Thursday, January 9, 2014

ROME by Jay Crownover

Publisher:   Harper Collins
Date published:   January 7, 2014
Genre:   Contemporary Romance, Erotica
Book format: Ebook
Obtained via:  Publisher
Reviewed by name and email address:  Gina

Four hearts

Cora Lewis has a pretty good life. At least she’s content with it.  She has good friends, they have fun times and nothing much, including bad boy Rome Archer, scares her.  Secure in herself she lays it on the line.  She won’t track crap from anyone and she knows that somewhere out there is the most perfect man ever and that one day they will meet and fall in love.  This perfect man will come without issues and baggage and will love her unconditionally.  Rome Archer is not that man.

Recently returned from a tour of duty overseas Rome Archer isn’t the easiest man to get to know.  As an older brother he felt and continues to feel it is his responsibility to guide his brothers.  As a soldier he looked out for his troops.  Now, as a civilian, he is trying to make sense of the rules where there really are no rules. At least none that fit with his world view.  And then there are the nightmares.  Nightmares about the ones he couldn’t save, the life he left and a future he is not so sure of.  The last thing he needs is a woman in his life, especially one like Cora Lewis. 

Yet bit by bit Cora worms her way into his heart and he into hers.  They are too independent, too mismatched, too much of what the other is sure they do not want in their lives.  But then why can’t they stay away from each other.  When darkness threatens their hearts break.  Can they find their way to each other in time?

ROME is the first book by Jay Crownover I’ve read.  I’m not much for erotica, don’t care all that much for first person writing although I read a good many cozies that are, by their formula alone, generally written in first person.  I don’t find tattoos and piercings attractive and wonder why those tattoos are going to look like when the people that have them hit their 80’s and 90’s and their skin sags. 

That said, Jay Crownover entranced me.  She writes in a mesmerizing voice that reminded me of both a wonderful black and white film noir and at the same time a hint of one of my favourites, Hammett, Dashiell.  The deeper and deeper I got into the story the more I could visualize it as a movie – a black and white classic but with a splash of color in Cora.  She is a marvellous blend of divergent traits and not just a likeable character, but if she were real, she is someone I would want to know.

In her introduction Ms. Crownover talks about the hidden wounds so many of our military have.  The injuries that run deeper than the surface and goes on to say she does not speak for them.  I think maybe she is wrong—she captures the inner turmoil, the emotional struggle so many of our returning men and women live with day after day when they return.  Rome is a complex character – an alpha male who is broken where we cannot see yet struggles to hold himself together. 

Together, Cora and Rome are not just memorable characters, they are the kind that stay with you long after the final page is read. 

What kept this book from receiving a 5 heart rating is the first person writing.  Not that it was written in the first person, but that if it weren’t for the chapter headings stating which character’s point of view we were in I wouldn’t have known the difference.  There is no emotional separation in Rome and Cora’s perspective and a few times I had to go back to the beginning of the chapter to see whose point of view we were in.  While the subject matter is often emotional the characters never quite fully evoked any emotion in me.  They were just too much alike in their telling.

I did not read the first two books in this series, JET and RULE but there was enough backstory that I had a sense of who the characters were from those two stories.  It is one of those rare times I didn’t feel like I was missing something by not reading a series from beginning to end. 

While I probably will not continue on with the series because of my own preferences in preferring third person I do recommend ROME.  Ms. Crownover writes a compelling story with likeable and, as I said above, memorable characters." rel="nofollow">a Rafflecopter giveaway

This is an objective review and not an endorsement of this book.

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