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Starting over in Denver with a whole new circle of friends and family, Asa Cross struggles with being the man he knows everyone wants him to be and the man he knows he really is. A leopard doesn’t it change its spots and Asa has always been a predator. He doesn’t want to hurt those who love and rely on him, especially one luscious arresting cop who suddenly seems to be interested in him for far more than his penchant for breaking the law. But letting go of old habits is hard, and it’s easy to hit bottom when it’s the place you know best.

Royal Hastings is quickly learning what the bottom looks like after a tragic situation at work threatens not only her career but her partner’s life. As a woman who has only ever had a few real friends she’s trying to muddle through her confusion and devastation all alone. Except she can’t stop thinking about the sexy southern bartender she locked up. Crushing on Asa is the last thing she needs but his allure is too strong to resist. His long criminal record can only hurt her already shaky career and chasing after a guy who has no respect for the law or himself can only end in heartbreak.

A longtime criminal and a cop together just seems so wrong . . . but for Asa and Royal, being wrong together is the only right choice to make.

416 pages, Paperback

First published April 14, 2015

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About the author

Jay Crownover

96 books14k followers
Jay Crownover is the International and multiple New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the Marked Men Series, The Saints of Denver Series, The Point and Breaking Point Series, and the Loveless, Texas series. Her books can be found translated in many different languages all around the world. She is a tattooed, crazy haired Colorado native who lives at the base of the Rockies with her awesome dogs. This is where she can frequently be found enjoying a cold beer and Taco Tuesdays. Jay is a self-declared music snob and outspoken book lover who is always looking for her next adventure, between the pages and on the road.
GUYS!!! I finally have a newsletter, so if you want to sign up for exclusive content and monthly giveaways you can do that right here:
You can email me at: JayCrownover@gmail.com

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 1,411 reviews
Profile Image for Val ⚓️ Shameless Handmaiden ⚓️.
1,809 reviews28.5k followers
April 24, 2015
3.5-4 Stars

Oh man, trying to decide how to review this book has actually left me bereft of words...


Oh wait, there you are Words!


Honestly, I find myself torn as there were parts of this book I truly adored...And parts I adored not so much.

In fact, I'm gonna just go out on a limb and say...actively disliked a smidgen.


Now before I get started, I must say this:

Jay Crownover's writing has gotten wicked awesome over the course of this series.

In fact, many times after reading certain passages in this book I would legit hear myself say to myself, "Wow, Self, Jay Crownover's writing has gotten wicked awesome."

Also, Asa and Royal were fucking HOT together.

Their connection was heavily palpable from page one.

And their sexy time?


*Panty Change in Aisle One*

For serious though.




Now, being that I feel a bit of...ambivalence for this thing...I am just gonna straight list mah Nay Feels, so without further ado...

Enter Diplomatic Val.


Oh, you aren't familiar with "Diplomatic Val?"


Just kidding, I have no fucking idea who that is either.



Ahem, anyway...

So here was this book in a nutshell:

Enter Asa.




After Page...


After Page.

After about the hundredth variation of, "You don't understand what a bad man I am" though...

We got it.


Now enter everyone else around Asa, telling him:






And OVER Again.


Jesus Big C, already.

The horse is dead.

So stop beating it.

Now, don't get it twisted, I love that Asa wasn't just "miraculously redeemed" overnight, but I felt like this whole book was just the whole Cast of Characters going back and forth about this issue over and over and over again.

Speaking of the Cast of Characters...


...let's talk about that for a hot second here.

I have said this in almost every review for this series I've done.

And I am abso-fucking-lutely going to say it again here:

Are there no NORMAL NAMED people living in all of Denver?

Don't get me wrong, I dig all the cool names.

But seriously, you can't tell me that there has never been at least ONE unoriginal child-naming parent in the world who has lived in or moved to Denver.

Or perhaps even just a strict anti-birth control Catholic couple who has a slew of Marys, Josephs, and Pauls.

But I digress.

Aside from the circular carousel that was the majority of this story line, the main conflict of the book?


- Oh wait -


Because you could see this "issue" coming at you just as cleary as Sarah Palin can apparently see Russia while standing in fucking Alaska.

And it ain't even interesting - or even worth in my opinion - all the heartache it causes.

Again, don't get me wrong, I understand the premise behind the type of issue Crownover created here.

She really wanted Asa to prove his selflessness and to shine, which I dig.

I just didn't love the plot ploy that was utilized.

Or the ending.


But the epilogue was STUNNING.

Now I know this is coming off as a negative review.

But it's not meant to be.

I LIKED this book.

I am going to KEEP this book.

I will eventually RE-READ this book.

But don't worry.

If you get mad and want to shoot me?

Just shoot the book out of my hand, sharpshooter.

Because that's totally realistic.

Isn't it? *blatantly undisguised sarcasm*

But whatevs!


Love this author.

Love this series.

Love that she left it open-ended for more.
Profile Image for Christy.
3,758 reviews32k followers
September 16, 2017
4 stars!


I’ve been excited for some time to get to Asa’s book. I love reading books about reformed men. If you’ve read the Marked Men series, you know that Asa has a past. He’s not always been the best brother, the best friend or the best man. He’s had a wake up call and this southern charmer is trying to do the right thing, to stay on the straight and narrow and be a better man.

Royal is a police officer. How ironic that this police officer is insanely attracted to this ex con? Royal is going through a lot right now. She doesn’t know much about her life at this time, but she knows she wants Asa something fierce. Asa is hesitant. Royal is beautiful, she’s strong, fierce and kind, and even though he’s changed, he will always see himself as that criminal, as someone unworthy of her.


Royal does what she can to get Asa to see himself as she sees him. I liked how their relationship took a little time to develop. There was a bit of drama (which I understood, but still irked me) but overall, this was low drama and angst and just an all around good read.

I loved both Asa and Royal. I always find it nice when both main characters are likable. There has been a book or two in this series where that wasn’t the case. I loved the connection that Asa and Royal shared. Not just the chemistry and the steam, but how they were on an emotional level.


