Series: The Renegades #3
Genres: New Adult
Source: ARC, NetGalley
Also in this series: Wilder, Nova
Also by this author: Wilder, Nova, The Reality of Everything
She'll defy his every expectation.
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.
Rebel is the book I have been both anticipating and not anticipating. Why? Penna, aka Rebel, is a difficult character. She is tough and bad ass, yet her injury makes her vulnerable. Honestly, I just wasn’t sure I would like her when the focus of the story was on her and not the others. Add to that the hero, Cruz, was a total unknown in the series and I was apprehensive. So much so this book sat on my kindle for over 4 weeks. I just couldn’t open the damn book.
Penna and Cruz meet in Vegas. Penna hasn’t been able to get back into her ‘Rebel’ persona since the injury, even though she has been cleared. So, without Pax and Landon around, she plans a BASE jumping stunt. Cruz gets wrapped up in her plan and the chemistry between these two is explosive. After the jump they go back to Penna’s room but are interrupted by the police. Penna makes sure Cruz isn’t in any legal trouble, but then she is whisked away and sent back to the ship without a chance to even learn his last name! But, they meet again. He is her new teacher on the ship. Obviously, they can’t pursue anything. Right?
These two sizzle when they are around each other! It literally jumps off the page every time they are near each other. I expected my kindle to actually smoke or something. This is such a slow burn! Cruz has something planned that he NEEDS this job in order to accomplish. Penna could cost him everything. However, neither of them can walk away from the other. Do they dare attempt a secret affair?
Seeing the very vulnerable side of Penna was strange and wonderful! She is dealing with her feelings of guilt and betrayal regarding Brooke, she is dealing with her fear of things she was never afraid of in the past, and now she is dealing with feels towards Cruz she hasn’t felt for any other man. Penna, in the previous books, comes off as confident and badass so to see her deeper character was so amazing. I always liked her in the previous books, but I feel in love with her in Rebel.
Cruz is a perfect hero for Penna. He is a man, not a boy, as he repeatedly points out to Penna. The boys she hangs with are immature and not able to handle her. Cruz WANTS to handle her, but he cannot lose this job. At 27, he is very young to have a PhD, but his hard work and determination allowed him to achieve so much. He is determined to save someone, and who this person is to Cruz remains a mystery for quite a while.
The slow burn and build up between Cruz and Penna was delicious! I don’t normally enjoy that type of burn, but oh my gosh it was perfect! Add in the need to save Elisa, Rebel’s struggle to find herself as a ‘Renegade’, and you have an amazing book that quite literally took my breath away! Cruz has seriously become my #1 book boyfriend. Rebel gives us so much more than just the story of Rebel, but the story of Penelope as a renegade, a woman, and a sister. Perfection! And the ending….sublime.
I haven’t had too many 5 star reads in 2017. Every book I read for the rest of the year will be held to the standard of Rebel…and I fear all will be lacking. Rebel has rocketed to the top of my Favorite Reads list!
- POV: dual 1st
- Tears: no
- Trope: student/teacher
- Triggers: none
- Series/Standalone: series (you really need to read the other 2 in order to understand what has happened to Penna up to this point!
- Cliffhanger: View Spoiler »
- HEA: View Spoiler »
“Oh God, don’t do that.”
“That.” He pointed toward my mouth. “Everything I told you in Vegas is still true. You’re still gorgeous, still sexy as hell, still everything that draws me in like a damned magnet, but you’re also everything I can’t have. Don’t you get that? When you pull shit like that on the dance floor, you successfully drive me batshit crazy, watching you in some guy’s arms.” A small laugh escaped him. “Like that kid has any idea what to do with you if he actually managed to catch you.”
“And you do?”
His eyes darkened. “Don’t challenge me like that.”
The tension stretched between us for a quiet moment until I broke the silence. “I didn’t kiss him.”
“I’m well aware, because if you had, I’m not sure if I could have let him walk out of here, and that’s dangerous, Penelope. You are dangerous to me.”
“I’m sorry,” I said truthfully. “Logically, I know nothing can happen between us. I get it. But I see you, and all I can think about is the way you kissed me in Vegas. The way you touched me. I can’t just erase those memories, Cruz. Like I said, somehow you make me do stupid things.”
“You? I make you do stupid things?” he nearly yelled, and I was thankful for the loud, driving beat of the music beyond the office doors. “Woman, I got into a strange car for you. Illegally BASE jumped off a Ferris wheel to stay close to you. Went to jail for you, and I make you do stupid things?”
He stalked forward, his movements smooth like a predator, and a low hum filled my stomach, growing stronger with every step he took.
“I let you stay in my class. Stupid. I look for every reason to run into you, while simultaneously praying you’ll stay far away because I need this job. Stupid. I take one look at you in that fucking dress, and I’m so hard I’m afraid I can’t hide it in a room full of students. Stupid. I can’t stop thinking about the way you taste, the way you open up under me, the way your nails left little half-moons in my shoulders when I found how wet you were for me.”
If he got his hands anywhere near me, he’d find out I was just as wet now. God, his words were the biggest turn-on I’d ever experienced. Next to his abs. Or his arms. Or his mouth. Crap, the man was one giant sex package begging to be unwrapped.
“Cruz,” I whispered as he cupped my face with one hand, his thumb rubbing over my lower lip, while he caged me against the desk with the other.
My tongue licked across the tip of his finger, unable to help myself.
“God, Penelope. You could cost me everything, and yet I’m still in here with you. And this might be the worst choice of all.”
His mouth met mine in a kiss that sent my senses reeling. His tongue swept in, claiming every curve he might have missed last time, until it felt like my mouth belonged to him.