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Ritual Sins [Kindle Edition]

Anne Stuart
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (54 customer reviews)

Kindle Price: $2.99
 
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Book Description

Rachel Connery is a woman with a mission—to destroy Luke Bardell, the charismatic man who seduced millions of dollars from her dying mother, thus robbing Rachel of her inheritance. Now Rachel wants revenge—and she’s willing to enter Luke’s lair and risk the lure of his magnetic personality to get it. Luke Bardell is a master manipulator. He always gets what he wants from people, and Rachel Connery looks like an especially easy mark, She is beautiful and angry and spoiled, and the challenge of melting her icy exterior inspires him. For Luke it is a standard ritual. But desire is a dangerous weapon that cuts two ways. Rachel could get trapped in a nightmare of forbidden feelings…or she could use her strength and intelligence and fierce will to find a way into Luke’s heart and force his utter surrender to her—body and soul.

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Anne Stuart specializes in the dark, tormented hero. She loves to keep you guessing--is he good or evil? Luke Bardell, who some believe is evil incarnate and who others think is angelic, is the charismatic leader of a New Age group, "The Foundation of Being." When Rachel Connery's mother dies suddenly, bequeathing 13.5 million dollars to the group, Rachel contests her mother's will and loses. Luke invites Rachel to visit the group, ostensibly to prove the group's innocence. Rachel, who knows better than to fall into the trap, sets out to destroy Luke and the cult, but finds herself attracted to this dangerous and potentially evil man. Anne Stuart loves to flip-flop your expectations--this romance is not recommended for the faint of heart!

From Library Journal

When Rachel Connery's mother ostensibly dies of cancer and leaves all her money to the cult she has recently joined, Rachel heads for the Foundation of Being to confront the charismatic leader, Luke Bardell. But evil is rampant in the New Mexico retreat, and although Rachel eventually makes sense of it all, it's almost too late. Two protagonists with dark and twisted pasts and sizzling, occasionally sadistic sex scenes make this one of Stuart's (Lord of Danger, Zebra, 1997) darkest novels to date. More fiction than romance, the story might be too intense and erotic to appeal to some; nevertheless, it is a compelling story for all readers, and Stuart's many fans will be waiting for it. Stuart is a member of the RWA Hall of Fame and lives in Greensboro, Vt.
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Product Details

  • File Size: 396 KB
  • Print Length: 10 pages
  • Publisher: Onyx/Dutton (September 15, 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B005NJYLV2
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #89,591 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
56 of 57 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dark Contemporary with Darker Hero May 18, 2003
By V
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This was my first Anne Stuart book. I was riveted as I read the darkest romance novel I have EVER read. It was fantastic reading! Stuart is such a unusual romance writer. She invents a hero like I have never read - not even close to the other heroes I have read in romance novels.
Ritual Sins' hero, Luke, is a real bad boy. He is a con artist - truly! You don't know how bad Luke is for the majority of the book. He is an extremely dominant and alpha male. Luke is the leader of a cult. Visions of Jim Jones swirl in your head. He is so charismatic that you don't know if you will be able to trust him - if ever. He has easily taken in his followers and all of them love him dearly.
Rachael is a heroine who is hard to like. Her character could have been a little kinder for my tastes. But - if a real, live woman was in Rachael's shoes - I don't think she would have been kind or tolerant of Luke either. Her estranged mother has just died and left over twelve million dollars, Rachael's inheritance, to Luke's organization (cult), The Foundation of Being. Rachael is enraged and suspects foul play. Her mother has never been kind to her or given her love. Much of the plot revolves around Rachael's empty life, her cold treatment of the world, and the results of having a mother that really cared little for you. Rachael doesn't like to be touched, hates men, and is frigid. There are reasons in her background for her inhibitions. Without giving the plot away, I can safely say, she is a wreck of a person.
Luke, on the other hand, truly seems to know a lot about living a quality life. He can see most of Rachael's weaknesses within minutes of meeting her. He has her pegged right and it scares her badly. Rachael considers Luke to be a master manipulator - which he really is.
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22 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Why Isn't This Still In Print??? September 4, 2002
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I bought this book used as a result of a Listmania recommendation, and boy, am I glad that I did! This is a great romantic suspense story, with a strikingly original, morally ambiguous male lead character. It really pushes the envelope on what type of behavior in a hero is acceptable, and succeeds in making the reader accept it all.
Rachel Connery is a woman consumed by pain, hatred and fear - a product of her mother's constant neglect and her stepfather's abuse. Her mother recently died, but before she did she liquidated all of her assets, drained Rachel's trust fund, sold off some of Rachel's possessions, and willed everything to the Foundation of Being, a New-Age type of spiritual retreat headed up by Luke Bardell. Luke, who as a child found his mother after she committed suicide, who survived the beatings of his stepfather, who was convicted of manslaughter and served time in prison, and who has been a con man most of his life, is now running the best con of his life - a Foundation where he is viewed as virtually a messiah. Rachel suspects that the Foundation is all a sham, that the cancer deaths that have been occurring in the hospice there have had more to do with the patient's bank balance than actual illness, and has vowed to expose Luke in order to recover her lost inheritance.
The story reveals the souls of these two emotionally scarred people as they play a cat-and-mouse game with both the truth and their mutual attraction. Luke is the ultimate bad-boy hero, and Ms. Stuart has managed to make him as attractive as sin. The reader keeps waiting for him to behave in some standard heroic fashion, yet he continues to follow his own path to achieve his goals. Rachel is gradually transformed from an embittered person who just exists, to a person who actually lives.
If you can find a copy of this book, get it. It's definitely worth your time.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dark,erotic and dangerously wonderful book December 5, 2002
Format:Mass Market Paperback
It took me awhile to track down a used copy of this book, but after reading the reviews here, I knew it would be time well spent - and was I right! True to Anne Stuart form, this book does not disappoint. You develop a love/hate relationship with the characters, and the many twists and turns will keep you on an emotional roller coaster right up till the end. The cult angle had me questioning whether or not I would really like this book, but given the author, I should have known what the end result would be. This is one SUPER book!
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15 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars one of anne stuarts best books------- June 29, 2003
Format:Mass Market Paperback
this is one of my favorite books by anne stuart.i really like how the characters in her books are not so black and white.nobody is perfect and we are shaped by our life experiances good and bad.
the main male character,luke bardell, has had a pretty rotten life.he is bad in a sense that he feels no guilt about manipulating people into giving him their money.he has killed to survive,but he takes no pleasure in it.rachel connery has had money but not much else.she is very bitter and out to get what she feels she deserves.they are two "broken" people who get whats coming to them in the end.its a great story with a happy ending----something we dont always get in real life.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Great Book! September 18, 1999
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This was my second Anne Stuart novel and I was not disappointed. The characters were well developed and the storyline keeped wanting more. I read this book will communting to work. It was so good that I missed my stop and had a walk back 2 blocks. This is a book to read when you want to get away from lifes everyday troubles.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Mixed feelings.
This book! I want to rate it a big fat five, I want to rate it a big fat one.

