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Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Renegade Book Review *Lora Leigh*

Where oh where shall I begin about Renegade, the latest book by Lora Leigh? Here we have a tortured, beats his chest angsty hero and a twenty-six-year old virgin heroine who waits with bated breath for her prince charming to come along and sweep her off her feet. Instead she gets a man who constantly puts her down because of her obsession with wearing a white wedding dress and a proud V-card carrying member.

Mikayla Martin lives in a small town where everyone seems to know your name. She comes from a family full of love and cheer, as well as being independent, up to a certain point because her parents and brothers feel the need to know her whereabouts every minute of the day. Mikayla, who will spit in your eye if you dare to call her Kayla, owns her own exclusive clothing shop where she makes wedding dresses from hand. Mikayla is obsessed with having her own white wedding to the point that she will stay a virgin until she meets that perfect man who not only can pop her cherry with such precision, but can give her that white picket fence, the mini-van, 2.5 children and most likely a dog, cat, goldfish…the whole nine yards.

But Mikayla's dreams come crashing down when she goes to pick up her irresponsible, rascally brother from work. Mikayla's brother up and left, forgetting to tell her that he found a new ride home. And while she's waiting for him, she witnesses a shooting and swears it's Maddix Nelson, this big wig in town. But no one believes Mikayla, for Maddix has an alibi with witnesses and everything.

As Mikayla runs around trying to get everyone and their dog to believe what she saw was fact, Madddix calls in a favor and Nikolai Steele aka Renegade comes vrooming into town on his "wicked black Harley." Nik is ornery, mean and dark. Maddix has been framed and because he cares for Mikayla, (but not in a dirty old man way) and wants Nik to get to the bottom of this before Mikayla is hurt, marked for death, assassinated, or something unsettling on the horizon that gives Maddix the wiles.

Broody Nik, who's a dripping orgasm, thinks Mikayla is too little Miss Mary Sunshiny. How can she be so pure and innocent? How dare she not even have one parking ticket in her past? Nick will look further into this pearl of a woman who is so not for him because she's the marrying kind and gasp- a virgin!

But then Nik and Mikayla chat and soon she's the victim of a few scary events such as a mugging that's really a warning for her to keep quiet. Nik will protect her because the lion inside of him, or perhaps his crouching tiger, hidden dragon, wants Mikayla as his mate and not even she can keep him away.

Then we have scene upon scene of incredible foreplay where Nik puts his mouth, tongue and fingers to good use. He stops from going to far, even though Nik wants to lose his little Nick in Mikayla's body. He'll respect her wishes to wait for some phantom prince charming to marry her. Until them he'll make her ooh and ahh much like the fake orgasm scene in When Harry Met Sally and still be able to wave her V-card around.

After more than a few going downtown scenes where Mikayla is close to drowning in a messy river of passion, she comes to the conclusion that she'll gladly let Nik tear up her V-card because no other man makes he feel so… horny and complete; but still not the type who she'll marry. No sir, because as soon as Nik finds the villain responsible for trying to kill Mikayla, he's outtie on his wicked Harley. Just as Mikayla has her V-card status, Nik proudly has his own "I'm a loner baby card, and can only give you massive climaxes, but not my heart, soul and all that jazz where I would settle down into small town life because I was married once before and it didn't turn out well at all."

So, while Nik and Mikayla have enough sex to bring on some major chafing between the two, they figure out who is behind the murder and scary tactics against Mikayla. And let me tell you, it's a scene worthy right out of the old nighttime soaps of Dallas or Dynasty.

Renegade was ridiculously bad reading. Nik is a cringe worthy caricature of what a hero should be, and more than half the time I felt he should have gone to therapy. The man has enough resources and people on his phone, but why not a good therapist?

Mikayla kept pushing and pulling Nik every which way, and just as Nik was led around by his wee-wee, Mikayla was led around by her hoo-haa.

The love scenes border on purple prose and were written the same almost every time. Think of insert tab A into Tab B and there you go. But every so often there would be an outcry of emotion from Nik as he reflected on his lovemaking with Mikayla while in the middle of it with a deep thought such as:

"And he knew Mikayla. She would want children. She would hunger for children. And Nick knew he could never, ever allow himself to take that risk again."

