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He Will Be My Ruin: A Novel Hardcover – February 2, 2016
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Praise for He Will Be My Ruin:
"A smart, sexy thriller. Tucker beguiles in this dark, twisty tale of lurid secrets, lavish lifestyles, and devastating loss. Once you start reading, you won't stop." (Lisa Gardner, #1 New York Times bestselling author)
“A nail-biting thriller...clever twists and turns will keep readers in suspense, and just when they think they have figured out what happened to Celine, the story veers in another direction.” (Publishers Weekly)
"Tucker delivers a well-constructed, pulse-pounding suspense full of propulsive plot twists and searing seduction...Tucker does an expert job of developing quirky, charismatic characters each of whom could be potential suspects...but even as things seem to coalesce, the narrative throws unexpected curve balls that keep you at the edge of your seat. He Will Be My Ruin is engrossing and easy to devour, a seductive, suspenseful story that will keep you guessing." (USA Today)
"[A] heart stopping urban thriller." (BookPage)
“This is one book that can’t help but be placed on the bestseller shelf in 2016…[a] fantastic thriller that will keep readers on the edge of any seat, be it recliner or airplane, until the ultimate outcome!” (Suspense Magazine)
“Tucker’s hardcover debut is full of twists and layers of mystery, with a developed cast of characters that rounds out the plot in this enjoyably compelling read.” (Booklist)
“Bestselling author Tucker spins a compelling web, rife with quirky characters and steamy romps with charismatic men.” (Kirkus Reviews)
“A tightly plotted character study…There’s intrigue, sex, red herrings, and an enviable setting.” (RT Magazine (4 star review))
“A dark and twisted mystery…that manages to surprise you just when you think you have it all figured out.” (Hypable.com)
“Captivating from beginning to end, He Will Be My Ruin is a non-stop tour of New York City, as two young friends—one dead and one desperately searching—take you from the inner sanctum of a secret garden rooftop to Manhattan’s high-end world of movers and shakers. This novel will leave you breathless—I read it in a day, and it was certainly worth the ride!” (Killer Nashville)
“Tucker is adept at spinning stories with unexpected twists and turns, but this is her most complex narrative to date. It’s a book that will keep you up all night — with the lights on and the door locked, of course — until you reach the shocking,perfect conclusion. But it’s also a book with an important Tucker trademark: a strong, independent female lead who is not afraid to take charge, who is not perfect — which is why she feels so real — and who is rewriting the rules about what makes books like this work so well. Tucker is a pro at delivering hot romance, but here she combines it with heart pounding suspense. The results are terrifyingly good.” (Toronto Star)
“We highly recommend that K.A. Tucker fans check out this book…He Will Be My Ruin may be a small departure from K.A. Tucker’s former books, but it delivers on its premise and begs you to keep reading. The chapters fly by faster and faster as you devour the story.” (Hypable)
Praise for Surviving Ice:
“Surviving Ice has it all: suspense, romance, forgiveness, and second chances all rolled into one.” (San Diego Book Review)
“Entertaining and enthralling, lovers of suspense titles will be captivated by the suspenseful plot of this story. At the same time, the romance between this--somewhat unlikely and yet equally explosive--pair is sure to keep your romance lust sated.” (The Romance Reviews, TOP PICK)
Praise for Chasing River:
"A gripping addition to the Burying Water series…Tucker’s fans will tear through this passionate, fast-paced tale and be ready for more." (Booklist)
“Tucker masterfully keeps the reader wondering about how the story could possibly end…[writing] a compelling tale about fighting for love and exploring the need to walk away.” (New York Journal of Books)
Praise for Becoming Rain:
"A smart and sexy thrill ride...Tucker's best writing yet." (Karina Halle New York Times bestselling author on Becoming Rain)
Praise for Burying Water:
"Another addictive triumph for the impressively prosaic Tucker." (Globe and Mail)
“Tucker deftly steers the damsel-in-(serious, nearly fatal, possibly mob-related)-distress-rescued-by-a-knight-in-shining armor storyline, making these star-crossed lovers compelling. A sexy romantic, gangster-tinged page-turner.” (Kirkus Reviews on Burying Water)
"Unique, engrossing, and heartbreaking. Burying Water is a mesmerizing read that will keep you captivated until the very last page." (Rachel Van Dyken #1 New York Times bestselling author)
"Dark, ominous, and sexy...compelling from beginning to end." (Laura Kaye New York Times bestselling author on Burying Water)
"Lush, atmospheric, and addictive, with a romance that sizzles. Guard your heart." (Amber Hart author of Before You on Five Ways to Fall)
"You'll only need one reason to fall in love with K.A.Tucker." (Jennifer L. Armentrout #1 New York Times bestselling author on Five Ways to Fall)
About the Author
K.A. Tucker writes captivating stories with an edge. Her books have been featured in national publications including USA TODAY, The Globe and Mail, Suspense Magazine, and Publishers Weekly. She currently resides in a quaint town outside Toronto with her husband and two beautiful girls.
