A second chance romance with a backdrop of extreme sports on a giant floating university in the Pacific – who couldn’t fall in love with that?
I was excited for this book for a long time before it came out. It’s the second story following the Renegades and the women (and I guess men at some point) who love them. The crew are extreme sports professionals, winners of X games medals and all round badasses, but in their early twenties, they’ve got to finish college alongside pursuing their sports dreams.
This story (fine as standalone) follows Nova (Landon Rhodes) and Rachel Dawson. They used to date but broke up at age eighteen when he had to choose between her and his emerging career.
In book one, Rachel’s best friend, Leah, joined the floating university (it’s a Study at Sea program for rich kids and you can’t believe the stuff they get to do) as a tutor, before falling in love with her pupil – Paxton, leader of the Renegades. Rachel was meant to join her from the start of the year but got sick and missed the first three months. There’s a connection between her and the Renegades I won’t spoil if you haven’t read book one, which is more than the fact she used to date Nova.
So it’s term two and she’s aboard, but actively avoiding her ex. Landon, who she named Nova after a Supernova as that’s the affect he had on her, is now Casanova, sleeping with anyone he can get his mitts on. But when he sees Rachel, it’s like a breeze block to the gut. The gorgeous woman, Korean and adopted to the US, never left his thoughts, and all the other women he’s gone through have been substitutes for the real thing. ‘Self-medicating’ for his broken heart. Don’t you just love to hate guys like this? Landon plays the douche role well, and I very much enjoyed judging his dumb ass for the stupid way he behaved.
The story takes us to all sorts of beautiful countries and locations, and we get to witness the highs and lows of the sport our H&H both love, as they fall in love all over again. Rachel is no pushover and rightly gives Landon a very hard time in winning her back. Then again she’s also no angel and this isn’t the perfect romance of perfect people. They’re both flawed and have to fight to make it work. Of course the groveling and work is mostly on Landon’s side as he made a crashing error of judgement, but he was young and there were Reasons and Rach has to decide whether to forgive him.
On the Reasons – this was my only real complaint about the story – I wanted him to have had a better excuse for why he left her in their first try at a relationship. Even when the full of it is revealed I doubt I could’ve trusted him again, though he certainly puts on the moves (including refusing to sleep with her, which I LOVE as tension-builder).
The spark between them and the huge chemistry is palpable. Yarros focuses on details like casual touches or looks across a room, and I was there, I could feel it. The romance and emotional dips and falls are scorching.
He grasped both my hands in his, and held them against the wall above my head. “Stop trying to rob me of my virtue, Ms Dawson.”
“Stop driving me out of my mind, Mr Rhodes,” I complained.
Rachel has her own story too – she’s an excellent heroine, likeable, confident, strong, sassy without hostility, and her desire to look into the orphanage she was adopted from whilst keeping it a secret from her adoptive parents gave me all the feels.
Overall I enjoyed this more than book 1 and would highly recommend. The love is hot and has weight to it, the story moves apace with the flashy sports and unlimited budgets for jetting across countries, and I can’t wait for book three.
Rebecca Yarros – you’ve got a new fan.
*ARC provided for review
Click to purchase: Amazon
by Rebecca Yarros
Release Date: February 20, 2017