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. ???
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.
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.
Slightly demented, definitely wicked, heartily romantic, sort of humorous and indubitably depraved....oh, and virtually yummy!
A love story (or two) that exist and grow in the midst of sin, vice, and twisted morals. All with colorful characters, vivid personalities and a new angle for a historical HEA romance.
I have never been as surprised by a book as I was of this one.... I think a lot of that surprise arises from the fact that I truly enjoyed it! I loved this series ( this has been my 2nd time listening to it) even though it steps into a darker side of sin. This isn't erotica or anything overly graphic but it's still.... kind of twisted.
There was not a single character whose individuality or personality was not exceptionally well written!
I am NOT fond of lace, high heels, face patches or powdered wigs on the men in my novels. I also dislike the female versions which exist in this era. However I did find it almost humorous when our hero here was preening in what to my taste is less than virile when HE definitely was a very strong virile male lead. Other than those moments the visuals this era evokes were non existent.
NARRATOR : Susan Erickson isn't my favorite at all... but I can't really say why. Listen to the snippet and decide for yourself. All in all she delivered a very good performance.
HEAT FACTOR: SCORCHING!
Lip gloss wearing, coffee and tea drinking, book lover and blogger with a love for alpha males and feisty heroines!
A dark hero meets a sharp-tongued leading lady in this page turning story of a most unusual romance. If you’re looking for a light and fun historical you won’t find it here, don’t let the cover fool you, RUTHLESS is not for the tame reader who prefers a sweet romantic courting.
Known to many as the King of Hell, Viscount Francis Rohan leads a life of decadent indulgence and debauchery as leader of the Heavenly Host, an exclusive group of individuals who share his carnal appetites. When the less than shy Elinor Harriman storms into one of Rohan’s infamous parties looking for her mother, he’s instantly captivated by her bold and feisty personality. To Rohan Elinor presents an unexpected and challenging conquest, one that he gladly welcomes.
This is my first audiobook with Susan Ericksen as a narrator but it definitely won’t be my last. Her transition between accents is flawless and the male characters are believable. Ericksen’s narration really brings the story to life with her inflections and tone, you’re quickly transported back in time with Elinor and Rohan! Her depiction of Rohan is stellar, his arrogance and charm is is perfectly conveyed and Elinor’s quick wit is very entertaining. I’d venture to say listening made this book a better read.
While most readers will think Francis Rohan is not worthy of the hero title I found him enigmatic, intriguing and sexy…don’t judge me! Rohan is confident and mysterious, with a touch of darkness that makes him both dangerous and alluring. He’s said to be very experienced in the game of seduction, but I like that Anne Stuart leaves most of Rohan’s past sexual escapades to our imagination. Rohan might be an aristocrat but he is no gentleman, he lives life on his own terms and doesn’t apologize for it. I’ll admit he’s not swoon-worthy, I’d probably even say he’s detestable at times, but I couldn’t get enough of the King of Hell. I really applaud Anne Stuart for taking a chance and giving us somewhat of an anti-hero in Rohan that inspires empathy.
Elinor Harriman is not the standard leading lady you find in historicals. She’s an odd beauty with an opinionated personality who’s had a tumultuous upbringing with a not so loving mother, but is still a strong woman. I get her devotion to her younger sister, but I didn’t have much sympathy for her bitch of a mother who took advantage of her. She reminds me of Elizabeth Bennett, in the way that she compares herself to her sister’s beauty and finds herself lacking, it didn’t help that her sister’s name is also Lydia! She constantly refers to her nose as her worst feature, calling it the Harriman nose (inherited by her father) which got old after a while, but I guess every girl is her worst critic. Elinor’s loyalty is to her family for which she’s sacrificed her own happiness and the possibility of a future, her selflessness is admirable. She’s a complex character who struggles with doing the right thing or giving into temptation. I love that Elinor doesn’t let her tortured past define her and realizes that there’s nothing wrong with putting herself first for once.
Aside from the main characters, we’re also introduced to Rohan’s best friend and right hand man, Charles Reading. He’s more of a mystery than Rohan and I was intrigued by his character and the possible romance between him and Elinor’s younger sister Lydia. Their moments together were brief but sweet and I found myself liking their chemistry a little more than our main couple. I hope Anne Stuart gives us more of Charles and Lydia soon!
The chemistry between Rohan and Elinor starts off as flirty banter before anything gets serious between them. Rohan is instantly drawn to Elinor’s sharp tongue and while his intentions are to bed her, he soon realizes that his charms won’t work so easily on her. It was great to see Elinor play hard to get and Rohan’s frustration at the start of their relationship. Their relationship isn’t insta-love, coming together after a tragedy View Spoiler » which allows them to spend time together under the same roof and really get to know one another. My only tiff with this romance is that I expected more smexy times with this couple, especially with Rohan’s reputation. We go from one steamy scene in a stagecoach to nothing for a very long time. If I recall there were two sex scenes towards the end of the story but nothing memorable to rave about. All in all I did enjoy them as a couple. It’s not your typical feel good romance, but these two characters compliment each other perfectly.
If you’re like me and love to step out of the box with romance novels, this book is for you. RUTHLESS is a slow paced, dark romance with a little mystery that keeps you engaged from beginning to end. The ending felt a bit rushed for my tastes, but I was glad that Rohan and Elinor got their HEA after everything they’ve been through. Anne Stuart delivers a refreshing take on a “cookie-cutter” genre with her Byronic heroes and strong female protagonists in the House of Rohan series. I’ve found a new series and author to covet!
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