Series: Marked Men #1
Published by HarperAudio, Willam Morrow
Published on December 30th 2012
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Love & Romance, New Adult
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Opposites in every way . . . except the one that matters
Shaw Landon loved Rule Archer from the moment she laid eyes on him. Rule is everything a straight--A pre-med student like Shaw shouldn't want--and the only person she's never tried to please. She isn't afraid of his scary piercings and tattoos or his wild attitude. Though she knows that Rule is wrong for her, her heart just won't listen.
To a rebel like Rule Archer, Shaw Landon is a stuck-up, perfect princess-and his dead twin brother's girl. She lives by other people's rules; he makes his own. He doesn't have time for a good girl like Shaw-even if she's the only one who can see the person he truly is.
But a short skirt, too many birthday cocktails, and spilled secrets lead to a night neither can forget. Now, Shaw and Rule have to figure out how a girl like her and a guy like him are supposed to be together without destroying their love . . . or each other.
I’m going to be honest and say that as of late, I’ve had a hard time connecting with some New Adult Contemporary Romance books. I was in a Contemp Romance reading slump. Well, I’m happy to report that thanks to this book (which I read in one sitting), I am over my slump, and am about to soon take part in a Marked Men series binge-read. Sometimes the narration can make or break a book for me, and this book had both great writing AND great narration. The total package. Overall, I loved this book, and I am officially a fan of Jay Crownover’s writing style.
Now, let’s break down my book feels.
I liked how the pacing stayed pretty steady for me. There was only one instance in which I thought that there were a couple moments that needed to be cut out, but I didn’t feel like there were any slow parts. It held my interest the entire time, and I thoroughly enjoyed reading it in one sitting, start to finish.
As I mentioned before, I’m typically not one to always go for the Contemporary novels. I usually get easily frustrated with the characters, or the story that the author is trying to tell. (Cause let’s be honest, there are A LOT of books that have regurgitated plot lines.) Even though there were a lot of “issues” (emotional issues), I still found the story itself to still be captivating. I loved Shaw and Rule’s progression during the course of the book. I loved that they had had a non-romantic history, and that their bond withstood some pretty trying times. Yes, that is the underlying plot of many other books out there, but this one stood out to me because the characters and their story kept me eager to keep reading.
I also liked the message behind the story:
(that gif was for Nereyda…)
Honestly, there wasn’t very much that I could say that I didn’t like. I bounced back and forth from reading it on my kindle, and listening to it on my Audible app. It was a pretty seamless transition for me, but I think the only thing that bothered me was that there were some things that were too predictable for me. So there were some things that should have read as a “shocker”, but to me, I was like: “I called that in chapter 5”. HAHA. (EXAMPLE–>View Spoiler »Remy being gay, yeah, I knew that WAAAY early on, right when we figure out that Shaw’s a virgin. « Hide Spoiler) But that aside, there wasn’t much else I could say I didn’t like. :)
DUAL POV! Anyone who knows me knows that I am a sucker for 2 things when reading a book: 1.) Male POV, and 2.) Dual POV narration. This book had both, and it was executed well. I know that it’s tricky writing Male POV as a female writer, so I tip my hat and give mad props to Jay Crownover for a job well done as far as that is concerned.
In addition to my love for how Rule’s character and POV was written, I found that I also really liked Shaw’s character as well. As of late, there have been many NA heroines that have grated my nerves. Sometimes they can come off a little whiny, a little annoying, and over-dramatic. But, with Shaw, I found that I looked forward to reading parts of the book from her point of view. I may have even enjoyed if the whole book had been from her POV alone. (Though, don’t get me wrong, I think having Rules POV in the mix helped the progression of the story.)
The Male Narrator.
Michael Rahhal was pretty awesome. His performance was practically flawless. He did an excellent job portraying the male characters, and bringing them to life. But what impressed me most was his performance of the female characters. The way he was able to modulate his voice to make it more feminine for all the characters was pretty spot on. They were believable, thus making my listening experience far more enjoyable. Nice seamless transitions throughout. I’d give him a 5 Star rating on his performance alone.
Since this book was in Dual POV, I’ll divide the fave quote by the character who said them.
“I almost saw your boyfriend naked this morning.”
I laughed at the look on her face. “I don’t know what to say to that, you’re welcome?”
“I don’t believe in skipping ahead Dale. I read the book all the way through.”
“I deserve it all because I’m willing to give it all. I would have
worked through the darkness with you, Rule. What I won’t do is watch you walk
away from me every time something happens that has the potential to hurt you”
“I think it’s genetically impossible not to be kind of in love with him when you come equipped with a vagina. It’s just something about all that angsty, moody swagger he has that makes you want to cuddle him up and make him feel better.”
“…it’s always been you even when I didn’t want it to be, even when it broke my heart over and over again. It’s always been you.”
“Rule if this goes bad it’s gonna be so, so bad.” Her voice was just a husky whisper against my chest.
“True, but if it’s good it’s going be so very, very good.”
“You have to promise not to bail on me when I get lost, Shaw. You have to promise to just wait it out until I can find my way back. I need to know you’re at the end of the tunnel when everything goes black.”
“Here’s my heart Shaw. You have it in your hands and I promise you’re the first and last person to ever touch it. You need to be careful with it because it’s far more fragile than I ever thought and if you try and give it back I’m not taking it. I don’t know enough about love to know for sure that’s what this between us is, but I know that for me it’s you and only you from here on out and I can only promise to be careful and not push you away again. Life without you in it is doable, but if I have a choice I want to do it with you by my side and I’m telling you I’m not running away from the work it takes to make that happen. Shaw I’m not scared of us anymore.”