Danielle The Book Huntress (Back to the Books)'s Reviews > Ruthless

Ruthless by Anne Stuart
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Do What Thou Wilt, But Don't Fall in Love!

I don't even know what to say! I loved this book so much. I savored it, stretching it out, not wanting it to end. I was completely immersed in this book. I was no longer in Texas, modern day. I was in France in the 1700s.

I don't know how Ms. Anne Stuart does it. She can take the most objectionable type of hero, and make me fall in love with him. Let me say, I am a devout Christian. I can't even imagine even pretending to worship the devil, or to hold orgies in which one does things that are unspeakable, just because you can. That should have turned me off of Lord Rohan. But, with Ms. Stuart's incredible writing skill, it wasn't even an issue for me. I am very glad that she didn't dwell on those aspects, although they were there in the background. This is a book about a rakehell who was the leader of festivities along the lines of the real Hellfire Club, so that aspect had to be present. But, I didn't have to see him doing any of that. I was fine that I didn't. Now, he definitely did some fornication (even after he met Elinor). I was okay with that, because that was who he was, before he fell in love. Once, he had Elinor in his heart, that was over for him, even if he didn't want to admit it to himself for her. And I was gratified that he didn't allow anything to go on there that wasn't between consensual adults.

No question about it, Elinor and Rohan are one of my favorite couples now. Anne Stuart-wise, and period. There was something so delectable about their interactions, the by-play between them. Even though Francis was sixteen years older than Elinor (old enough to be her father, and he was quite active at that age, in his own words), Elinor was able to hold her own with him. Elinor had some serious pluck. I love a heroine who is strong, and no question about Elinor's strength. She is no Xena, and she didn't have to be, in order to captivate Rohan, and to make me love her. She is true to herself, forthright, and brave (in ways I can't even fathom). Francis was a very bad boy, but he had a core of him that was good and decent. He did things for Elinor that he really had no reason to do. He showed her love even before he knew what the word meant. How could I not love him for that? The sexual tension in this story was off the charts, and the love scenes aren't even until near the end. That's talent to me. I felt the sizzle through every conversation, the exchange of glances, the way Rohan pursued and Elinor fled. It was magic on the page.

Yes, I know. It's clear that I love Anne Stuart so much, that some may doubt my objectivity. But, I will say it if I don't think a book by a favorite author is my favorite. But, with Ruthless, there is no question that this one is a stellar read. I wish that Ms. Stuart released books every year. When she doesn't have books out, I mourn the dearth, and I pine for her books. I have especially longed for her historicals, because she writes them so well, with the dark aspects, the multi-faceted characters, the writing subtlety that conveys so much, the intensity that I crave in a romance story. I am happy to say that this book truly makes me happy. I am still replaying the scenes in my head. The skillfully nuanced courtship of Rohan and Elinor, and the powerful love story here. The sad, heartbreaking things in their pasts. I got choked up a few times. I was touched on such a deep level, I feel it right now as I write this review. I think that readers who enjoy meaty, intense, darker historicals with strong, vibrant characters will be very happy with Ruthless. I foresee myself rereading this book soon and often. Bravo, Ms. Stuart.
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Quotes Danielle The Book Huntress (Back to the Books) Liked

Anne Stuart
“Please go away, Monsieur le Comte,” she said in a polite voice. “You must have tired of your absurd, inconsequential games by now.”
“My games are never inconsequential, as long as they entertain me.”
She closed her eyes in frustration for a brief moment. “This house is filled with beautiful women…”
“Oh, not quite filled,” he said frankly, leaning back. “The Revels won’t start for another day. At this point there are no more than half a dozen beauties in residence.”
“Then why don’t you go bother one of them?”
“Because I don’t want one of them, my sweet. I want you.”
Anne Stuart, Ruthless

Anne Stuart
“If I am ever in the position where I wish to seduce someone I will simply assure her it’s better than rats.”
Anne Stuart, Ruthless

Reading Progress

February 19, 2010 – Shelved
June 24, 2010 – Shelved as: favorite-or-autobuy-author
June 24, 2010 – Shelved as: historical-romance
June 24, 2010 – Shelved as: georgian
June 24, 2010 – Shelved as: bad-boy-rake-or-rogue
August 7, 2010 – Shelved as: owned-copy
August 7, 2010 – Shelved as: spell-out-september
September 18, 2010 – Started Reading
September 19, 2010 – Finished Reading
September 20, 2010 – Shelved as: scary-sexy-cool-dangerous-hero
September 20, 2010 – Shelved as: hero-to-die-for
September 20, 2010 – Shelved as: heroine-i-adore
September 20, 2010 – Shelved as: non-virginal-historical-heroine
September 20, 2010 – Shelved as: supercouple
September 20, 2010 – Shelved as: stellar-love-story
September 20, 2010 – Shelved as: hero-in-pursuit
September 20, 2010 – Shelved as: ruthless-hero
September 20, 2010 – Shelved as: cat-and-mouse
September 20, 2010 – Shelved as: great-dialogue
September 20, 2010 – Shelved as: desert-island-keepers
September 20, 2010 – Shelved as: best-of-2010
September 20, 2010 – Shelved as: older-hero-younger-heroine
September 20, 2010 – Shelved as: tormented-heroine
September 20, 2010 – Shelved as: abused
September 20, 2010 – Shelved as: noir-romance
September 20, 2010 – Shelved as: set-in-france
September 20, 2010 – Shelved as: favorites
September 21, 2010 – Shelved as: book-i-want-to-marry

