This one is terrific! It's not a "bit of fluff", but there are still moments of humor, and the reader is lured cleverly into developing feelings right along with the heroine. A difficult task, considering the initial actions of the "Hero"! I loved this one and Book 2 as well.
This book had promise, but during ninety-percent of the story the hero/heroine were not anywhere near each other and when they were, they bickered like children. A little would have been fine, but not an entire book's worth. The characters were well-drawn and likable while the setting was a change-of-pace from the norm. It was a club that catered to its member's darker needs (all involving consenting adults) yet the whole club-theme was not too "dark" and was rarely in the foreground. As far as the main characters' romantic involvement, I think there was a kiss, maybe two, until near the very end where they shared a night together. I know there are more books to this series but this story in itself ended too abruptly leaving a somewhat dissatisfied feeling to an overall missed-the-mark experience. Narrator was not annoying, but too many of her voices (male and female) sounded alike where I was not sure who was saying what.
I suppose if you are not much for theatrics this is a great book. It in fact was my first book by anne stuart. I can say Susan Ericksen did a great job narrarating this book. The story line was great my only complaint was that the ending seemed a bit rushed. I had soooo many questions, that I figured would be answered in book two....However thats not the case. This series is based on the Rohan generations, so the storyline changes but the leanage dosnt.
The most interesting aspect of this story is the change that love can have on a persons soul, even a so called Devil. The least interesting thing was the sex scenes.
All of the Characters
I laughed, and snickered a lot.
I wouldn't say it's a must read. But I will say its not a waste of time, and its worth listening to in order to get your own opinion
Editor Black Velvet Seductions Publishing
If I had it to do over I would definitely buy Ruthless again. Will I listen to it again? No. I never listen to fiction books a second time, nor do I reread books I've read before. There are too many new books out there to be discovered.
But I did very much enjoy this book.
I enjoyed both the hero and the heroine. The heroine had wounds...and the hero was definitely a bad boy. I am quite fond of bad boy heroes. There is something about the bad boy becoming good that I find powerful in romance.
There were many...but I don't want to give away anything.
I know a lot of people care a lot about the narration. I primarily listen to audio books so that I can do other things while enjoying a story. She provided the ability to be mobile while listening.
I liked the way she did the voices of the various characters.
I am a lover of books. I enjoy losing myself in a fabulous romance and great story plot.
This book caught my interest because I enjoy complicated characters who experience a lot of personal growth through love. Yes, that's probably the standard formula for a "reformed "rake" story and I must say I am a sucker for reformed rakes!
This book had a lot of good reviews so I thought I would indulge and was hoping for a triumphant read. Even though the triumph of the story did not come until the very end, I was relieved that the Hero, Viscount Rohan was able to make a complete turnaround and find love in the innocent but fierce, Elinor Harriman.
This was and edgy read for me because of the weighty and dark themes that engulf the lives of both the Hero and Heroine. Both leads have experienced extreme trauma or abuse and this is what drives their passions, actions and needs throughout the book.
I have to say that my heart really went out to the heroine, Elinor Harriman. I don't think I have read a book about a more quietly, steadfast and resilient heroine. This woman's inner strength is made out of steel. Seriously, she is a pillar of strength.
Elinor has faced some of the most scaring psychological experiences a woman can face. She endures the personal rejection and verbal abuse of her mother, which never improved. She is constantly overlooked by suitors when in her sister's presence. She takes on this great responsibility for her household (talk about stress). She is willing to protect her sister Lydia to her own demise. AND, her knight in shining armor, Viscount Rohan is well, ruthless......
Elinor's actual beauty and allure is a subject that intrigued me. And, I have to say, I'm not sure about how her looks actually measured out. There is a lot of talk about her nose, and how it would look simply amazing when she is 40 years old---whatever that meant????---But, I got the feeling that she is a pretty woman, but simply overshadowed when next to her sister Lydia because of her sister's extraordinary beauty. Her looks or person is referred to as, "delicious;" "face of character;" "plain;" "rarity;" and her sister Lydia calls her "beautiful & "striking" (but that's her sister of course)." We know she is special since the Hero is magnetically drawn and attracted to her... [more on that later]
Viscount Francis Rohan is a very wounded character. He is emotionally stunted...seriously. Francis is cynical, sarcastic, dangerously flawed, and I suppose these are all prerequisites that allow him to be the ruthless leader of the underground group of depraved aristocrats who describe themselves as the "Heavenly Host." His devilish ways meet their match when he is mesmerized by the feisty, strong-willed heroine Elinor. As a suitor to Elinor, the stirrings of his heart are kept just like his club or house of revels----underground. Since the moment he meets Elinor his association is forever fused to her. He becomes her provider even though he's emotionally distant. He supplies for the needs of her home (provides food, fire wood, clothes, furniture etc.). Because he is emotionally messed up due to a serious trauma he experienced as a young man, he can't seem to process his feelings for her. So, like the emotional retard that he is, Francis continues to channel his sexual appetite through the debauched activities of his secret society (while pining for Elinor). Yup, very flawed indeed. I kind of laughed or felt some satisfaction when he had a nuclear meltdown after having sex with the heroine. It was like vanilla sex was so crazy amazing for him because he had never experienced sex with emotion. And, he did find that fulfillment in his heroine...that emotional connection he so desperately needed to be whole again.