This story was about sacrifice, about love, about new beginnings, making positive changes. About moving on, letting go and falling in love. It’s about family, friends and friends that are your family. It’s a series that will always be near and dear to my heart. Asa was a great final book in the Marked Men series. The ending was absolutely perfect and made me tear up just a bit. I’m going to miss this crew. I really hope Jay will give us a spin off book (maybe Zeb???) so we can get some glimpses of our favorite tattooed boys.

Profile Image for April.
2,099 reviews950 followers
Want to read
March 27, 2014
I'm calling it now: Asa + Royal (from Nash)
Profile Image for Catarina.
896 reviews1,947 followers
April 25, 2015
4 Final Stars.

Asa is an ex-con. Royal is a cop.
He’s a guy who had a second chance at life and doesn’t believe that deserves happiness, not after his sins. She believes that everybody’s can change and that he’s worth loving.
She wants him forever. He believes she deserves better.
In a battle of wills, with a strong a girl willing to fight for what she wants, and a guy who is now learning how to sacrifice what he wants in the name of love, who will win? And when it is time to finally stop fighting?


I’ve been a fan of this series since the beginning, so it’s safe to say that this book was a bitter-sweet experience for me. Sweet, because just all the books prior, it was a great reading. Bitter because I hate to say goodbye to this amazing group of strong girls and marked men.
There was some moments of this book that I didn’t particularly liked and that’s the reason I can’t rate it higher (what can I say? I’m picky!), but overall it was definitely a book I loved to read.
The writing was solid and engaging, the pace was fast enough to not be boring and slow enough so we can enjoy it. The characters were great and it was a truly delightful romance story.
If you haven’t started this series yet, do yourself a favor and go one-click these books the fast as your little finger can press the mouse!


Rating: 4 Stars.
Characters Development: It’s normally harder for me to like the heroines, however, I completely loved Royal. She was caring, honest, and she always told exactly what she thought/wanted. She wasn’t passive/aggressive and didn’t expect Asa to figure out if something was wrong: she would tell him right away. Asa was also a very good hero, he had his moments of dumbness, but overall he was truly a changed guy, it was amazing to see his growth. As always, it was great to see more of the rest of the gang’s lives.
Steam: Hot.
Sensible Subjects:
Love Triangle:
Profile Image for Penelope Douglas.
Author 35 books63.8k followers
October 30, 2014
Girl chases boy, but boy oh boy, did the tables turn!!!! That man let the little cop know who was BOSS! Loved it!
Profile Image for Anna.
483 reviews375 followers
April 13, 2015
We were marked and had been marked in unforgettable and forever ways. We were all better men for it. Marked men. None of us would have it any other way.

I love this series with all my heart. Looking forward to The Saints of Denver series and so much more from this author. Jay you rock ! Love and ink ❤️
Profile Image for Wendy'sThoughts.
2,645 reviews3,215 followers
November 7, 2020
3.75 Closing One Door, Prying Open The Next Stars
* * * 3/4 Spoiler Free
As I started this last installment for Jay Crownover's Marked Men series, a number of thoughts came to mind. When a series starts like this... so dynamic and fresh... it has to be a huge challenge to keep it that way throughout all the projected books. I would think there was a concept of how we had these brothers and their tattoo business with the opportunity to grow from there...and it did, to the point of us, the readers, wanting more and more.

The more came in Jett's book. His woman had a brother. This brother played a massive role in how Jett's book played out...and he also wormed his way into Rome's story, too. His secondary arc became a focus more than once tipping off the fascination the author had with him. The readers bought into this curiosity and were primed and ready for his book.

Asa was introduced to us as pure evil...a brother none of us would want.
He allowed his sister to be used by drug/biker thugs so he could con freely. He turned a blind eye to the pain she was self-inflicting... he couldn't figure out how to do the right thing for so long, the wrong thing just came naturally. Of course, coming from the worst side of the wrong side of the trailer park never helped...and with a father in prison only reinforced how he wasn't worth much of anything.

His sister fought to get out and away from what supposed to be her life...she made something of herself and got to Colorado, college, and the Marked Men crew. It took Asa's Karma coming around and finally catching up with him for him to see his opportunity to change his life. He was beaten and broken almost beyond repair...and with his sister's love, her friends, and real physical, he recovered to have a chance to make amends for all his sins. He worked hard to be on the straight and narrow...and little by little with the help of Rome and others he started to turn things around.

He had a hiccup in this recovery... was accused of starting a fight and was taken to the police station in handcuffs administered by Royal...a new associate of the Marked Men crew. This is was the beginning of us seeing where Asa would be in his book...there was chemistry between them and the conflict of her a cop- him so bad but reformed fit perfectly.

So with this setup, we have two characters we know; there is no need to get the drop on them... we can just slip in and be in this place, The Bar...and watch the show. All of the past characters are doing what they all have been doing in their books... but more mature and matched to their women. There are babies and marriages; there is banter and offers new business opportunities. There are old temptations for Asa to fight and most importantly, there is Royal. She had been introduced in past books, as well.

Royal seems to have lost her way. She was in a shoot out with her long time bestie and partner, Dom. In a fleeting moment, he was shot while they both were trying to apprehend a bad guy. Royal cannot let herself get over the guilt and fear of Dom being hurt. It is messing with her head...she is lost.

She is coming to The Bar and getting too tipsy for a layperson, let alone a cop. Here she is dancing alone in the middle of the bar and it is getting to the point guys are about to do some moves which will set off trouble. As one fella starts to get grabby, Asa moves from around the bar and moves closer to break up what is about to go down. Instead, instincts kick in and Royal takes the guys grabby hands off her, asks for him to step away and when he starts all over again, slams his nose... breaking it. His pals all start to say they are going to call the cops etc... Asa handles it by reminding them they were in the wrong and the cameras will prove it. Luckily, Asa settles all of it. It is then Royal lets Asa know she was dancing for him... and blatantly says and does things to tempt him to take advantage of what she is offering.

It is here where the theme of this book becomes very clear...Asa feels he will never be able to walk away from his past no matter what he does in the here and now or future. He has decided his life is just going to be him living and fighting the desire to con, take advantage or fall back into old ways. He knows he has done it before and he will not allow Royal to go down a path which will only end badly.

