Saturday, March 21, 2015

Rule (Marked Men #1) by Jay Crownover

SummaryOpposites in every way . . . except the one that matters 

Shaw Landon loved Rule Archer from the moment she laid eyes on him. Rule is everything a straight-A pre-med student like Shaw shouldn’t want—and the only person she’s never tried to please. She isn’t afraid of his scary piercings and tattoos or his wild attitude. Though she knows that Rule is wrong for her, her heart just won’t listen.

To a rebel like Rule Archer, Shaw Landon is a stuck-up, perfect princess-and his dead twin brother’s girl. She lives by other people’s rules; he makes his own. He doesn’t have time for a good girl like Shaw-even if she’s the only one who can see the person he truly is.

But a short skirt, too many birthday cocktails, and spilled secrets lead to a night neither can forget. Now, Shaw and Rule have to figure out how a girl like her and a guy like him are supposed to be together without destroying their love . . . or each other. (Via

Genre: New Adult

Pages: 387

Release Date: December 30th, 2012

Rating: 4/5 Stars

     At the start of the year, I made a large book order from Amazon of books that I wanted to get signed at ApollyCon, the release party for Jennifer L. Armentrout's newest book, The Return. When I made the order, I was contemplating whether or not I wanted any of Jay Crownover's books. I had recently heard some good things about her books and she was going to be at ApollyCon. But, I decided against it. I already had a ton of books in my cart and I have been trying to cut down on my book buying/TBR. Flash forward a mere month later and I am reading Jennifer L. Armentrout's first self-published novel, Wicked.
Throughout Wicked, the main character, Ivy, raves about the Marked Men series by Jay Crownover and I was sold. Jennifer L. Armentrout is my favorite author and I absolutely trust her judgement in books. A few days later when my family and I were on our way to Philadelphia for ApollyCon, we stopped at a local Barnes and Nobel's to pick up Rule. After buying Rule, I immediately started it and I was able to fly through a couple chapters while waiting in Jennifer L. Armentrout's three hour line at ApollyCon,.  
     I could not have read Rule at any other inconvenient time. I absolutely love New Adult contemporary, it is my current addiction, but for the life of me, I could not figure out why I was trudging through the first half of Rule. Do not get me wrong, the first half of Rule held my attention but I was not emotionally invested in the story. That all changed when I reached the two-thirds point in the book, Rule hooked me and refused to let me go. I stayed up two hours later then I normally should on a school night just so I could finish Rule. Once I finished Rule, I realized why I was not emotionally invested during the first half of the story. I was in a mini reading slump. I am glad that Rule was able to conquer my reading slump, but it really depressed me that, under normal circumstances, I would have loved Rule from page one, but a stupid reading slump interfered with that. I am crossing my fingers that all the other Marked Men will have my full attention when I get to their stories. 
     I am thrilled to continue the Marked Men series. I was able to win an advanced copy of the sixth and final book in the Marked Men series, Asa, at ApollyCon. I am hoping to read the remaining books in the series by Asa's release date of April 21st. A couple days ago, I spotted that Between the Covers is going to be hosting a weekly read-a-long for each of the Marked Men up until the release of Asa. This weeks read-a-long is Rule and if you are interested in participating, you can learn more here.
     I would highly recommend Rule to any fans of the Maddox Brothers series by Jamie McGuire or anyone who loves a good "bad" boy. From experience, I highly suggest
acquiring all of the books in the series at one time and then marathoning them. The Marked Men series consists of companion novels so they do not technically have 'cliffhangers' but I do not recommend reading the first book without the others because I am having separation
anxiety from the guys. 

     I really liked the dynamics of Rule and Shaw's relationship. Most New Adult couples can easily be described as a disaster, and, at times, Rule and Shaw's relationship was. But, no matter what challenges they faced, they were able to move on and look at the whole 
scheme of things. They understood when their relationship was too much and were willing to say goodbye. They knew that not all relationships last forever, a rude awakening most books should include. I loved that, at the end, Rule and Shaw both had sentimental tattoos for not only Remy, but each another. I find that extremely romantic and it is close to home for me because both of my parents have their names tattooed on each others left ring-finger
instead of wearing their wedding rings. 
     The ending of Rule was the perfect transition for rest of the series. I am interested to see who will move into Shaw's old room at Cora's. I am currently predicting Jet will move first since his book is the next in the series. But, more than likely, he will eventually move into Ayden's room at Cora's allowing Rome to move in as well. 
     It is really touching the Rule wants all of his friends to have a relationship like he does with Shaw. It is hard to believe that this is the same guy who, mere months before, was a major womanizer who could not be tamed. Yet at the same time, I find it hysterical that Shaw is hesitant at the proposal of Jet moving into Cora's. She understands that, in order for the guys to find their true love, there will be plenty of drama and heartbreak. She does not want to see Ayden go down that path.
     The only complaint I have about Rule is that the "bombshell" announcement of Remy being gay was rather predictable. It was an interesting twist to throw into the series, but it was too obvious. I would have liked it to be a little more inconspicuous. I am surprised Rule and Rome never picked up on it. I guess sometimes when things are under your nose for so long, you become oblivious to them. However, it does not justify the way Rule and Rome treated Shaw after the news broke. I understand that it is upsetting to hear that your dead brother was gay and never had the courage to tell you. But, Shaw promised Remy she would never tell anyone and they guys should respect the decision she made. She honored their brother's last request and ultimately paid the biggest price for never coming out about it.       
     I find it extremely interesting that the girls have their own covers as well. At ApollyCon, I got swag that used both editions and I can't decide whether I like the female or male covers better. Both editions had their positives and negatives. At the very end of this review, I will have a picture of the female edition of Rule and comment below which cover you prefer. 
     I am so excited to start reading the next book in the Marked Men series, Jet. I am a bit intimidated to read Jet because, frankly, the cover scares me. But, from what we learned about Jet in Rule, there is nothing to fear. If Ayden trusts him, I do. Speaking of Marked Men, on Jay Crownover's Facebook she posted the link to a quiz that tells you which Marked Men you should marry, you can take the quiz here. My result was Rowdy and I am curious to see how correct my result is as I learn more about him throughout the upcoming books. If you decide to take the quiz, I would love to hear your results and comments below. 

(Me, Jay Crownover)
Photo taken at ApollyCon

Female cover of Rule

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