Tuesday, April 14, 2015

ARC Review, Excerpt & Giveaway: ASA by Jay Crownover

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.


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And don’t miss the previous books in The Marked Men Series!







I gulped and fully expected Royal to stop what she was doing but she didn’t, and she didn’t bother to look up as I strangled out that we were fine and just needed the bill. The girl gave me a look full of knowing and, if I wasn’t mistaken, approval before she walked off. I curled my fingers at the back of Royal’s head until they were hopelessly tangled in her hair, and lifted her head off of my shoulder enough that I could kiss her. Her hand dipped even lower in my pants and I groaned against her tongue.

“You need to stop.” I rasped the words out because I really didn’t want to say them. We were in a public place, and while she might have a wild side, I doubted she would let me throw her on the cocktail table and fuck her like everything inside me was screaming to do.

She sank her teeth into my bottom lip hard enough, and when she coupled that with her soft hand squeezing the base of my dick, I was ready to come on the spot. “You need to stop, too.”

Her message was clear. She was all for games as long as they were fun and sexy, but she wasn’t going to be a pawn, and if I wanted to enjoy her while I had her, I better get my shit together real quick. She withdrew her hand, skating up under the hem of my shirt and letting her fingers run over the ridges of my abs. The scrape of her nails across my skin had me ready to go off like a rocket, so I threw enough money on the table to cover our bill and probably the table next to ours and dragged her out of the warehouse like it was on fire.

She laughed and it did something to the inside of my chest. I had put tears in her eyes first, but somehow she was amazing enough to understand the stuff I did better than I did myself, and now she was laughing about the disaster of it all. It was like the sun coming through the clouds on a stormy day. She was everything bright the darkness tried to swallow and I wanted inside of her so bad that I couldn’t see straight.

I pushed her up against the side of the battered car and closed my mouth over hers. I tunneled my fingers through the hair at her temples and kissed her with every bit of urgency I had. The funny thing was, I had to let go of some of the other stuff I was always holding on to in order to get the message across to her, and with the press of her mouth against mine, the brush of her tongue across my own, I couldn’t explain it but I suddenly felt lighter.

“I want to take you home and take you to bed.” I sounded rough. There was no smoothness in my typically practiced twang. I sounded impatient and needy, two things I don’t think I had ever been before this girl.

What I thought about Asa

Asa, Asa, Asa. What a surprise.  I didn't want to like you. I didn't want to believe that you'd left the criminal life behind. I was always waiting for the other shoe to drop with you.  But you surprised me, southern charmer!

Asa still bartends at The Bar, and he's content living the quiet life while he attempts to ignore the beautiful cop that is pursuing him. Royal makes it clear she wants him. She doesn't care about his past. He really wants her too, but he's still dragging around his past sins as a means to keep himself on the right side of the law.

There's some really nice sexual tension between these two characters and I loved that Royal had to go after him. Both of them have a lot to work through before they can make a go of it, and I liked the different stages they went through as they fall hard for each other.

But fate is a cruel mistress, and love sometimes isn't enough.

I'm not going to spoil it and reveal anymore, but by the end of book, I was an Asa fan. Royal, too. They both have a place in the Marked Men family.

There's a good bit of setup in this for the spin-off series, Saints of Denver, and lots of wrap-up info about the rest of the Marked Men and their ladies. Even though it's sad to see this series come to a close, I think it was the right time, and Asa and Royal was a perfect send off.  Rule, Jet, Rome, Nash, Rowdy and Asa will always be on my book boyfriends list, and I'm looking forward to more wonderful stories from Jay Crownover.

This is a terrific series centered about the love between friends. It's been a great ride.  Recommended.

ARC provided for review.

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About Jay Crownover:

Jay Crownover is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the Marked Men series. She will also be introducing the dark and sexy world of The Point in a new series this summer starting with Better When He’s Bad. Like her characters, she is a big fan of tattoos. She loves music and wishes she could be a rock star, but since she has no aptitude for singing or instrument playing, she'll settle for writing stories with interesting characters that make the reader feel something. She lives in Colorado with her three dogs.



Janie H said...

Rule is my favorite! He was the first one we meet and I love how he didn't blend in and dressed the way he wanted.

Trader Mare said...

Hi Janie! Thanks for stopping by the blog! For me, it's a toss-up between Rule and Nash. I really can't pick just one!

Danielle Saffell said...

I think Rowdy is my favorite, but I'm anxious to read Asa's story!!

Trader Mare said...

Hi Danielle -- thanks for stopping by the blog! I loved Rowdy's story! I think you'll like Asa too!