Review of the Marked Men Series by Jay Crownover

All

I read this series from beginning to end – no breaks. Having read Built (Saints of Denver, #1) the mention of previous characters and some story lines that obviously had been started in the Marked Men series had me wanting to go back and read it. I am so glad I did as I had not only missed a great series but also meeting many of the secondary characters and their issues which is who the Saints of Denver is about. This series mainly takes place around a Tattoo shop where a man called Uncle Phil took in a group of men who were walking the line and gave them a job and purpose.

As I read these back to back I am going to write one review for them all. This is what I call an ensemble series – each book builds on the next one. Each book does have its own couple that get their HFN/HEA but some things started in one book may not get a resolution until another.

Rule (Marked Men #1) – This book is one that starts a side plot/story that isnt finished until the 3rd book in the series. The Archer family had three boys – oldest Rome and twins Rule and Remy. Even though Rule and Remy were identical twins they couldnt be more different. Remy was the good one and Rule broke all the rules. Shaw Landon entered their lives when she was 13 and they became her surrogate family. Shaw and Remy were very close but Rule is the one she has secretly loved since first meeting him. Even though they are all adults now Rule is still wild and out of control. That got worse when Remy died. Remy’s death fractured the Archer family and Shaw is doing her best to try and keep it together. She does not succeed. But Rule finally see’s her and does his best to try and make up for his past and be the man she deserves.

Jet (Marked Men #2) – Jet Keller doesnt work at the Tattoo shop but he is good friends with the men who work there. He is the lead singer of a band and writes songs for both his band and others. He is very talented but has refused to leave town to expand his career due to trying to protect his mother from his father. Problem is she doesnt want his help and has no plans of ever leaving him. Ayden Cross (best friend of Shaw) is a woman with ugly past she doesnt want anyone to find out about. She left her past behind in Kentucky and wants to just finish college. One thing she doesnt want is the attraction she has for Jet. He tempts her inner bad girl too much and scares her that she could easily go back to that person she is trying so hard to forget. In this one we met her brother Asa who has no redeeming qualities (until his book which is the last in the series)

Rome (Marked Men #3) – Rome we met in his brother book. He has always been the glue in the family and in on his 8th year of 10 in the Army. During that book he didn’t deal well with a family secret when its revealed and that left him estranged with his family. When he gets done with his last tour and leaves the Army he is lost and suffering from PTSD and dealing with all his demons in a bottle and being angry at the world. Cora Lewis runs the front desk of the Tatoo shop along with doing body modifications. She is a fouled mouth take no crap little pixie who also plays the role of momma bear. These two were an odd pairing but fit together perfectly once they worked through some big issues.

Nash (Marked Men #4) – This was the weakest of books to me. Neither Nash who works at the tattoo shop and Saint Ford who is a ER nurse were as interesting as the other characters but it does introduce us to Royal Hastings a cop that is the main heroine in the last book of the series.

Rowdy (Marked Men, #5) – I think this was my favorite book because it introduced us to the cast of characters that are in the new series Saints of Denver. Rowdy ended up in foster care at a early age after his mother died. The foster home was next door to Salem and Poppy Cruz. Salem’s father was a fire and brimstone Texas preacher that was a tyrant at home. Rowdy, Salem and Poppy all became close with Rowdy putting all his hopes and dreams into them. When Salem who is a couple years older finally takes all she can take with her father and leaves home she breaks Rowdy’s heart and he then hitches all his happiness on Poppy. That also ends in heartbreak and now as a grown man Rowdy still uses his broken heart over the Cruz sisters and a reason to never thinking he will ever find the one. When Uncle Phil on his deathbed decides to play matchmaker and offers Salem the position of running a new Tattoo branch she waste no time in taking the job hoping to get a fresh start with Rowdy. Problem is he wants nothing to do with her. But its not long before these two start a sexual relationship but trust is a huge issues between them and when Poppy shows up in bad shape all the secrets from years ago come to light. I cannot wait for Poppy’s story which will be told in the Saints of Denver series. She soo deserves a HEA. This is where we also meet Zeb Fuller and Sayer Cole (Rowdy’s sister) who are the couple in Built (Saints of Denver, #1)

Asa (Marked Men, #6) – Asa Cross has gone through quite the transformation from the book Jet. He was almost killed and since coming out of a coma is trying to live on the right side of the law. Rome took a chance on him and gave him a job as a bartender. Asa beats himself up a lot through out this book and doesn’t think he is worthy of happiness and thinks he is just one con away from returning to his old self. Royal Hastings is the cop we met in Nash’s book and she has always had the hots for Asa but he turns her down every time. After her childhood friend who also happens to be her partner on the force is shot multiple times Royal goes into a tailspin over the guilt. Asa finally gives into Royal but doesn’t know how a cop and an ex criminal are going to work out.

Through out each of the books we get previous couples weddings and births of children. Every book had great epilogue. I really enjoyed this series and this author is defiantly a must buy.

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