Well, that may be all well and good... but Royal has decided
Horse Pucky...She is drawn to him and finally one too many times happen... the chemistry these two have been feeling becomes something real. There is smokin' hot kissing and groping... and as they pull apart, Asa still tries to set Royal straight... he is a world full of hurt for her...maybe not in this moment or the next... but it will happen and when it does...it will kill.

This is the focus for these two; Asa trying to help Royal get her head straight about the shoot out and push her away from him. Royal works to be close to Asa and the Crew sees it all. There are other parts to the story and they all fall together with the sweetness and charm of past Marked Men books.

As I read this book, I remembered a lot of the pleasure I had reading this series... some of the books were stronger than others... but all of them celebrated the idea of people being flawed but healed... of people who made their own families out of friends... and of being able to hear the beat of their own drum when others all around tried to steer them in another direction. Those ideas were the key to all of these books and I thank Jay Crownover for bringing them to us.

I look forward to seeing what else she has in store... I know it will be captivating.

Rule (Marked Men, #1) by Jay Crownover Rule (Marked Men, #1)
Jet (Marked Men, #2) by Jay Crownover Jett (Marked Men, #2)
Rome (Marked Men, #3) by Jay Crownover Rome (Marked Men, #3)
Nash (Marked Men, #4) by Jay Crownover Nash (Marked Men, #4)
Rowdy (Marked Men, #5) by Jay Crownover Rowdy (Marked Men, #5)
Asa (Marked Men, #6) by Jay Crownover Asa (Marked Men, #6)

~~~ Before Reading ~~~
I have loved all these Marked Men...and Asa, your story will be the closing of this series. Jay Crownover has brought me many hours of pleasure with these men...I read this knowing it will be the end of anticipation for the next man...

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Profile Image for Beverly.
1,005 reviews800 followers
May 23, 2015

I still remember the day my bestie and coworker, Laurie, told me she started a book and it's fantastic. I immediately downloaded it and started it on break. As soon as I finished my break I told Laurie I had to go home and finish it. I put in leave and left to finish Rule.

Rule Fucking Archer will always be my favorite Marked Man, but this series is so near and dear to my heart. Have I loved them all like Rule, no, but I have enjoyed them all. Asa is definitely one of my favorites in the series and I highly recommend it.

Reading this conclusion even had me tearing up a little. Fantastic job Jay!

The absolute excitement you feel when you find a book you are dying to read just a few days early!

Side note: And the completely OCD craziness you go into when you realize you are missing one of the paperbacks in the series!!
Profile Image for Polly.
675 reviews251 followers
April 24, 2015
FINALLY Jay has a cover that I don't have to talk shit about!!

This dude is YUMMMMM

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Profile Image for NiCoLeTa E. {Addicted To Books}.
1,322 reviews85 followers
September 6, 2016
***5 "the Criminal & the Cop" big stars from me***

At this point, you all know how much i love this series...

The stories were so lovely, so intense... They had me on edge and made my heart throb in a wild rhythm...
But Asa was the greatest of them all!!! It was the most emotional and the most heartbreaking book...

Literally, in "Jet" i couldn't hate that guy more... and i was wondering why the hell Jay decided in some point to write his story...

But as the books were passing, i started to sympathize him more and more and when i finally landed in his story... i couldn't believe how wrong i was!!!!

I adore this guy!!! Yeah, he used to be a very bad person... He wasn't care for everyone but himself... He used people, even his own sister, but still...

After that experience in the second book that nearly kill him, he tried so hard to change.
He is still fighting with himself every single day, but for now, he keeps winning that battle...
Oh, God!!! That story really made me sad for both Asa and Royal...

My eyes was watery all the time and my heart was aching for them...
And it was pity, because all the others was moving forward and they were completing their lives, but those two were struggling to earn a piece of happiness...

And when they finally manage to earn it, new obstacles got in their way!!!

Well, Royal was a cop and after a patrol that near kill her partner and best friend, she wasn't the same...
The guilt was eating her and for a while she got a little bit wild.
She was drinking, she was looking for troubles but most of all, she was provoking Asa to finally give in to her charm.
But Asa tried so hard to stay away from her, and the rejection even that was hurting Royal didn't stop her.
She liked him and she wanted to make him hers even for one night. She knew that Asa ment troubles, but she didn't care...

"He might have been a criminal in the past, but now I was the one that wanted to steal something from him and keep it for my own … he was going to put up a fight once he realized I was after his heart. After all, it was my job to capture the bad guy … only this one I wasn’t planning on letting go of."

Asa was a beautiful, charming Southern man. His charm together with his Southern drawl could make a woman throw her pants without second thought.

Asa had his own guilts for all the bad things that he did in the past and that guilt keeps him prisoner.
Because of his ugly past, he can't think of a good future, so he is living his present with no much expectations.

From the first moment, he was attracted to Royal, but he couldn't aloud to come very near to him.

Beyond the fact that she is a cop and he used to be a criminal, he doesn't want to involve her in his life because he is a trouble magnet.
Even though he doesn't chase them anymore, they found him.
He knows that eventually he could not resist to Royal's insistance, but he is fighting it.
Until one day, he can't fight it anymore and their magical connection is about to reveal.

But Asa didn't stop to warn Royal that she had to stay away from him, and not once he lied about his previous life, but Royal stay there beside him and she was fighting all the swings of his moods.

But Asa's life was ruled by his guilts and in some glimpses of clarity he aloud to himself to enjoy being with Royal.
She was the light in his darkness...

But can she win the darkness once for all???
Will he manage to stop feeling guilty for the past and to embrace the future??? A future with her???
Or the darkness will swallow him once and forever???

It was so sad reading this book...

I was feeling sad and a little bit angry while i was reading for all this guild that consumed Asa.
It was so pity, because he did have change but he couldn't believe it.
He was afraid that something will get in the way and everything that he try to have will shatter, so he was sambotazing himself.
He was struggling all the time with his feelings and he was trying all the time to make Royal run away from him...

But i liked Royal. I liked the fact that she did know what she was doing.
She was trying to help him and she was really loving him. She was trying to show him that there was life better than the past for him...

