Nenia ✨ Queen of Literary Trash, Protector of Out-of-Print Gems, Khaleesi of Bodice Rippers, Mother of Smut, the Unrepentant, Breaker of Convention ✨ Campbell's Reviews > Ruthless

Ruthless by Anne Stuart
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Hey guys, remember that time I forced you all to read DUKE OF SIN by Elizabeth Hoyt & we all had a grand ol' time? Well, RUTHLESS is just as good, and it was published before, which should probably account for something. Also, the hero is the ruler of his own den of iniquity where people have orgies and Satanic rituals and is called, appropriately enough, King of Hell.



Elinor Harriman is plunged headfirst into the first circle of hell when her syphilis-affected mother gets it into her head to gamble away the last of their money. She encounters Viscount Rohan, the King of Hell, who is amused by her no-nonsense demeanor. Rohan is bored, and has been bored for some time (it's no fun when you always get what you want). Elinor is precisely what he needs to cure his ennui, and he'll do anything to have her -



Including threatening her younger, incredibly beautiful sister.



Like DUKE OF SIN, RUTHLESS has many aspects of the bodice rippers that helped make the historical romance genre what it is today. Rohan is a jaded antihero who does some very bad things. (I'm sure Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie is rolling her eyes at me, going, "Nenia, did you even read my book?" Which, yes, I did, but come on - how can you resist evil when it's tall, and sinfully charming, and decked out in velvet and lace? That's Jereth territory there, and y'all know how that goes.)



OBLIGATORY VISUAL INTERLUDE:







The story line is also quite dark, as Elinor has gone through some terrible things that haunt her even to this day, her mother's unscrupulous behavior aside. The love between her and her sister, Lydia, is palpable and extremely well done. There's a secondary romance between Lydia and one of the men in Rohan's employ, and it is utterly charming (although not quite interesting enough to carry a plot line of its own, so I was glad it was relegated to the background). In case all the UST and drama weren't enough to spur you along, there's also a murder subplot, and it's not halfhearted in the least.



Also, Elinor is just so goshdarned awesome. Her banter with the hero is hilarious and had me chuckling. It's hard not to fall for a plucky, no-nonsense heroine who is weary and clever.



He wanted entertainment, and respite from boredom? She would provide it. So thoroughly that he'd be afraid to go to sleep at night, for fear she'd stab him (279).



And let's not forget the sneery, imperious charm that is Viscount Rohan:




"I'm not in the mood to be seconding duels or even stopping
them. If they want to kill each other then let them go ahead. I have
servants to clean up the blood" (24).




The only thing about this story that really annoyed me was that the hero and heroine were kept apart for long periods of time in the middle of the book, just when things were getting interesting - much too long, if you asked me. It felt like this was less for plot purposes and more for filler, although that didn't stop me from swooping through all 400 pages of this book in about three hours.



IT WAS GOOD! I LIKED IT! I WANT TO READ MOAR!



If you're a fan of gamma-heroes, you'll like this book. Anne Stuart is famous for hers.



4.5 stars!
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Reading Progress

March 29, 2016 – Shelved
March 29, 2016 – Shelved as: wishlist
December 26, 2016 – Started Reading
December 26, 2016 – Shelved as: georgian
December 26, 2016 – Shelved as: romance
December 26, 2016 – Shelved as: historical-romance
December 26, 2016 –
page 15
3.67% "I'm already in love with Elinor. She's made me giggle-snort at least twice already."
December 26, 2016 –
page 24
5.87% ""I'm not in the mood to be seconding duels or even stopping them. If they want to kill each other then let them go ahead. I have servants to clean up the blood.""
December 26, 2016 –
page 174
42.54% "OMG. SHE HAS THE WORST MOTHER EVER."
December 26, 2016 –
page 208
50.86% "When are Francis and Elinor getting back together? I'm so impatient!"
December 26, 2016 –
page 279
68.22% "He wanted entertainment, and respite from boredom? She would provide it. So thoroughly that he'd be afraid to go to sleep at night, for fear she'd stab him.\n\nHave I mentioned how I LOVE Elinor? >:D"
December 27, 2016 –
page 306
74.82% "Man in his 40s with long silvery hair who enjoys wearing lace and lounging around in chairs while looking bored?\n\nONE OBVIOUS CONCLUSION:\n\n\n\nheeeheeeheeeeeee~ ♥"
December 27, 2016 –
page 409
100.0% "<3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3"
December 27, 2016 – Shelved as: hero-hall-of-fame
December 27, 2016 – Finished Reading
September 3, 2017 – Shelved as: villain-gets-the-girl
May 22, 2018 – Shelved as: best-romance

Comments (showing 1-4 of 4) (4 new)

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edge of bubble and now I am in the hatee position of a book you loved. I wanted to argue what made this couple annoying but I forgot everything but the general plot line about the book. *disappointed/embarrassed shrug*

awesome review, I love the visual lol.


message 3: by Tracie (new)

Tracie Great review Nenia! I'm reading a book called the Duke by Kerrigan Byrne and it has a somewhat similar plot to this one. You might like it. It comes out in February. :)


Nenia ✨ Queen of Literary Trash, Protector of Out-of-Print Gems, Khaleesi of Bodice Rippers, Mother of Smut, the Unrepentant, Breaker of Convention ✨ Campbell Tracie wrote: "Great review Nenia! I'm reading a book called the Duke by Kerrigan Byrne and it has a somewhat similar plot to this one. You might like it. It comes out in February. :)"

I'll have to check that out!


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