Author: Jay Crownover
Publisher by: William-Morrow Publishing
Published on: October 21, 2014
Genres: Contemporary Romance, New Adult Romance, Romance
Page Count: 416
The New York Times and USA Today bestselling Marked Men series continues with this sizzling, sexy story of love, heartbreak, fate, and second chances.
After the only girl he ever loved told him that he would never be enough, Rowdy St. James knocked the Texas dust off his boots and set out to live up to his nickname. A good ol’ boy looking for good times and good friends, Rowdy refuses to take anything too seriously, especially when it comes to the opposite sex. Burned by love once, he isn’t going to let himself trust a woman again. But that’s before his new co-worker arrives, a ghost from the past who’s suddenly making him question every lesson he ever learned.
Salem Cruz grew up in house with too many rules and too little fun—a world of unhappiness she couldn’t wait to forget. But one nice thing from childhood has stayed with her; the memory of the sweet, blue-eyed boy next door who’d been head over heels in love with her little sister.
Now, fate and an old friend have brought her and Rowdy together, and Salem is determined to show him that once upon a time he picked the wrong sister. A mission that is working perfectly—until the one person that ties them together appears, threatening to tear them apart for good.
Rowdy St. James and Salem Cruz are hard not to love. A story of firsts and lasts, finding home, sexy tattoos and an even sexier couple that warms not only your Kindle but your heart.
I swear with every Jay Crownover book I read….I highlight and bookmark more and more. This time…if you see white on the pages it’s a miracle. Rome is still my favorite but Rowdy does give him a run for his money. Screw that, who am I kidding, I love all them. They all make me sigh and swoon for different reasons but I love them all more than words can describe.
It was really nice to finally get Rowdy’s story. He has been in the background for all 4 books, always being the calm voice of reason and now we get to see what makes him tick. Rowdy’s book starts off where the ending of Nash does. Rowdy is evading Salem for all its worth because he’s angry and not ready to deal with all the feelings that accompany talking and interacting with her.
“No one had ever said relationships were easy, but somehow I didn’t think they would be this hard or this heartbreaking either.”
Why is our sweet, calm, doesn’t believe in love and voice of reason Rowdy so angry you say? Well it seems him and Salem go way back, all the way to Loveless, TX. They met when Rowdy was 10 years old and he got placed with foster parents across the street from Salem and her younger sister, Poppy. He ends up falling in love with both girls for completely different reasons. When both Cruz sister’s end up breaking his heart and leaving him more alone than when he started but he ends up getting taken in by Phil **who I miss sooo very much*** and beginning his journey in the Marked family we know and love.
“That girl had ruined me once when I was young. I would never forget the way I felt when she walked away. I didn’t want Salem anywhere near me. I couldn’t trust myself not to fall back into caring about her, trusting her, being captivated by her, only to have her move on once again, leaving me empty and alone.”
Salem is strong willed, independent, sexy, sultry, tattooed girl that has never forgotten her closest friend, Rowland St. James. The only person other than her sister she truly loves. When she gets the call from Nash asking her to come to Denver and join the Marked family, she packs her life and goes looking for the boy with cerulean eyes that stole her heart years before.
“He was a kindred spirit, and he made my heart smile when my day-to-day was so dreary and desolate.”
This begins the road Rowdy and Salem take to find their way to each other. The road is not easy but completely worth the journey. A journey that not only consists of them finding a way to each other but also finding the way to themselves.
“You are the last person I want to kiss. The last woman I want in my bed. I want you to be the last girl that touches any and all parts of me, Salem, and that means so much more than a first.”
I must say Jay always seems to get better and better with every book. Every single time she blows my mind with her creation of characters. I always feel like as I flip to the first page of my Kindle I have entered Colorado. I become part of the Marked family for a short period of time and I love every minute of it. Rowdy and Salem’s story is no exception to that feeling, if anything it only got stronger. You can tell that Jay is starting wrap up this series and she doing phenomenal job. We will be happy to touch base with all your favorite Marked men and the women that love them. They truly are the definition of family and I was so happy to see them all get just get stronger with every glimpse you got into their lives.
WHEN I PUT THE key he had given me in the door to his apartment it felt like the end of a long journey. Really it was only a little over twelve hours and I had stopped to nap once along the way, but it still felt like too long since I had seen his face or been able to touch all that toned and tattooed skin. Jimbo greeted me at the door when I pushed it open. His tongue lolled out of his mouth and he jumped up and put his paws on my legs. He was going to be huge when he finally grew into his fuzzy body and I was overwhelmed at how happy I was to see him. I dropped to my knees and rubbed my face in his neck as he licked me all over my face. I was obviously missed and I had to say it was just one more reason I knew I was finally where I was supposed to be. It was late, so the apartment was dark.
I checked the dog’s food and water, trying to be quiet in case Rowdy was already asleep. I was winding my way toward his bedroom when a haphazardly discarded sketch pad lying on the couch caught my eye in the dim light. I paused for a minute to pick it up and felt my heart stop and then start to race as I flipped through the first few pages. There were a couple of drawings that were obviously for clients, tattoos that hadn’t made it from paper to skin yet, but most of the pristine white pages were covered with images wearing my face. There was mermaid me, and naughty- sailor- girl me. There was sassy Indian girl me with long Pocahontas braids and there was sexy devil me standing next to angelic me. There were dozens of them all in different shapes and sizes, but every single image was undoubtedly modeled after my distinct look. I wasn’t sure if he had drawn them all over this last week while I had been gone or over the months we had been chasing each other in circles.
Either way it made my heart swell and the full certainty that I was it for him settle deep inside my bones. I set the pad down and tiptoed through the hall. Jimbo took one look at where I was going and huffed out a disgusted- sounding snort. The poor guy had learned early on that he wanted no part of what happened between his humans when they were together in the bedroom. The light was off and Rowdy was sprawled on his stomach across the covers. His blond hair was sticking up everywhere and he hand one arm bent up under his head. The only thing that could have made the sight better would have been if he hadn’t bothered with the black boxers before crashing out.
Even with them obscuring the view, I couldn’t complain. I let out a breathless sigh and crept closer so that I could lean over and touch my lips to that anchor on the side of his neck. I felt his pulse leap and tasted the salt on his skin as he murmured sleepily and rolled over onto his back. Those infinitely blue eyes glowed at me in the dark as a grin pulled up the corner of his mouth.
Check Out the entire Marked Men Series!