Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Christie Review: Nash by Jay Crownover


Series:Marked Men #4
Author:Jay Crownover
Release Date: April 29 , 2014
Rating:3.5 stars

Will their past determine their future?

Saint Ford has worked hard to achieve her childhood dream of becoming of nurse. Focused on her work and devoted to her patients, there’s no room for love. She doesn’t need a guy making waves in her calm, serene life—especially when he’s the unforgettable hottie who nearly destroyed her in high school. Dark, brooding Nash Donovan might not remember her or the terrible pain he caused. But he turned her world upside down... and now he’s trying to do it again.
Saint has no idea that Nash isn’t the cocky player he once was. Uncovering a devastating family secret has rocked his world, and now he’s struggling to figure out his future. He can’t be distracted by the pretty nurse he seems to meet everywhere. Still, he can’t ignore the sparks that fly between them —or how she seems so desperate to get away from him. But the funny, sweet, and drop-dead gorgeous Saint is far too amazing to give up on—especially since she’s the only thing in his life that seems to make sense.

When Nash discovers the truth about their past, he realizes he may have lost her heart before he could even fight for it. Now, Saint has to decide: is Nash worth risking herself for all over again?

Two facts: I love author Jay Crownover, and I love the Marked Men series. Unfortunately, I did not love this newest addition. Liked...yes. That really is disappointing to me because this book in particular had the potential to be one of my favorites but it fell short of the mark. Don't get me wrong, not by any means am I saying this book is bad. But it could have been better. I came away from the book being dissatisfied about a couple things and I wish that weren't the case.

As always, Jay has a wonderful style of writing that I love and a way of weaving her words that makes her story a joy to read. It's very emotive and meaningful despite the theme that seems to run through the entire series: Tatted, tortured bad boy who meets his match when he's least looking for it. This book deviates from that a bit-Nash isn't tortured or really a bad boy. Yeah, he's got his issues, but who doesn't? What had the most potential in my eyes was the fact that it took on the topic of self-worth and self esteem and how other people can unknowingly affect one person's life.

Saint is our heroine. She's a fiery redhead who as a teenager was that girl that liked to be invisible and blend into the crowd. It was her way of preventing other people from picking on her for her weight or shyness.

People could only hurt you and disappoint you if you let them. They only had the power to hurt you if you thought they were special and above that."

I could completely sympathize with her in the beginning. I went through an awkward and shy stage when I was young and it really it stifling to your spirit and horribly painful. However I wasn't happy with the progression of her issues. But I'll get into that later.

Nash was always part of the popular crowd, but back in high school was going through a lot of turmoil over his family-his mother in particular. He was a bit of a rebel at the time. He was hurting from his mother's lack of affection and it caused him to say and do some irresponsible things at times. At heart, he's truly a good guy though-you could tell by the way he was the only person to go out of his way to be nice to Saint when no one else cared. But her infatuation with him and his careless actions caused some seriously deep scars on Saint's behalf and years later, now an adult and working as a nurse she still hasn't gotten over the hurt. She's a responsible, caring person who lives for her job and making a difference. In that way, she's grown and thrived.

There were several factors that contributed to Saint's lack of social life, dating life, or literally any confidence or positive feelings about herself.

1)She was overweight and a little nerdy in school and had no friends

2) Her parents' sudden split after a long happy marriage which was caused by infidelity by her father.

3) A college boyfriend who couldn't put up with her insecurities and cheated on her.

These things have caused her to have absolutely no faith in a deep real love with another person....or most especially herself. These reasons make it totally understandable that she feels this way. She can't handle intimacy- physical or emotional and she's just a big ball of twisted up emotions. She wants to just get over it and move on but really hasn't the first clue how. She views happily ever after as some mythical theory you find in romance books. It's just clearly not a part of reality.

I sympathized (and empathized) with her. But after a certain point I did want her to snap out of it and get her act together. I wanted it to happen much sooner than it happened. I started to get impatient with her and her constant self-disgust and negative attitude. Here she has this wonderful, sweet, and clearly crazy about her guy who would do anything for her, and she's judging him by his actions as a teenager...still. After all these years. I mean, if you think about it, who do you know is the same exact person they were in high school? And what she was judging him on wasn't even what she thought it was.

She did come to her senses and at that point I cruised through the book in satisfaction.

The building blocks that made me who I was as a person were changing, being rearranged and placed in different places.

Saint was there for Nash through some extremely difficult times and I shed a few tears and sighed over their sweet support for each other.

"I got you, Nash," Her eyes were a thundercloud I wanted to stare at forever. That was a storm I would never complain about getting caught in."

What I loved, as always, was this great group of friends who were in their own way somewhat of a misfit but they show each other that you don't have to share the same blood to be family. They're all amazingly sexy, caring, and in your face who they are-unapologetically. And frankly, these are exactly the kinds of people Saint needs around her. If Saint's acceptance of herself and the possibility of a true relationship with Nash could have just come sooner, I would have be enthusiastically praising everything about this book. And though it was frustrating at times, it didn't fail to touch me. There's a great message here and and still a worthwhile read.

"It's how we deal with the things that hurt us most that defines us."


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