By: Jay Crownover
This is the last and final book for the Marked Men series and it follows two people who we have been subtly introduced and have made numerous appearances throughout the series. Asa and Royal both feel like they are on the fringes of the Marked Men group but as their story unfolds, not only do they find each other but they also find a place in a family they didn’t know they wanted.
“He needs to be regardless, and so do you.”
Asa is Ayden’s brother; he is introduced to us at the end of Jet, where he is fighting for his life in hospital. In Rome, Nash and Rowdy we see him as somebody struggling to right his wrongs and who often has the past thrown in his face. All the Marked Men are constantly giving Asa the benefit of the doubt however his biggest adversary is himself and he therefore cannot listen to any of the nice or encouraging things anyone says to him. Then there is Royal; Royal is a drop-dead gorgeous police officer who is on stress leave from work and getting herself in all sorts of trouble, whilst trying to sort through her feelings of betrayal and guilt.
Together the cop and the criminal find an uncommon connection that neither of them can or wants to shake. What starts as a lust fuelled connection becomes something much more worthwhile and with that comes so much more risk and potential heartache.
As Royal finally sifts through her baggage, Asa is still determined to see no light in his life. Before you know it Royal is making it her mission to make Asa see how much he has changed and how much he deserves to be happy.
“I get that you did bad things and were a bad man, but part of moving past that is realising you aren’t there anymore. If you can’t do that, I can’t do this.”
As days and weeks pass Royal and Asa realise that they are falling madly in love with one another but instead of relishing in this happiness the universe has other plans.
“I don’t know why you’re here, but I feel like I need to thank any God that might exist that you are.”
From parents that are alive to parents that are dead, Royal and Asa deal with some life changing decisions with the hope that all roads lead them to a happy ever after.
“I love you, Royal. I love you enough to live for you, to be awake for you, to be here in this moment as long as you are in it with me. I love you enough to let you know every little dirty secret I have and to tell you all the terrible things I have done and how those things left their marks on my soul. I love you in a way that makes me want to be more than I ever have been before, but I also love you enough to want to protect you from things that I know are going to hurt you. If you love me enough and trust me enough to let me keep those things from you for an eternity, then maybe we have a shot. I know it’s asking an impossible thing, but that’s the only way.”