She was fighting so hard to make him see clear and the sad part is that when she succeeded it something happened that forced Asa to leave her alone and that for her own happiness...

Okay. I have to reffer to Royal's mother...
She wasn't bad and i'm sure that she was loving her daughter, but i think that she was loving herself more...
If she loved Royal, she would have speak. But she prefered to let her daughter suffer than to lose her convenience...

I didn't liked your actions at all, Ms....

God, for once again, i have to tell how much i love all the Marked men and their women.
I liked that in every book we were learning how they continue their lives and i liked that they were so bond and they really loved each other.
They never judge anyone, not even Asa with all his bad history...
You guys are amazing...

As for Asa??? He manage to stole my heart...

I think it's the southern drawl... Hahahaha....
No, it was everything about him!!! His heart was amazingly good, even though in some point he lost his way!!!
I loved all those guys and all the girls, but i think i love Asa a little bit more...

And now, that the series is over, how i'm gonna feed my addiction???

How i will leave without them???
Profile Image for Danielle.
205 reviews6 followers
April 23, 2015
Perfect in EVERY way. So sad it's over!!!!!

And Asa too?!?!?!?! My dear fucking lord Jay. I love you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Profile Image for XxTainaxX Curvy and Nerdy.
1,473 reviews443 followers
July 24, 2016
Asa was difficult for me because his self-loathing was so strong that I felt he held himself back and didn't get much of an opportunity to flourish as part of a couple with Royal. The push and pull felt overdone and was frankly frustrating to follow. The secret he wants to keep seems like it could be very harmful to the relationship in the long run and doesn't set a good tone for the structure. When talking about moving forward, he is letting Royal be the driver which seems more complacency than being a true parter, i.e. "If you want to get married and have babies, then we will". Sorry but that wasn't romantic to me. In the sack, these two hit the bullseye with sexy to spare. It was nice to see development in Asa internally and in his relationship with his sister. It was good to see how the gang has fared with babies, marriages, and the passing of time. All in all I found it ok but it's definitely the MC I struggled with the most. Safety: No OM/OW/Sharing despite Asa getting hit on and propositioned. There's definite pushing away. No rape/abuse.
Profile Image for ♥Rachel♥.
1,825 reviews836 followers
April 21, 2015
Picking up Asa, I was a little unsure that I’d fall for him, because he was a serious jerk in the past. He was out for himself and didn’t care who he conned or took advantage of to get what he wanted. I should’ve never doubted because I fell hard for Asa! He was a different guy, sorry for the past and sweet with a little wicked thrown in!

Asa learned his lesson, almost dying in the process, and now he beats himself up over all the sins he committed. Asa loathes what he once was, and carries a load of guilt that just about suffocates him. Thing are about to change when Royal steps into his life. She’s beautiful and has been coming onto him hot and heavy, but he knows something’s off with her, and doesn’t want to be the reckless mistake she comes to regret. A man only has so much willpower in the face someone as drop dead gorgeous and sexy as Royal.

Royal is a cop drowning in guilt over an incident that got her partner shot and another officer killed. She keeps showing up at The Bar, the place where Asa works, causing trouble and throwing herself at him at every turn. Unfortunately, for Royal, Asa has found his conscience and no longer takes advantage of vulnerable women so he keeps rebuffing her attempts. She knows she should stop, he’s a criminal, a reformed one, but being an officer she should still stay far away, but he’s just too much of a temptation for her.

I’m happy that Royal woke up to the senselessness of her pity party pretty quickly. This is mostly because she sees how Asa beats himself up over the past all the time:

I wanted to tell him that watching him torture himself over things he couldn’t ever change had given me perspective I so desperately needed, but I knew enough to know we weren’t there yet.

Royal tries to help Asa see that the past is the past and there’s nothing you can do about it, the way to show you’ve changed is by how you live now and in the future:

“There are amazing things happening right here in the moment with us, Asa. It would be a real bummer for you to miss any of them because you can’t let go of the past and because you’re too busy trying to sabotage the future.”

Royal knows they won’t work if Asa can’t forgive himself and move on.

Asa and Royal’s romance was super hot! Asa had that sweet, sexy Southern drawl that could melt the panties off a nun, and he definitely knew how to turn on the charm when he wanted to. He could be wickedly mischievous too, and the combination was dead sexy! Royal is definitely a match for Asa though, she was a strong confident woman who wanted people to see her for her merits and personality rather than the stunning good looks she was born with. She pushes all of Asa’s hot buttons in the very best way!

Asa is the last book of the Marked Men series and so it was sweet getting to see the other couples and their happy, life changing events in Asa and Royal’s story. They’re given a lot of page time so fans of the series sort of get an extra epilogue in a way. I loved that all these people are a support system even if they’re not all flesh and blood family. It was a satisfying conclusion, and I look forward to Jay Crownover’s next project!

A copy was kindly provided by Harper Collins in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Meraline (Lynn).
739 reviews4 followers
September 9, 2015

"A Standing Ovation to Jay Crownover..."

What made the experience of listening to Asa the most enjoyable?

I really enjoyed this one and had been looking forward to it for a long time. It was the perfect ending to the series and loved hearing about the rest of the cast so much that I'm itching to go back and listen to the other five books again...

Who was your favorite character and why?

This entire series is full of characters that I just love, and I'm sad it's over.

Which character – as performed by Christian Fox and Harper Kendall – was your favorite?

They did an excellent job. I was already a fan of Christian's work and can now say that Harper has been added to my list of good female narrator's list. Excellent job!

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

I laughed and got all kinds of emotional. I loved it.
Profile Image for Michelle.
1,473 reviews122 followers
February 5, 2016
Give yourself a break Asa I will take care of ya ; )

Asa as been on the wrong side of the law so much he as put his sister in danger so many times an he nearly got himself killed for just bein a total ass this is what made him really think that he had to turn his life around even after treating his sister Ayden so bad she was there when he really needed her an this is why he had 2 make his life better he thinks he can't make a good life for himself but after Rome helped him with a job in The Bar things were getting better there had been a few bumps but he got over them there was a few time Ayden had doubt about a few things that happened an she did accuse him of stuff which just made Asa feel like shit

