I have read all of the books in the Renegade series and generally I liked every one of them but this one had a different feel to me. The connection between Troy and Giselle was on a different level than the relationships in the other books (I’m not saying it’s better, it was just different). This was the first book where the couple in the story had a prior relationship. Normally, I don’t go for second chance love. I don’t know why, maybe I’m just a cold witch but I’m usually like if you blew it the first time around, I don’t want to hear from you ever again. In life or in writing. I’m like the Grinch of second chance romance, my heart is 2 sizes too small. But I digress (as usual). I may have been playing second chance romances short because history between the main characters allows for a far richer dynamic in the present day relationship .
In the case of Troy and Giselle, they had been together as teenagers and early in their adult years. Troy and Giselle met in the foster care system and formed a bond based on their joint struggles against abuse and just for basic survival. Troy was Giselle’s protector and later, her lover. Giselle had a gift for singing which Troy helped her to develop and promote in the early days. When Giselle eventually begins to achieve fame and recognition, she and Troy don’t know how to navigate the shifting landscape of their lives or their relationship so they eventually separate. The breakup is ugly because of the intensity of the feelings involved. Seven years later the two are not over each other and reunite in a very sexy albeit totally unexpected way. Despite their intense physical chemistry, the book chronicles their journey from lust to hurt and anger to forgiveness and back to love.
The thing that really left an impression on me about this book is the way the author conveys the intensity of the feelings between Troy and Giselle. Whether the feelings were positive or negative, the story is told in a way that you feel it which connects you to the characters. From the first page, you have a clear picture of Troy’s pain over the past and his desire to just forget. The thing that is compelling about Giselle is her contradictions. On the outside Giselle is famous and beautiful and put together. But on the inside, everything is just a hot mess. I loved that both Troy and Giselle saw through each other’s facades and were able to tell one another the truth about each other even when they had a hard time accepting the truth about themselves.
I absolutely love the ups and downs between Troy and Giselle. The issues that arise for both of them didn’t come across as unnecessary angst. Instead it felt more like genuine conflict that would occur given their situation. And the sex was just very very HAWT!!! To get such a well told story and great sex is like a fried doughnut with no calories. Life just doesn’t get any better than that!
For all you Renegade fans, we do get an update on some of the other Renegades who make brief appearances in this book. I would also like to say for those of you, like me, who read the last book about Ryker and Rachel, if you didn’t love that one, this one is much better. I liked the last book but there was entirely too much information about Hollywood stunts and PTSD for me. This book doesn’t veer away from the story of the main characters so even if you’re hesitant, don’t be, this book is worth reading. Look at that, I’m all about the second chances today.
**ARC provided by Author**