Friday 19 July 2013

Ruthless by Anne Stuart (The House of Rohan #1)

Genres: Adult, Historical Fiction, Romance
Publication Date: July 20th 2010
POV: Alternating - Third-person, Past tense
Smut-O-Meter: 7 out of 10
My Rating: 5 out of 5


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.


This book blew me away! I was not prepared for this. I asked for recommendations in a romance group for books with really dark heroes, and Anne Stuart was recommended to me. I was told that the Rohan series was not her best, but it was one of two available at my library so I picked it up immediately. They downplayed it a bit and I wasn't prepared to love it so much.

I loved the battle of wits, for there was one, as much as Rohan thought he always had the upper hand. His and Elinor's back and forth was the center of the story and it was immensely entertaining. I also found it interesting how it all took place in front of a sexual backdrop. There was only one actual sex scene, at about 80% into the book, but the whole book was surrounded by it, and every move Rohan made was motivated by it. As it says on the back of the book, "Pursuit of physical pleasure is both his preferred pastime and his most pressing urge."

It was all so very enticing, while never really crossing the line until the end. The entire book was foreplay. As was Rohan's forceful behaviour. I was in the mood for a dark hero and I definitely got one. Rohan had practically no conscience. He never forced Elinor, but he played horrible games, blackmailed her, locked her in his house, used any means necessary for her to bend to his will. And it worked. On me as well. He was utterly delicious.

There was also a secondary romance that was more light and innocent and was perhaps used to balance the dark of the book. It was extremely sweet and I enjoyed it as well. I have been warned that some of the later books in the series are even darker and that I may not enjoy them with my standards. But I am still really looking forward to reading the rest of the series.

“You know as well as I do, damn you. Like it or not I seem to have grown a heart. I have absolutely no use for the damned thing, but there it sits, demanding Elinor. I can't live without her.”

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