Comments (showing 1-50 of 67) (67 new)

message 1: by Lacy (new) - added it

Lacy Can I borrow this after you read it?

message 3: by Lacy (new) - added it

Lacy Thanks!

Tammy Walton Grant Can't wait to read your review, Danielle, I loved this book.

 Danielle The Book Huntress (Back to the Books) OMG, me too. I tried to stretch it out as long as I could, too!

Tutti Dolci I'm in the middle of reading this one and so far, I'm really enjoying it. Looking forward to your review.

Ally72 I can't wait for your review, Danielle! Woo hoo!!! It looks like you liked it!

 Danielle The Book Huntress (Back to the Books) I'll probably post it tomorrow. Ally, I adore Anne Stuart, pretty much all the time, but I can say quite honestly (IMHO) say this is one of her best.

Ally72 Wow! I know you are a big Anne Stuart fan but that is saying a lot about this book. I can't wait to get to it. I will be looking forward to your review whenever you get a chance to write it. Have a good Monday!

message 11: by Ruth (new) - rated it 3 stars

Ruth I'm salivating at the thought of reading this series. I'm hoarding them until I have a European business trip at the end of October. Long flights and lots of jetlag...

Anne Stuart, Pamela Clare and Carla Kelly have got to be my three favorite authors right now..

 Danielle The Book Huntress (Back to the Books) Happy Monday to you, Ally. I hope you you enjoy this one!

Ruth, we share some favorite authors. This book will be great to take on a trip. I did that with Ice Storm and it was wonderful to have Anne Stuart to keep me company. :)

Beanbag Love I'm not reading your review, Lady D, because I still have to read this one. But, knowing you liked it so much makes me more enthused to get to it. :D

 Danielle The Book Huntress (Back to the Books) Bean, I'm eager to see what you think of it.

Tammy Walton Grant Awesome review, Danielle!!! I feel exactly the same as you do - only you are so much more eloquent.

 Danielle The Book Huntress (Back to the Books) Thanks, Tammy. This is one of those books I wanted to read again, right after I finished it. :)

Tammy Walton Grant Again, I felt exactly the same way. I can't wait to read the next one!

message 18: by Rane (new) - rated it 4 stars

Rane Wonderful Review Danielle!
I fell in love with Rohan and loved how hard love hit him (heh, got a kick how he tried to run away!)

message 19: by southpaw285 (new)

southpaw285 Fantastic review, Danielle! I've never read Anne Stuart. I will definitely have to check this one out.

Fani *loves angst* Great review Danielle! Now I feel stupid for having this in my TBR for almost a month and still haven't read it:(

message 21: by Linds (new) - added it

Linds I've never read Anne Stuart, do you have some recommendations about which book to start with?

Eastofoz Linds her Ice series is EXCELLENT! It's RS though not HR. The first book is Black Ice. If you don't care about reading in order I'd skip right on to book 2 (my fave!) Cold As Ice.

Danielle I'm itching to read your review but I don't want to read anything before I actually read the book --did see that you gave it 5 stars so that sounds promising :D

message 23: by Ronyell (new)

Ronyell Awesome review Danielle! I really love the romance novels with the good girl falling in love with the bad boy that has a good heart!

message 24: by Danielle The Book Huntress (Back to the Books) (last edited Sep 21, 2010 05:23AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

 Danielle The Book Huntress (Back to the Books) Thanks, Rane, Fani, Southpaw, and Ronyell. Nobody writes bad boys like Anne Stuart, Ronyell!
Oh, Rane, I found Rohan irresistible! He was fighting love bad, but he was a sure goner! I was thinking about him on the way to work. :)
East, I totally understand. I don't like to read reviews before I read a book I'm dying to read. I Hope you like the book.
Linds and Southpaw, I think this is a good place to start with Anne Stuart, if you like a good, dark historical. I agree that the Ice books are great too.

message 25: by MelissaB (new) - added it

MelissaB Wonderful review Danielle! This one sounds interesting.

message 26: by Sans (new)

Sans Great review Danielle. I've had this on hold at the library for ages but I'm just going to go and buy it now. Are you going to read the next two House of Rohan books right away or are you leaving some time in between?

message 27: by Brandi (new)

Brandi If you guys enjoyed Ruthless, then Reckless will thrill you. The son does things even the father will frown upon.

message 28: by Sans (new)

Sans Brandi, you just peaked my interest ever higher. If only I didn't have to wait until payday.

