Series: Marked Men #3
Publication Date: January 2nd 2014
Rome follows our two main characters Rome (Rule’s brother) and Cora. Cora has been a main part of the previous two books – Rule & Jet – so I was definitely looking forward to finally getting to learn more about her character.
Rome is back from his last tour in Iraq and something has changed about him. He’s guarded, angry and on a self-destructive path and he won’t open up to anyone. Cora is looking for her perfect Mr Right. She got her heart torn out by her ex and now she’s looking for someone who’s knows what they want in life and someone who’s put together. Cora and Rome are thrown together one night when Cora goes to pick Rome’s drunk ass up, and they have a magical moment the next morning. But Cora doesn’t want to get serious with Rome because he’s not her Mr Right. But then Cora and Rome are thrown together again by a mistake they both made. They both have to figure their shit out and find out whether they actually have a future together or not.
I’m going to be honest here, when I first started Rome, I only read the first chapter and then put it down. I couldn’t stand the way Rome was acting and I honestly wanted to punch him. And then a month or two later I decided to go back to it – mainly because I really wanted to read Nash – and I managed to get past the first chapter and understand why Rome was acting the way he was. I’m extremely glad I decided to give Rome a second chance because I ended up loving it.
Cora is honestly the most kick ass girl in this whole series. She doesn’t take shit from anyone and even though she’s tiny, she’s got a dangerous bite and you definitely don’t want to get on the wrong side of her. But Cora’s been hurt in the past and she’s still trying to deal with it. Her ex completely pulled the rug out from under her and now she has a completely unrealistic view of love and is closing herself off from every guy who isn’t Mr Perfect. She’s feisty, loyal, sweet and fiercely protective of her friends. She’s such a fantastic character.
I did have a love/hate relationship with Rome throughout the book. He could be such a sweet guy one minute and then he’d have me wanting to shake some sense into him. But Rome has a lot of issues. He’s hiding something that happened on his last tour and it’s eating him alive. He’s suffering with PTSD and is experiencing some traumatic nightmares. He’s struggling to open up about what happened and Cora is really the only thing keeping him sane – even if he does sabotage it sometimes. But Rome is honestly one of the most caring and one of the sweetest guys ever and it was breaking my heart to see him struggling.
I did predict the mistake that brought Rome and Cora together again. It was pretty obvious – in my opinion – but I was really looking forward to seeing how they both dealt with it and how it would affect their relationship.
Cora and Rome had some serious chemistry, and it was obvious from the very first night they spent together. Even though they’re complete opposites and would never go for people like each other, they were perfect for each other. They complimented each other and I loved seeing their relationship develop.
I also really loved seeing Rome dealing with his PTSD. At first, he wasn’t coping well with it, but after he started working at the bar and talking to other soldiers, he slowly started to get better. He did have a few setbacks, but gradually Rome started to overcome his PTSD and I was so proud of him.
The ending was completely unexpected and left me shocked. Jay Crownover sure knows how to write a gut-wrenching twist. There was also a really sweet (and extremely sad) encounter between Rome and his brother that had tears running down my face.
Overall, I’m so glad I gave Rome a second chance because I ended up loving it. I honestly can’t recommend Jay Crownover’s ‘Marked Men’ series enough to anyone who’s a fan of New Adult because it’s definitely one of my favourite NA series ever.