Blog Tour and Giveaway: Rome: Jay Crownover

Rome (Marked Men #3)
Publication Date: January 7, 2013

Cora Lewis is a whole lot of fun, and she knows how to keep her tattooed bad boy friends in line. But all that flash and sass hide the fact that she’s never gotten over the way her first love broke her heart. Now she has a plan to make sure that never happens again: She’s only going to fall in love with someone perfect.

Rome Archer is as far from perfect as a man can be. He’s stubborn and rigid, he’s bossy and has come back from his final tour of duty fundamentally broken. Rome’s used to filling a role: big brother, doting son, super soldier; and now none of these fit anymore. Now he’s just a man trying to figure out what to do with the rest of his life while keeping the demons of war and loss at bay. He would have been glad to suffer it alone, until Cora comes sweeping into his life and becomes the only color on his bleak horizon.

Perfect isn’t in the cards for these two, but imperfect might just last forever . . .
I fell in love with the series and characters when I read Rule and I have been highly anticipating his older brother, Rome's story.

Rome Archer came back from his last tour from the Army a changed man. He is lost, angry, still grieving, and feels powerless in his own life. He is not sure where his life is heading and all of his family and friends dynamics changed while he was gone. So now he is "Mr. no-Fun" with a chip on his shoulder and coping in unhealthy ways. He is used to being the one who takes care of everyone, but he does not feel needed anymore. His nightmares consume him and his head is full of gray. 
Cora is sassy, spunky, outpspoken, and not afraid to call it like she sees it. And she does not hesitate to get on Rome's case. She has been hurt before and does not plan on settling for any less than the perfect man to build her perfect future. Rome is nowhere close to perfect. 

Their interactions began as heated and full of tension. But one night, the tension explodes into something more. Their chemistry is off the charts. And Cora's colorful persona starts to bring Rome out of his gray world. But nightmares and regrets are hard to dismiss. And her insecurities from the past make her wary. They have issues and struggles to deal with. Neither of them are perfect. But they have to be willing to let all the walls down and open up to even be able to find an imperfect compromise.

Cora has always intrigued me and I loved her in this book. Her little sprite-like stature with colorful tattoos and huge personality just shines. She  is just as bad-ass as Rome. They may fight and hold back at times, but no one is going to mess with any of their "family" or the other one and get away with it. They are both protector type personalities. And they both really needed both saving and protecting at various times. 

Rome just won my heart. He has always been the strong, loyal, tough alpha. He is so multi-faceted. He struggles so much with his inner demons, but is really a good guy. He is vulnerable and in pain, but hates to admit it.  He has so much coming down on him that it is hard to stay positive. But he can also be sweet, loving, protective, and passionate. Sure he makes mistakes, but this whole story is his process of rebuilding his life and coming to terms with who he is and who he wants to be. 

I loved this couple and found myself holding my breath hoping that could navigate their hurdles and come out stronger. They had a lot to get through and it was not easy. I also enjoyed seeing more with Rome's brother, Rule and his girlfriend, Shaw and their continuing story. Rome and Rule are both still dealing with loss and their healing is ongoing. I love the relationship with the two brothers and how they fight both with each other and for each other. 

All of the books in this series have some drama, angst, and self discovery. But this one really delved into dealing with trauma and loss, finding a sense of self, and opening up.  It might not have been as over the top dramatic and angsty as Rule and Jet, but it was emotional and dealt with mature issues and problems. It was about Rome coming to terms with a new reality and finding his place in it. It was about redemption and hope. And about two people who on the surface seemed opposite, but underneath were both strong, compassionate, and loving. But it still did have it's share of drama and heartache, as well as humor. These characters can truly crack me up and I love the rapport with their outspoken, foul-mouthed pseudo family. It had me tense, frustrated, holding my breath, swooning, tearing up, laughing, and emotional. So I felt like I went on another journey with characters and I loved every minute of it.

I love this series and Jay's writing style. It flows well in both points of view and lets you see down into their insecure, damaged souls. The characters are fully developed, broken, compassionate, and devoted. And she teased us even more with Nash, Rowdy, and even Asa in this one. I could see glimpses into their pasts and upcoming stories. I cannot wait! Nash is up next and she already has me intrigued by what is coming up for him. 

Thanks to Jay Crownover, William Morrow an imprint of HarperCollins Publishing , and Edelweiss  for providing me an arc in exchange for an honest review. 

Mmm…HELLO, ROME Archer! You my sweet, sweet broken man are my new favorite distraction! Move on over boys, there's a new book boyfriend in town...

I’ve been anticipating Rome’s story since I first fell in love with him as Rule’s older brother; there's just something about dark and dangerous military men that immediately captures my attention. Well, Rome’s back from his latest tour, and Ms. Crownover has decided it’s finally time we get a little more up close and personal with this rough and tough commando who has a heart of gold.

Ms. Crownover's execution of this wounded soldier is, simply put, stunning. 

When we meet Rome, we’re teased with bits and pieces of a fractured warrior. I’m beyond pleased with the way the author’s well-written depth and development of this character took the anticipation of this tease to a whole new level. War and tragedy has taken the ultimate toll, gone is the easy, fun loving brother we once knew and standing in the same place is a defender so consumed by guilt that he no longer abides by words such as boundary or control. As a result, Rome's demons have left him damaged in ways no one will truly understand. And as I sit here reminiscing over his inner conflicts my heart begins that familiar ache all over again. Rome’s absolute lack of solace throughout the book shattered me many times over, and I found it truly heartbreaking to witness the fall of such a steadfast and heroic man.

