Review: Renegade by Heather Dahlgren

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Review by Cora Kenborn

I’ve been waiting to get my hot little hands on this book for months. Since rock romance is my genre, I eat these books up like starvin’ girl at an all you can eat buffet.

Let that sink in for a minute.

Finally, I received the ARC, and thought, I’ll start this tonight—tonight being around 2am—and finish it tomorrow. Fast forward to 8am, I sat with red-rimmed eyes as my whole house woke up refreshed, and I was frozen in a Fitz-hangover.

Let’s make that a hashtag, shall we? #fitzhangover. It’s a real thing, and it’s brutal.

I have a new book boyfriend, and Fitz be thy name. Holy guitar strings, Dahlgren sank her hooks in me from Chapter One and I flipped those pretend electronic pages until I was all but licking the screen at the end. If you’re looking for a new rock star to electrify your world, look no further than Crosby Fitzgerald.

Dahlgren flawlessly tells the story in a fast-paced dual POV, starting with the perspective of Brooklyn Adler, a self-conscious, mundane woman who lives for routine and complacency. *yawn* But, don’t feel sorry for her. She’s okay with her humdrum life as a bank manager and doesn’t mind going home to her wet noodle of a boyfriend, Hank. Her life is safe, and that’s just the way she’s always envisioned it.

Until she gets a call from childhood friend, Poppy.

Poppy is the outgoing manager for the insanely popular band, Renegade, and she wants Brooklyn to come to New York to visit her for the week. After multiple rejections from her friend, Poppy refuses to take no for an answer and Brooklyn finds herself Big Apple bound.

Fitz is the lead singer of Renegade and a dirty dog of a womanizer. Yet, underneath he is a good guy. He’s the male version of the proverbial “hooker with a heart of gold.” Only it takes a chance meeting with Brooklyn to bring out that side of him. Sparks fly during their initial meeting and from that moment on, Fitz knows, no woman will ever compare to the petite, shy brunette who has captivated him. Brooklyn falls for Fitz as well. There’s only one problem.

Brooklyn has a boyfriend and a life she’s returning to at the end of the week.

Dahlgren is masterful at creating tension and the push and pull effect of the “will they or won’t they” excitement. The reader feels deeply for both characters, understanding their reluctance to commit, yet hoping beyond reason that they give into what they (and everyone reading) wants. The build-up to the big moment is monumental. And when it does happen, (wipes drool off of chin) it’s one to go back and re-read about seventeen times. Not that I did that. (I totally did that.)

Dahlgren’s knowledge of the music industry is on point. She either has insider connections or is a master Googler (okay, that sounded kind of dirty, but I digress…) and the reader feels like they are at a Renegade concert. The story is fast-paced, the characters all have their own personalities and the dialogue is poignant, hysterical, hot and swoon-worthy all at the same time. Fair warning, Renegade has some pretty intense sex scenes, so if you are easily offended, well, you’ve been warned.

Basically, Renegade is everything anyone could ever want in a rock star romance novel. If you haven’t bought it—what are you waiting for? Run, do not walk and download now!

And after your #Fitzhangover, just take two aspirin. But don’t call Fitz in the morning. He’s otherwise occupied. 😉

 

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