Few outsiders will ever witness the dark misdeeds of the Heavenly Host. And among this secret society, where exiled Georgian aristocrats gather to indulge their carnal desires, fewer still can match the insatiable appetite of their chief provocateur, the mysterious Viscount Rohan. Pursuit of physical pleasure is both his preferred pastime and his most pressing urge, until he encounters the fascination of a woman who won't be swayed. And while his dark seduction appalls the pure and impoverished Elinor Harriman, she finds herself intrigued...and secretly drawn to the man behind the desire.
©2010 Anne Kristine Stuart Ohlrogge (P)2011 Tantor
"Witty, inventive, dark and sexy---a wild adventure for the mind...and the heart." (Susan Wiggs)
I guess I expected a little bit more...more drama, more angst and even (dare I say?) a bit more sex. The characters were fine for the times...a similar difficulty I have in other books about this era...with female characters so desperate to marry a man who can support them, that they are willing to sacrifice their entire lives to gain protection.
But the overall problem I had was with everything turning out okay right away. When something bad is happening, the author immediately makes it alright without giving the reader a chance to experience any drama.
I thought the idea of the Heavenly Host parties was very original and the character of Rohan was appropriately sexy. I also enjoyed the character of Elinor---feisty and strong, but still a product of her times with all the annoying decorum and politeness.
Well written for the most part except for the constantly changing point-of-views which made for some very confusing moments.
Still, it held my interest and I might get the next books in the series later.
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.
Bottom line: RUTHLESS was a beautifully structured romance both sensual and powerful showing both the glamour of 1760???s Paris as well as the wretchedness. I loved it all!
Both Elinor and Rohan
See history come alive!
In this initial offering of a new trilogy by Ann Stuart, you are introduced to Viscount Rohan, a mysterious libertine known as the King of Hell. It is at times dark, intense and unsettling - a somewhat new sort of historical for me, but purely believable. Set in 1760???s Paris, a penniless British noblewoman, Elinor Harriman is struggling to keep her family from utter ruin and starvation; a feat that at times seems almost impossible with the constant vigilance of caring for a mother who is both drifting into insanity while dying a little each day from the Spanish disease. When Elinor???s mother escapes taking with her the very last scrap of money the family had to gambleaway, it forced Elinor to venture into a world of vice and depravity, and the attention of the King of Hell himself Lord Rohan.??????*** This was without a doubt one of the most intensely satisfying and powerful historical romances I???ve read in a very long time. Ms. Stuart???s voice was both eloquent and powerful and her fleshing out of her characters motivations was totally intoxicating. They both had very turbulent backgrounds to support their behavior during the setting of this novel, and not to give anything away - the reader will recognize those motivations as they are revealed. ??????Both Rohan and Elinor were equally paired in terms of holding up their ends of the attraction that sizzled between them, yet wounded enough to deny feelings that everyone around them could see. One thing for sure, the foreplay in RUTHLESS was definitely a turn-on, with their extremely titillating dialogs. Suffice it to say, that the pace never slowed in this story. As far as the villain in RUTHLESS goes; he turned out to be quite nasty! However, he got his just desserts in the end, as well as another who happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time [I actually cheered at that one!]. There is also a smaller secondary romance going on that tied up quite nicely in the end, though not as delicious as Elinor and Rohan. ???
Audio Addict! Usually listening to History these days. Love Will Durant most of all authors!
I had this in my wish list for a while, and finally started it last night. I didn't expect too much from it, but I was wrong!!!
Excellent writing, very sympathetic and interesting characters, engaging plot, and a very bad, but "oh-so-good" mail lead.
The description of the book makes it seem smutty. While it is sexy, it's surprisingly tasteful and the sex scenes aren't gratuitous.
DEFINITELY worth a buy or credit.
I've always been a avid reader so now I'm a avid listener. I prefer the paranormal genre but I do like to switch things up. It's boring if you don't have variety. Of course I do love the romance and the hotter the better. Also, you can't beat a good thriller filled with suspense and a ending you can't even guess at until the very end.
I occasionally like to listen to the historical romance genre. I have to be honest and say it's not my favorite genre but sometimes I do listen to some that are fantastic.For example I loved Maya Banks highlander books. This one is an ok listen for me. I got it on sale and I was pleased with the deal. So for the price it met my expectations. I don't think I will get any of the other books in this series due to the fact that it wasn't good enough for me to want to use my credits on them. In saying that I might be tempted if they come up on the $4.95 sale like this book did.
St. Louis, Mo.
Ericksen's reading makes this book unforgettable. This is a somewhat dark romance, with sometimes disturbing and graphic sexual content that frankly likely epitomize post-revolutionary France (and England). It's likely more realistic than some when it comes to the mores of the wealthy in Europe in the 1700s. Aristocrats lived high, and some with amoral abandon, amid the poor and folks like Elinor, members of titled-families who'd hit hard times. Makes clear the tough choices, and consequences for women. And Viscount Rohan is one of the most troubled "heroes'' I've come across in a novel. Which is probably a good thing. He's complicated, dark and sometimes cruel. Likely a more honest figure than many of the "bad boys'' in popular romance fiction, who often have unrealistic hearts of gold. Rohan generally does not, reflecting his horrible childhood in England.
Its gritty nature reminds me a bit of "A Gentleman Undone,'' by Cecilia Grant, which centers on the troubled lives of soldiers and courtesans -- prostitutes, actually -- in the early 1800s. The characters in that book, like this one, are NOT saints -- sometimes trying to make decent choices, but often stumbling. That book also is narrated by Susan Ericksen, which is probably the biggest reason that I'd recommend both audiobooks. She makes these rather rugged historical romances come alive.
For emotional power, probably the scenes where Viscount Rohan loses his control after Elinor comes clean about her scarred sexual past. And also the final HEA confrontation on the English cliffs.
Tell us about yourself!
I do wish there had been a little bit more sex, but overall the story was truly lovely. And listening to it in a British accent made it even more genuine.
I loved listening to this audiobook and the narrator was phenomenal!!! I recommend this book to anyone who loves to tag about roguish men falling for innocent women that reform them.
I hated Eleanor's low self esteem it did not match her tuff no nonsense persona. She allowed her mother to abuse her. Everyone deserved happiness but her. To be so outspoken she appeared weak a lot. The whining was to long at 14 hrs. It did have its moments, but once again not 14 hrs worth.
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