Thank you to Jay Crownover and her team for the advance reader copy of Prodigal Son, the second story in the Forever Marked series. The spin-off series to Jay’s bestselling Marked Men.
I very much enjoyed the first foray into the next generation of Marked Men. If you have not read Fortunate Son, I highly recommend it.
“When she was a little girl, Remy Archer fell in love with Hyde Fuller at first sight. In fact, he was the only thing she could see for a very long time. For Remy, it never mattered to her that Hyde was always too serious and always seemed so sad. To her, he was the very best, and the center of her entire world. She never dreamed he would let her down when she needed him the most.
Now Remy is a semi-reasonable adult, one with a better understanding of why her intense feelings scared Hyde away when she was at her lowest point. She’s moved on, and if anyone asks she’s perfectly happy with the chaotic and hectic life she’s built. She’s also really proud that she’s still around to experience all the best and worst that surviving something deeply traumatic has to offer. The last thing she needs or wants, is Hyde coming back and taking over her every thought and feeling the way he once did. Unfortunately, they picked the exact same time to come home to search for a little redemption.
When he was a little boy, the instant they met, Hyde Fuller wanted nothing more than to protect Remy Archer from everything, including herself. She gleefully took up every moment of his free time, and every ounce of his patience, as they grew alongside one another. He was so intent on keeping her safe, he didn’t realize how deeply Remy had worked her way into his heart.”
Check out my more detailed thoughts below…
- I want to be upfront that Remy has borderline personality disorder and there is an off-the-page suicide attempt discussed in the prologue. Jay did use a sensitivity reader, but this book could still be triggering for some readers so please keep your mental health in mind before diving in.
- Characters: This story is about the second generation of characters born from those in the Marked Men and Saints of Denver series. Our heroine is Remy, she is Rome and Cora’s daughter, you’ll remember them from the third Marked Men book, Rome. Our hero is Hyde, he is Zeb and Sawyer’s son, they were the leads of Built, the first story in the Saints of Denver series. Built also happens to be one of my favourite books Jay has ever written. This story is set up with the premise that Remy has always loved Hyde even when it was detrimental to her. She was such an interesting character. Jay did a great job at building a character who was bubbly and bold, yet was going through some intense struggles. She did the same with Hyde, giving him quite a few barriers to overcome in his life. From enlisting in the army to being cheated on, having paternity issues, and ultimately leaving him as a single father.
- Setting: The story is set in Denver. Which brought with it a lot of the characters from Jay’s Denver-based books. The setting allowed for great interactions with all of the other characters. Getting to spend time with their parents, characters I have loved for a very long time. I loved how you could see bits of the parents in each kid, especially the aspects of Cora in Remy, that informed how hard she could love someone. Remy had such a great relationship with her brother Zowen, yet with her mother Cora, she had a strained relationship. Jay did a wonderful job of depicting family and friend dynamics. These books are even better if you have all of the context including the previous book Fortunate Son, as Daire’s story begins there and continues in this. This instalment has left me begging for more and I cannot even decide who’s story I want more, Daire’s or Zowen’s.
- Pacing: This story kicks off with a very engaging start. There is not much hiding of the traumas of our characters. Jay is very upfront in the prologue and the first few chapters. The prologue does a phenomenal job setting up the unhealthy footing Remy and Hyde were on, why he had to leave and why we find ourselves flashing forward eight years. From then on the book had a breakneck pace and I loved every second of it.
- Romance: Prodigal Son flips the narrative on its head when it comes to romance. Our story begins with Remy always being the one who chases after Hyde, she would try to kiss him and express her love for him. She had an unhealthy obsession with the boy. Eight years later the narrative is reversed. I loved how Hyde was now the one chasing after Remy. The one who thought about her constantly and could not deny how much he needed her to make his life complete. Hyde is a single father to Hollyn and one of my favourite parts about a single parent romance is watching the love interest fall hard for the child along with their parent. So naturally, I adored who Remy fell for Hollyn and that caring for the little baby brought a more mature Remy and Hyde together. This story is the perfect example that some people are always meant to be together but the right place and the right time really do matter. Not only did the romance deliver on the emotional front, but these two also had hot chemistry. Once they gave in to their whims it was hard for them to stop. Jay did an A+ job of striking the balance between sexy, swoony and sad scenes.
Prodigal Son receives five out of five stars.
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Thank you again to Jay and her team for the review opportunity. Thank you for reading and supporting my blog!