Author: Jay Crownover
Series: Marked Men #5
Release Date: October 21, 2014
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.
Jay Crownover has scored another touchdown with Rowdy. With each addition to the Marked Men Series, I fall more in love with Jay’s crazy little world and the vibrant characters that call it home. I feel like I waited forever on Rowdy, but it was undoubtedly worth the wait. When we hear his story a lot about this character begins to make sense. His past definitely lends itself to a jaded and guarded man, but one that is nevertheless endearing and absolutely worthy. Rowdy and Salem’s story was unexpectedly intimate, dealing with their inimitable relationship as children and the realities of where life has taken them since. Salem and Rowdy certainly found their match in each other. The chemistry between these two characters is undeniable and their emotional connection and overwhelming lust put me right over the edge. I was addicted to Rowdy and Salem. I had to see their story through in one sitting because there was no way I was walking away until the book was finished. When these two fiery personalities go head to head things get intense and raw, ensuring a dynamic and enchanting story.
“One girl burned you a long time ago, so that means all girls are made of the same flammable material? Gotta say, I always thought you were smarter than that.”
It is not possible to enjoy getting to know Rowdy and Salem any more than I already did. Jay Crownover delivered two incredibly unique and enthralling characters with this pair. From the inside out they live their lives unapologetically, making their own rules as they go. I loved finally getting inside Rowdy’s head. Since we first met him, he’s been an enigma, the retro cool artist with a deep soul. I connected with Salem on a lot of different levels, in a way she reminded me a little bit of each one of the Marked ladies. She’s constantly searching for a place to call home like Shaw, feisty and strong like Cora, self-dependent like Ayden, and like Saint, desperate to escape the voices of the past telling her she’ll never be good enough. Jay Crownover created Salem with so many different and distinct layers that I couldn’t help but get caught up in discovering them. Both characters exhibit tremendous growth over the course of this story, keeping me captivated by their journey.
“You started all of this, Salem. You don’t get to back away because you don’t like what’s hiding in the dark once the light you’re shining hits it.”
Jay Crownover did an amazing job with Rowdy. The plot caught me by surprise several times when it took unexpected turns allowing small things to become a much more significant piece of the storyline. Much like Nash and Saint, Salem and Rowdy have a history, but theirs runs much deeper and holds both happy memories and hurt, serving to further complicate their developing feelings. I enjoyed the familiarity that seemed to settle around Rowdy and Salem, it made it easy to get lost in their history and picture their future. In true Jay Crownover fashion, it wouldn’t be a Marked Men book without the continual growth of the previous couples. I adored watching this family expand with the introduction of several new characters that have me incredibly excited for the spin-off series! I even found myself getting emotional a few times, clearly attached to this beautifully broken bunch. Rowdy is yet another testament to Jay Crownover’s incredible talent. Her ability to evoke emotion, genuine character development, and riveting storylines never cease to blow me away.
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Don’t miss the rest of the Marked Men series:
Rule (Marked Men #1)
Jet (Marked Men #2)
Rome (Marked Men #3)
Nash (Marked Men #4)
Asa (Marked Men #6)