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Monday, January 6, 2014

Rule ( Marked Men, #1) By Jay Crownover

A Review By Wendy

4.5 Pierced, Tatted, Mohawked, Forever Stars

Due to my wonderful GR pals... a book called Rome came across my feed. Read the reviews/teasers and found out it was part of the Marked Men series by Jay Crownover. Being that I like to look into the source or beginning of a series even if they are stand alone... found out the first part of this group was Rule. So off I went to meet him, his family and friends.

Well, I was in for a treat. I met a fella who was tortured, hot, confident in spite of everything and had that special something that made anyone with a vagina want him... no questions asked and under any conditions.

He was part of a family which on the surface functioned before tragedy happened killing his twin, Remy. This family had Rome, the eldest and keeper of them all in line; with Remy the "good, amiable, peace-keeper twin and Rule fulfilling the slot of difficult, stubborn, marching to his own drum and banging it loudly. The parents of these children were everyday their lives and seeming to be the answer to a little lost girl's prayers.

This shy, emotionally poor girl from a the ultra rich parentage was found by Remy when she was 13... and he kept her safe, comforted and became her lifeline to this family she wished was hers.

But what was the most precious for her in meeting these people was Rule... she was taken at first glance and continued to love him desperately. Remy knew she did... but somewhere in the bonding of Remy and Shaw, an unwritten contract was formed of a knowing which would be hidden from all ... and no matter how many times Shaw explained to the family, Remy and her were Not lovers, just the very best of friends... no one believed her...especially Rule... as Shaw was everything he never would have... clean, privileged, super smart and his twin brother's girl.

So they grow up together.. high school and then onto life... Tattooing, a career and man whoring for Rule; Rome deciding the Army and protecting his country for him; Remy finding his place and him encouraging Shaw to come to Denver and college to be close to him and Rule.

Then that tragedy I mentioned happens... skewing everything... this perfect family, connections and how people relate to one another...
Remy dies driving to pick up Rule because he is drunk... and now Rule has heard out loud all of the venom from his mother's lips she has held back ....blaming him and saying at the grave, she wished it had been Rule...

So we meet these people at this juncture... doing a charade of life;
Rule acting like he has it handled; fucking and drinking to ease the pain... Rome in the Army dealing with seeing all of his buddies dying around him and just trying to keep it together... and Shaw...

Shaw is the glue that is holding everyone connected by the tenuous threads left. She picks Rule up every Sunday in a war dance they have perfected; she coming and puling him out the bed no matter what the flavor of the night was... getting him to his parents house for Sunday brunch... living through the batting the mother and father do to Rule and her balancing everything because even as bad as all this is... it is not a fraction of how horrible her actual parents are...

Her actual parents either wish to pawn her off as a political prize to this Judge's son, Gabe... with no care as to whether she wants to be with him or his fucked up actions. They hold her tuition over her head to make her stay in line and Shaw wants to be an ER doctor... and make a difference in the world. She loads herself up with all of the classes, study groups and a job just to get by. She doesn't pay attention to the fact she is stunningly beautiful... she only knows she has goals and the one she dreams of and thinks will never happen is Rule.

This book was a eye opener for me... as a parent... My children are grown and yes, there were times all of us were frustrated with each other... but no matter the issues ... no matter the actions... my children knew their parents were their safe haven... that there was unconditional love and support... and in my naivete... I sometimes forget that is not always the case.

I forget... life other than my own causes people to do and say things I could never consider thinking. I forget....people are raised, grow and never learn to not  to trust because there has never been an example for them to see it is ok to do so.... and I forget that if you think you have never been loved... you may not know what that feeling is... and know how to accept it from others.

Rule... was that man/child who had the love and trust from his brothers... but that feeling from his parents ... not so much.. so when Shaw and Rule finally connect the way everyone around them knows they should have years ago.... it is staggering to Rule... this feeling and he has to learn how to handle it... it is frightening... it is scarey and he really doesn't want to fuck it up.
When these two connect... it is a thing of beauty... hot, frantic, wanting and just really good. Every time, the telling of their meeting together works... so this was an added bonus to a heartfelt couple.
Shaw was a great character... even in her most compliant and appeasing with her demanding and controlling parents... she showed an inner strength... she had a solid core of beliefs and although she may have faltered a couple of times... she always was strong in her love of Rule. She really saw him and his loyalty to his friends and brothers... she saw his creativity and talent ... and fought for him.

This story has all of the elements to love...extremely strong secondary characters; a plot and story to hold you and the emotional kick which hits every chord sincerely... not manipulative in any way. 

This book was an all niter for me...I started it in the late afternoon and before I realized it... it was well into late night... I just couldn't let go of the ride I was on.

Thank you Lisa Jayne and Lili... because of you I discovered a terrific series and will be seeing if Jet and Ayden figure out their story...

I'm supposed to share interesting details about myself so that my readers get to know me so here we go in no particular order: I'm an natural redhead even though I haven't seen my real hair color in years, I'm a big fan of tattoos and have a half sleeve on either arm and various other pieces all over the place, I've been in the bar industry since I was in college and it has always offered interesting insight into how men and women interact with each other, I have 3 dogs that are all crazy, I live in Colorado and love the snow, I love music and in all reality wish I could be a rock star not a writer or a bartender but I have zero talent so there is that.
I love to write, love to read and all I'm interested in is a good story with interesting characters that make the reader feel something.
Thanks for taking the time to check my stuff out....

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