Nik, why not just buy Mikayla a happy meal if she was so hungry?

Lora Leigh is insanely popular for reasons that escape me. With ho-hum love scenes that seem to be written identically each and every time, and with characters that are way too emotive and cartoonish, I can't help but wonder why.

This was my first book in a long time by Lora Leigh and after reading Renegade, I would have to say that she and I simple don't fit.

All she left me with was a bad craving for a McDonald Big Mac and plastic Happy Meal Toy. (St. Martin's)

Grade: D



















Katiebabs

17 comments:

Eva / TXBookjunkie said...

I've read all of Lora Leigh's books and have to admit that they've really been hit and miss in the last year or so. This was definitely a miss. One of the annoying things about this book was the hero's constant thoughts of the heroine as a "fairy". We get it already! She small and pixie like! Stop with all the girly thoughts already.

Fiction Vixen said...

Lora Leigh has always been hit and miss for me. I broke up with her not long ago. :(

heidenkind said...

LOL Thank God you didn't like this one! I was worried for a minute or two there....

Mollie said...

I tried a couple of her books.Didn't care for them much at all. Probably won't read anything else...

Tonya la Chicken said...

I read Leigh’s earlier works and enjoyed them a lot. Now, not only are her novels formulaic but sadly boring too. You could feel the passion she had in her early books now it’s more like a train wreck of pointless commentary and drama.

Mandi said...

I'm so glad I passed this one up ;)

mepamelia said...

Yeah. Lora Leigh is no Laurell K Hamilton YET, but I fear she's headed that way. At least we're spared from having one titular character horn her way through every book although some might argue successfully that there are a lot of stock interchangeable characters now. It's sad, because when Leigh was good (Harmony's Way, Dawn's Awakening and Elizabeth's Wolf) she got some really good emotionally gripping stuff that was over the top but still managed to work really well. Those types of books I think are the reason she's so popular. I just can't get excited for the next book she might release.

Katiebabs/ KB said...

Did anyone ever read Lora's Ellora's Cave works? I hears those are pretty steamy and were once well written romances.

Vivi said...

I did. I really enjoyed them. Her Breeds series originated there. There's a sameness to her writing now that forced me to give up on her.

Of the EC writers that I still read, I think Shiloh Walker and Jaci Burton still to continue develop their skills. I appreciate them greatly for this.

orannia said...

Oh dear. I avoided this series as it just didn't appeal. I did enjoy the Breed books, but I think I'm at the breaking up point... Like Vivi said, the sameness doesn't appeal.

Kaetrin said...

I broke up with Lora Leigh a little while ago too. I enjoyed some of her earlier stuff from EC but I think I've changed a bit so that it I wouldn't enjoy it quite so much now. The more recent stuff was just too much for me.

@ KB - was this the one you referred to last week (I think it was on Kris's blog) where you said (something like) the hero gave the herione so much oral you thought his tongue was going to fall off? :)

Katiebabs/ KB said...

Kaetrin: Renegade was the one. All Nic wanted to do is use his tongue, as if that would save his women from being killed. O.o

Heather said...

New reader to your blog here, but do have to say I completely agree! Don't forget she was also a fairy! If I had to read about how she was a fairy again - I was going to throw my kindle. Does anyone not proofread her work????

Katiebabs/ KB said...

Welcome Heather! :)

Oh yes, because Mikayla was soooo innocent and pure she was the cutest little fairy. Gag.

Kaetrin said...

savin' ur life - one lick at a time??

Ikils said...

Seriously? Every single heroine in all of her books is a 20 something virgin? I grabbed a bunch of her books at the library just to see if it were true. Absolutely ridiculous. The same formula - Every. Single. Time. Blech.

Ikils said...

Seriously? Every single heroine in all of her books is a 20 something virgin? I grabbed a bunch of her books at the library just to see if it were true. Absolutely ridiculous. The same formula - Every. Single. Time. Blech.