Luke... was really. Really. Really, really hard to like! Really. Read more
Published 16 days ago by Amazon Customer
4.0 out of 5 stars Always enjoy it.
Read this book several times through the years. Always enjoy it.
Published 21 days ago by Terra Moriarty
5.0 out of 5 stars Wow!!
Dark, hot, sexy well written story! Many twists and turns! My favorite new author!
Published 1 month ago by Desert Queen
5.0 out of 5 stars AWESOME HARD TO PUT DOWN
I got this because it sounded good And I'm so glad I got I could not put it down
A must read if you like romance suspense and a book that will have you reading well into the... Read more
Published 2 months ago by misscuddie
4.0 out of 5 stars Not a typical romance
Classic Anne Stuart. She is the only author who could make me root for a murdering cult leader who molests the heroine while she is asleep. Read more
Published 2 months ago by mom lisa
3.0 out of 5 stars Dark and oppressive.
Not one of my favorites Anne Stuart, Luke being one of her darkest heroes so far. But she does know how to spin a tale and make a dark 'hero' and a spineless 'heroine' into... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Bookworm
5.0 out of 5 stars Ritual Sins - A dark and sinister novel
I picked this story because I have read Anne Stuart's "Ice" novels and was a big fan of her style. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Bernadette Long
4.0 out of 5 stars Great love-to-hate Hero
As I have said many times Anne Stuart knows how to write the bad "bad boy" she is so good at it. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Shannon the Romance addict!
4.0 out of 5 stars Strange but good
main characters are hard to like - but eventually are redeemed. sexual elements a little unsettling, and violent. Kept my interest.
Published 4 months ago by Dman
4.0 out of 5 stars hmmm,interesting characters...
what a flawed hero,but somehow the concept worked;finished it in 1 day,was a little put off by the abrupt/rushed ending as i really found the suspense aspect of the book quite... Read more
Published 4 months ago by susan lewis
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More About the Author

I've been writing since the dawn of time. A child prodigy, I made my first professional sale to Jack and Jill Magazine at the age of 7, for which I received $25 (admittedly my father worked for the publisher). Since then I've written gothics, regencies, romantic suspense, historical romance, series romance -- anything with sex and violence, love and redemption. I misbehave frequently, but somehow have managed to amass lots of glittering prizes, like NYT, PW and USA Today bestseller status, Lifetime Achievement Award from the Romance Writers of America, and a decent smattering of Romantic times and RITA awards.
I live on a lake in Northern Vermont with my incredibly fabulous husband. My two children have flown the coop, but the three cats do their best to keep us from being lonely.
In my spare time I quilt and play around with wearable art, and the rest of the time I write write write. Apparently women of a certain age get a rush of creativity, and I'm currently enjoying it. Too many stories to write, not enough hours in the day.

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