by Skye Jordan
Series: Renegades #3
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Published: July 14th, 2014
Publisher: Cygnet Books
Length: 341 Pages
Source: eARC from author + Purchased
After a tragic incident in Afghanistan leaves Master Sergeant Nathan Ryker the only man standing in his tight-knit team, he spirals into an alcohol-and-sex induced escape. A call from his lifelong buddy pulls Ryker from the shadows with a request for help with his stunt company’s latest blockbuster. If Ryker can survive the next three weeks of leave and get back to his remaining men, he might just be all right. But a sexy woman who can take his mind off his trauma is too hard to resist, and when he hooks up with Renegades’ sultry, snarky office manager, his sanity takes a backseat to his first glimpse of a future he isn’t sure he deserves.
Still reeling from a bitter romantic betrayal, Rachel Hart wants nothing more than an uncomplicated hookup. So when the mysterious Nathan seduces her with a little dirty talk and one delicious kiss, Rachel drowns all her good sense in a Mandarin and soda and gives herself over to a night of sexual bliss. But her memories tarnish in the morning light when Rachel discovers his real identity and his link to Renegades. Her job and her friends are the only thing holding her life together, and she won’t be ruined by one sultry night with this damaged and dangerously sexy man.
I absolutely loved this story. Out of the three books so far, this one really stood out, and quite frankly, it blew the other two out of the water. While the sex scenes were all off the charts hot, they didn't overpower the plot or the struggles that Nathan and Rachel were facing. I loved their intimate times, but it was everything else that surrounded them that really made me fall for them and care about them.
I'm very picky when it comes to heroines, so when I say that I loved Rachel, I would switch teams for her, that's saying a lot. She didn't have the flash that Lexi and Rubi possessed, but she made up for it with her candid remarks and how she treated everyone around her. Her relationship with the men of Renegades was so sweet - she was a mother hen, a sister, a loyal friend, and I adored them for their protectiveness and respect. She was raised with certain values, so she was hardly the type to sleep around. But her one and only attempt to live a little like Rubi once had, was both an amusing success and failure. I really enjoyed seeing her push her own boundaries which led her on a path of self awareness.
Nathan was the perfect tortured hero. And when I say tortured, I really mean it. His journey throughout this story was heart-breaking at times. The glimpses into his psyche began during his introduction in the second chapter and just kept escalating from there. The author did an amazing job with his character. I felt every bit of his slow self destruction with each episode of his trauma being triggered.
This couple had chemistry in spades. Aside from the wickedly hot love scenes, it was Nathan's PTSD that ratcheted up their encounters up a few notches. From the beginning, Rachel was an exception to his method for dealing with his demons. That is, until near the end when he began to unravel completely. That one scene made my heart break for the both of them. It was a little uncomfortable but so raw and believable. There was a connection but yet also a horrible disconnect that was filled with angst. I started tearing up from that point forward. Outside of the sexcapades, they displayed wonderful communication skills, both serious and humorous. I loved the fact that they had meaningful dialogues which added credence to their developing feelings. They were both quite intuitive, but neither of them made the other feel foolish.
There is so much more that I could say, but this story is best experienced for yourself. If you love a confident and quirky heroine, a badly damaged hero with an edgy, sexy streak, and one hell of a redemption scene, then this story is definitely for you. I received an eARC for the purpose of an honest review, but upon completion, I had to purchase it for my personal collection. This is one book I will reach for for a re-read.
Most memorable moments:
“I want to help,” she said. “I just don’t know how.”
He slid the shower door open with a swipe of his hand. A motion so fast and fierce, the glass slammed against the wall and Rachel jumped. When he turned his head, stormy gray eyes peered out from beneath dark, wet hair, dripping water. “You want to help?” he asked, clearly challenging. “Then get in here.”
For a long moment, she didn’t know what he meant. Then Troy’s words trickled back in again. “He’s been doing it with a different woman every night for the last month in New Orleans. He was spiraling.”
Jordan, Skye; Swan, Joan (2014-07-12). Ricochet: Renegades, Book 3 (Kindle Locations 4253-4258). Cygnet Books. Kindle Edition.
“Na— than… Please… Stop…”
He stilled, breathing hard, eyes squeezed tight . He brought one knee up on the bed between her legs and dropped his forehead to her shoulder. “I can’t …come.” His voice was tight, frustrated. “I just can’t… get off, goddammit.”
Now that he’d stopped moving, even more discomfort rushed to the foreground. Pulls and aches in her lower back, her thighs, places deep in her body she couldn’t even pinpoint.
“You’re thinking too hard.” With her heart aching, she lifted her hands to his face. “Look at me.”
He shook his head. “Can’t.”
“Nathan.” She combed her fingers through his hair. “Look at me.”
Jordan, Skye; Swan, Joan (2014-07-12). Ricochet: Renegades, Book 3 (Kindle Locations 4339-4345). Cygnet Books. Kindle Edition.
“Goddammit!” She pushed up on her knees and screamed, at her breaking point. “If you don’t all get off him right this second, I’m going stomp your nuts!”
Jordan, Skye; Swan, Joan (2014-07-12). Ricochet: Renegades, Book 3 (Kindle Locations 4811-4812). Cygnet Books. Kindle Edition.
Skye Jordan is a pseudonym for New York Times bestselling romantic suspense author Joan Swan. Skye's novels are about enjoying that little wild streak we don’t let out often enough. About those fantasies we rarely get the opportunity to indulge. About stretching limits, checking out the dark side, and maybe even acting a little naughty. They’re about escape and fun and pleasure and romance. And, yes, even love, because while wicked-great sex is good, happily ever after with wicked-great sex is even better. Skye (aka Joan) lives on the central coast of California in the heart of wine country with her husband and two daughters. As often as possible, she retreats to a hotel with critique partners for a power-writing week where much drinking, laughing, and yes, even working, ensues. When she’s not writing, Skye goes to breakfast with her hubby, attends her daughters’ barrel races, and spends a lot of time with her own horse, Riddle…while her two dogs, Paxton and Indie, tag along. She also loves to read, knit, craft, row, ride, and dabble in photography.
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Disclaimer: Complimentary copy provided by the author/publisher for the purpose of an honest review, but I also purchased the book from Amazon.
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