A foundling raised in a world of humans
Growing up, orphaned Josephine didn’t know who or what she was—just that she was “bad,” an outcast with strange powers. Her baby brother Thaddeus was as perfect as she was flawed; protecting him became her entire life. The day he was taken away began Jo’s transition from angry girl…to would-be superhero…to enchanting, ruthless villain.
A lethally sensual enforcer on a mission
A threat to the Møriør has brought archer Rune the Baneblood to the mortal realm to slay the oldest living Valkyrie. Whether by bow or in bed, he never fails to eliminate his target. Yet before he can strike, he encounters a vampiric creature whose beauty conceals a black heart. With one bite, she pierces him with aching pleasure, taking his forbidden blood—and jeopardizing the secrets of his brethren.
A boundless passion that will lead to sweet ruin…
Could this exquisite female be a spy sent by the very Valkyrie he hunts? Rune knows he must not trust Josephine, yet he’s unable to turn her away. Despite his millennia of sexual conquests, he can’t ignore the unfamiliar longing she arouses deep within him. When Jo betrays the identity of the one man she will die to protect, she and Rune become locked in a treacherous battle of wills that pits ultimate loyalty against unbridled lust.
There is never any doubt that when you make the decision to read any of the books that make up the IAD world that you’ll be in for a wild ride filled with adventure, romance and characters you’ll end up adoring even though you may want to throttle them at times and Sweet Ruin does not disappoint.
Now there were some that were disappointed that Sweet Ruin would focus on brand new characters instead of one of the supporting cast of characters we’ve come to get to know as the series has progressed, but I wasn’t one and adored Jo from the beginning. She has no filter, is sassy and snarky and has no fear, but can back her attitude up much like most of the females that inhabit the world of IAD, and though she has an irreverent streak she protects and cares for those that are unable to. Rune is that large and in charge way too sexy for his own good alpha male who knows exactly how potent he is. He has a lot of scars and it has turned him cold, but he’s not as unfeeling as he’d like to be.
Their courtship was just as fun and sexy as previous couples, but what I actually liked the most was how Jo kept Rune on his toes. She rarely ever reacted in the way he expected her to. Rune is so set in his ways, partially because he is old, that Jo’s brazenness and honesty, at least about what she wants from him, throws him for a loop, as does the explosive sexual chemistry between them. There is a fair amount of angsty drama that happens between them due to Rune’s staunch belief that he will never have a mate and Jo’s belief that she’s his mate, but it does serve to make things quite interesting, especially as they figure out just what she is.
Then we have the Accession. I didn’t think things could get any crazier but it has. With the addition of the Møriør the world of IAD just got another layer of chaos to deal with but in true KC fashion it actually does make sense in the big scheme of things. And of course Nucking Futs Nix gets her own shout out because she, and Bertil, simply deserve it. The game she played in this one was absolutely brilliant.
The writing, as always, was witty and engaging, though I do have to admit that the middle of this one dragged a bit for me, but needing to know what Nix was up to as well as how Jo and Thad would be reunited kept me turning the pages, and their first meeting after all these years was definitely explosive.
The Bottom Line: Sweet Ruin was a fun and sexy ride and I can’t wait to see what’s up next!
~ ARC provided by Gallery, Threshold, Pocket Books via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review ~
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 Gamemakers 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.
Her IAD books have been translated into twenty foreign languages, garnered three RITA awards, and consistently appear on the bestseller lists, in the U.S. and abroad.
Cole lives in Florida with her family and “far too many animals.”