#Book Review of Her Renegade Cowboy (Moving Violations #3) by Lora Leigh #Romantic Suspense @St.Martin’s Press

Synopsis:
From #1 New York Times bestselling author Lora Leigh comes Her Renegade Cowboy, the final book in the Moving Violations trilogy…

He will risk his life…

The oh-so-proper school teacher, Lily Donovan has learned, the hard way, that men are not to be trusted. Period. Until Levi Roberts, the new cowboy working at her cousin’s ranch, tempts her carefully-built resolve and awakens an all-consuming passion she thought lay dormant. But when she discovers his deadly secret, and her own secrets come to light, Lily unwittingly joins the lethal cat and mouse race between Levi and the man he’s been hunting for weeks.

To save her heart…

Former Ranger Levi Roberts has seen his fair share of deadly trouble during his years as a tough-as-nails operative. The ultimate expert in undercover investigations, he’s been tasked to find a man with a dangerous agenda in town. Routine work has been boring…until he runs into Lily, the prickly school teacher who tempts him like no other. Getting under her skin has been deliciously satisfying for his red-hot desire, but when Lily lands in the hands of the very man he’s been investigating, Levi will have to fight with every ounce of his heart and soul to save her—and to heal the heart he broke.

Publisher: St. Martin’s Paperbacks
Publication Date: September 28th, 2021
ISBN 9781250252012

My thoughts:
First of all, I love this cover and think it’s a perfect representation of the protagonist of the book Levi Roberts- strong, confident and totally swoon-worthy….
I didn’t realise that this was the third book in the series. If you are planning to read the previous ones, I think it is better to do it in order, as there are some spoilers for Book 2 Strong, Silent Cowboy. Having said that, it works perfectly fine as a standalone.

Schoolteacher Lily Donovan is hiding a big secret from anyone in her town apart from her sister Shay and her cousin’s wife Sallie. While she was a student at college she was almost killed by one of her professors. Lily found strength to testify, but later refused to go into the Witness Protection Program as that would mean giving up everything and everyone she loves. She returned to her home town of Deer Haven, finished her degree online and started teaching, trying to move on with her life. When she gets a call from US Marshals Service Bureau informing her that her tormentor Graham Brisbee escaped from prison, Lily’s nightmares return.

Levi Roberts is a new cowboy at her cousin Jacob’s ranch and not only is he gorgeous, it is also clear that he is interested in Lily despite her feisty reputation. Lily knows Jacob would never hire anyone without checking their background thoroughly, so he must be trustworthy despite his overconfident, cocky attitude, but she has been lied and manipulated before, can she really trust him enough to have more than a one-night stand?

To be honest, at the beginning I felt things were developing a bit too fast (lust at first sight?)and judgy me felt it was wrong of Levi to ‘pursue’ Lily given her vulnerability and his undercover status. Don’t let her bluntness/directness/’spark’ deceive you- yes, she is extremely independent and would like to be seen as someone who can hold her own, can get herself out of any trouble.Yet, she also feels ashamed/embarrassed that she was a victim of crime in the first place and would love dearly to protect her anonymity.

Levi is definitely a generous lover, although he guards his secrets a bit too well from one person he should have confided in. If you aren’t looking for clean and wholesome(wrong place, sorry!), but rather the opposite, you’re going to appreciate the physical attraction they are feeling for each other. Still, their secrets are just too big and too important for their identity to hide behind the physical side which gives them an illusion of closeness. Especially, considering the asymmetry of their situation. For starters, Levi knows much more about Lily than she does about him.

The second part of the book proved that Levi’s conflict of interests was the main point of the book- he knew that he was putting his job on line, but the desire to protect her was stronger than any common sense, professional experience or even the code of conduct he must have signed at some point in the past. The pace picked up and suddenly I was so engrossed in these action-packed final chapters that I couldn’t put the book down for the life of me!

Overall, it was an entertaining story with an interesting ethical dilemma and the ending was really satisfying. Recommended to any reader who likes romantic suspense with alpha male protective characters, small town setting, danger, pursuit, and lots of steamy scenes.

Thank you to NetGalley and St.Martin’s Press for the ARC provided in exchange for an honest opinion.

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