“We were marked and had been marked in unforgettable and forever ways. We were all better men for it. Marked men. None of us would have it any other way.”- Asa, Asa
My Thoughts:Marked Men is a new adult series by Jay Crownover consisting of six novels.This series takes place in Denver, Colorado. The story follows a group of individuals in their twenties as they deal with a number of different issues and also form new relationships. Many of the characters work at a tattoo parlor called Marked as tattoo artist or body modification experts (hence the name of the series).
Rule is the first book in this series and it is told from the dual POV’s of our main characters Rule Archer and Shaw Landon. Rule and Shaw have known each other since they were little as Shaw was Remy’s (Rule’s twin) best friend. Rule and Shaw never got along, but after Remy gets into a car accident and dies and Rule’s mother blames him for Remy’s death, Shaw steps in, determined to keep the Archer family together. Little does Rule know, that he is the Archer twin that Shaw was always thinking about. On the night of her birthday, Shaw decides to throw caution to the wind making this a birthday she would never forget. When a relationships starts to blossom between the two, buried secrets find the light, possibly putting an end to their relationship before it even started.
While Rule was my least favorite book in this series, I will say that over the course of this series, I have really grown to love Rule and Shaw. In the beginning, Rule and Shaw really annoyed me. I wasn’t loving them as a pair. But over time, these two really grew as characters and matured and they weren’t as shallow as they were in the first book.
Jet is the second book in this series and it is told from the dual POV’s of our main characters Jet Keller and Ayden Cross. Jet is a rock & roll god in tight leather pants. Every girl wants to be with him, including Ayden. Ayden is a Southern Belle who is trying to stay on the straight and narrow after leaving her scandalous Kentucky life behind. Jet tries to resist Ayden because he believes that a girl like her needs better than a guy like him. But he can only resist temptation for so long…and once again a relationship blossoms between the two. Things seem to be going great, that is until Ayden’s brother, Asa, shows up dragging her back to the life she left behind and putting the breaks on her relationship with Jet.
I really liked Jet’s character in this book. He was this guy who didn’t come from the best life, but he made something of himself and he worked hard to maintain his music career. His dedication made him a great partner for Ayden because she needed someone who was willing to put in the effort to save her from herself. Ayden did annoy me at some points because she was a bit of a drama queen, but just like with the first book, I grew to love her character as the series went on.
Rome is the third book in this series and it is told from the dual POV’s of our main characters Rome Archer and Cora Lewis. Rome is Rule’s older brother who has returned home after being honorably discharged. He has been having trouble dealing with family secrets that were revealed in the first book, as well as suffering from PTSD. He is in need of saving and who better to do that than Cora, the girl who looks out for everyone, always putting everyone else’s need before her own. At first, the two do not hit it off. Fireworks go off between the two, but not in the good way. One night, when Cora comes to Rome’s rescue, a spark is lit between the pair. But a bump in the road veers the couple of course and they have to decide how it will affect both their futures.
Rome is my favorite book in this series. Rome is just…a MAN! I just love everything about him and how he finds himself again. I also LOVE Cora. This little punk-pixie is always trying to save someone, even though she needs saving herself. She and Rome are a great pair because they compliment each other; she is loud and he is reserved. She brings Rome out of his shell and I just love these two. That ending though…I was in tears…I just could not…
Nash is the fourth book in this series and it is told from the dual POV’s of our main characters Nash Donovan and Saint Ford. After Nash’s uncle ends up in the hospital, a truck load of secrets are revealed, leaving Nash completely broken. Everything he thought he knew turned out to be lies and now he no longer knows who is he. Nash turns to the red-headed nurse, Saint, in hopes of gaining some sense of normal. Saint has always had eyes for Nash since high school, but one remark left her heart-broken and she has spent years running and trying to forget those violet-blue eyes. Now as Nash completely falls apart in her arms, Saint finds herself drawn to him again and doesn’t know if she can run from him this time.
I really, really liked Nash’s character. He is just completely hilarious and and fun-loving guy. But when shit hit the fan and he broke down, I teared up. My heart went out to Nash. That secret was completely crazy and I was in tears by the end of this book. Saint’s self-esteem issues did annoy me in this book because I thought they were a bit exaggerated and unnecessary.
Rowdy is the fifth book in this series and it is told from the dual POV’s of our main characters Rowdy St. James and Salem Cruz. Rowdy never thought he would see Salem again after she left Texas and drove out of his life. But here she is, now in Denver working at the new tattoo parlor. Salem’s sister, had left Rowdy heartbroken and turned off to love, but now that Salem is here, Rowdy starts to realize that he may have been chasing after the wrong Cruz. Salem has always felt something between Rowdy and her, but she doesn’t know if she can trust it. Deciding to take a leap, Salem lets Rowdy in. But when Salem’s sister shows up at her doorstep, things change and Salem finds herself having to choose between family and the man she loves.
This book is my second favorite in the series. This story just kept my on my toes. I extremely adore Salem. She is my favorite of all the girls. She is such a strong female character who has so much drive. She’s never had much support from her parents, but she was still able to make something of herself. Can I just say that Rowdy really surprised me in this book. We don’t really get much about him from the previous books and I loved reading his story and getting to know where he cam from and why he is the way he is. Another reason I love this book is because of the many new characters that are introduced in this book that are in the next book in this series, as well as in the spin-off series. Seeing these new characters and playing matchmaker for them was a little fun.
Asa is the sixth and final book in this series and it is told from the dual POV’s of Asa Cross and Royal Hastings. After narrowly escaping the hands of death, Asa has turned over a new leaf hoping to live a better life. Royal knows that cops and criminals don’t mix, yet she can’t seem stay away from Asa. Dealing with guilt and PTSD, Asa is the only one who can take her nightmares away. But Asa has a secret— one that could ruin everything between the two. So he walks away from Royal, leaving her wondering what went wrong between the two, when everything felt so right.
So, Asa was not originally meant to get a story, but I’m sure as hell glad he did. Asa had great character development throughout this series. He went from being a criminal who had no conscious or regards for the law, to a law abiding citizen. This story was all about second chances and Royal was Asa’s second chance at life and they were such a cute pair.
This series, hands-down, is my favorite new adult series, which is funny because I was so resistant to read these books. This isn’t just a story, this is about family. All these characters are a family and I love how Jay continues the story of previous characters in the current book. The writing gets better and better with each book and that epilogue…that was a perfect ending to an awesome series. I was so sad after I finished the last book…THANK GOD that there is going to be a spin-off series. Although it won’t focus on the characters from the Marked Men series, I am really excited to read the story of the new characters and see how those relationships play out. I’ve already started playing matchmaker with the new characters and I have marked my calendar for when the first book of the Saints of Denver comes out. I can’t wait for January!