Spin-off Saturdays: On Saturdays, I will review a series that is a spin-off series. It is recommended that you read the original series first in order to get the most out of the spin-off series. Here is this week’s offering:
Forever Marked Series is a spin-off of the Marked Men
SERIESous’ Top Picks: Must Read Author
Series: Forever Marked
Author: Jay Crownover
# of Books: 2 (Full Reading Order Here)
Book Order: Connected
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Heat Rating: Hot
Point of View: First Person, Alternating
Publication Date: June 2021 – January 2022
Source & Format: Public Library—Audiobook
WARNING: If you have not finished the original series, this review may have spoilers!
I was SO EXCITED when Jay Crownover announced she was going to write the next generation of Marked Men. For me, that series is one of the best ensemble cast series I’ve ever read. I really loved how each book had its own leads yet you still got little tastes of how past leads were doing or what to expect for future leads. They’re just solid romances and I couldn’t wait to see how their offspring would find love!
How Does It Compare To The Original?
As I mentioned above, part of the charm of the original series (as well as its first spin-off, The Saints of Denver) was the wide range of characters we met. I loved watching the interweaving of this cast in all the books. You get so attached to all these characters with just the little tidbits you get of everyone’s lives. That’s why I really hope more books will be released in the future because I want to know about everyone that we meet.
But one thing I really love is the idea that you can choose your family and who you surround yourself with. The bonds with your friends can be just as strong as with your family. It was something that was incredibly strong in the first two series and it’s so great to see how that translated into the next generation.
–Finding Yourself While Finding Love–
I really enjoy books that balance the romance with individual character growth. I don’t enjoy seeing characters become solely defined by their significant others. I like seeing partnerships and depth to the characters and their romance.
I thought both novels did a great job of highlighting each individual character and their own personal journey. The characters we get at the start of the novel aren’t who we get at the end and I really enjoyed that evolution. While the romance helps with that growth, it doesn’t define it which I appreciated.
Anything I Didn’t Like?
While I understand why Fortunate Son (#1) had a slower start (it has to introduce all the new characters and remind you of who their parents are), it did take away from the pacing of the romance for me. It just made the story feel a little lopsided.
Whereas I almost had the opposite problem with Prodigal Son (#2). It felt a little too head-first for me and I would have appreciated some more flash-back scenes or something to help re-establish that seen.
My Audiobook Experience:
These audiobooks were pretty steamy! WOWZA the male narrator in Fortunate Son had a mission to make those sexy scenes filthy and he succeeded!
My only “issue” with the audiobook was trying to keep all the family trees clear but there were enough references along the way to jog my memory. That’s more of a “me” issue thanks to my crappy memory.
My Expectations for the Rest of the Series:
While no more books are currently planned in the series, I’m hoping the announcement that Rule (Marked Men #1) is being into a movie will change that stance! There are more characters I want to see!
Series Rating: 4/5
Fortunate Son 4/5 | Prodigal Son 4/5
I loved returning to the world of the Marked Men! It was great to see what the next generation learned from their parents and catch-up with old friends!
Read if You Like: character focused romances
Avoid if You: dislike steam
- Rule by Jay Crownover (Marked Men Series #1)
- Cross Drop by Elizabeth Hartey (On the Edge Series #1)
- Kick, Push by Jay McLean (Kick, Push Series #1)
Synopsis for Fortunate Son (from Goodreads):
Ry Archer and Bowe Keller are as different as night and day. But that doesn’t stop the childhood frenemies from reconnecting whenever one of them needs some help tackling any of life’s major puzzles, like figuring out why getting what you always thought you wanted isn’t living up to all the hype. They might constantly rub each other the wrong way (except for the times when they rub each other the really-really right way), but there is no denying they’ve always made one hell of a great team. They manage to balance each other out… when they aren’t driving each other crazy.
For Ry, he thought he had the perfect girl, the one who was going to run headfirst into a methodically planned future. He was going to marry young and have the same kind of legendary, life-long romance his parents did… or so he believed. His girl was going to stand by his side as he chased his dream of being a professional football player all the way to the NFL.
He was wrong.
Now, Ry’s gotta figure out the difference between a bruised heart and a broken one, and the only person who can teach him the difference is Bowe.
Bowe always felt like she had to run before she learned to walk to keep up with her father’s musical legacy. He’s her hero, and she wants nothing more than to make him proud. Bowe’s about to figure out that maybe she wasn’t meant to be in a rock and roll band, and that it is entirely possible she let her father’s success cloud her idea of what making music should be. Bowe needs to find her own path to fame, and there’s a good chance she wouldn’t be brave enough or bold enough to start over if Ry Archer hadn’t pushed his way back into her life when she least expected it.
Some days they’re enemies. Other days they’re lovers. For a while, they were strangers. But now, it feels more like they might’ve always been soulmates.
Eventually, Ry and Bowe realize that letting go of an old dream and creating a new one is much easier to do with the right person by your side.