Rome by Jay Crownover | Book Review

I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Rome by Jay Crownover | Book ReviewRome by Jay Crownover
Series: Marked Men #3
Also in this series: Rule, Jet, Nash
Also by this author: Rule, Jet, Nash, Better When He's Bad, Leveled: A Saints of Denver Novella
Published by HarperCollins on 2014-01-07
Genres: Coming of Age, Contemporary, Contemporary Women, Fiction, Romance
Pages: 384
Format: Paperback
Source: Publisher
Buy on Amazon

Sometimes the wrong choice can be just right . . .

Fun and fearless, Cora Lewis knows how to keep her tattooed "bad boy" friends at the Marked in line. But beneath all that flash and sass is a broken heart. Cora won't let herself get burned again. She's waiting to fall in love with the perfect man—a baggage-free, drama-free guy ready for commitment. Then she meets Rome Archer.

Rome Archer is as far from perfect as a man can be. He's stubborn, rigid, and bossy. And he's returned from his final tour of duty more than a little broken. Rome's used to filling many roles: big brother, doting son, supersoldier—but none of those fit anymore. Now he's just a man trying to figure out what to do with the rest of his life while keeping the dark demons of war and loss at bay. He would have been glad to suffer through it alone, until Cora comes sweeping into his life and becomes a blinding flash of color in a sea of gray.Perfect may not be in the cards, but perfectly imperfect could just last forever . . .

I really totally do not regret my binge read of the Marked Men series, I think that it only has enhanced my enjoyment of each book. Rome, Crownover’s third book in the series, showcases the fact that the Marked Men just get better and better with each addition to the series. This is the story of Cora, the receptionist and pierce person (is that the proper term?) at the Marked and Rule’s older brother, Rome. There’s enough drama here to fuel the plot of an episode of Gossip Girl and I ate it all up with a spoon. I know people get all hot and bothered and offended at the term guilty pleasure, but friends, these books are my guilty pleasure. I feel guilty at being sucked away from my TBR pile of obligation and doom and MUST READ NOW to binge read a series that’s not totally my number one priority. It was worth it to me, though.

When Crownover’s Rome begins, Cora and Rome totally hate each other. Cora thinks that Rome is a dick and Rome thinks that Cora is loud and annoying. Under the hate lies attraction, though. And so, after one drunken hook up, Cora and Rome are into each other. As we read, we find out that while Cora’s had some hook ups, she is still hung up on an ex-fiancé who cheated on her back in Brooklyn. Cora is protecting her heart and will not let herself get hurt again. She’s searching for perfect this time. Meanwhile, Rome is dealing with demons of his own. He’s lost and not sure where to go after he’s finished his tour of duty in the army and discharged because of injury. Rome was a leader and really good at what he did. He also is dealing with family issues and his deceased brother’s secrets. The web between Cora and Rome and the drama in their lives is about to get thicker. And oh friends, it is SO JUICY. I seriously could not put this book down, so cliche, but so true.

I have a friend who doesn’t like Cora and I get it, really I do. But for me, I liked her. I liked that she was little and spunky. I liked that she didn’t take crap from anyone. Cora is brave and strong and has been dealt a harsh hand in her love life. Sure, maybe her pining over a cheating ex was a tad dramatic, but honestly, emotional pain can run deep and that’s a very, very hurtful experience. For me, I had sympathy for Cora and so, she won me over. Also, yes she might have been harsh to Rome who has the PTSD, but he was kind of a dick and might have needed to hear what she said and did (dumped soda on his head). Although, I liked Cora, truly the star of the book is the title character, Rome.

Rome is the first of Crownover’s heroes who is not marked by tattoos and piercings, per se. Instead, he’s got actual battle scars and wounds from when he was in the army. I liked that he was different from Rule and Jet. I liked that Rome was a bit more, clean cut as clean cut is what I go for, personally. The thing about Rome which won me over is that he has this amazing character development. He has an interesting emotional arc, where he goes from traumatized and lost, to still traumatized but with some purpose. He actually ends up seeking out counseling, which I totally which more books would talk about and which I really approve of. I loved that Rome is a hero through and through. He might be difficult like Rule, but I kind of felt like he was more mature and more interesting. I loved all the bits with Rome and this place called The Bar. You’ll see when you read Rome.

I realize that these are not perfect books and that not everyone will love the Marked Men books. For me though, they really have gotten me through a tough and stressful time. I am kind of a little bit obsessed with these books and am so glad I picked them up on a whim. It’s true that each book in this series just gets better and better. Rome is a book that combines a heroic romantic interest with a fiery heroine and that is just the ticket for a reader like me. If you’re about to take a vacation, these are perfect beach reading and I can’t thumbs up them enough. Give this series a chance if you are a skeptic, it might just surprise you.

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April is in her 30s and created Good Books And Good Wine. She works for a non-profit. April always has a book on hand. In her free time she can be found binge watching The Office with her husband and toddler, spending way too much time on Pinterest or exploring her neighborhood.
About April (Books&Wine)

April is in her 30s and created Good Books And Good Wine. She works for a non-profit. April always has a book on hand. In her free time she can be found binge watching The Office with her husband and toddler, spending way too much time on Pinterest or exploring her neighborhood.


  1. OMG we both had the same reaction to Rome. I LOVED Rome more than anyone else. I said it in my wrap up, I so loved him and Cora together, and I couldn’t wait to see how they moved along.I really loved the concept of the Bar. Jay writes so well, that even with the drama you still had to love them.

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts, I can’t wait to see what you have to say about Nash.
    Happy Reading

  2. I haven’t…I haven’t read any of this series yet. *ducks head* But I’m changing that! I need to see if I can hang with Cora and I want to meet Rome, even if he is a dick.

  3. After reading your review, I went back to read the other Marked Men reviews and am totally putting this series on my list. I’ve been looking for some good NA reads. Thanks!

  4. Yes to Rome!!!! Rome Rome Rome is amazing!! His character development is so well done, I totally agree. I loved tha he was different from Rule and Jet and now that I think about it, I think all three guys are very distinct from one another. So…am I that friend you talk about? Haha. I DO love that Cora doesn’t take crap, that is always a quality I love on female characters but, like you know, the rest of her personality didn’t do it for me. Mmm Rome though, le sigh. I am SO FREAKING EXCITED for Nash!

  5. OMG APRIL. First of all, I pretty much heard about these books from you, so YAY GO APRIL. Because I love them. All of them. But Rome is probably my favorite. I adore him and his story, and I love his relationship with Cora. I feel like the girls are all so amazing in these books. But Rome. I die. I loved, too, that he found some way to start making a home for himself in his new life after serving in the military. I don’t think I’ll ever not love characters who live through what he did and are able to make mostly happy endings for themselves, even though it’s hard. I mean, I overheat from the warm fuzziness of it all. (The happy ending part, not the PTSD part.)