She’s Penna Carstairs.
The Renegade they call Rebel.
FMX-treme Magazine’s sexiest female athlete of the year.
There’s no rule in extreme sports she hasn’t broken,
No gender barrier she hasn’t demolished.
She’s the woman I met in a bar in Vegas.
The woman I illegally BASE jumped for.
The woman I spent one insane, incredible night with.
But now I’m screwed.
Or rather…not screwed.
Because the woman I can’t get out of my head is the one woman I can never touch again.
I’m Dr. Cruz Delgado—the youngest professor on this campus,
And Penelope Carstairs just walked into my class.
4.5 stars — I received a free copy through NetGalley in exchange for an honest and unbiased review/opinion. Though in all fairness I didn’t get to this one before release, so I actually read my preordered copy instead.
Welp, this was definitely my favourite of the series!! It’s like they just kept getting better and better! I LOVE it when that happens. I’m not the type of reader who’s particularly drawn to forbidden romances (such as student/teacher in this case), but I don’t shy away from them either. Basically if enough else draws me in, then I’m totally in. And that was most definitely the case in this story.
This one started off beautifully. I was already mega intrigued by Penna, not only as this badass extreme athlete who was every bit as enthralling as the boys she calls friends, but also as the damaged woman we got to see glimpses of in Nova. And Ms. Yarros totally fulfilled all my wishes in her story. We really got a glimpse of how her sister’s actions had broken her, and got to delve into the mental aspect of recovering from an accident. I thought Penelope was exactly as strong inside as she appears on the outside. She has an inner core of strength that just shined through, even as she struggled with figuring out who she was. She was sassy, she stood toe to toe with everyone, and she was wicked smart. She was a heroine it was so easy to fall in love with.
And I ADORED that Cruz didn’t want to squash her fire/strength/attitude, but recognized what a privilege it was just to keep up with her. And at the same time, we still got to see a bit more of what it’s like to love someone who is addicted to adrenaline and always pushing the envelope. It was beautiful. He was awesome. I LOVED that he matched her in strength and stubbornness, and that he really pushed her when she needed to be pushed, and was there for her with no strings attached at other times. He was also really easy to fall in love with. Dedicated, sassy in his own right, and also wickedly smart. So hot. Honestly, I know lots of people love the whole muscles and shiznit, but every time Penna described his muscular arms, I just wanted her to talk about his dimples, his accent, and hear more of the things that came out of his mouth and the thoughts in his head…but I am a bit weird that way.
And if you couldn’t tell from all that, they were perfect complements to each other. They pushed and pulled and fought but inevitably brought out the best in each other. And it was so awesome to watch. And while I probably should have been more bothered by the student/teacher relationship aspect, apparently this reader was fully able to buy into the inevitability of it, and the measures they took for Cruz not to be biased, and all that jazz. *shrugs* Honestly, there was so much else going on, it really didn’t remain in the forefront except when they brought it up. It was more them keeping it a secret at times.
As with all the other Renegade books in this series, I desperately wanted to visit all the places they were seeing, and go on my own world cruise. I loved learning little tidbits here and there about the places they were seeing. And I also fell in love with the sports aspect…I think one of the things that I loved about this series is that it is true sports romance, in that we actually get to delve into the sports, not just have them be some background aspect.
And I was so on the edge of my seat throughout much of this book! GAH! So much action and suspense!
Honestly, I think my only real problem with this book is that I noticed quite a few instances of repetition. Like I had so many moments of deja vu, where I felt like Penna had described something in the EXACT same way a few chapters earlier. Or Cruz and Lindsay would have the EXACT same conversations in two different places. And that led to some little bits where I’d be wondering why the result of the previous conversation didn’t follow through in the future. Or why Penna got away with not talking to Rachel OVER AND OVER even though she constantly said they’d talk later, or that night, etc. These aren’t huge things, just a bit of a bummer because it took me out of the story.
All in all, this was a SMASHING finale to the series. The grand gesture at the end was everything I was hoping it would be and more, and the epilogue was perfect! You have no idea how happy I was with it; not just its contents, but the fact that it existed…I needed that final wrap up/glimpse into the future. Now I’m off to dream about dimples…does it for me every time.