Another guest post from the Paperback Purist, who has been ruined so completely, she’s just going to go ahead and review this whole series for us. #sorrynotsorry
Doing it at: 36%
Catnip: Tattoos; Rock Stars; Deep Dark Secrets; Fun Piercings; Dual Narrative; Series; Lead Singer
Shame Scale: Medium. The cover is just a guy trying hard to give you a smoldering look and failing. And he’s not even that hot.
Fantasy Cast: Adam Levine and Nina Dobrev
The second book in the Marked Men series from Jay Crownover – a sizzling story of love, lust and longingWith his tight leather jeans and a sharp edge that makes him dangerous, Jet Keller is every girl’s rock and roll fantasy. But Ayden Cross is done walking on the wild side with bad boys. She doesn’t want to give in to the heat she sees in Jet’s dark, haunted eyes, but even his touch sets her on fire.Jet can’t resist the Southern Belle with mile-long legs in cowboy boots who defies his every expectation. Yet the closer he feels to Alden, the less he seems to know her. While he’s tempted to get under her skin and undo her in every way, he knows first hand what happens to two people with very different ideas about relationships.Will the blaze burn into an enduring love… or will it consume their dreams and turn them to ashes?
Fast forward a year. Ayden, Jet and Cora (tattoo shop piercer and front desk girl) are ROOMMATES. Queue the awkward sexual tension. Cora and Ayden rate every girl who does the walk of shame from Jet’s bedroom, which seems to be a decent number. I’m not talking the manwhore status that Rule received in Book 1, but close. The year spent not making out has done nothing to put out the fire between them. The two of them are constantly eying each other up while walking around half-naked and acting insanely jealous about every love interest the other might have. Ayden’s boyfriend is a super kind, super boring college guy that Jet likes to call Argyle Sweater Vest. Ayden only sees security and a 401k in her future. I’m terrible, because I can’t even remember the character’s name. I’ll just call him Sweater Vest as well.
Jet’s life as a lead singer has been on the upswing. He owns a recording studio with an excellent ebb and flow of artists, and his band is content playing locally and never signing to a major label. But I’m going to be really honest here….Jet is boring. He’s SO NICE, YOU GUYS. He’s got this whole rocky childhood thing he could draw from, he could drink too much or get high or anything. He’s a rock star, for crying out loud! Other than the slow parade of one-night stands, he’s not really the out-of-control lead singer I had hoped for. He’s responsible and hard working and a business owner and blah.
The big turning point for both happens at one of Jet’s shows. Ayden arrives with Sweater Vest, despite the fact that she’d dumped the guy. And all of Jet’s feeling for her finally surface. Leaving Sweater Vest behind, Ayden follows Jet backstage, which is where the magic happens. It’s not the trashy sex scene in the dirty dressing room that you know you want, but probably the one you deserve. Just a little hot and steamy fooling around that gets slightly out of hand. And after, it’s clear the attraction is not something they can ignore. The connection between Ayden and Jet is fiery. The first time they get down to business, it’s all sparks and electricity and good, good stuff. But he’s just so nice. He sings old country songs under his breath to Ayden after sex because she doesn’t like metal. He loves his mom. I wanted more garbage and drama from the rock star than I got, but he does have that whole downstairs piercing thing going on. (THANK YOU, CORA!)
There are so many obstacles and so many secrets that get in the way once they agree to do something about their feelings. Jet is honest, and knows that he and Ayden are not on the same page with most things. Ayden’s past is catching up to her fast. Jet’s parents are tumultuous, and he is thrown in the middle while defending his mother. And just when things are getting good, Ayden pushes Jet out. In her mind, she’s saving him. Her past is not something she wants to collide with her present and, unfortunately, it’s staring right at her. Jet, although heartbroken, has his own demons to fight. Literally and figuratively.