Source: Received an eBook from the author in exchange for a fair and honest review.
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 southern charmer has changed his ways. Dying can have that effect on someone but the only one that still needs to be convinced is Asa. Or rather, he needs to be convinced that he deserves to be happy after the things he's done. He certainly isn't right for the sexy cop, Royal.
This is a wonderful ending to the Marked Men series and I really enjoyed it. I love these characters to much and I was never in need of convincing about Asa. His actions have proven him. Royal tends to agree with me. Mostly, she just wants him. So she goes on the chase. And while Asa runs, he's only barely out of reach because he wants her just as much.
I really enjoyed seeing the other characters from this series. A few events in their lives was woven into this story and it was like seeing old friends. One particular event with poor Rule was adorable. I have him so clearly in my mind that the scene was very vivid. I was silly giggly about it all.
Some books play a predictable route as the couple get together then something breaks them apart and they finally work things out. Not so much with this one. Leave it to Jay to re-invent the pattern. Of course, I can't tell you how but this one is unique. When they get together, what breaks them up and how they end up - all jumping outside the box. That would be Jay for you.
If you've read the rest of these books, they you already know you want this one. If you still haven't read about the Marked Men, then you should. I loved the last couple pages about the marks on these incredible men. Not all of those marks are ink & tat but life. So is the world we are living in as well and this one mirrors that world well.
I gulped and fully expected Royal to stop what she was doing but she didn’t, and she didn’t bother to look up as I strangled out that we were fine and just needed the bill. The girl gave me a look full of knowing and, if I wasn’t mistaken, approval before she walked off. I curled my fingers at the back of Royal’s head until they were hopelessly tangled in her hair, and lifted her head off of my shoulder enough that I could kiss her. Her hand dipped even lower in my pants and I groaned against her tongue.
“You need to stop.” I rasped the words out because I really didn’t want to say them. We were in a public place, and while she might have a wild side, I doubted she would let me throw her on the cocktail table and fuck her like everything inside me was screaming to do.
She sank her teeth into my bottom lip hard enough, and when she coupled that with her soft hand squeezing the base of my dick, I was ready to come on the spot. “You need to stop, too.”
Her message was clear. She was all for games as long as they were fun and sexy, but she wasn’t going to be a pawn, and if I wanted to enjoy her while I had her, I better get my shit together real quick. She withdrew her hand, skating up under the hem of my shirt and letting her fingers run over the ridges of my abs. The scrape of her nails across my skin had me ready to go off like a rocket, so I threw enough money on the table to cover our bill and probably the table next to ours and dragged her out of the warehouse like it was on fire.
She laughed and it did something to the inside of my chest. I had put tears in her eyes first, but somehow she was amazing enough to understand the stuff I did better than I did myself, and now she was laughing about the disaster of it all. It was like the sun coming through the clouds on a stormy day. She was everything bright the darkness tried to swallow and I wanted inside of her so bad that I couldn’t see straight.
I pushed her up against the side of the battered car and closed my mouth over hers. I tunneled my fingers through the hair at her temples and kissed her with every bit of urgency I had. The funny thing was, I had to let go of some of the other stuff I was always holding on to in order to get the message across to her, and with the press of her mouth against mine, the brush of her tongue across my own, I couldn’t explain it but I suddenly felt lighter.
“I want to take you home and take you to bed.” I sounded rough. There was no smoothness in my typically practiced twang. I sounded impatient and needy, two things I don’t think I had ever been before this girl.
About the Author...
Jay Crownover is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the Marked Men series. She will also be introducing the dark and sexy world of The Point in a new series this summer starting with Better When He’s Bad. 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.
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