I never dared to dream we’d get to return to the world of the Marked Men and Saints of Denver for any more new stories. I could not be any more grateful that Fortunate Son begged to be written, and Jay Crownover took a chance on going back, especially after she swore she never would.
After believing that we would never get another new story from the Marked Men/Saints of Denver universe, I really cannot even begin to describe how warm and safe and tumultuous and incredible it feels to have a new Archer’s love story in my hands.
It feels like a million years ago that I first picked up Rule and began questioning how I lived in a world without romance books. His and Shaw’s story is a beautiful example of how two very different people can be the perfect complement to each other.
And that set me off down a road of incredible characters, giving me some of my favorite book boyfriends (if I didn’t have to fight Cora to get Rome all to myself, he would be all mine), most favorite female characters, and some truly incredible love stories I know helped shape the person I am to my very core.
That’s the power of a great book.
And with the Marked Men and Saints of Denver series, Jay Crownover crafted a world of found family freedom for me. A world where I could hang out with characters who became my friends. Who I enjoyed checking in on as the series progressed. And when I read the last words of Salvaged and felt a bit of a loss at things coming to a true end, I reminded myself that I would always have each and every one of the Marked Men and all of the Saints to keep me company the second I re-opened their covers and gave them another read.
Over the craziness of the last year, I found myself unable to do a lot of reading. The few books I was able to read from start to finish were incredible, but for the most part, I’ve been in a holding pattern. Unable to really focus on reading, an activity I have loved with my whole heart for my entire life.
To go from reading at least a hundred books a year to — maybe 15? 20? was devastating. I kept buying all my favorite authors’ new stories as they released, and kept hoping that I would feel the pull to dive right in.
I tell you all this because I’m really hoping that all the tears I cried and all the smiles I cracked reading Fortunate Son were just the beginning of a fresh new start.
Because, everyone, this book is exactly what I needed. I needed Jay Crownover’s poetic way of painting a character’s soul onto the page. I needed to remember how vivid Rule’s version of life is, and how soulful Ayden’s advice always hits, and how wonderful it feels to be surrounded by my little imaginary family again.
And Fortunate Son does it from start to finish.
As Ry was telling us about how he grew up and how his parents’ friends and their kids surrounded him every summer, holiday, birthday and new year, I started remembering the world I have visited so many times, but it also felt fresh and new, because I’m seeing it through different eyes.
And as Bowe was describing growing up watching her father’s fame skyrocket and plateau, and her parents’ difficulties with conceiving more children after her, I realized that I was more invested than ever in seeing these old characters’ lives through a new lens.
But Fortunate Son is not really a Marked Men story or a Saints of Denver story. It’s a whole new chapter in a tome I hope never truly ends. Ry and Bowe’s story tells us all about growing up in loving households. Where their parents are full of love, but their lives are not without their own struggles and mistakes. In Fortunate Son we get to see how it feels to be surrounded by the happily ever afters we’ve been reading about for years and years.
I think that’s what fascinated me the most. We’ve already experienced the broken homes and difficult backstories in the previous series, but how will it feel to know the main characters’ parents in such very thorough ways?
Little did I know, but I was about to have my heart entirely rocked by the most intensely emotional journey I’ve been on in a long time. Because both Ry and Bowe are such individuals. Yes, we know their parents and uncles and cousins, but those people only help Ry and Bowe to become the people they are. They aren’t carbon copies of their parents. They have their own dreams and their own hopes. They are going to take their own paths and fight for their happily ever afters in all their own ways.
I could not be more thankful to have Fortunate Son in my life. This story was the most beautiful tribute to an incredible chorus of characters, but never once wavered in telling the story it is here to tell. This book gives us everything we need to know about Ry and Bowe to figure out how and why they are the right people for each other. It’s their story, not a rehashing of anyone else’s.
And it’s the perfect way to get back to Denver… and Austin. Lol.
So thank you, Jay Crownover, for reinvigorating my love of romance with this book. For reminding me how all-encompassed I can feel when I immerse myself in worlds like yours. Where I can stress about Bowe’s musical journey and Ry’s football future without having to worry about whatever real world stress is trying to weigh me down. I don’t mean to sound selfish, but I feel like you wrote this book just for me. And I couldn’t possibly be more thankful than I am.
This is the first 2nd generation book I’ve ever read. I don’t have anything to compare it to, so Jay has taken me to new heights in what I hope will be a rewarding writing experience for her. I hope we get to follow all the threads she’s weaved throughout Fortunate Son.
I hope we get to follow Remy through her next great adventure. I hope we get to experience life through Hyde’s eyes. I hope we get to see Daire through this insanely difficult chapter of her life. I hope we get to figure out what Aston is running from. I hope to laugh with Elio and watch Glory’s world get turned upside down by love and visit with all the characters Jay can possibly dream up to continue painting this enormous and fulfilling world with.
I hope you all adore Fortunate Son and share all your love with the world. This is a beautiful love story I didn’t know I needed, and I am so grateful Jay took a chance on going back.
I am truly, completely, Forever Marked.