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Top Customer Reviews
Upon hearing the news, Maggie uproots herself from her charity work—a self-professed duty only to combat the immorality of her family's money-grubbing energy empire—and moves into Celine's Manhattan apartment to help pack up her belongings. An antiques fanatic at heart and appraiser by trade, Celine left behind pieces that must amass to a fortune, and it's Maggie's responsibility to take care of it all. It isn't until she discovers tidbits of Celine's private life and the things she did to survive in the nasty slew of the city, that Maggie's suspicions that Celine's death was not a suicide are confirmed. Celine had so much going for her, so much to look forward to, both in her professional and personal life. Immediately, Maggie points her finger in the direction of murder, and sets off to find out everything she can about Celine's secret lover—the man she claims was her ruin.
He Will Be My Ruin spins the tragedy of an unexpected death into a murder mystery that unfolds with a furor. Maggie is determined to go to any length to find out the truth about her best friend, unknowingly stepping straight into the high-risk, greed-fueled minefield that got Celine killed in the first place. K.A. Tucker knows how to tell a suspenseful story; the plot moves quickly with surprising discoveries and dark revelations peppered throughout, as Maggie enters this unfamiliar, dangerous game.
I had no trouble getting through this book, and was definitely satisfied with its unpredictable outcome and frequent red herrings. So many complicated facets of Maggie's and Celine's lives are introduced to the backdrop of the crime, so while reading, there is no knowing of what matters in the case, and what has no relevance at all. A sizzling romantic distraction muddles Maggie's focus and creates a conflict of interest, while the emotional disaster she experiences when finding out about Celine's secret life almost destroys her.
That said, I wasn't particularly affected by most of the layers of the story. The emotional tragedy, I understood, and the unraveling of Celine's murderer, I found chilling, but after I finished the book I felt like not much stuck with me. The characters are rather simple and formulaic (with the exception of the late Celine, who always finds a way to surprise the reader), and Tucker's writing style rather gratuitous with lots of superficial details. Regardless, it's an enjoyable story overall that will have you squirming in the moment as Maggie narrows down the harrowing possibilities in her crime-solving spree.
In the end, she is forced to confront the scariest reality of them all: that the one person she trusted could be the person she should most fear, and that when it comes to murder, money, and sex, nothing is really what it seems to be on the surface.
Pros: Detailed and thorough in narration // Characters are deeply explored // Suspenseful, fast-paced // Lots of factors introduced that make the mystery unpredictable and complicated // Simple and easy to navigate structurally
Cons: Writing style, while effective, is slightly amateurish // I felt like I understood the characters well, but didn't really like any of them
Verdict: He Will Be My Ruin combines a blazing tumble of a romance with an emotionally charged murder mystery. Brimming with shocking discoveries and an ominous "sleeping with the enemy" vibe, K.A. Tucker's newest novel grapples with themes of morals and guilt, despair and desperation, and the fine hazards of money and art. While I didn't find this book to be mind-blowing, I guarantee it will keep you glued to its pages until Maggie's mission is complete... if it even ends well, that is.
8 hearts: An engaging read that will be worth your while; highly recommended.
Source: Complimentary copy provided by tour publicist via publisher in exchange for an honest and unbiased review (thank you, TLC Book Tours and Atria Books!).
I love it when an author tries something new. Win or fail, you have to take chances in life. This business isn’t always (rarely, in fact) kind to such risks by authors. Genre hopping backfires quite often. Yet, I’m still a fan when they try. However, I can say, unequivocally, that Tucker did not fail with this risk. She may have hit the scene as a romance writer, but she excels just as easily as a suspense writer.
If you go into He Will Be My Ruin with any expectations of it being remotely like her previous titles, you’ll not get what your looking for. This is not a romance. There is some budding relations and sexual interactions but I would never classify this as romantic. Let’s just be clear about that up front.
What this is – is a murder mystery at it’s core. Maggie’s life long friend ends up dead in her New York apartment, police rule it a suicide but Maggie is less than convinced. With no hope of help from authorities, she dives into the facts and clues herself and recruits some help along the way. While digging, she realizes her friend, Celine, had a much different life than she led Maggie to believe and the secrets she held, the people she knew, led to her untimely death.
And also to the danger Maggie finders her own life in now, because there is still a killer on the loose.
From the beginning of this tale there were two fairly clear suspects for me and I bounced back and forth between them often. I also had moments when I thought side characters were playing a bigger part in the backstory than the story suggested – I played with several scenarios in my head. Hoping some would flesh out and hoping others wouldn’t. All of that is what makes a great suspense story for me. If I have it all figured out too early on, I won’t want to continue reading. This wasn’t the case here, Tucker kept my mind working.
While I don’t know that this is going to be as explosive of a seller as say, Gone Girl or The Girl on the Train, I can most definitely see it finding a loving home with those who gravitate to those type of titles. It’s got a lot of what those big selling Mystery / Suspense books have. I think the only thing that really lacked for me was a bit of character development, for a couple of the main players. I think that would have cemented my interest in them all the more. However, even without that, He Will Be My Ruin will be a memorable read for me and I thoroughly enjoyed every page.