The love between Elinor & Francis Rohan is not a nurturing love...at least not in the form of sweet, comforting words. In fact, throughout their relationship his treatment of her is marked with antagonism, manipulation and mental cat & mouse games. I felt exhausted for Elinor because it was like she never got a break. I suppose she got the message that he wanted her because of his constant interest and seduction games aimed at her person.
Francis's love toward Elinor was masked for most of the book and he really pissed me off when he would never tell her what he was really thinking. This is why I'm not sure if Elinor is pretty, or not. The reason being that Francis Rohan is so sensitive to the "buttons" that set others off, that it really seemed as though he played on her assumptions of herself and used them against her....to try and pull and stretch out her desires for him. He was constantly messing with her head and I suppose the purpose was to break down her strong defenses...I suppose that was necessary since Elinor was so guarded.
Even though there were many times I wanted to slap Francis, there were other times that I though his tough treatment was almost necessary for Elinor. For example, when he separated her from her sister, I kind of thought that was a good thing since she had this whole "martyr complex" going on. I just wish he was more sweet with her and not as harsh. But, the moments he was sweet was during their one love making scene. This is why many reviewers say that the story felt rushed at the end because even up until the last minutes of the book....he barely admits he wants, needs and loves her. It's almost as though Elinor bullied the words out of him. For this reason, the epilogue was great and quite welcome, if not this book would have been a big let down. The epilogue was great because it showed that their love was passionate & that they worked everything out....they found the real thing in terms of love.
WHAT I FOUND DISTURBING:
I had a really hard time with the "Heavenly Host" group because at the heart of it, it was a group of sexually depraved predators & even child molesters, by description. That really made my stomach churn.
BUT, I LOVED how Francis threw them out when he had his nuclear meltdown. I was so glad he was able to walk away from the crazy, depraved lifestyle.
I wish Francis was more tender with Elinor, but he's just not the mushy type. I suppose he at least told her about how alluring she was to him when he was constantly trying to seduce her....I guess that's something???
The tender moments came from the love development between Redding and Lydia.
Great narrator...Susan Eriksen made the listening experience a real treat!
Not sure I will continue with the series just yet...I kind of need a break from the angst.
Based on the other reviews, I was really expecting more from this book ... as in, a likeable (or even vaguely relatable) protagonist. Instead I spent hours with a snarky, obstinate, rude, nonsensical lead character who spewed vitriol at the well-intentioned characters trying to help her. I ended up rooting for the bad guy in the book, simply because he didn't like her, either.
Hot sexy intrigue - the series was worth the credits. I like really bad boys as the heros. This series had all bad boys and they were fun!
Nurse, mom, loved to read....but now I love to listen.
I would save above average. It is a sweet love story with sweet love scenes and also a bit of mystery and humor. Only mild sex scenes, nothing explicit which was nice for a change.
I enjoyed the banter between Elenore and Rohan. Their story line was the best.
FABULOUS......loved it all.
The end when all comes together...
I have always had a hard time with books that are of past times but this one took me from the beginning. Last night i started listening to it and could not put it down, reluctantly I turned it off to sleep but first thing this morning I started in again. OMG, I even stayed home from work to finish it and glad I did. The narrator did an amazing job and now I am going to start the next one in hopes that it takes me away.
While I mostly enjoyed the story, I would be hard pressed to recommend the reader of this book. I am truly enamored of Ann Flosnik as a reader and have a bad habit of comparing every female reader to her, and Susan Ericksen does not compare. All of her characters sounded alike, which was very distracting to the story. The bad boy lead sounded like a girl 99.9% of the time.
She didn't have any "voices". Every person in the book sounded alike so you couldn't always tell who was speaking.
I enjoyed the story, but if the rest of the series is narrated by Susan Ericksen, I probably wont download them.