- Series: Immortals After Dark (Book 16)
- Hardcover: 432 pages
- Publisher: Gallery Books (December 1, 2015)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1451649975
- ISBN-13: 978-1451649970
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.3 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 770 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #787,609 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Sweet Ruin (Immortals After Dark) Hardcover – December 1, 2015
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About the Author
Kresley Cole is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of the electrifying Immortals After Dark paranormal series, the young adult Arcana Chronicles series, the erotic Game Makers series, and five award-winning historical romances. A master’s grad and former athlete, she has traveled over much of the world and draws from those experiences to create her memorable characters and settings. You can learn more about her and her work at KresleyCole.com or Facebook.com/KresleyCole. Sign up for Kresley’s email newsletter to receive the latest book release updates, as well as info about contests and giveaways (KresleyCole.com/Newsletter).
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Since book 1, we’ve gotten to know the Vertas, the “good guys” in the coming war. What this story does, is kind of turn our preconceptions on their ear, because we’re getting an inside look at the Morior. And they’re not the villains of the story, at least not this story. In fact, one of them is our hero.
Rune is a Dark Fey, part fey and part demon. His blood is poisonous to anyone who comes in contact with it. He has been maligned and enslaved for much of his long life. Now he owes his loyalty to the leader of the Morior, Orion, the enigmatic and powerful being who freed him. He uses his sultry sexuality to extract valuable information for his allies, and serves as an assassin when needed. Now, he’s tasked with the death of Nix the Everknowing.
Our heroine is Josephine. We’ve never met her, but she is connected to our main cast of characters in that she is the long lost sister of the young vampire, Thaddeus. She raised him from the time he was a baby, even though she was just a young girl herself. She had no memory of their lives before she was eight years old and was found carrying him in the streets. What she knew instinctively was that Thaddie was her life, and everyone else be damned. She learned to be tough and streetwise, but it all came crashing down when she got a little too tough and ended up in the crosshairs of a gang-banger.
Thaddius was raised by an adopted family when it appeared as if Jo was dead. But, obviously, those bullets didn’t keep her down. They only revealed her true nature. She is something more. She can become insubstantial and she craves blood, but she has no one to help her understand what that means. So she ends up with a pretty lonely life. Until her path crosses with Rune.
For the first time, she’s found a man who is as unusual as she is. She craves his body and blood, but he can’t imagine a life with just one woman. How could he when he is convinced he can never have a mate? All that matters is his loyalty and his revenge on the family who enslaved him all of those years. Jo tempts him with her attitude and her mystery. And he spends the book trying to get into her pants, while she tries to convince him they could have something more.
I liked Jo. Kresley Cole does a great job crafting strong women with a sense of self-worth. My only complaint is that sometimes, they feel too much alike. They all have different circumstances and motivation, but most of them think they’re awesome; they’re always telling the hero that they’re awesome; they’re strong and sexually empowered… and they have the same voice. It’s a good voice. But it’s the same one. Her powers and species are cool, though, as is her devotion to her brother.
Rune has some issues, as you would expect after years of forced prostitution. But I enjoyed the tension between him and Jo. I appreciated his loyalty to Orion and the Morior, even as it put Nix on his hitlist. He has one big Really Stupid Moment, but otherwise, I liked him. The romance is sexy and fun and I liked seeing him finally finding the love he never thought he’d have.
I’ll admit I was a little confused about Jo’s nature even after the details were revealed. Like… did she keep aging after she “died?” She was only 10 years old. Does her survival mean she can never die?
And I didn’t forget what I said about a man for Nix. I don't want to spoil it, but I think I know who he is now! This book is definitely a bridge to the next major arc of the series. I’m ready to learn more about all of the primordials we met here and see their impact on the storyline. Who knows where it will all go next? I know there are some people who may feel like too much is changing –we’re branching out too much– but I would rather that than a rehash of the same stuff, risking the the possibility of such a vibrant series going stale.
So #16 is the story of Josephine – half vampire, half phantom hybrid and Rune – dark fey and Archer of the Morior – because life in the Lore isn’t complicated enough. Sweet Ruin is a quick, light, angst free read. I enjoyed re-visiting the Lore and of course Nix but this particular installment was lukewarm in the romance department. Josie is the long-lost sister of Thad. Thad was the teen aged boy locked in a cell with Regan the Radiant during Declan Chase’s immortal house of horrors/identity crisis phase. I like the rough around the edges Josie and her mix of tough yet vulnerable.
Rune I had a harder time with. Generally, I don’t appreciate the man-whore trope I don’t see where it’s at all desirable to covet something that everyone else has already had. However, there are certain circumstance that make the trope more appealing. The damaged, traumatized man-whore who doesn’t really enjoy his lifestyle is preferable to the arrogant, hedonistic, attention whore. Rune technically falls into the first category so I had some empathy for him but I just found him so…. tedious. First, he calls women “dove” as a term of endearment. Perhaps just my pet peeve but there are some words that once they come out of a man’s mouth – make him decidedly Unsexy. Dove is one of them. The big problem I have with Rune – and I feel guilty saying this – because he was victimized and traumatized – is that he simply gave up. He not only accepted his fate, he embraced it. He had no choice in becoming a whore; but he chose to stay one. He never fought against the constraints forced upon them. While Josie was out kicking ant hills at every opportunity; Rune just knuckled under.
Also worth mentioning – having not read an IAD book in a while – I’d forgotten how purple prosy the sex scenes are. All bare mons and rod, shafts and quivering pussies; engorged erections straining against pants and damp, swollen nipples. “If you prick me with those fangs again, I’ll penetrate you with this” He thrust, rubbing his d--k over her mound”. My penchant for double alpha m/m romance has ratcheted down my patience even further because all I can think is – Burnin’ daylight people, let’s get this show on the road and @#$% already!!!!
Oviously in the IAD world, Nix pulls the strings in the background bringing the couple du jour together. The Morior are new players in The Accession scene – looks like it’s building to be a complete free for all – if it ever comes.