Series: Marked Men #2
Published by William Morrow on May 28th 2013
With his tight leather pants 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. She’s afraid of getting burned from the sparks of their spontaneous combustion, even as 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 Ayden, the less he seems to know her. While he’s tempted to get under her skin and undo her in every way, he knows firsthand 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?
Boy oh boy! These Marked Men sure have made me fall for them hard. I adored Rule, Jay Crownover’s first offering about the independent tattoo artist who blazed his own path and fell for the one girl he never expected to but I was nervous about Jet. While I loved the sneak peek we got at his character in Rule and instantly connected with Shaw’s BFF Ayden I wasn’t sure if a book about a seemingly man-whore rock star was going to appeal. Usually books about rock stars fall into the same category as billionaire playboys, that category being “Will not touch with a barge-pole!” but yet again Jay Crownover flipped my perceptions of a been there, done that story and I fell head over heels for Jet and ended up loving this book even more than Rule!
Jet and Ayden had one awkward encounter a year ago when the leggy, beautiful southern belle threw herself at Jet after a concert and he rebuffed her advances. Ayden may appear to be the good girl Jet thinks he would be taking advantage of if he followed through on her offer but she’s got a past she’s not too proud off. His rebuff is a wake up call that all she’s worked so hard to keep together could instantly disappear if she lost herself in Jet’s dark eyes and rock star ways and so the two form an uneasy friendship where in between staring contests with so much heat they could melt the polar icecaps, Jet works out his frustrations in the bedroom and Ayden pretends she doesn’t care. When the volcano of hidden emotion finally erupts and Jet and Ayden give in to their passions, will their fears and pasts allow them to love or will this molten heat between them destroy everything in its path?
Jet like Rule is a story of love, fear, sex and plenty of drama and Jay Crownover certainly heightened the emotion in this book and I was caught up immediately in both character’s stories but in particular Jet’s. I adored his character, he was definitely not what I was expecting and I loved how much depth Jay brought to his character. He had all the typical NA boy traits but just like Rule was so much more. Naturally talented at music both on-stage and in the studio, Jet may party hard but he works even harder. Carving out a niche for himself in the Colorado music scene with his band, Jet is happy to be able to immerse himself in what he loves. To Ayden, his career choice may look like a one way ticket to mayhem and lack of security but Jet is savvy enough to know how to protect himself and those around him. It may not be 9-5 but it makes him happy. Despite his brilliance on stage Jet can’t handle the adulation that comes from being rock star and the idea of signing with a label and touring full time strikes him cold. Growing up with a father who is the quintessential washed up music man stereotype and his brutality towards Jet and his mom means deep down that Jet may think he doesn’t want the fame but in reality he doesn’t want to leave his mother in danger. Jet’s interactions with his parents broke my heart and I really sympathised with his plight, the constant worry about a loved one if you leave can be paralysing and the fear of letting go is horrible.
Jet’s reluctance to get into a relationship with Ayden stems from his father too. Terrified that if he truly immerses himself in the music scene he’ll lose himself and end up bitter and hardened like his dad, he can’t bear the thought of putting Ayden through hell if the anger he’s carried with him all his life bubbles to the surface.
Ayden is equally gun shy, growing up in less than stellar circumstances; Ayden has had to sacrifice parts of herself in order to keep her no-good brother and weak mother safe over the years. Delving into the darkest parts of her soul in order to keep herself sane, Ayden has turned her life around and is now all about security and carving out a predictable future with no surprises. Jet is the one thing that reminds her that the girl she left in the past is still there ready to come out and play. Despite both their fears the couple cannot stay away and their chemistry is dynamic. You could tell how much they ached for each other and their desire practically dripped off the page when they were together it was so panty-meltingly good!
There’s plenty of back and forth as expected with these kinds of romances and at times I was screaming at the two to trust in themselves and each other especially Ayden whose decisions drove me insane but it really showed just how much I grew to care for these two characters. Jet was definitely a more romantic book than Rule and I loved that aspect, it definitely appealed to me as sure I like the rawness of down and dirty sex in NA sometimes it’s a bit overwhelming and the softer edge to this one was a welcome addition.
Again the stand out for me was how well developed the secondary characters were particularly Cora and Rowdy whom I adore so much! Both characters were such great sounding boards for the couple and I loved how they genuinely cared and Rowdy? Awesome wing man! Seriously the guy you want hanging with your boyfriend after you’ve had an Armageddon inducing fight! The behind the scenes look at the music process was another highlight and I loved how clear Jet’s passion for his craft came through just as Rule’s love of art in book one.
Jet was awesome and had everything I was looking for in a New Adult romance. Full of chemistry, passion and tons of drama with a great message to take the leap and go for the thing you want but don’t think you deserve because the only one stopping you is truly yourself. Loved it!