Series: The Marked Men #6
Author: Jay Crownover
Publisher: William Morrow
Publication Date: 21 April 2015
Source: Review Copy
Synopsis from Goodreads
Starting over in Denver with a whole new circle of friends and family, Asa Cross struggles with being the man he knows everyone wants him to be and the man he knows he really is. A leopard doesn’t it change its spots and Asa has always been a predator. He doesn’t want to hurt those who love and rely on him, especially one luscious arresting cop who suddenly seems to be interested in him for far more than his penchant for breaking the law. But letting go of old habits is hard, and it’s easy to hit bottom when it’s the place you know best.
Royal Hastings is quickly learning what the bottom looks like after a tragic situation at work threatens not only her career but her partner’s life. As a woman who has only ever had a few real friends she’s trying to muddle through her confusion and devastation all alone. Except she can’t stop thinking about the sexy southern bartender she locked up. Crushing on Asa is the last thing she needs but his allure is too strong to resist. His long criminal record can only hurt her already shaky career and chasing after a guy who has no respect for the law or himself can only end in heartbreak.
A longtime criminal and a cop together just seems so wrong . . . but for Asa and Royal, being wrong together is the only right choice to make.
Let me start by saying that I always feel greatly privileged after reading any of Jay Crownover’s books. For me, I feel as if she puts her heart and soul into each and every one of her characters. In that respect (and her acknowledgements in each book) I always feel as if I have received a personal connection to the characters and the author. It really does feel that special.
Asa has been a regular feature in the Marked Men books since Jet. You really have to read Jet first to fully appreciate Asa’s character development and the interactions between him and the other characters His previous bad boy ways have overshadowed his life and tainted his self perception. Seriously if you looked up REDEMPTION in the dictionary you would find a picture of Asa
Asa and Royal have been drawn to each other since their very sighting. The whole opposites attract thing could be applied to them, however, they have far more in common than initial impressions would give credit to. Both are ridiculously good-looking, allowing for certain pre-conceived notions to taint their connections to other people. Both, Asa and Royal have unconventional family backgrounds creating additional plot twists within the narrative. At one point I honestly thought my heart couldn’t possibly take another twist
I loved that Royal pursued Asa in this story, going after the thing she wanted the most, putting herself out there and not taking no for an answer. Even when she is spiralling with guilt and regret she is still a wonderful female role model. I also liked how even negative events can have positive results. Making a person examine themselves and their situation, creating a oppurtunity for self-awareness and growth.
There is a lot going on within the pages of Asa, each plot thread and character expertly developed and carried out. The progression of the previous characters and the staging of the next series solidify Jay Crownover’s writing genius.