Title: Rome (Marked Men #3)
Author: Jay Crownover
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Length: 9 hours and 55 mins
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 . . .
Story: 4 stars
In this third installment of the Marked Men series, we finally get to hear about Rome and Cora. They are the most unlikely of couples, and totally unexpected given that there wasn’t a hint of a story between them prior to this book, or my memory is short and I’ve forgotten about any reference. Anywho, this coupling, while strange at first, was really a rather sweet beautiful one.
From Rule’s story, I didn’t expect Rome to have developed so many demons along the way. Getting inside his head was a bit sad and tragic. I loved his chance meeting with the bar owner Bright (sp?), who set him on a new path. A path that eventually led him to the little Tinkerbell of the group, Cora.
The dynamics of the relationship between Rome and Cora confused me. First, they couldn’t stand to be around each other and there seemed to be zero attraction. One phone call and one night seems to change it all. Then they can’t keep their hands off each other.
While I wasn’t totally convinced of the dramatic change in their relationship, I was totally on board with how they handled their little surprise. There was not one moment of anger or regret. They handled it with class proving that they could put the priorities of another ahead of their own.
I also liked how Cora was a catalyst in Rule and Rome finally getting some closure over their brother’s death. That whole scene was very touching.
The only thing that really annoyed me was Cora’s insistence on finding the “perfect guy”. No one is perfect. Everyone around her tried to tell her this. But after getting burned by her former fiancee, I understand she wanted to protect her heart from further heartache. But she was a bit deluded to think that there would be someone out there with zero faults.
In the end, a sudden visit from her past and a traumatic incident finally woke her up. Personally, I’d like for once if characters didn’t have a tragic accident to force them to open their eyes and heart, but I guess that’s normal.
Performance: 4.5 stars
I’m not sure how involved with the audio book this author is, but I have to say, whoever selected these two narrators, Alicia Neil and William Sharpe, NAILED IT! Strangely, I have “read” this whole series via audio and this is the one where I felt the performance was the strongest.
The female narrator has the perfect New York accent. Her voice comes across as the spit-fire personality of the character, Cora, she is portraying.
And the male narrator – holy deep masculine voice Batman! Perfect for this wounded solider. I’m generally not a fan of when a male character tries to do the female voice, it usually sounds very awkward. But he managed to do a fairly good job with Cora’s voice, accent and all.
Both also did a great job with capturing the range of emotions of their characters.
Overall: 4.5 stars
This was my favorite book of the series so far. While Rome and Cora weren’t who they expected to be their perfect match, the relationship and love between them grew into something perfect.
This book also gives us a glimpse into Nash’s story, and a hint into Rowdy’s, with a brief mention of his past. And while I am looking forward to those stories, I am most excited about Asa’s story. Hated him in Jet, but his character does a 180 in this book and I can’t wait to learn more.