Royal is a cop she as worked her ass of to be where she is an she has a great partner an best friend Dominic but after a accident on the job Royal is doubting her ability as a cop an with Dom getting injured it makes things a lil harder for she as grown up with him an gone through the academy with him he means the world to her she Royal starts goin a lil crazy she goes to The Bar to get drunk an dance around an she is try on to get Asa attention she has tried it on so many times she is wondering what's goin on when he keeps turning her down she knows there is attraction between them she as seen the way he looks at her she just know why he is playing the games

I enjoyed this books it's not my fave but I still really enjoyed it I 've luvd Royal sassy attitude since Nash's book she is so sexy an is just what Asa needs Ye she's a cop an he's a ex criminal but they just fit Asa is so sexy it wouldn't matter what he did in the past he as totally turned things around an once he stops the game playing an just trusts Royal things can be super hot an great he just need to give himself a break an stop bein so hard on himself

The story was really good the few twists were good an getting to see how the rest of the gang was goin just makes this series so good I so gutted its over I've luvd this series an I m delighted I finally got to read it I luv who the books r written the duel pov is my fave I would highly recommend them an this xxx

Profile Image for ✰ Liz ✰ .
1,348 reviews1,253 followers
May 16, 2015
“When we love someone there’s an endless amount of times we forgive them when they screw up."


Asa is the final book in the Marked Men Series. I have been a fan of Jay Crownover ever since the day she introduced me to RULE! The way that Ms.Crownover crafts her characters with such ease draws you in. You feel relaxed and ready for the ride. Although Rule is still my favorite in the series, each book has been unique and unforgettable.


We met Asa in Book 2 of the Marked Men Series. Asa is Ayden's wayward brother. He has suffered because of choices he made in his early years. Now he feels he is finally on the right path. He is working as a bartender in Rome's bar. Life is finally looking brighter for the southern gent!


Royal is Saint's best friend. She is also a cop. She is also "THE COP" that wrongfully arrested Asa when he was swept up into some trouble. (Mind you, he was completely innocent.) Royal has been going through some trying times at work. Her partner and best friend was injured on the job. She has been put on leave. Royal has always had her eye on Asa. She gives into her need of rebellion and sets her sites on Asa.

"The complexities that lived under his artful façade were anything but attractive and that’s what I liked the most about him. His ugliness made him even more beautiful."-Royal

Royal and Asa, oddly enough, are a perfect match.

“The cop and the criminal. Who would have ever seen that coming?”


Together they find friendship, healing, and plenty of passion. Asa takes a long time to accept that he is good. I would say the tension borderlines craziness but it was completely understandable knowing all that he has been through. He feels like he doesn't deserve happiness and he deeply regrets the pain he has caused his sister. He feels like he is broken.

"What I want to do is love the Asa that’s here with me now. You need to let go of those boulders weighted with all the bad things from the past that are dragging you down before you get crushed under them.”-Royal

Yet somehow, Royal breathes life into him. She makes him see the man that he is now is good and worthy of love.

“A good life doesn’t seem so far out of reach, looking at you laid out before me with the taste of you all over my tongue, Red.”-Asa

While Royal is working hard to heal Asa, Asa gives Royal peaces while she is in his arms. I know it sounds cliche' but these two just worked so well together.


The book included many breathtaking moments. Anyone who has been a fan of this series will rejoice at the multiple tender moments our favorite characters experience. Crownover deserves an accolade for the way she completed this series.

The only thing holding me back from giving this book the 5 glowing star review it deserves is not a small thing it is a BIG THING!


There is an issue between Asa and Royal that is left unresolved. Although I appreciate the thought process behind the characters choices, I am simply dumbfounded that it wasn't addressed properly or handled. I won't reveal exactly what happens here but I will tell you..... I don't care what anyone thinks It left me angry and sad for Asa and Royal. Days later, I am still bothered by it. Because I have always considered the Marked Men to reflect natural and realistic situations, this incident left me in quite a state! I can only hope that down the road Asa and Royal come clean. Despite the big secret, I still loved Asa and Royal.

"When you allowed yourself to love and be loved, that was when life really started. I might have come back from the dead once, but I hadn’t started living until I let myself love Royal."-Asa


Overall, I highly recommend this book to anyone that has invested in this series. Asa and Royal were a perfect couple to round out this series. This book was more then just a romance novel. It is a story of healing, self acceptance, and self growth. I am truly saddened that it is over but ecstatic that there is only more to come! I will certainly keep my TBR shelf stocked with anything Jay Crownover writes. Her passionate characters leave me breathless!

"We all had marks, some physical, some emotional, some that would never leave us, and many of those marks were of our own making as we all tried to get to the place we were supposed to be. Our marks defined us, separated us, and made us the men we were today."
Profile Image for Syndi.
2,838 reviews625 followers
September 22, 2020
Well it is official.Only 2 books I love the most from this series. Rome and Rule. The rest, mediocre. I was hoping Asa will also be my favorite, but it turns out, I like Asa OK. What my problem with this book is the characters and their development.

Asa has past. He was a con man. He propositioned girls and women to get money. Then he is reformed. But when a woman propositioned him, he lost his mind and went banana. Why? I do not know. I lost the part of the reason to understand Asa.
Royal meanwhile is a law enforcer. She is supposed to be a tough, independent, brave and fearless. Yet she turned into a needy and weak heroine. I have difficulty to sympathize with her.

The plot is promising. I was hoping the last series in this book can close the book with a bang. It falls short.

2 stars
Profile Image for Lala.
194 reviews56 followers
January 7, 2016
April 21, 2015! Nope. Not good enough. I CAN'T WAIT THAT LONG!!!!

I can't wait to read Asa's story. He did so much to come around in Rome. I've developed a soft spot for him.

I'm thinking there is going to be something with him and Brite's daughter (who we haven't actually met)...but then who will Royal end up with...can Zeb get a book and end up with her???

Update: It's Asa and Royal! Jay posted a teaser on her FB page! The cop and the criminal...I can't wait for read this!

Update 2: Just finished Rowdy. Can I have Asa tomorrow? I need more of the Marked Men in my life!!!!
Profile Image for Sabrina.
3,147 reviews1,899 followers
