I subscribe to Ann Aguirre’s newsletter, so I’ve been getting a few chapters at a time of Renegade Love, the third in her Galactic Love series that started with Strange Love. When I got the final chapters, I realized I had read but not retained about half the book, so I needed to go back and reread the whole thing. Darn.
The emotional arc between Yara and Oren is expressly stated in the first chapter.
I have a soft spot for redeeming bad guys. I especially love the trope where they’re soft to the one person who’s unaccountably nice to them, and it really makes them gooey on the inside.”
“You speak a great deal of gibberish,” Krag said sternly.
Yara sighed. “You’ve probably never even heard of romance novels.”
“This way. My ship is docked on level three. Stay close or I will—”
“Consider me hostile,” she finished. “Yes, yes, I get it. I will not attempt to fight you, metal man. Instead, I’ll charm and amaze you with my verbal witticisms.”
Toth Krag (see book cover) is a bounty hunter. Like Dread Pirate Roberts, Toth Krag is a name and an armored suit. The current Krag is the 12th. Oren, was sold to the bounty hunter’s guild and is now working off the debt imposed by his indentured service. He doesn’t really like being a bounty hunter, so the pump is primed for Yara to become his morality chain. Yara Duncan is a human who was abducted from Earth with a bunch of cows and sold to a traveling circus as an attraction. They come into contact because the circus has been taking out loans from galactic loan sharks in her name and not making payments.
It does not take Yara long to charm and amaze Oren with her verbal witticisms. Yara isn’t really trying, she’s curious and interested. To solve their financial problems and get free of their imposed obligations, Oren and Yara decide to gather a team and do a heist. There are some big surprises on the way to the heist, and an appearance by a character from Love Code. The heist though is less the point of the story than two lonely outcasts finding a home with each other and building a family.
Ann Aguirre loves us and in this time of extended plague she is giving us boundary defying sweet love stories. Though the stakes are high (life and freedom), the relationship angst is fairly low. I really enjoyed this, both as a serial that popped into my email account and as a whole book that I devoured in two days.