Marked Men Series:
Rome: Rome Archer and Cora Lewis
Sometimes the wrong choice can be just right . . .
Fun and fearless, Cora Lewis knows how to keep her tattooed “bad boy” friends at the Marked in line. But beneath all that flash and sass is a broken heart. Cora won’t let herself get burned again. She’s waiting to fall in love with the perfect man—a baggage-free, drama-free guy ready for commitment. Then she meets Rome Archer.
Rome Archer is as far from perfect as a man can be. He’s stubborn, rigid, and bossy. And he’s returned from his final tour of duty more than a little broken. Rome’s used to filling many roles: big brother, doting son, supersoldier—but none of those fit anymore. Now he’s just a man trying to figure out what to do with the rest of his life while keeping the dark demons of war and loss at bay. He would have been glad to suffer through it alone, until Cora comes sweeping into his life and becomes a blinding flash of color in a sea of gray. Perfect may not be in the cards, but perfectly imperfect could just last forever . . .
Rome by Jay Crownover is the third book in the Marked Men series. Rome is the eldest Archer brother who has been in the Army for pretty much his entire adult life, he’s now out of the Army and having troubles adjusting to civilian life. He’s moody, angry and flies off the handle at anyone in his path and Cora is sick of it and is not afraid to let him know. Rome as a character actually grows a lot through the book, another Vet kind of takes him under his wing and helps to set him straight. Rome has his moments where he lapsesue to his PTSD but through the book he goes from angry on the brink of a drinking problem to fairly adjusted. I did like Rome as a character, he would be pretty tough to dislike, he’s the protective older brother who has always done right by everyone else but has fallen on hard times. He’s flawed just enough to keep him human and likeable. Cora, while I also liked her, she doesn’t really grow all that much as a character she is pretty much the same through the whole book, which isn’t bad as she is a likeable, sassy character. She’s a bit of a firecracker, she is also fiercely protective of her loved ones much like Rome. She had a super bad break up years ago and since then she has been uber protective of her heart, which causes some strife between her and Rome. She demands that he let her in, but she isn’t as willing to reciprocate but Rome is pretty patient with her in this regard. I didn’t really understand why she was still hung up on the ex after so many years and it got a bit annoying but that was minor. The sexual chemistry between Cora and Rome was pretty hot but the relationship itself didn’t always feel natural. The story is also fairly entertaining, it kept moving along but it follows the same formula as the first two books in the series. The story is different but the theme remains the same which if Crownover isn’t careful with this it may become too repetitive in any future books.
I didn’t really have that big of an issue with the characters or really the story itself all that much but where I did have issues is with the details in this book and for me the details may make or break a book. I had a field day with my Goodreads status updates as I moved through this book, the details just got so bad or outrageous in parts on top of that the editing like with Rule, was just bad. Now to be fair this was an ARC copy so I hope some of the editing issues got taken care of, but usually an ARC while has some issues it tends to be pretty close to the finished product. I swear Crownover is queen of the run on sentence and awkward sentence structure. I think there was even a random colon in the middle of a sentence for no reason at all. She’s a fairly good story teller but as a writer it definitely wouldn’t hurt to tighten up and clean up her actual writing. Now on to some of the ridiculous: So in the beginning of the book Cora is talking about how she is excellent in business and that she is a few credits short of her MBA but in the next few sentences she goes on to tell how after her break up her senior year she fell off the school wagon and barely graduated. How is barely graduating undergrad, a few credit short of an MBA? Does Crownover realize that they are separate programs? Then there were the constant references to Rome’s size and how hot he is, I think if I was to do a search for hot and big in this book, it may take an hour for my Kindle just to gather all of the references. LOL. One of my biggest contemporary pet peeves is front and center in this book, unprotected sex. Cora and Rome have sex twice unprotected before they even talk about possible pregnancy and disease is never mentioned. I just find it irresponsible; the convo should have at least been after the first oops. If you want to get a character preggers on purpose make the condom break at least then there is an attempt at being responsible. This always just skeeves me out a little, at least Rome and Cora know each other, kind of, so it’s not quite as bad. I think one of my favorite ridiculousness’s in the book was when Rome’s eyes got described as he was about to climax. He has blue eyes but when he climaxes silver shoots through his eyes. Am I reading a paranormal romance? There is not a single other reference to Rome having silver in his eyes, but somehow when he’s about to come silver comes out of nowhere and streaks through his eyes. Come on, this happens a lot in paranormal where a characters eyes will change color with strong emotion but contemporary, please, it’s not happening. There were so many moments in this book where I was groaning or laughing from the incorrect information or the just plain outrageous. I think this is part of what kept me reading, just to see what would go wrong next, because I almost did DNF it a couple of times. Even though there were so many issues, I have to admit even with everything that went wrong with this book and even knowing that the next book will probably be just as bad I am still going to read Nash. I must be a masochist but damn it, Nash is kind of my favorite of all the “bad boys”.
*ARC provided through Edelweiss for an honest review no other compensation was provided.