Read my reviews of previous books in The Renegades series:
Reece, River, and Shay Tenley (affectionately known as “TenShay”) are some of my favorite Dee characters across her expansive, connected universe. I’d have read this stand-alone series even without the promise of a book concentrating on this trio, but I certainly wasn’t mad to get this treat anyway. That being said, I knew things would get brutal for these characters even before the first page of Rogue Launch, and I’ve been anxiously waiting to learn how they’re doing during this sprawling global adventure.
Dee once again sets the stage with the initial attack, which never gets easier to read from any perspective. One element about this series that I do thoroughly enjoy is how each of the heroes isn’t following the same path toward the conclusion as they utilize specific talents with ruthless efficiency. Like Elliott (and unlike Crew), the Tenley twins have a solid and storied past as private military contractors. Also like Elliott, they thought they’d left that past far behind them, but they’re not afraid to use old abilities to fight for their missing piece. The difference this time is that they’re fighting while bleeding out emotionally, and I love how Dee balances heroes who are competent badasses while simultaneously experiencing the full breadth of their emotions, including fear.
This book is firmly in the romantic suspense camp, but I appreciate that Dee never tries to erase who the main heroes of this book are to each other, even if it’s never explicitly detailed. Because TenShay features an already-established trio, the emotional pacing of this installment is necessarily different, and Dee uses flashbacks to good effect here. These glimpses into the early days of their dynamic are a treat even for familiar fans because they are a peek into the vanilla life they built together that we’ve never seen before.
Though this book does include glimpses into Shay and Crew’s points of view as we near the grand finale, the overall focus very much remains first on the Tenley twins’ portion of the information-gathering stage and then with the “good guys” as their forces converge, featuring even more familiar faces to loyal readers. Part of me would love stories from these men’s pasts as active operators, but the collision of past and present and how they interact now while balancing their experience with current goals is way more entertaining.
Dee could have broken up this epic adventure in many ways, including by time point. However, organizing the novels by romance, including featuring multiple unique dynamics (second chance/enemies-to-lovers, age-gap/new relationship, and established relationship), allows readers to focus on certain elements at a time when so many names and moving pieces are involved. If Enemy Combatant left me grinning, this book left me on the edge of my seat. Even if certain immediate crises are resolved, we’re definitely teetering at the edge of a cliff here—or, to put it another way, this story doesn’t have an arc, it has a straight shot to orbit and we’re not yet coming down. To continue brutalizing this metaphor, I can’t wait to burn up in entry when we return to Elliott and Joel in the grand finale.
Disclaimer: I received a digital review copy of this book from the author.