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Monday, June 22, 2015

Review: Relentless by Skye Jordan

How about a steamy romance with a sexy stuntman cowboy for a Monday morning? Meet Troy Jacobs!

Format: .mobi (provided by author in exchange for an honest review)
Publisher: Cygnet Books
Release Date: June 22, 2015

Bad boy Troy Jacobs is all about taking risks. As a stunt double for Hollywood’s A-listers, there’s no fall he won’t attempt. With one exception—women. Troy fell hard once, and it nearly broke him. Since then, he’s vowed never to trust like that again and he’s got everything under control. Until the woman who shattered his heart years before shows up on his movie-set.

Country music star Giselle “Ellie” Diamond learned long ago that sometimes love isn’t enough. When love got in the way of her goals, she made the tough choice to let go of happily ever after and chased the glitz and glamor of the stage. It may not be all she expected, but now it’s all she has. And with a worldwide tour on the line, Ellie needs one last gig to rocket her toward stardom: a high-profile roll in a blockbuster film.

Passion sparks, and old feelings return. But while Troy and Ellie grow closer their problems from the past simmer in the background. And this time around, there's more tearing them apart than just one star-studded career.

Stuntman Troy Jacobs is used to taking risks, it’s his job and he gets paid well for it. In his personal life however, Troy plays it safe with meaningless flings. It’s a lesson he learned the hard way after falling hard and fast for a woman who didn’t just break his heart, she smashed it into a million pieces. Troy almost has himself convinced that he’s over it, over her until that same woman walks onto the movie he’s working on, and back into his life sending his mind back into the past.

In order for her music career to really take off, country singer Giselle “Ellie” Diamond needs her high profile role in an upcoming blockbuster film to be a success. Even knowing she hurt Troy, Ellie is willing to at least be civil with him for old times’ sake. But old hurts and stronger feelings keep Troy and Ellie from moving on. The time they spend together on set only makes them grow closer but just when they’re on the verge of rekindling their romance, they once again find themselves with the same problems that tore them apart years before.

I fell in love, had my heart broken, suffered from angst, dealt with frustration and fell in love all over again…

I’m describing my experience reading Skye Jordan’s Relentless of course, but I might as well have been speaking about Troy’s journey through the book. Naturally it’s more complicated than what those few words describe but it’s pretty much the gist of his long ride from misery to happiness. This guy went through the ringer and I loved that the author gave him an emotional side. Here’s this good guy, not perfect but a pretty good guy who had his heart torn out of his chest and is now having to spend a lot of time with the woman responsible. I felt bad for him even as I wanted to strangle him for his stubbornness. Troy was pure alpha male with a side of torn up, lovesick puppy. It was an irresistible combination. Add in the heavy dose of angst and brooding and I was a total goner!

Giselle wasn’t the bad guy in Relentless though! I feel I gotta stand up for women like her who chose a career over a romance that may or may not last. She had dreams and shouldn’t have had to give them up and she didn’t so good for her! Should she and Troy have tried harder to make it work? Heck yeah and they’re both to blame for that but I loved that she chose to follow her dreams rather than just give them up for a young love that might have blown up in her face and made them both bitter. That’s what really made me a fan of Giselle’s. She wasn’t perfect but she had her own mind and did what she had to in order to better herself in life. Was it all peaches and cream? Well no but that’s part of what made her choice a good one. She needed that experience so that she could then make a decision that wouldn’t have her going “But what if…” later on down the road. That took guts to walk away from someone she loved in order to pursue her own goals. I loved her strength and her vulnerability. She loved Troy but that didn’t mean she was going to put up with his crap or toss away her hard work for him either. Good for her for being willing to work hard to have both her career AND the man she loved!

With such a heavy conflict between Troy and Giselle, I thought that there wouldn’t be much room for any hot and heavy stuff but I was wrong! Troy and Giselle still had that fire that could not be extinguished. Even through the hurt and the resentment, they were still deeply in love and they still had an undeniable physical chemistry that threatened to set my e-reader on fire. There’s nothing quite like reunion sex tinged with regrets and resentment. More than just sexy scenes, Jordan also does a wonderful job of immersing readers into the world of stunt men and women without weighing down the story with too many technical terms. In some scenes I felt like I was part of the action!

As a big modern country music fan, I have to say that I loved that Giselle was a rising country singer. I could honestly plan an entire country music playlist around this story without breaking a sweat but one song that fits Troy and Giselle’s romance is one that shares the same title, Relentless by Jason Aldean. Coincidence? Look up the lyrics after you read the book and you decide.

As angsty and complicated as Troy and Giselle’s relationship was, Relentless was still, in my opinion a pretty easy read. There’s plenty of humor, lots of sexual tension and a mini reunion with previous characters in the series. The guys (and gals) of the Renegades are a fun group of people who don’t always make it easy on themselves in the romance department but the trip is half the fun!

Final Verdict: Relentless can be read as a standalone but why limit yourself to just one angst ridden hunk? 

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