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.
I am beyond words after reading this book. I have expected this to be spectacular and extra special since it’s the last of the series, but nothing could have prepared me with how Asa and Royal’s story unfurled. Without a doubt, Asa is now my favorite out of all the Marked Men.
The man Asa Cross has become after having that second chance in life is just wonderful. He struggled with coming to terms with his past, but it actually shaped and helped him become who he turned out to be. His unending guilt ate him up. But a stunning, sexy redhead swooped in and shone brightly in the darkness that threatened to drown him back to his old ways. His chivalry and love for Royal was bursting at the seams that even I could feel everything. It was so overwhelming and calming at the same time. It’s like he had all these emotions pent up for so many years that it only took knowing and loving Royal for him to unleash all of that. He learned how loving means that you sometimes
have to sacrifice in order to protect that person. Asa is charmingly full of surprises, even until the very last moment. And I just loved him all the more for that. His subtle gestures of love and sweetness towards Royal was what pulled me in. The way he worshipped and cherished her, and how he finally realized he really has changed for the better just made me adore him more. The tenderness he had towards the redheaded cop that he wasn’t aware of did crazy and stupid things to my heart.
Royal Hastings was a gorgeous cop who felt like she always came up short in doing her job, especially when her best friend and partner almost died right before her eyes because of an encounter that had gone wrong. She blamed herself for what happened that night and for quite
some time, she felt a little wild and just wanted to feel free and forget all that. She wanted to feel
good, and a certain beautiful hunk of a man with a smooth Southern drawl is the only one who
can actually make her feel that way. It was a bit ironic how a cop and an ex-criminal can make things work. It seemed so impossible. Especially when that cop happened to be the one to snap the handcuffs on the wrists of the said ex-criminal and haul him at the back of her police car at one point. But I guess they were more similar in more ways than one. Though on different levels, they were both broken and looking for a lifeline to grab onto. Asa never truly knew how to live before he got to know Royal. His world was full of darkness before she came into the picture. And Royal, well, she finally got what she always wanted, dreamed of and chased for a very long time. And it was a risk she knew was worth taking.
Everything about this book was perfect. Although there were hot, sexy and intense moments between these two, it was more about the surge of emotions that captured me. For me, out of all
the other Marked Men books, this one has the most emotions involved and not just because it closes off the series. This is such a bittersweet wrap up for the Marked Men. That ending was so perfect. I felt like everything, not only Asa’s life, has come full circle in that epilogue. And Jay, those last words about how marks define you and separate you from the rest? How falling in love with the perfect person is the most lasting mark of all? This made me so damn emotional. I wanted to bawl and hug you and laugh all at the same time. This series has been such an amazing ride, I will continue to recommend it no matter how many years have already passed. And now, I’m so looking forward to the spin-off of the Marked Men—the Saints of Denver! I know you guys have an inkling as to whom the first book will be about, but as for now let’s just leave it at that and build the anticipation.
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 Saints of Denver. Like her characters, she is a big fan of tattoos. She loves music and wished 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.