Author: Skye Jordan
Series: Renegades, Book 1
Genre: Contemporary Erotic Romance
Release Date: 23 August 2013
Source: From publisher in exchange for an honest review
A couture wedding dress designer to the rich and famous, Lexi LaCroix's image means everything. Raised on the wrong side of the tracks, her years of polish and hard work are finally about to pay off. But crossing paths with a sexier-than-sin, bad-boy biker who makes her realize how much living she's sacrificed for her success, one touch is all it takes to threaten her carefully choreographed life.
Jax Chamberlin has been screwed over by gorgeous gold-diggers one too many times. Though he runs his own stunt company, all of America knows his Hollywood face even years after he's given up acting. Finding a woman who doesn't plan to use him as a stepping stone to success is virtually impossible, so when the charming and mysterious Lexi offers him a chance at a totally anonymous hook-up during an out of town trip, Jax accepts. Only Lexi is more sextacular than charming, and Jax wants more. Lots more.
But Lexi's got a major hang-up over his renegade lifestyle. And if she finds out his connections could catapult her to the top of her career, he's afraid the fantasy woman he's falling for might just end up like all the rest.
Warning: This novel contains uber-hot sexual encounters. For safety's sake, read along with pitcher of ice-water. Or...wine...
Where to start?
I'm not sure what I went into this expecting. I hadn't even remembered what the blurb was about - my bad for not getting to it sooner - but I went into this completely blind. Unfortunately, that meant that Lexi and Jax had to make me love them on their own, from the start.
We first meet Jax where he's talking to an (apparent) ex, thinking incredibly nasty thoughts of her. We find out that she's screwed him out of a job and that's why he feels so negatively towards her. But when she offers to get him the job back if he'll just get back in her bed and he CONSIDERS it....not a good first impression.
My first impression of Lexi isn't much better. She sees the truck that Jax is in, and immediately thinks of the truck that she knows "exactly what kind of guys drove those trucks." Apparently, only sexy guys can now own big trucks. Mmm-hmm. I'll have to remember that.
For their meet-cute, Lexi uses a beta app that her friend designed to sell to the NSA (don't ask) and gets Jax's phone number. She proceeds to text him, anonymously, making it very clear that she's watching him, can see him, and is paying attention to him but not letting him know who she is. He, apparently, is fine with this because the flirting and sexting begin.
Don't get me wrong, the texts were my favorite part of the book to that point. They were both cute and sexy, and it was clear that they had a lot of chemistry. Their senses of humor worked well off of each other - and they both dropped their emotional baggage to flirt. I really enjoyed it.
Unfortunately, we got back to the emotional baggage. Lexi can't get involved with anyone that could cause a scandal - apparently her Hollywood and/or rich clients won't appreciate her having any scandals....because they never do. Right. Anyway, she's all paranoid about her reputation, but she's attracted to the 'rough' Jax. He's got a leather motorcycle jacket (of a brand I've never heard of...so sue me), and work boots, and a tattoo. He's got to be 'lesser' right? Yep. But she can do a little anonymous sex.
Jax, on the other hand, alternates between 'She doesn't think I'm good enough for her,' and 'She's using me to get to my connections.' I still can't figure out how those two insecurities can coexist in his mind, but there you have it. He floats from one insecure moment to the next and there's nothing less sexy to me than insecurity. As the blurb states Jax is a famous Hollywood actor, retired and now doing stunts. He's easily recognizable - instantly by fans, as proven in one scene. His co-star that he is filming with is of the Brad Pitt type celebrity. Apparently Jax is of the same level.
Want to know where I lost all believability in this book? It wasn't Lexi's friend designing phone apps for the government. It wasn't the harmless hacking, or a top fashion designer taking on two interns that haven't graduated from the fashion design school. It wasn't even the fact that Lexi apparently could design better after Jax gave her an orgasm.
It was the fact that Lexi, who makes her living selling haute couture wedding dresses to the rich and famous in Los Angeles, has NO IDEA who Jax or his co-star are. Even after hearing the co-star's name, even after finally seeing Jax's face. Nothing. No recognition at all. How? How does that happen? You live and work there. You sell expensive dresses and you don't know your (possible) clientele? You've never thought maybe you should know the people you're trying to sell to?
Argh! I'm still so frustrated by this.
Before all that I'd happily been reading for the smexy times. They were pretty good smexy times - with a few things that pulled me out of the moment, but I feel like I've complained enough. Suffice it to say that when the sexy times had me laughing out loud I knew it was time to stop because there was nothing left to keep me invested.
I do have the second book in the series already, and the writing and sexiness were pretty good, so I'm sure I'll try it to see if some different characters work better for me.
Grade: DNF (at 51%)
Amazon | BN | kobo | Goodreads