Author: Jay Crownover
Series: Marked Men #1
Release Date: December 30, 2012
Sometimes opposites don’t just attract – they catch fire and burn the city down
Shaw Landon loved Rule Archer from the moment she laid eyes on him. Rule is everything a straight-A pre-med student like Shaw shouldn’t want – and the only person she’s never tried to please. She isn’t afraid of his scary piercings and tattoos or his wild attitude. Though she knows that Rule is wrong for her, her heart just won’t listen.
To a rebel like Rule Archer, Shaw Landon is a stuck-up, perfect princess – and his dead twin brother’s girl. She lives by other people’s rules; he makes his own. He doesn’t have time for a good girl like Shaw – even if she’s the only one who can see the person he truly is.
But a short skirt, too many birthday cocktails and spilled secrets lead to a night neither can forget. Now, Shaw and Rule have to figure out how a girl like her and a guy like him are supposed to be together without destroying their love…or each other.
Rule was the first book boyfriend I really fell hard for. I met Rule only a couple books into my exploration of the new adult genre. He was like nothing I’d ever read before and I was smitten. Jay Crownover has an incredible gift for writing characters that are so completely genuine and relatable that you can’t help but let them sneak away with a piece of your heart. Every character in this story was a carefully crafted entity with the potential to drive a story of their own. I loved watching as Rule and Shaw took this journey together and discovered not only each other but themselves as well. This novel is brimming with emotion and filled with angst. Rule is definitely one that will leave your heart permanently marked.
“It’s always been you even when I didn’t want it to be, even when it broke my heart over and over again. It’s just always been you.”
As far as characters go, Rule and Shaw are about as well developed and multidimensional as it gets. Jay Crownover really puts these two through the ringer over the course of this story. Not only has she given them both a tragic past to work through, but a laundry list of insecurities and uncertainty to deal with. Shaw is such an unexpected force of nature and I absolutely loved watching her come into her own and take charge of her life. Her individual transformation was heartwarming. Rule was constantly exposing new layers of himself as he confronted the aftermath of his past and revealed his personal devastation. My soul ached for him while I continued to swoon. His charming personality and good looks made him dangerous in all the best ways.
“I’ve never trusted anyone all the time. It’s the people I care about the most that always seem to do the most damage.”
I was unquestionably addicted to this story from the start. From the moment I met Shaw and Rule, their fiery connection and unbearable tension had me hooked. I knew their journey would not be an easy one, but Jay Crownover has managed to take the heartache and longing of unrequited love and turned it into an inimitable adventure that is uniquely theirs. This story is not only overflowing with raw emotion, but it is funny and sarcastic and absolutely adorable. The chemistry between Shaw and Rule sizzles while their stubborn personalities and acerbic wit makes for sexy flirtation and amusing banter. The secondary characters add splashes of color and serve to take this story to a whole new level with their own distinct personalities and fascinating relationships.
“I almost saw your boyfriend naked this morning.”
I laughed at the look on her face. “I don’t know what to say to that, you’re welcome?”
Jay Crownover made me a fan for life with this book and she opened my eyes to the absolute excitement of finding that perfect book boyfriend. Even though I’ve read this story a dozen times, I find myself giddy all over again as Shaw and Rule find their way. Each time, Rule takes another piece of my heart. I adore Jay’s writing style. Her ability to craft storylines, nurture characters, and create vivid and beautiful worlds from mere words is extraordinary. If you haven’t read the Marked Men series, you are seriously missing out. This book is undoubtedly worth the one-click. Rule is the first of Jay Crownover’s BBFs who will leave you indelibly marked.
Thank goodness for challenges that push me to read novels that I’ve had on my kindle forever, but kept getting moved to the bottom of the pile. I’ve heard tons of amazing things, and I’m happy to say that Rule from Jay Crownover lived up to every single piece of hype that has trickled into my head. This first book in the Marked Men series was addicting and genuine with characters who felt like they were your friends and certainly left me wanting more.
“I think I wanted it too much and you didn’t want it enough.”
I absolutely adored how both the hero and heroine were so broken in their own, completely different ways. Rule had a wall up, justifiably, and pushed everyone as far away as he could. On the other hand, Shaw wore her heart on her sleeve and just wanted to be loved. They both needed something from the other, allowing their personalities to complement each other so perfectly. There was a push and pull to their relationship that made you feel everything quite profoundly. It was almost like you had to keep diving, peeling back the layers of each individual, but also of their relationship, to get to see just how sweet that ending would be. It was a journey of growth and acceptance – and I loved every single second of it.
“I have been head over heels in love with both sides of him since I was fourteen years old. Of course I loved Remy, loved him like a brother, like the best friend and consummate protector he had been, but I loved Rule like it was my mission in life.”
One of the shining points of Rule for me was the way that Crownover handled the secondary characters. She wrote them as points of interest, giving readers enough to salivate for more. However, they never overtook Rule and Shaw’s story. They complemented it perfectly and in just the right parts, but I never felt my desire for their pieces overshadow my ache to see how Shaw and Rule would play out. It undoubtedly made my respect for the author and her talent increase tenfold.
“I liked the way she fit next to me, like she was custom-made to be right there.”
This book is now several years old by the time I’m reading it, but it reminded me why I fell in love with the New Adult genre to begin with. Crownover’s characters are lost and looking to find their way in the world. They meet friends who become family and provide a safe place to grow, and there’s something so relatable and genuine about that notion. If you haven’t met Rule and his crew of friends yet, I’m going to go ahead and say that you’ll be kicking yourself once you do. The personalities and the storyline were such perfection and readers, myself included, will be dying to dive into the next book in the series ASAP!
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Don’t miss the rest of the Marked Men series:
Jet (Marked Men #2)
Rome (Marked Men #3)
Nash (Marked Men #4)
Rowdy (Marked Men #5)
Asa (Marked Men #6)