Review: Rowdy

Rowdy (Marked Men #5) by Jay Crownover: The New York Times and USA Today bestselling Marked Men series continues with this sizzling, sexy story of love, heartbreak, fate, and second chances.

After the only girl he ever loved told him that he would never be enough, Rowdy St. James knocked the Texas dust off his boots and set out to live up to his nickname. A good ol’ boy looking for good times and good friends, Rowdy refuses to take anything too seriously, especially when it comes to the opposite sex. Burned by love once, he isn’t going to let himself trust a woman again. But that’s before his new co-worker arrives, a ghost from the past who’s suddenly making him question every lesson he ever learned.

Salem Cruz grew up in house with too many rules and too little fun—a world of unhappiness she couldn’t wait to forget. But one nice thing from childhood has stayed with her; the memory of the sweet, blue-eyed boy next door who’d been head over heels in love with her little sister.

Now, fate and an old friend have brought her and Rowdy together, and Salem is determined to show him that once upon a time he picked the wrong sister. A mission that is working perfectly—until the one person that ties them together appears, threatening to tear them apart for good.

TeriLyn's thoughts: I’ve been following this series since Rule released and I’m so glad I’ve taken this journey with Jay Crownover’s characters. What I love about The Marked Men series from Jay Crownover comes from her idea of family the belief in having a family even if your blood family isn’t around for whatever reason. This beautiful motley crew found love and kinship in each other. Extending from Crownover’s idea of family comes acceptance under any and all circumstances. Acceptance of each other, of each other’s chosen partner, of each other’s choices and lifestyles. There’s no judgment, no condemnation but rather an environment for each of these to grow, shine, and prosper the way every person earth deserves to grow, shine, and prosper.

My excitement for Rowdy and Salem grew exponentially after Nash’s story. I loved Rowdy in Jet and Ayden’s story and my curiosity continued throughout the series. Salem showing up in the epilogue of Nash was a shocker to the reader as much as Rowdy. With a past coated in darkness, Rowdy found freedom within his circle of loved ones. Salem reminds him of the hurt he’s suffered and refuses to wholly dismiss. On the outside he’s care free, fun, charming, and defensive of those he loves. But on the inside Rowdy presents as a wounded soul. We feel for him as the reader, listen to his story with open hearts, minds, and arms. Salem Cruz craves freedom. She ran from a caged childhood at the first opportunity she could without the care of what she left behind. She saw a chance at a happy life for herself and took it. From that came a strong, independent, loving woman. But Salem soon learns she’s trapped in the guilt of that freedom, troubled by her freedom after so long because really although free, Salem never in her life has settled. The ultimate settlement of these two satisfied me greatly. Because through their crazy family of Marked Men and Women they find love, understanding, and ultimately peace in their scarred souls.

This is not my favorite Marked Men novel by any stretch. I still rank Rule, Jet, and Rome above the latest installments. There were times when I found myself skimming through paragraphs in the middle because the back and forth between Rowdy and Salem became monotonous. I love a good chase and I was settled in for a cat and mouse game but when the characters switched roles and the chase went on something felt off to me. However, all the elements I love about this author were included and prevalent in Rowdy. Her first person writing style from the dual point of view gives extra flair to her stories as it’s nice to hear directly from her men. Rowdy’s thoughts about his troubled past made him so much more relatable. Her themes of acceptance, forgiveness, family, and sense of self all make me smile. And as usual her previous characters surround the main characters with love, support, and devotion while moving forward in their own lives as well. I get excited about this series. I adore the characters. Some great stuff is coming for Rule and Shaw (my favorites) too! Can’t wait to find out the story of Asa, the southern charmer & reformed criminal when he meets his match in Royal, the feisty red-headed officer of law. I would highly recommend the Marked Men series by Jay Crownover to anyone who loves a bad boy turned one-woman-man by strong females with attitudes.

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Lori L. Clark

She Reads New Adult Admin: Lori L. Clark

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