Review: ROME by Jay Crownover

 
Cora Lewis is a whole lot of fun, and she knows how to keep her tattooed bad boy friends in line. But all that flash and sass hide the fact that she’s never gotten over the way her first love broke her heart. Now she has a plan to make sure that never happens again: She’s only going to fall in love with someone perfect.
Rome Archer is as far from perfect as a man can be. He’s stubborn and rigid, he’s bossy and has come back from his final tour of duty fundamentally broken. Rome’s used to filling a role: big brother, doting son, super soldier; and now none of these fit anymore. Now he’s just a man trying to figure out what to do with the rest of his life while keeping the demons of war and loss at bay. He would have been glad to suffer it alone, until Cora comes sweeping into his life and becomes the only color on his bleak horizon.
Perfect isn’t in the cards for these two, but imperfect might just last forever . . .

Review

Rome Archer has returned from war a broken man.  Tormented by his time in the military and devastated by the loss of his brother.  He is aloof.  Bitter.  Angry.  His nickname Captain No-Fun is certainly fitting.  Cora Lewis is used to keeping the men from Marked in line.  She isn't going to give Rome any slack.  She doesn't have any trouble giving it right back to him.

"I couldn't believe that crazy little sprite had the nerve to dump beer on my head.  First of all, she barely came up to my shoulder, and second of all, she looked like a walking, talking piece of candy."

Cora knows exactly what she is looking for: the perfect man.  One who comes without drama and baggage and she isn't willing to settle for anything less.  She's been hurt before and this is the only way she knows to protect herself.  Falling in love with a guy like Rome certainly isn't in her life's plan.  He is lost and has no idea what his future holds.  His military career is over, and he has no purpose left.  

The first 20% of this book was a little slow for me.  There was very little actual interactions between Rome and Cora in the beginning, but I can see that it was a story that needed to be told  We needed to know why Cora had created this invisible armor around herself and Rome needed to get a few swift kicks to get back into gear and on the road to recovery.

These days there are a lot of books written about men coming back with post-traumatic stress disorder.  I was very pleased with this book and how Rome was able to work through his issues and form a new life for himself with the help of a sympathetic bar owner.  It was very realistic, engaging, and unique.  There was also a nice resolution to the grief over Remy's death.  It really gave closure to the characters and was nicely written.  

Cora was a breath of fresh air.  She had such spunk and I could totally picture her from the vivid descriptions in the book.  The brightly colored clothes and tattoos really matched her personality and made her come alive.

"Because I'm freaked out that whatever I say might be the wrong thing.  And right now, being with you is the one thing that feels solid and real... You're so full of color, so vibrant you never get lost in all the gray in my head.  I don't want to lose that."

"He always tells me that I color his entire world, but he did the same thing for me."

This book held a few twists and turns and a lot of heart.  4 stars for Rome!

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