Novel Of The Week: Rowdy (Marked Men #5) by Jay Crownover

In the previous books Rowdy was described as a modern day James Dean / a super funny Johnny Bravo look alike...these premises had been enough to intrigue me. Plus I love the guys from the Marked tattoo shop so here's to you my review and thoughts on Rowdy by Jay Crownover.
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Rowland "Rowdy" St.James had to deal with a lot of pain and dark moments during his life: first his mother's death when he was just 6 years old and, since then, being constantly moved from a foster family to another. When he tought he had found a friend in the girl next door...she eventually left him as well. Now that he's grown up, he belives that everything is already written in our destiny and that even the most tragic events in his life had helped him to be where he is now: working as a tattoo artist in Denver, surrounded by friends who quickly became his family.

His life seemed to be fine, when Phil Donovan (Rowdy's employer and only father figure he has ever have) decided to shuffle a bit the cards on the table and turn Rowdy existence upside down; with the opening of the new tattoo shop "Saints of Denver", the boys need a new shop manager and they hire, under Phil's suggestion, Salem, who turned out to be Rowdy's neighbour when he lived in Texas, almost 10 years earlier.

Salem Cruz lived all his life under his bossy and God-fearing father, so she didn't hesitate when she had the chance of leaving all that behind, even if that meant leaving her sister Poppy and Rowdy (her only true friend) as well. But now that fate (with Phil's help) is giving her another chance with him, she's not going to waste it...though Rowdy is giving her hard time to show he can trust her.

Rowdy doesn't want to be too fond to Salem because his 
biggest fear is to lose her, 100% sure she'd leave him like she already did before...he just can't go through that again! 

So when he finally understands Salem is here to stay and drops all the walls he'd built around his heart for all those years, life brings back old Texas ghosts and problems. And who's Sayer Cole, the new chic blondie who seems to be apparently very interested in Rowdy?

Of course hot moments between Salem and Rowdy are in the scenario and they make this novel the worthy 5th book of the Marked Men series.

What I liked
The main characters: I liked Rowdy because he's described as the good/quite guy who has been through a lot in his life, but didn't stop him to become a great artist and a loyal and trustworthy friend...his past is blurred and he doesn't talk about it very often. At least, until Salem enters the scene. 
She's a positive character as well: strong, witty and with an hilarious sense of humor and a "tattoed pin up girl" style. Salem knows when to chase Rowdy and when it's her time to be chased, and that helps Rowdy to get through things which still tie him to the past.

They're very well defined and described and I think their weaknesses and fears are easily to identify with.

What I did not like
Of all the "Marked Men" book, this was the less flowing...probably because of the themes: death, Rowdy's fear of abandonment and all the violence that he and Salem had to dealn with. He's also too attached to the thinking that our destiny is already written and that made the book a bit boring at some point.

Yet, I think it's a great read and I liked every sinlge plot twist and the dialogues are, as always, SO.MUCH.FUN!! This is also the first time where the girl is older than the boy, but didn't add the "toy boy factor" to the novel, which I highly appreciate! I think the couple made by Rowdy and Salem may become my absolut favorite! Who am I kidding? They're ALL my favorites!!

My Marked Med series reviews:
Rome - click HERE
Nash - click HERE

My vote: 7¾ /10

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