Author: Jay Crownover
Series: Marked Men #6
Release Date: April 21, 2015
Jay Crownover’s New York Times and USA Today bestselling Marked Men series continues with the much anticipated story of southern charmer and certified criminal Asa Cross.
Starting over in Denver with a whole new circle of friends and family, Asa Cross struggles with being the man he knows everyone wants him to be and the man he knows he really is. A leopard doesn’t it change its spots and Asa has always been a predator. He doesn’t want to hurt those who love and rely on him, especially one luscious arresting cop who suddenly seems to be interested in him for far more than his penchant for breaking the law. But letting go of old habits is hard, and it’s easy to hit bottom when it’s the place you know best.
Royal Hastings is quickly learning what the bottom looks like after a tragic situation at work threatens not only her career but her partner’s life. As a woman who has only ever had a few real friends she’s trying to muddle through her confusion and devastation all alone. Except she can’t stop thinking about the sexy southern bartender she locked up. Crushing on Asa is the last thing she needs but his allure is too strong to resist. His long criminal record can only hurt her already shaky career and chasing after a guy who has no respect for the law or himself can only end in heartbreak.
A longtime criminal and a cop together just seems so wrong . . . but for Asa and Royal, being wrong together is the only right choice to make.
The Marked Men series has been an incredible journey of overcoming. Overcoming loss, overcoming fear, overcoming self-doubt, and overcoming the past. Asa’s story is a shining example of the complicated and unexpected journeys we have come to know and love from Jay Crownover. I’ll admit I was hesitant about Asa. It was hard to overlook his part in Ayden’s living nightmare, but Rome seemed to see something redeemable in him and that had me willing to hear his story. I adored the care and understandable hesitancy with which Jay Crownover revealed Asa’s story. She never swept his indiscretions or shorcomings under the rug, nor did she allow him to be instantly absolved of his sins. Asa’s journey was simply that, a journey. His story played out one step at a time complete with turns, detours, and roadblocks. Asa battled his inner demons and faced the reality of his previous choices in a way that was genuine and raw, until he had unquestionably earned his place amongst the Marked Men. Seeing him fit into the Marked family so effortlessly, especially when he couldn’t see his place amongst them at all, was satisfying and soothing.
“I was used to being able to read people like an open book, but she kept turning the page on me.”
Needless to say, Asa transformed completely over the course of this book. We saw bits and pieces of change in the previous books, but until we got inside his head and could understand the complete overhaul of his thought process, we couldn’t really grasp the significance of his growth. Jay Crownover did an amazing job at polishing this tarnished man into a perfectly flawed character that readers could relate to and invest in. Royal is Asa’s opposite in every way but at the heart of her, she’s just as lost and filled with self-doubt as Asa is. The dichotomy of her confident and sexy cop persona with the unsure and insecure woman inside the perfect shell was breathtaking. Jay Crownover forced Royal to accept both sides of her, reminding readers along the way that you can be successful and sure and still remain unable to appreciate your true worth. Asa and Royal couldn’t have been more different on paper, but as they inevitably crashed into each other the friction was downright undeniable. Jay Crownover keeps things scorching hot between these two, ensuring a blaze so big it will consume you completely.
“Trouble is always a whole lot of fun… until it isn’t anymore.”
Reading Asa was bittersweet. I hate that the Marked Men Series is coming to an end, even though I know these characters won’t disappear forever. I shed a few tears as I neared the end of the book; overwhelmed by the way this series had so obviously brought together this beautiful and eclectic family. It was only upon seeing how all of the couples have truly found their way and forged their own paths that I realized the extent of Jay Crownover’s gift. She has managed to not only write an entertaining and heartwarming series, but also one that I had lost myself in completely somewhere along the way. My emotions at experiencing Asa and Royal’s story are evidence of the special place each of the Marked Men characters holds in my heart and how inimitable they each are. One of the best things about Jay’s writing is her phenomenal foreshadowing and Asa had this in spades! She is a master at sewing seeds of possibility that leave you desperate for yet another story. In Asa alone, she has me dying to know more about Zeb, Sayer, Avett, Dominic, Poppy, Church, and Dixie. I found myself already making connections in my head and predicting which pair is going to be my favorite in the upcoming spin-off series. Asa is fantastically written, witty, honest, and unforgettable, bringing Jay Crownover’s Marked Men Series to a close with the spectacular fanfare it deserves.
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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)
Rowdy (Marked Men #5)
Jay Crownover is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the Marked Men series. She also introduced the dark and sexy world of The Point that started with BETTER WHEN HE’s BAD and is currently working on her newest series The Saint of Denver. Like her characters, she is a big fan of tattoos. She loves music and wishes she could be a rock star, but since she has no aptitude for singing or instrument playing, she’ll settle for writing stories with interesting characters that make the reader feel something. She lives in Colorado with her three dogs.