November 9, 2015
Asa came to Denver to get a fresh start. After he died in the hospital and was brought back to life he knew he needed to turn his life around to protect his sister. Never wanting to see her hurt because of him again he vows to stay on the straight and narrow.

Royal watcher her best friend and partner get shot it the line of duty and blames herself. She starts hanging around the bar where Asa works and tries to get him to take her home. But Asa can't let go of all of the horrible things he did in the past and thinks he isn't good enough for the hot police officer. But Royal isn't going to give up easily and she's determined to make the criminal fall for the cop.

I kept putting this book off because I knew that it was the last in the series and I didn't want to be finished with the Marked Men. But now that I've finally read it I deserve to be kicked for putting Asa on a shelf and making him wait. I loved this book and the change of characters was amazing.

I wasn't sure how I would like Asa after his first appearance in Jet but I had nothing to worry about. He had a huge change of character and was really trying to be a different person. I felt so bad for him at times when all he could focus on was his past self and not the person he became.

Royal was amazing for Asa and it was brilliant how they were so different yet both had similar problems. After watching her partner get shot she couldn't stop focusing on what she could have done differently to prevent him from being hurt. But with Asa she started to forgive herself. They really were perfect for each other even with their pasts that were so different.

Bottom line, this was a great book and an awesome addition to this series that I have loved from the start. Jay Crownover will forever be one of my favorites and I can't wait for the spin off series.
Profile Image for C.K..
216 reviews17 followers
February 10, 2022
The preview was so good! Asa was actually trying to be a gentleman so that was nice to see. I can't wait to read the whole book.

“You wanna spend some time with me when we aren’t naked and in bed, Red?”
She shifted under my weight a little and her hands stilled on my shoulders. I knew she liked fucking me. I needed to know if she wanted any part of me outside of the bedroom.
“Like on a date?” She asked the question quietly and it made my back teeth click together.
“It can be whatever you want it to be.” I went to roll off of her but she moved her arms up around my shoulder and kept me pinned to her.
“Yeah, Asa, I wanna spend time with you. I don’t care if it’s in bed or out.” She laughed a little and wiggled under me, which had the part of me still nestled inside of her twitching. “Though I am I pretty big fan of what happens when we spend time in bed together.”
I snorted and pushed off of her so I could clean up. I shoved my hands through my hair and looked down at her. All those pretty promises I wanted to make to her were screaming at me, trying to force their way out of my mouth.
“I don’t know why you’re here, but I feel like I need to thank any God that might exist that you are.”
She blinked at me once and then again and I saw her blush. She moved so that she was on the bed the right way and stared at me with wide eyes.
“I’m here because you finally let me be here.” Her hair fanned out behind her on the pillows and I wished I could paint so I could capture her beauty for future ages to appreciate. “And I’ll stay as long as you let me.”

Asa’s hand slid across the back of my neck under the heavy fall of my hair, and I felt his lips at my ear. It was so dark I could only feel him, not see him, and that was erotic and stimulating as hell. He made my breath catch when he whispered in my ear, “I really am sorry.”
I watched as a leggy blonde obviously trying to channel Ingrid Bergman in Casablanca slithered onto the stage.

“I know you are. I just wish you didn’t have to be.”

And that pretty much summed up how I felt about all the things he was sorry for in his life. I was glad it was so dark because suddenly I felt moisture, hot and pressing in my eyes. It was a date I would never forget and I didn’t mean that in any kind of good way

Are you ready for this? April 21st...get some!!!

Jay Crowover said:
If I had to pick 5 words to describe Asa they would be:

If I had to pick 5 word to describe Royal they would be:

We only have a couple months to go April 21st...are you ready to meet the southern charmer and his sexy lady cop? ~Jay Crownover

I love this book...Asa made me work for my money and the end result is something I'm unbelievably proud of!! ~Jay Crownover


Jay Crownover said: "Just finished writing smexy time that involved a naked redhead, a bartop & a bottle of scotch-oh & a sexy, blond southerner! Best job ever!"

I am glad Jay didn't kill Asa off. Originally, she was going to kill him off. He's grown on me. I still don't completely trust him but I'm sure he will eventually get it together in his story. I figured that Asa's girl would be Royal or Brite's daughter. I really thought Royal would make an interesting match for Asa when I read Nash. I think the whole cop/criminal angle will be interesting. I always thought that Asa would need a woman who will not fall to easily for his Southern charm. I'm excited about Asa/Royal's story. It will be sad too because Asa will be the last book in the marked men series.
Profile Image for Tanya (Girl Plus Books).
973 reviews76 followers
February 26, 2019
Re-Read #3: Feb 20-26, 2019


Re-Read: Oct 6-13, 2017

Still such a fan of Asa. So much change in him. He continued to feel such guilt over his past and it was so good to him slowly let go and focus of the man he had become instead of the man he had been. I could keep on reading about these characters book after book.

3.75 STARS

When Asa was first introduced in the second book, Jet, I couldn't stand him. And knowing the final book in the series was focused on him had me cringing. No way was I ever going to get behind this guy. What a difference a few books can make! I loved getting Asa's story and reading from his point of view. There has been such growth and change in his character over the last 4 books and seeing Asa's redemption was so satisfying. Royal was likable I appreciated her willingness to see beyond Asa's past and instead focus on the man he'd become. I was pulling hard for Asa to make peace with his past and allow himself to find some happiness. The epilogue ended things on a perfect note, with everyone together, and seeing how far these characters had come over the span of six books was a little emotional. (Side note: Christian Fox's narration for Asa was perfection.)

WHAT I DIDN'T LIKE: This one felt a little different than the other books in the series in that the story felt more insular and less of an ensemble. There were brief scenes with Rome and Rule and a few others but I missed the inclusion of all the characters in this big group of family and friends.

This review was originally published at GIRL PLUS BOOKS.
Profile Image for Jen ♥Star-Crossed Book Blog♥.
505 reviews307 followers
January 14, 2016
***4.5/5 Stars***

That was the perfect ending to such a pleasurable series.  Not only did we get to watch Asa's incredible story unfold, but we also got snippets of all of the other characters that we love.  As if that wasn’t enough, we were left with an amazing epilogue!  Happy tears were falling down my face, and I honestly could not be more satisfied with the way this series ended!

