04 January 2014

{Blog Tour} Review+Giveaway: Rome (Marked Men #3) by Jay Crownover

Title: Rome (Marked Men #3)  
Author: Jay Crownover  
Genre: New Adult  
Publication Date: January 7, 2014  
Publisher: William Morrow an imprint of HarperCollins Publishing  
Event organized by: Literati Author Services, Inc.

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 . . .

My Review

 Jay Crownover at her best!

I've read the previous three books in this series. And despite my initial issues with the editing (especially in Rule), I still recognized Ms. Crownover's masterful storytelling.

In Rome, she has proven once again that she can create flawed yet relatable characters. Couples that make you want to root for. Rome and Cora are no exception.

We met Rome during Rule's book and he's shown to be the good son, the all-American elder brother who keeps everyone in line. We were left with the knowledge that Rome was deployed to war and suffered a great loss while serving there.

Here, we see Rome floundering in his role or his identity. He's not quite the big brother/protector that he once was. His experience during the war cast a dark shadow over his disposition. Basically, he was a changed man. Cora, on the other hand, was a free spirit. She had her heart broken once and she doesn't want to be in that position again. And then she meets Rome.

When they met, Rome was in a bad place; physically and emotionally. And while other people were tiptoeing around him and handling him with care because of what happened to him, Cora was having none of it. She called him out more than once and Rome was hooked.

Their story wasn't as tumultuous or angsty as Rule and Shaw, but they have their own issues too especially with Cora's fear of loving and getting hurt again. Rome also needed to deal with his grief and guilt for not doing what he thinks he was supposed to do. When the two of them finally came together, it was just beautiful.

Another thing I loved about this book is we get to catch up with the previous couples from the previous books. Rule and Shaw are as strong as ever, and Jet and Ayden as well. Plus, we get a glimpse of what Nash's story might look like. It's something that the author did really well without being contrived.

Overall, Rome is another great addition to this remarkable series. On that note, on to Nash's story. I can't wait.

Rating: 4 Stars!

About the Author
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.

Connect with Jay: Facebook | Twitter | Website | Goodreads

Tour-Wide Giveaway

{Blog Tour} Review and Giveaway: Beck (Corps Security #3) by Harper Sloan

Harper Sloan
Book 3 - Corps Security Series
 **Warning** This book is intended for a mature reading**
I’ve always been good at wearing masks. Not letting anyone see the real me. I’m content being the happy-go-lucky best friend. The strong willed boss. The independent woman who doesn’t need a man.
But the truth is I’m just as broken as the rest of you. I’m terrified that all it will take is one person to make all my carefully constructed walls crumble into fine dust. So I guard my heart with everything I have. Determined to never let anyone get close enough to hurt me again.
All is perfect until HE walks into my life. No… he doesn’t just walk. He struts his good-looking, sex-oozing self-right into my space and demands that I see HIM. Making me want what I know I can’t have.
So I did the only thing I know how to do.
I run.
But he just won’t let me go.
The second I see her, I know she will be mine. I see past the gorgeous smiles and heart-stopping laughter. I see HER. She doesn’t want me to know her secrets or the past that haunts her, but I make it my mission to find out.
To make her mine.
She can run all she wants, but it will never be far enough to stop me from coming after her.
She’s it for me and she knows it.
She’s just too scared to admit it.
**NO cliffhanger, HEA, inter-connected standalones**
 My Review
This is one of the more difficult books to rate for me. While I enjoyed the story overall, there were parts of the book which bothered me.

We all know Dee as Izzy's bestfriend and we also know she hooked up with Beck and then pushed him away. In this book, we get to know more about Dee; her upbringing, her loyalty to Izzy and Cage and the horrible things she endured.

Dee actually grew on me as the book progressed. I know, I know. She was annoying and she went all hot and cold on Beck too many times to count. But I did get her motivation. I understood why she acted the way she did. I started warming up to her the moment she came clean and committed herself entirely to Beck.

Beck was, I felt, was not as caveman as Axel or Cage but his love and devotion to Dee was just as intense. The moment he fell for her, there was no going back. He never wavered once and I liked that about Beck. I just wish, we get more of his backstory though. This book is pretty much about Dee rather than Beck. Don't get me wrong, Beck is a great hero, but aside from being a former Marine and part of Corps Security, I didn't get that much information about his past, his motivations, backstory, et cetera.

This book definitely has drama as expected. I liked the mystery on this one compared to the other two books. For one, it wasn't related to jealous ex-girlfriend or husband or a stalker. The whole drama between Beck and Cage though was hilarious because they were acting like a bunch of women actually especially Beck, Cage and Axel.

One character that surprised me in this book was Coop. Among the Corps men, he was the least develop, next to Beck but his character really stepped up in this book. And of course, my Maddox. We get a hint here and there about what he might be hiding, which really served his character well. Both him and Coop, made me like this story more.

There were other aspects that didn't work for me though. I've already mentioned the unnecessary drama between the men but what really, really puzzled me and made me roll my eyes a little bit was the fact that these ex-Marines, badasses, if you will, are again caught with their pants down twice in this book. I won't even count the other times they messed up before but really, I don't know whether to laugh or yell at them. They really suck at their jobs. Seriously. I'm surprised they are still in business after all their security lapses. LOL!

Other than that, I had a great time with this book. It made me laugh, cry and sympathize with the characters. Overall, it was an enjoyable read.

ARC provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.
About The Author
Harper lives in small town Georgia just a short drive from her hometown of Peachtree City. She (and her 3 daughters) enjoy ruling the house they dubbed 'Estrogen Ocean', much to her husband’s chagrin. Harper has a borderline unhealthy obsession with books; you can almost ALWAYS find her with her ereader attached. As an ex-reviewer and blogger, Harper's passion for reading runs deep. It wasn't until 'Axel' decided to take up residence that she realized her true calling. 
She started using writing as a way to unwind when the house went to sleep at night; and with a house full of crazy it was the perfect way to just relax. It didn't take long before a head full of very demanding alphas would stop at nothing to have their story told.
Social Links
Facebook Author Page: www.facebook.com/harpersloanbooks
Twitter: @harpersloan 
Goodreads Author Page: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7122060.Harper_Sloan?from_search=true
Instagram: @harper_sloan