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Wednesday, October 28, 2009

The Renegade Hunter by Lynsay Sands

The Renegade Hunter by Lynsay Sands
Publisher: HarperCollins
Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal
Length: Full (357 pages)
Heat: Spicy
Rating: 5 Books
Reviewed by Xeranthemum

Nicholas Argeneau is not your typical rogue hunter in The Renegade Hunter, the latest installment of the Rogue Hunter series from New York Times bestselling author Lynsay Sands. Though he spent centuries targeting vampires who break the immortal laws, for the past 50 years Nicholas has been a rogue himself. But then he saves a beautiful mortal from a terrifying bloodsucker, and everything changes.

The Renegade Hunter is a gripping tale about a man who’s lost belief in himself and the woman who practically whacks him aside the head with the knowledge that he was too quick to do so.

Jo Willan is a likable heroine because she goes with her gut and does what she thinks is right. Jo is loyal, not stupid. The progression of her being ignorant of the Immortal race to full knowledge is a journey fraught with hard choices, testing of one’s own mettle and pursuit of justice for another. Even when that ‘other’ is a hunky, self-flagellating immortal who believes the worst of himself.

Nicholas Argeneau believes he is a pariah to his family. He did something unforgivable many years ago and is tortured by the memory. Or is he? Jo is a thorn of practical persuasion which Nicholas can’t get out from under his skin. He wants to, but he doesn’t. He wants her to stay away from him but needs her beside him just as much. Nicholas is an anguished hero who lost everything once and is afraid he’d not survive losing it all over again. His character embodies what romance readers look for in a hero.

In this book, Ms. Sands has Jo being a pet owner. Charlie is a big loveable dog who is the heroine’s other hero. I’m impressed that Charlie was never forgotten. The care and feeding of a pet is as domestic and ho-hum as can be yet many authors don’t follow through. They introduce kids or pets for the ‘cute’ factor and then sort of let it fade. Not so with The Renegade Hunter. I was impressed with the details and consistency.

The bad guy is actually a victim of his circumstance. I got a sense that if he were born in another type of family situation that he’d have turned out differently. I sort of felt bad for him. Almost.

I appreciate scenes in this series where the Argeneau clan comes together. It is never boring, always fun, fascinating and brings with it vital points about family, loyalty and riotous humor. Speaking of humor, just wait until you get to the part when Jo meets Lucien, Nicholas’ uncle. I mean, really gets to interact with him. I was splitting my sides giggling and chortling over those verbal exchanges. Ms. Sands has a cheeky sense of humor and I had a blast seeing it aimed at Lucien. Oh wait, the humor started with the…look. I won’t say the full title, it’s just too hysterical. Good thing I wasn’t drinking or eating when I read that the first time.

The Renegade Hunter has what I’ve come to expect from this series from Ms. Sands. The writing and dialogue is always snappy, fresh and forward moving and this book is no exception. The loving is as passionate and emotional as one could wish, the characters well formed and relatable and the happily ever after is there. I won’t say it’s completed however. Because the author left a tantalizing and intriguing thread dangling, I just know that I’ll be seeing Jo and Nicholas again in a future book. I can’t wait. Lynsay Sands rocks.