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Ruthless (The House of Rohan) Mass Market Paperback – July 20, 2010

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Product Details

  • Series: The House of Rohan
  • Mass Market Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Mira; First Edition edition (July 20, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0778328481
  • ISBN-13: 978-0778328483
  • Product Dimensions: 6.6 x 4.4 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (123 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #102,896 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Stuart (Fire and Ice) launches a trilogy with this dark, intense, and sometimes unsettling historical romance. In 1760s Paris, penniless British noblewoman Elinor Harriman is struggling to support her family when her ill mother runs away to an orgy held by Viscount Rohan, a mysterious libertine known as the King of Hell. This sets in motion a chain of events that draws Elinor and Rohan into a fierce contest of wills and desires. Stuart's writing is crisp and quick, and her characters are finely and memorably drawn, but Rohan's often violent and predatory treatment of Elinor goes well beyond what most readers will find acceptable in an ostensible hero, especially given Elinor's traumatic childhood. Notions of the reformatory power of love fall flat against these grim scenes, which uncomfortably detract from an otherwise enjoyable and powerful story.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


"Witty, inventive, dark and sexy---a wild adventure for the mind...and the heart." ---Susan Wiggs --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.

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.

Customer Reviews

I was very much looking forward to this book as I am a huge Anne Stuart fan.
Make it Funny
I have two criticisms - the heroine protested too much and her antics got a little boring; the ending was rushed.
Rohan is not your average romance hero and you'll either love him or hate him.
Ana Thierry

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

58 of 61 people found the following review helpful By Bucks County Reader on August 2, 2010
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
The hero of Ruthless, Francis Rohan, le Comte de Giverney, is all that a reader could want--so long as that reader wants an unrepentant, degenerate and ruthless despoiler of all that society holds dear. He is a magnificent creation. Many thanks, Anne Stuart. No, as some reviews have stated, "Anne Stuart isn't for everyone." But, then, neither is champagne. Few writers are capable of creating such a dark and disturbing hero who, nonetheless, captures and holds the reader's interest. Fewer still can then manage to write themselves out of such a corner.

Francis Rohan, known in pre-Revolutionary Paris as the "King of Hell" for his hedonistic exploits and orgiastic society, meets his match in Elinor Harriman. Neither this demon count nor Elinor, his next victim, has any illusions about what life holds for them. Each has endured excruciating loss; one has given up, one refuses to. Elinor should be afraid of Rohan, but she just doesn't have time to be since she is attempting to rescue her feckless, selfish mother from ruin once again. Elinor confronts Rohan in his lair, refusing to be intimidated by him or the debauchery that swirls about them both. At first amused by her refusal to be intimidated, Rohan becomes intrigued by her. He simply cannot let her be. The reader wonders: Who exactly is the spider and who the fly in this story?

The dialogue alone recommends Ruthless. Yet there is much more in Ruthless to please the reader: two love stories, one for each sister; two heroes who need rescuing; slightly sassy, devoted servants; degenerate villains, the sort we love to hate; a Jacobite fugitive (Who doesn't love a doomed, Romantic cause?); brimstone and fire; suspense, mystery, and the redemptive power of love. The very best thing about Ruthless? It's book one of a three book series.
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37 of 42 people found the following review helpful By Gayle R. Simmonds on August 14, 2010
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
Anne Stuart was once one of my favorite authors, but her recent novels all seem to be variations on a theme. In Ruthless, we have the same bored, hedonist hero, the same not quite his type heroine, who is supposed to be very frightened and ignorant of sexual pleasure. The whole novel is about he being fascinated against his will by her intelligence and her innocence and her denying any attraction at all to him. Elinor's reactions are reasonable, until we finally get to the big sex scene and then all of a sudden the hero makes a 180 degree turn into someone who cares! and after all of the buildup, he lets Elinor go! Just like that! And she becomes the aggressor WANTING HIM and insisting that they have sex! And of course she has an orgasm with no foreplay at all! Right! HAH! This is the basic story in all of her recent novels. Anne Stuart is becoming increasingly one note and it is very disappointing. I am not a devotee of rape and i didn't want to read anything like porn, but I like a hero to go after what he wants with some finesse! As a man who really enjoys a woman's body and knows what to do with it!
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Format: Mass Market Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Elinor Harriman was born to a titled father and money hungry mother. When her mother left England for Paris, the downward spiral of their life began. Her mother moved from man to man, gambled and lost and eventually landed them in squalor. Now her mother is dying of the French disease and it's up to Elinor to protect the only thing Elinor truly values, her little sister, Lydia.

When Elinor's mother escapes in a moment of clarity from their home with the last of their meager valuables and cash, Elinor is forced to follow her. She locates her at the Heavenly Host, a place where anything goes and not a place for an innocent young girl. The Heavenly Host is run by the infamous Viscount Rohan and when Elinor is brought to his attention; he finds himself interested for the first time in years.

I really liked the plot, I liked that Elinor and her sister were struggling in life but had that unbreakable bond and a few loyal lifelong servants. I loved the characters. Elinor isn't beautiful but she is selfless and witty. Lydia who is beautiful isn't cold or shallow; rather she's warm and endearing. Rohan is an ass, but I loved him too. He's alpha male all the way and he's a deviant and unconventional. His good friend Charles was one of my favorite characters and his was just a minor part.

So why only the 3 stars? The book was way too long to have never delved into the characters any deeper than she did. Elinor's sister finds out about Rohan's past and what makes him tick, yet it's never brought up between the two main characters. Charles sweeps Lydia off her feet yet we never find out anything of real substance about him, either.

The author dragged out the whole sexual tension thing between the two characters for far too long.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By panchu531 on February 2, 2011
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I will say some good things about the book. There parts of the dialogue where I laughed and I do think the writing was good, I just found myself getting restless in some scenes, tempted to skip ahead. But It did have its moments of sensuality. The characters were good and likeable.

Spoiler Alert!

Okay now the bad, first of all the first half of this book was a bit I wouldn't say boring... but it took so long for the main characters to have time to just be together and get to know each other, not that they really did in my opinion. I thought the characters motivations were a bit forced. I dunno I could almost buy the whole "I'm bored and I find you interesting" angle but I don't think it was enough to make it an interesting plot. I mean who cares about some dude who's infatuated by some girl he barely know only because she acts like she doesn't like him...or some vague reasoning. Elinor acts like she can't stand Francis pretty much throughout the first 75% of the book and then suddenly she wants him and then soon after loves him. Then Francis kills the guy who F**ked her over in the past (not to give away the plot), It just didn't make sense to me. Why would he do this for a girl he barely knows? I think Stuart should have added more POV scenes for Francis, I found him too enigmatic throughout the whole novel.

Then the Heroine who up until this point is supposed to be "a reasonable girl" randomly accepts a rather shady proposal from some weirdo that her nanny had previously stated she should we wary of. Without going to check on her sister that she is super close with. Come on!

I could go on and on about the bad with this book.
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