To say that Asa had lived a hard life would be an understatement.  Asa went to jail, played people, and did beyond horrific things that earned him that spot in the hospital bed back in Jet's book.  It took him almost dying and his sister giving him a second chance for him to see the light.  He finally wanted to at least try and live his life on the law abiding side.  Asa and Royal are in the same circle of friends, and there's no denying their underlying current of chemistry.  But Royal is a cop who has arrested Asa in the past.  After a horrifying event went wrong on a call, Royal wants Asa.  She doesn’t want to fight her feelings anymore, and Asa should be a sure thing right?  But it's not so simple, and the fun has just begun!

I was ecstatic to read our southern charmer’s story, because Asa had already won me over in the previous books!  And honestly, he made me grin constantly.  I didn’t care that he was a criminal.  I didn’t care that he automatically wanted to do what was "wrong" and had to fight those daily urges.  He was alluring, dark, charming, hot and I had already fallen right into his trap.  And when the good sides of him peeked out, oh my goodness he was amazing!  But at the same time, he made me want to fix him.  He had a tainted view of himself from his past actions, and did not see himself as redeemable or that he deserved anything good in his life.  Even if that good made him exceedingly happy.  I think that's one of the reasons he started to test Royal.  And while it hurt my heart to watch it all unfold, I loved how Royal reacted!

Just like Asa, I loved Royal when we met her in some of the previous books.  She was smart, straight forward, made me laugh, and I could not wait to see what she was going to say or do next. It warmed my heart that she pushed Asa to try and see himself differently.  And I was rooting for her from page one, even while she struggled immensely with an action she watched unfold.  While they were both wonderful separately, when Asa and Royal were together they were electric!  Their level of sexual tension was through the roof hot!  And when it finally proceeded down that avenue, I didn't know if fanning myself was enough since you could literally feel their heat radiating off of the pages.  Their chemistry of course led to one of my favorite scenes being about a shower and a cracked door.  WOW, I’ve never read anything like that before! *claps out loud*

I am sad to say goodbye to these characters that I adore and love.  But with the Saints of Denver coming next year, it looks like we might get a peak here and there of our beloved crew.  But till then, it warmed my heart to see how much everyone has grown over time.  That each one of our Marked Men got their own version of a happily ever after!  It’s been a great journey, and I am so happy that I got to discover their world!

P.S. I love that Royal loved pop music and Britney Spears!  I always get a song or two stuck in my head that reminds me of the storyline while reading a book.  For Asa and Royal’s story it was Criminal and Toxic.  And I literally screamed out loud when Jay Crownover had Toxic on Asa and Royal’s Playlist haha!  Of course their playlist was my favorite of this series!

*ARC kindly provided byHarperCollins via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review*

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Profile Image for Ali .
664 reviews147 followers
April 9, 2015
Crownover shows such artistic growth and maturity in Asa, the final installment in her Marked Men series. The writing style, the character development and the way the problems are dealt with, were all head and shoulders above where she started with Rule. She's hitting her stride and Asa is proof of that.

Those who have been reading my reviews for some time know that my favorite characters are the broken ones. The more messed up they are, the more I want to read their story. Asa is beautifully, tragically broken. Growing up with no care other than himself has left him with a past full of selfish and criminal acts. When a second lease on life puts him in a world surrounded by people who are gracious, selfless and full of forgiveness... all those past misdeeds begin to weigh heavily on his mind.

Asa proves that changing who you are is hard and forgiving yourself is even harder. His inner struggle brought me to my knees a little bit. It was so easy to believe that someone who was such a bad person could believe they could never really change. Or believe that they never deserved anything good to happen to them.

Royal is in a similar mindset but for vastly different reasons. She's lost some confidence in herself and ironically, it's the man with no self worth that helps her find hers again.

For me, Royal was the perfect match for Asa. She's soft to his hard but with her own edge. She won't back down, she goes after what she wants but not to the point of bending who she is for him. Yet, she won't allow him to bend for her either. She just wants him to see himself how others do, not change, not be better, just be who he is now instead of living in the shadow of who he was.

That is where the maturity comes in to play. Both Asa and Royal are willing to walk away from each other for the sake of each other. They are both ready to make hard calls, to give up personal happiness for the chance of the other person to follow the path they need to. To have ultimate trust in each other when trust doesn't come easy to either of them. It's not the easiest resolution to their problems, but it's a resolution I have immense respect for. It's the only choice that could have been made with unconditional love for another person.

Asa is a beautiful end to the Marked Men series, showing that love is sacrifice, it's trust, it's selfless.
Profile Image for Leigh.
1,207 reviews221 followers
January 15, 2017
Let me start by saying that I was so excited to get to Asa's story. I enjoyed him from the moment he was introduced even though I knew he was a criminal and didn't care who he hurt to get what he wanted. Although the story starts with him staying away from Royal because he's just no good for her is always annoying to me, I'm glad that it didn't take to long for him to start something with her. Royal was awesome. She was in a bad place in the beginning but I loved how she wanted Asa and set out to get him. She was determined to have him and love him. I loved how all the guys are grown up and starting their families, it definitely put a smile on my face. My only complaint was the situation with Royal's mom. I didn't care for that secret but was happy when Royal figured out some of it and decided she would rather live not knowing. I can't wait to start the spin off series.
Profile Image for Floripiquita.
1,353 reviews152 followers
November 5, 2017
Quería leer la historia de Asa desde Jet, el segundo libro de Marked Men, y no me ha decepcionado. La relación entre Asa y Royal se ha ido cociendo a lo largo de los libros y en éste explota por todo lo alto para conformar una de las parejas que más me han gustado de toda la serie, a la altura de Rome y Cora. Buen final para una saga de fácil lectura y muy entretenida, donde las madres ausentes o catastróficas son una constante y que fundamentalmente habla sobre la confianza y sobre hombres marcados, no solo por la tinta sino también por la vida, y redimidos/salvados por el poder del amor.
