Saturday, April 18, 2015

The Cop and the Criminal// Asa Blog Tour

"Our marks defined us, separated us, and made us the men we were today...
We were marked and had been marked in unforgettable and forever ways.
W were all better men for it.
Marked men.
Non of us would have it any other way."
--Jay Crownover, Asa
    
Genre: NA Contemporary
Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks
Pages: 416
Publication Date: April 21st, 2015
Source: eARC provided by pubsliher in exchange for an honest review
Previous Books in Series: Rule & Jet & Rome & Nash & Rowdy
Goodreads Description

Jay Crownover’s New York Times and USA Today bestselling Marked Men series continues with the much anticipated story of southern charmer and certified criminal Asa Cross.

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.
Hey y'all! Welcome to my stop on the Asa Blog Tour!! Eep! I am SO excited to share my review with you AND share an exclusive excerpt of the amazing Asa and Royal, coming to you April 21st AND a giveaway! But FIRST, my thoughts on this amazing book and phenomenal conclusion to what is...The Marked Men.

The Story
As you all know, the Marked Men are a big part of my blog here. Whenver somebody talks about a book boyfriend, a character we can relate to, a story that feels like a chapter of our own life, I get brought back to this series. There is something in every book I can connect to, some more than others, and with each book there is something unique and special about the people's story they are telling. Asa is no different. Asa...*sigh*...the unknown, the variable, the criminal brother of Ayden nobody wanted to think about has become a full fledged member on this island of misfit toys. I didn't think after reading Jet that Asa would find a place in my heart but alas, he did. So let's get down to it.

After cheating death a few years ago, Asa is a bad guy trying to live on the straight and narrow. He finally got his sister back after almost losing her and have since been actively trying to turn his life around and live life according to the rules. His biggest enemy is himself because he never gives himself the beneit of the doubt that he has changed and is better than his past. Royal is a cop who is suffering from guilt after her best friend and partner, Dom, gets shot. She is struggling to justify her career and careening down a path of self-destruction that Asa tries to cushion as she falls. Royal has also been trying to seduce Asa since she met him, he resists thinking she is too good for him. From there, they both try and decide how to make what sparks they know they have between them work in real life.

I say this in a good way and that is I like how the story and conflict unfolds. Again, Crownover surpises me in the best way how she turns what could be a tired trope into something incredibly unique and real. The struggle wasn't in just getting together for these two, but staying together. Their issues were real, their pasts unchangeable, and their futures up in the air. I liked how they pushed each other to accept things they previously may not have and neither compromises their morals to do so. And while compromises do occur...they are not without a price. The shit Asa and Royal have to deal with is not vanilla but seeing them struggle through it is all part of the beauty.

The Independence
While this is a trait of all the characters, I continue to love how Crownover shows us the individual people in the relationship rather than just their relationship with each other. We get girl time, work time, alone time, bro time, group time. We see it all. I especially love how much we get to see Royal in her job and how much she loves what she does and how good at her job she is. I love seeing this side of her and on the flip side, I loved seeing Asa be on his own and explain how he got to where he was and how he struggled with getting to the good place he's at. We know and learn and love them as individuals as well as counterparts in a relationship.

The Bromance
Rome and Asa...that's all I have to say.

The Rest of the Gang
I mean, how can I not love any and every glimpse into the happily ever afters of our previous characters. I loved every glimpse I got and seeing them all transform into domestic bliss makes me want to do a happy dance...*does massive happy dance*.
The End
It was a very bittersweet experience reading the final book of the Marked Men series. I have come to know and love these characters like family and there are very few series or books I will say that about and have me thinking about them long after the final page is turned. However, they all had their say, they all got their story, and I know we'll be seeing glimpses of them in the Saints of Denver Series. I'm sad, more than I can say, to see these characters go but in the end...all is well.
Backstage Pass
If you love complex characters, ink, real stories, real love, and real good books...this one's for you

And HERE is an excerpt from Asa...ENJOY!

She puffed out a breath and her bangs fluttered over her winged brows. “He’s a survivor for sure, but there is a difference between merely getting by and living the life you’re supposed to live. I had no idea how love was supposed to look or feel until I met Jet. I wasn’t living a full life until he gave me the strength to let go of everything else."

Her eyes flared hot, gold just like Asa’s did when he was excited about something. I was a tiny bit jealous that just saying her man’s name had that effect on her.

“I want Asa to do more than survive, Royal. I want him to finally be happy for once in his life. I want him to do more than just get by. I want him to have something that is his and his alone that he doesn’t ever feel like he has to fight for.”

I gulped a little bit as emotion started to clog my throat. I set my almost empty beer down on the table in front of me and twisted my fingers together. “He has all of that within his grasp, but his hands are too busy holding on to the past and reaching for the future to grab on to it.”

She opened her mouth and then snapped it closed as she leaned back in her chair. She crossed her arms over her chest, covering up the Valkyrie straddling a flaming guitar and the word enmity as she did so. The shirt with the ripped-off sleeves that showed the sides of her black bra seemed out of place with her pointy red cowboy boots, but it was Ayden, so she rocked it and looked perfect doing so.

She shook her dark head. “I know he is. I was hoping that since he can’t stop staring at you, and keeps looking at me like he wants to drop-kick me across the bar, maybe you had convinced him to let some of that go. We can’t go back in time and we can’t predict the future. He’s living in suspended animation.”

I shifted again as the jukebox switched to an old Christina Aguilera song, which had several middle-aged ladies climbing up from the table they were sharing and doing some serious booty shaking. It made me grin even though the topic of conversation wasn’t exactly cheerful.

“Every once in a while he puts it all away, and every now and again I feel like he’s reaching for a lifeline to stop himself from sinking. It gives me enough hope that I’m willing to stick around and see how it all plays out.”

She ran her finger around the rim of her shot glass and licked the salt off. “What are you going to do if you ever have to lock him up again? He’s a trouble magnet. Even when he’s trying to keep his nose clean.”

I sighed and shoved my hands through the front of my hair. “I keep telling myself I’ll cross that bridge if I ever come to it.” I leaned closer to her when the dancing women moved a little closer and their laughter got loud enough that I had to talk over it. “Did you know he was willing to do time, to sit in jail for a crime he didn’t even commit because he’s so twisted up on the inside about everything that happened before? How can someone even function with that kind of guilt filling them up?”

My voice caught and I let out a shuddering breath. I started a little when Ayden’s hand reached out and landed on top of the fists I hadn’t even been aware I was making. I mean I knew about guilt and the way it could affect a person’s thinking. My own guilt had kept me away from Dom when he needed me most, but I let it go when I realized it was poisoning everything in my life. I would always feel bad for what happened that night in the alley and I would never get over seeing Dom fall, but it couldn’t be the only moment that defined my life or my career. I needed Asa to realize everything he was missing by refusing to let go.


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1 comment:

  1. I'm quite excited to binge the rest of the Marked Men series after enjoying Rule so much! It's always fun to read a series of companion novels that feature different leads, and Asa sounds like such a great guy. Definitely excited to get all the way to his book ;)

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