UniquelyMoi ~ BlithelyBookish Brandi wrote: "If you guys enjoyed Ruthless, then Reckless will thrill you. The son does things even the father will frown upon."

You know, I had the rest of September all planned out for reading. Thanks, between Danielle's review and your just caused a huge upheaval in my plans! LOL

message 30: by Danielle The Book Huntress (Back to the Books) (last edited Sep 21, 2010 04:31PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

 Danielle The Book Huntress (Back to the Books) Thanks, Melissa.
Sans, I probably won't read them right away. I try to hoard my Anne Stuart books. I get depressed when she doesn't have anything new out. Plus, I've got all these planned reads like Dhestiny.

Wow, the son is worse than the father? That should be interesting, Brandi. :)

Dhestiny, if you hang onto this, you'll have something good to look forward to. That's my MO, anyway.

UniquelyMoi ~ BlithelyBookish Thank you, Danielle. Is this a trilogy, do you know?

 Danielle The Book Huntress (Back to the Books) It is, although there is also a prequel:

The Wicked House of Rohan by Anne Stuart Ruthless (The House of Rohan, #1) by Anne Stuart Reckless (The House of Rohan, #2) by Anne Stuart Breathless (The House of Rohan, #3) by Anne Stuart

The prequel is free on Amazon Kindle and through the eharlequin.com website, or it was, anyway.

UniquelyMoi ~ BlithelyBookish Oh, thank you so much!!! I think I already downloaded the prequel... but now I can't remember where I saved it. LOL

UniquelyMoi ~ BlithelyBookish Nope, can't find it. I'll try to track it down somewhere. Thanks!

Ally72 Danielle...Did you read the prequel first? I almost forgot about it until you mentioned it.

Dhestiny...The prequel can be downloaded on Amazon's site for the Kindle. I am guessing there are other places too if you have a different type of ereader.

 Danielle The Book Huntress (Back to the Books) Ally, I read the prequel on Friday. Loved it! Honestly, I don't think you have to read it first, though.

UniquelyMoi ~ BlithelyBookish I found it and downloaded it :) I'm going to try to convert of or see if it's on the Sony store.

Ally72 Thanks Danielle...I have it and would have forgotten about it unless you had mentioned it!

Dhestiny...I forgot to tell you that the prequel is free from Amazon too.

 Danielle The Book Huntress (Back to the Books) No worries, Ally. I can wait to see if you like the Anne Stuart heroes. I'll still love you if you don't. :)

message 40: by Kate (new) - rated it 3 stars

Kate I just downloaded it too! Got it in the EPUB edition so I can read it on my computer. I need to get a Nook soon.

message 41: by Ally72 (last edited Sep 21, 2010 05:53PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Ally72 Lady Danielle "The Book Huntress" wrote: "No worries, Ally. I can wait to see if you like the Anne Stuart heroes. I'll still love you if you don't. :)"

Danielle...It is good to know that you won't take me off your friend list if I don't like it. LOL! Although, I don't think that will happen because this trilogy sounds so good. I also love the covers on each of the books.

Catherine I agree Ally, the covers are very pretty!

UniquelyMoi ~ BlithelyBookish Kate wrote: "I just downloaded it too! Got it in the EPUB edition so I can read it on my computer. I need to get a Nook soon."

Where did you get the epub?

 Danielle The Book Huntress (Back to the Books) I would never unfriend you or anyone because they don't like a book I love, Ally!

Quinn I feel safe saying this because you did say you wouldn't unfriend anyone... ;) I have only read one Anne Stuart (Black Ice), and I found the hero too much of a cold bastard for my taste. I've heard that's how she writes most of her heroes. Should I try again, because you're really making me want to read this?! Is there any actual romance?

UniquelyMoi ~ BlithelyBookish Thank you, Kate. I went to eharlequin and did a search, but it didn't come up. Thanks again!

 Danielle The Book Huntress (Back to the Books) Quinn, I think this book is much more romantic than Black Ice. I can't speak for anyone else, but I found this book intensely romantic. Everyone has different tastes, but I love a good romance, if that helps. Honestly, the Ice books have the most hardcore heroes she's ever written. I actually feel kind of hesitant recommending those to an Anne Stuart newbie, because of that.

Tammy Walton Grant @ Danielle, can I butt in to answer Quinn too?

I'm a newbie to Anne Stuart as well, and I agree with Quinn about the Ice books - her contemp heroes are a little too bad for me.

But....her historical heroes are AWESOMELY bad. Sexy bad, sly-with-a-wink bad, jaded, world-weary and spoiled bad. Just waiting for an on-the-shelf/spinster to redeem him. Quinn, you should read Ruthless RIGHT NOW!

Quinn Okay, *adds Ruthless*, thanks Danielle and Tammy!

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