Profile Image for Three Chicks.
2,595 reviews415 followers
April 14, 2015
4.5 Stars

Review by Lisa Kane

I have been anticipating Asa's story for a while. Which female would be able to tame this restless soul? Well he is about to be Royal flushed! Royal is a cop. (she lives in the apartment next to Nash and Saint) She's the one who arrested Asa the last time he got mixed up in some trouble. He was innocent, but the facts needed to be played out before he could be released. Ayden, Asa's sister was none to pleased with Royal for arresting her brother.

Lately, Royal's been acting strangely. She keeps getting drunk at the bar Rome owns and where Asa bartends. The drunker she gets, the more she comes on to Asa. As tempted as he is by the centerfold look alike, he's trying to avoid getting into trouble. And Royal-she's a whole lot of trouble! Royal's been off from work for a while, at least until the department has cleared her to go back. Her partner and best friend, Dominick was seriously hurt when a call they were on went bad. Royal blames herself and thinks she should have been the one who suffered, not Dom. Her guilt is eating her alive. She's acting out to avoid the pain and for some reason Asa is the magnet that draws her and helps to keep her centered.

Asa is about as damaged as a guy can get. He is more than aware of the sins of his past. He ran so many games, scammed so many people that he believes he's not worthy of being loved. He knows his sister Ayden loves him and thinks he is on the right road but even she is wary of him falling back into his old patterns. He is trying to keep his nose clean; he works like a dog at Rome's bar and is paying off his massive medical bills with every spare cent he has. (He was seriously injured when some unhappy "business partners" came to collect a debt he owed)

As much as Asa tries his best to avoid Royal, the more Royal is determined to catch him. And eventually this cop gets her man. As explosive as the sex is, there is a deeper connection between the two of them. But Asa knows he will screw this up, just like everything else he does in his life. Royal wishes he would just live in the moment, and try to leave his past behind.

One of the things I love the most about the Marked Men series is the reappearance of the characters we love so much-Rule and Shaw are married and expecting their first baby, Rome and Cora have a little one and he is branching out his businesses, Nash and Saint are living together and maybe wedding bells might be in their future, Rowdy and Salem are loving their lives together and Jet and Ayden have moved to Austin to be closer to Jet's work, but they are around enough to make sure they know what everyone is up to-these characters are old, cherished friends. And how they have all changed since Rule Archer sported his multi colored Mohawks and his "in your face" attitude!

There are tons of twists and detours for Royal and Asa. Of course when it seems like the puzzle pieces are all about to fit, someone comes along and knocks the pieces on the floor. It will take hard work to put it back together again.

Saying goodbye to this series is going to be tough. But clever wench that Jay Crownover is-she introduced us to a few new secondary characters and they will be getting their own series-The Saints of Denver. I'm just hoping my boys make an appearance or two.

We all had marks, some physical, some emotional, some that would never leave us, and many of those marks were of our own making as we all tried to get to the place we were supposed to be. Our marks defined us, separated us, and made us the men we were today.
Profile Image for Anastasia シ.
442 reviews108 followers
December 18, 2017
Full Review on my blog!

I put this book off as long as possible, because I didn’t want this series to actually be over. I didn’t want to say goodbye, even though there’s the Saints of Denver series, which is a spin-off of the Marked Men.

Jay Crownover killed it with Asa! She came in with a bad boy BOOM with Rule and ended this oh-so-amazing series with a BANG! From Rule to Asa…pure perfection from beginning to end. This series is, without a doubt, one of my favorites ever! I’ve fallen in love with these heroes and heroines throughout their six book journey.

I was really happy that he got paired up with his Royal. I always loved Royal and I knew she’d be the perfect person for Asa. Trust me when I tell you that Crownover delivered a perfect conclusion to this series, this book was sexy and heartfelt full of trust, forgiveness and redemption. This book had an unlikely pairing with the sexy Southern Charmer who is an ex-criminal with the gorgeous and feisty cop.

Asa always felt the intense guilt and self-loathing about his past and he just never seen the good in himself, he thought he would mess up again, But with a near death experience, he stated to change his ways. Royal was the perfect balance to Asa’s dark nature. She grew a lot over the course of the novel, and I think that the majority of that was due to both her job (and the circumstances surrounding her job during the story) along with her relationship with Asa. Asa helped her realize things about herself that she didn’t know before, and it allowed her to grow into a stronger person. Throughout the story, Royal has such a caring, compassionate spirit and nature, and that helps Asa realize things about himself as well. As I said, together Royal and Asa balanced each other out, and helped each other in ways that neither could have imagined at the beginning of their relationship. They have a very steamy relationship, and I loved every second of it!

All in all, an amazing series and perfect ending. I highly recommend it! I can’t wait to get my hands on the Saints of Denver series!

Check out my reviews of the rest of the series:
Rule | Jet | Rome | Nash |Rowdy | Asa

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Profile Image for Lisa.
1,018 reviews57 followers
April 27, 2015
3.5 stars. Hot and sexy bad boy meets a beautiful policewoman. Sounds like fireworks to me!

Royal and Asa's story was definitely a nice way to finish this series. I enjoyed their journey to find their HEA but I felt it stalled out a few times by Asa's never ending self doubts and lack of self worth. Skimming started happening by the millionth time Asa blathered about what a bad guy he was. Enough already!
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The whole secret drama was silly and not necessary.

Royal was awesome! She was strong and independent yet allowed herself to be vulnerable when she put her feelings on the line. I loved how dedicated she was to her friends and never gave up on Asa.

I wanted more happy moments between Royal and Asa. Their chemistry practically lit my Kindle on fire! Not to mention who wouldn't want Asa with his sexy southern drawl to whisper naughty secrets in your ear! Yes please!

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Makes me greedy huh?

Minus a few things it is a great series and I loved how everyone's stories were wrapped up so nicely.
Profile Image for Vieira.
658 reviews1 follower
May 13, 2015
Ah this was just ok for me. Asa kind of depressed me a bit. The whole woe is me routine was annoying. There was also something in the book that was a little predictable. I kind of wish they cleared that up. I am looking forward to the next series that Jay is coming up with. :)
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