Author: Jay Crownover
Series: Marked Men #2
Age Group/Genre: New Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Synopsis: A year after rejecting Ayden’s offer of a hookup, Jet can no longer deny the sexual frustration between them. They agree to a friends-with-benefits arrangement, but their emotions and their pasts complicate what’s intended to be a simple arrangement.
What I Liked: Let’s get the superficial stuff out of the way first, shall we? This book is hot. Smoking hot. Like, feeling a little embarrassed to read it when someone else is in the room hot. Ayden and Jet have more chemistry than any literary couple I’ve encountered in a long time, and it is a blast to read.
And I liked Jet in general. Although he has issues with his family, he is a legitimately good person. It shows in his struggle to protect his mom, in his efforts to mentor fledgling bands, and in the way he cares about Ayden. I get really tired of men in novels not being sure if they love the woman they’re with, so I liked that Jet is pretty on the ball with recognizing his feelings and owning them.
Plot-wise, Crownover does a much better job of pacing and managing tension in this novel than in Rule, the first of the Marked Men series. This time, the twists weren’t as easy to guess, so there was an actual element of surprise behind them.
What I Didn’t Like: Ayden spends huge amounts of time wallowing in angst about her past. Sure, she left terrible things behind in Kentucky, but after awhile her introspection wore on my nerves. I found myself gritting my teeth at her and wanting to yell, “Use your words!” I wanted her to actually trust Jet and her friends, people who had proven themselves trustworthy, and to be up-front with them about her issues rather than letting them fester. I know that needed to happen to build conflict and tension, but she drove me crazy.
And I continue to hate these book covers. I hate them so hard.
Favorite Quote: "Aren’t all the best songs about a girl? It doesn’t matter if it’s metal, if it’s country, if it’s blues or rock and roll; all the song that make us remember and make us ant to sing along are abotu the best kind of girl, the kind you can’t live without but can’t ever get ahold of."
Final Verdict: Four out of five stars. It wasn’t amazing, but it was pretty close.