by Jay Crownover


When Jay Crownover publishes, I purchase, stop and absorb – I don’t know how else to describe it but The Marked Men series have me hooked!!

I could say the series gets better with each book but to be honest that would be a lie – because I don’t think I could pick between them, each of these guys and the fabulous ladies that share their lives are simply awesome.

Book five brings us Rowdy’s story and what a story it is.

Rowdy covers almost every emotion known to man and then some, he takes your heart and squeezes every ounce that he can from you and just when you think he has finished, Salem takes over and beats you into submission.

History has a lot to answer for when it comes to Rowland (Rowdy) St James, but when his past walks herself right back into his life again, can this loveable cowboy, let her in and open up enough for her to make it up to him!

The story is essentially one of learning to live life to the full, to let go of the past and to love unconditionally. Easier said than done I hear you say but what both Rowdy and Salem have to overcome is the little things that live in the back of your brain, you know the niggly little fuckers that no matter how much you want to move forward, keep dragging you back to the pain of the past – shutting them up is never easy but if Rowdy and Salem can manage that they may just have the chance to have something beautiful together.

Rowdy is a stand out guy, hell he has had to be, everyone he has every loved has left him, starting with the most painful of them all, his mom. But it was losing Salem 10 years ago that smarted the most, she was his lifeline, his best friend and he never really got over her walking away.

So her walking back in is a big deal but this cowboy ain't going down the same road again, a love them and leave them strategy has kept his heart safe so far – and that suits him just fine. But Salem is in town for one thing and one thing only – Rowdy! She will do whatever it takes to get her man, but when he tells her exactly how he feels and what happened between him and her sister Poppy – it is Salem that is shaken to the core.

The book covers a wide variety of subjects that to some would be uneasy subject matter for this type of novel but I think that is why Jay Crownover’s books stand out, she isn’t afraid to pitch her prowess a little wide of the mark and to hope that we the readers will get the sincerity with which the subject is addressed. The situation with Salem and Poppy and their father was never going to be an easy topic to cover, as was the relationship between Poppy and her Husband but I have to say that it was handled with absolute aplomb!!

Bravo Jay for showing the world as it truly is, bad stuff happens to good people for no reason.

I loved this book, I loved their journey together and the fact that they handled in their own way the hurdles that life placed in their way. I loved the interaction with the rest of the guys and the storylines that were laid for future books.

I liked the fact that new friendships where forged and new characters were introduced, this eclectic family just keeps on growing and evolving.

I like Asa and am looking forward to his book next, the fledgling relationship between him and Royal already has my interest piqued!!