Book Review: Rule (Marked Men #1) by Jay Crownover
Shaw Landon loved Rule Archer from the moment she laid eyes on him. Rule is everything a straight–A pre-med student like Shaw shouldn’t want–and the only person she’s never tried to please. She isn’t afraid of his scary piercings and tattoos or his wild attitude. Though she knows that Rule is wrong for her, her heart just won’t listen.
To a rebel like Rule Archer, Shaw Landon is a stuck-up, perfect princess-and his dead twin brother’s girl. She lives by other people’s rules; he makes his own. He doesn’t have time for a good girl like Shaw-even if she’s the only one who can see the person he truly is.
But a short skirt, too many birthday cocktails, and spilled secrets lead to a night neither can forget. Now, Shaw and Rule have to figure out how a girl like her and a guy like him are supposed to be together without destroying their love . . . or each other.
Spoiler Free Review
I’ll admit it I’m a sucker for guy with tattoos, that’s why I was more than a little giddy when I stumbled across The Marked Men series by Jay Crownover, which features tatted up bad boys instead of clean cut frat boys as the love interest. Hallelujah.
Shaw Landon and Rule Archer bring new meaning to the term opposites attract. Shaw is a buttoned up, prim and proper rich girl and Rule is a mohawked, pierced, and heavily inked blue collar guy. What I liked about this story was not only the tension that comes from two seemingly opposites realizing that insane attraction but also that people are not always what they seem. It’s the old adage you can’t judge a book by its cover. Shaw may have seemed like she had it all on the outside but beneath the pretty pink pout and Lily Pulitzer cardigan was a girl dealing with some serious issues, namely a cold and unloving family and an unrequited crush on the completely oblivious Rule.
And Rule? Where do I begin with him? Emotionally closed off after the death of his twin brother, Rule has spent the last few years building up his armor to keep people at arms length. Well everyone but the ladies whom come in and out of his life as if on a conveyor belt. It’s hard to see at first what the dutiful Shaw sees in Rule. He’s arrogant, sloppy, and every bit a man whore but every Sunday she shows up on his door step to see to it that he makes it to his family for Sunday brunch.
You begin to slowly realize through the course of this expertly crafted book that there is more to Rule than meets the eye and it is through Shaw’s eyes that you realize that this smart mouthed, wild haired boy is very worthy of love.
This story wasn’t all hearts and butterflies as heartache, grief and redemption were there in equal part with the passion that packed the pages. Oh and the passion, dear God did these two have it! From the first time Shaw and Rule get together you know you are going to be in for quite a few blush worthy moments. I also loved all of the side characters that added a richness to the story, none of them were one note and it’s good because they are going to be the focus of the sequels to come.
I left this story feeling wholly satisfied it wasn’t like any of the new NA books I’ve read of late that have been a quick and steamy read. These characters went through real tangible change and it was wonderful to read. Shaw in particular may have changed a bit too much for me (appearance wise) but other than that I was left almost mourning the closing of the last page. I’m thankful that these characters will be glimpsed in upcoming sequels. Jay Crownover has established herself as an author to watch in my book.