I’m wicked excited to say...I liked it, I loved it, I want some more of it…

I adored Rome and Cora’s story; it broke and mended my heart in so many ways. I'll admit to being nervous when I realized what the twist was as I wasn't sure it would work for me. In all honesty, it isn't a story line I am very fond of. With that said, I really wish you could see the smile on my face as I tell you that they were one of the most frustrating and delicious couples I have read in a while. Seriously, I’m not sure whether I wanted to shake the living daylights out of them or hug them more. Rome’s without a doubt alpha, broody, and altered; Cora’s a cheeky, candid, kick ass and ask questions later kind of chick. Therefore, when you blend these two together you’ll get one hell of an explosive chemistry. A chemistry filled with amazing tension, high running emotions,  sexy as hell steam, and a tenderness that’ll leave you breathless. There was so much about these two that I absolutely loved, and then there were those moments that made me want to strangle the two of them while screaming put your f****** big girl/boy panties on and get the hell over it. Ugh, this was one of those books where I had a strong love/hate relationship with the characters.  However, this was a double edged sword because I also thought the best part about this duo is their “imperfections.” On the surface, these two were all wrong for each other, but once those layers began to unravel and you got past their facade, it won't take you long to realize they were a couple whose idiosyncrasies just seemed to balance the other out, making them the perfect pair, in my opinion.

What I loved the most about this book and couple is that while Rome and Cora offered us angst, it wasn't that all up in your face kind. Instead, it's the kind that gradually sneaks up on you staying with you forever. They were worth every bit of the anticipation and build up their character promised.

As always, Ms. Crownover delivered her brand of delicious alpha men who never fail to wrap me up in their tempting and descriptive worlds. 

If you've been following my reviews for this series, you'll know that I'm completely addicted to this author's writing style. It's no secret that Rule’s been sitting high on my book boyfriend shelf for a while now, and well I think he may have just met his match. Now Rome is right up there proudly sitting next to him. This fact makes me giddy since I can't seem to get enough of her effortless and entertaining alpha males. Not to mention it gives me the confidence in knowing that any other male following in their footsteps will be just as swoon worthy!

So without further ado, Jay Crownover comes as a very high recommendation from me. My only complaint is that it isn’t April yet…I WANT and NEED some Nashville as well as Asa (who Jay made me fall completely in love with)!

Thanks to Jay Crownover, William Morrow an imprint of HarperCollins Publishing, and Edelweiss for providing me an arc in exchange for an honest review.

The third book in Jay's Marked Men series, Rome may be my favorite so far. 

I loved Rome. He starts the story so lost. He isn't sure where he fits now that he isn't in the military fighting for freedom. His brother is all grown up and doesn't need him playing protector any longer, and his sleep is regularly interrupted by nightmares. He can't figure out where he fits in and as a result, the surly, angry Rome we've seen glimpses of in the other books emerges. He recognizes that he doesn't know where he fits but doesn't know how to find a place now that people don't need him in the same way. 

While the main bulk of the journey is Rome's, Cora has her own healing to do over the course of the book too. Heartbroken by a cheating fiancee, she is waiting for Mr. Perfect and refuses to cave on her sky-high expectations. Her spunky attitude had me chuckling several times throughout the book, right from the beginning, but she also had me frustrated by her inability to move past her image of a perfect man. An image that even her friends discourage her from searching for. 

I loved the contrasts between the two main characters too. Cora is such a free spirit with her colorful tattoos and body piercings. On the other hand, Rome is still so caught up in his military life. He still keeps his hair cut short and his skin is not inked. He is physically the opposite of her ex. The interactions between Rome and Cora, even before they are an item, set up the opposite nature of their physical beings. As far as personalities? They're pretty darn similar. Loyal, family-center (though Cora's is chosen family while Rome's is blood family), and stubborn. 

I hit the halfway mark and could have called the story done. BUT I also knew this ride wasn't over even though it seemed like they have everything figured out. And oh no. They still had some bumps and twists to maneuver before their story could be complete. 

I was sucked into the world in Rome. It's been several months since I read Rule and Jet, but I don't remember falling so completely in love with either of the other couples so quickly. Whether it was Rome's military past or just the combination of characters, I loved them immediately and wanted them together because they just made the other so much better. 

Thanks to Jay Crownover, William Morrow an imprint of HarperCollins Publishing, and Edelweiss for providing me an arc in exchange for an honest review.
Other books in this series

Rule (A Marked Men Novel #1)

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Opposites in every way . . . except the one that matters

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

Jet (A Marked Men Novel #2)

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With his tight leather pants and a sharp edge that makes him dangerous, Jet Keller is every girl’s rock and roll fantasy. But Ayden Cross is done walking on the wild side with bad boys. She doesn’t want to give in to the heat she sees in Jet’s dark, haunted eyes. She’s afraid of getting burned from the sparks of their spontaneous combustion, even as his touch sets her on fire. 

Jet can’t resist the Southern Belle with mile-long legs in cowboy boots who defies his every expectation. Yet the closer he feels to Ayden, the less he seems to know her. While he’s tempted to get under her skin and undo her in every way, he knows firsthand what happens to two people with very different ideas about relationships. 

Will the blaze burn into an enduring love. . . or will it consume their dreams and turn them to ashes?

Jay Crownover 

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I'm supposed to share interesting details about myself so that my readers get to know me so here we go in no particular order: I'm an natural redhead even though I haven't seen my real hair color in years, I'm a big fan of tattoos and have a half sleeve on either arm and various other pieces all over the place, I've been in the bar industry since I was in college and it has always offered interesting insight into how men and women interact with each other, I have 3 dogs that are all crazy, I live in Colorado and love the snow, I love music and in all reality wish I could be a rock star not a writer or a bartender but I have zero talent so there is that.

I love to write, love to read and all I'm interested in is a good story with interesting characters that make the reader feel something.


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