Monday, January 28, 2019

Book Review: Renegade Heart (Renegades #1) by Lissa Lynn Thomas

Media Type: Ebook (ARC)
Title: Renegade Heart
   *Series: Renegades Book 1
Author: Lissa Lynn Thomas
Publisher: Self-Published
Pages: Ebook; 147
Release Date: February 5, 2018
Source: Author
Genre: Contemporary Romance

HDB Rating: 4 Keys to My Heart

Recommended to: Readers who enjoy more realistic romance, with tough characters and sweet romance.

Add it on: Goodreads | Amazon
Raif Montgomery, lead singer of Renegades, the area’s most popular band, isn’t like other guys. When he gets left at the altar by a woman most men would kill to have, he finds himself more relieved than heartbroken. Things take another twisted little turn when he gets drunk the night of his non-wedding and makes a pass at his best friend, Chloe. She doesn’t shut him down. 

Overall, he has plenty to occupy his troubled mind. 

His mom is concerned he’s heading for a self-destruct of epic proportions. But all he can think about is tasting Chloe’s lips again, and getting her to agree to give them a shot as a couple. When a Nashville music producer starts hanging around Renegades’ shows, it seems that things are falling into place for the band.

But does he want success for the band if it means leaving Chloe behind? Can he walk away from the woman he loves? Or will he sacrifice the Renegades’ dreams to keep his heart intact?

I'm on a mission to read more romance this year! I've been specifically diving into Contemporary Romance because, as you probably know, I'm a really character driven reader. I need my characters to be real people, with real issues, and real relationships. Well, let me tell you, Lissa Lynn Thomas delivers that in spades. Renegade Heart is a book that will send you on an emotional roller coaster of the best kind. I can't deny, I definitely teared up and sighed contentedly more than a few times. I had a ton of fun reading this book.

Let's give Chloe some love first, because it's normally difficult for me to fall in love with the female characters in romance novels. In this case, Chloe and I instantly hit it off. She's a down to Earth, sweet woman, who wants nothing more than to take care of her friends. I loved that she wasn't perfect. Her whole persona is built around the fact that she's always had to protect herself from the mom drama that follows her around. While Chloe is excellent at taking care of everyone else, she's not great at taking care of herself.

Which is where Raif and the boys come in. Oh, these Renegade boys. I loved them so, so much. Thomas gives them each their own personality, some swoony and some adorably obnoxious. They were the perfect group of friends, and I couldn't get enough. We should focus on Raif though, because that man made my pulse race for a variety of reasons. As the long time apple of Chloe's eye, and her best friend to boot, I already knew sparks would eventually fly between these two. However watching him repeatedly do adorable things, then screw up, then make it better, then screw up, had my heart racing. As I mentioned, none of the characters in this book are perfect, and Raif is definitely not. But I loved him for it, and that's important.

In fact, watching Chloe and Raif navigate their respective hang ups, and figure out how to actually be together, is really what made me love this book so much. Their relationship was never easy. It was passionate, sure. Adorable, yes. Never easy though. They fought tooth and nail for their happily ever after, and that is something that I love to see in romance novels. I want to see a realistic attempt at a relationship succeed, so I can cheer to the ends of the Earth.

So why the four star rating? It was really the ending that settled that. After a sweet, slow, sometimes sad, build up I felt the ending just slammed home too quickly. Too many very convenient things happened to allow for a happily ever after, and that irked me a bit. Still, this is romance! Sometimes that's acceptable. So I'm happy to award this book a shiny four star rating. I think, even if you're not usually a romance reader, you'll love Chloe and Raif's story!

FTC Disclosure: I received a copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. I was not monetarily compensated for my opinion.


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