer boy. I knew there was more to him than just being the carefree man who loved his family and the military with all his heart. There had to be more behind the handsome mask.
Rome feels he was born to be in the military. He was made for leadership and he was made to be a warrior for his country. When a terrible accident results in him being discharged from active duty and the military entirely, he has no idea what to do with his life. He comes back to his family and feels they have all moved on in their lives without him. He doesn't know where he fits. He doesn't know how to accept the secrets his dead brother kept hidden from him even after his death. He doesn't know how to forget all the horrible things he saw in the wasteland of a desert he was working out of. Rome is a man with no future and a past that haunts him. His world is darkness and shadows until a bright light, in the form of a smart-mouthed tattooed pixie, comes to his rescue.
Cora has been hurt before. The man she thought was her end all turned out to be nothing but a philandering snake. Her life was in ruins when she came to work at the Marked with Rule and the guys. She slowly, after five years, found her way back to some semblance of a normal life. She had decided that the next guy she gets involved with will be perfect. He is out there somewhere and she is happy to wait as long as it takes to be with him. Rome is anything but perfect. He's damaged physically and emotionally. He would rather drink his troubles away then let anyone help him. Cora will not tolerate Rome or anyone else causing trouble for her family and she sets forth to rid Rome of his demons in any way she can. But as she tries to help him she starts to realize just how attracted to him she truly is. She is having a terrible time fighting off the feelings that keep bombarding her for the scarred soldier.
Rome and Cora are an unlikely pair. Cora is spontaneous and energetic, Rome is strict and consistent in the way he handles things. Neither of them expected to develop feelings for them let alone, nor did Rome bank on finding trouble in the one place he found solidarity with other ex-military. A young biker is unhappy with Rome's appearance in his domain and he will do anything he can to pay Rome back for getting him eighty-sixed out of his gang. Even threaten the woman Rome is starting to fall for.
I thought I loved Rule until I met Jet. Now meeting Rome, I think Jet and Rule have fallen off my radar. Rome is such a strong man with some really horrible demons. Cora is the balm the wounded soldier needs so badly. I love this pairing. Better than Rule and Shaw and even Ayden and Jet. With so many ex-military out there, it's hard not to see how realistic this story is. The struggles of transitioning from soldier to citizen as well as the night terrors and trauma related to simply witnessing death and destruction. I admire Rome and I admire Jay Crownover for creating a character that is so relateable in this day and age.
Rome is a harrowing story of the aftermath of a soldier who has gone to war and how he attempts to find a future and possibly even the love of a good woman.