Series: Marked Men #4
Author: Jay Crownover
Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks
Publication Date: April 29, 2014
Will their past determine their future?
Saint Ford has worked hard to achieve her childhood dream of becoming of nurse. Focused on her work and devoted to her patients, there’s no room for love. She doesn’t need a guy making waves in her calm, serene life—especially when he’s the unforgettable hottie who nearly destroyed her in high school. Dark, brooding Nash Donovan might not remember her or the terrible pain he caused. But he turned her world upside down... and now he’s trying to do it again.
Saint has no idea that Nash isn’t the cocky player he once was. Uncovering a devastating family secret has rocked his world, and now he’s struggling to figure out his future. He can’t be distracted by the pretty nurse he seems to meet everywhere. Still, he can’t ignore the sparks that fly between them —or how she seems so desperate to get away from him. But the funny, sweet, and drop-dead gorgeous Saint is far too amazing to give up on—especially since she’s the only thing in his life that seems to make sense.
When Nash discovers the truth about their past, he realizes he may have lost her heart before he could even fight for it. Now, Saint has to decide: is Nash worth risking herself for all over again?
*This is a New Adult book and due to the underlying themes and sexual content, it is not advised for readers under the age of 18.
The Marked Men Series is saturated with hot, broken, seriously INKED men, and man, do they need a good woman to balance their chaos. Rule was the first book in this series, and while the writing seemed a bit amateur, he remains my favorite Marked Man to date, so I'm thankful we still get to see bits and pieces of him in each book. Jet, the second book, had me squirming. Jay's writing flowed and she captured Jet's tortured soul so perfectly. Um... also he's a rock god, so I obviously fell in love with him. Rome, the third installment, told the story of Rule's older brother. His journey revolved around things the others didn't. I enjoyed the change of pace with this book. BUT, I was not so patiently waiting on Nash, because his cameo appearances in the other books kept me laughing and smiling. Toward the end of Rome, Nash's story begins to unfold and it is quite a doozy.
While The Marked Men Series protagonists are the guys, each of their love interests are equally, if not sometimes more jacked up than they are. So you're taken on a wild ride where two emotionally unstable people are winding their ways into each others lives, but trust and security never come easy.
I will admit I was a tad bit let down by this book. I expected so much more from Nash. He always seemed to be the life of the party, yet the levelheaded bro of the bunch. Don't get me wrong, I most definitely hurt for him, I even shed a few tears. I suppose with him being pretty mellow and the peacemaker, his actions made sense. The way he handled Saint amazed me though, especially when he figured out he might not be her problem—perhaps she stood in her own way.
I've read a few reviews of this book and a lot of people had issues with Saint. I did not. She was extremely insecure from things that happened to her as a teenager, both at school and at home. A shy girl who may have been a bit on the plump side, but exceptionally smart. People whispered about her in the hallways and there's an incident where she believed Nash said something very hateful and harsh about her after they had established a semi-friendship. So when she sees him several years later, she can't let go of the words she heard and trust him. This is where I totally get it, because in high school, someone started an awful rumor about me, and to this day, I will not return to a class reunion, nor do I accept these people's friend requests on Facebook, and people, that's been 20 years ago. Is it a bit childish... maybe. But I can't face all these people who joined in on a rumor that was not only unfounded, but completely untrue.
If Nash had been Saint's only problem, I might not be so lenient on her; however, her mother was out of her mind insane. Seriously. For years she'd tried to turn Saint into her older, popular sister, Faith. She picked at Saint's weight, her hair, her clothes, everything. Her mom popped too many pills and drank too much wine trying to get past the hurt of Saint's father leaving her for a younger woman. Once Saint came back to Denver, she took it upon herself to try to take care of her mom, but it always ended badly. So again, When you grow up with parents who want you to change and be someone you're not, how are you supposed to gain any self-esteem? Plus, as far as relationships went, her father set an example Saint couldn't let go of.
For these reasons, I forgive Saint for her trust issues. I know there's a time you have to let all these go, and Saint did, when she was able.
I wanted Nash's story to be my favorite, but I feel there were some writing issues that kept it from exploding off the pages the way the others did. That said, this is a terrific book, with high emotional content that keeps you wondering what could possibly happen next. I'm looking forward to Rowdy's story, which releases October 21st. It sounds like it's going to be something else. Jay has another book coming out, it's not part of the Marked Men series, but Jay has become one of my automatic buy authors, so I'll be picking up Better When He's Bad on June 17th. I need to check, I may have possibly pre-ordered it.
Marked Men Reading order:
Rome - My review
Rowdy - October 21st
(Don't ask why I haven't reviewed the others, perhaps I'll get to it in time.)