Genres: Adult, Contemporary Romance
Standalone/Series: Standalone (part of a series)
Published on: November 6, 2017
POV: Dual First Point of View
Rating: 3.5 STARS
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Ruin You is the second book of The Debt series written by Molly O’Keefe. While it is best read in order to have a better knowledge of all the characters’ backgrounds, it works as a standalone. Each book in the Debt series follows each of the kids from a foster home who were saved by a stranger, in which each one of them has to pay their debt to their savior. This book is Simon’s story.
Simon is one of the foster kids who was saved by the stranger, Bates. He and his friends didn’t know anything about him other than the fact that they owe him and each one of them has to pay one day. Eight years later, as a successful Los Angeles journalist, he has lived his dream except for one thing. He hasn’t fulfilled one of his life purposes yet, his revenge for the man who was the reason for his parents’ death.
When Bates came, Simon is left without any choice. To his surprise, he is ordered to investigate his number-one enemy’s secret daughter to bring down her father. The task he has done for years without any results since finding the girl has been next to impossible. However, his job then becomes complicated when he meets Penny, the daughter of his enemy and the subject of his task.
Penny has been living in hiding almost her entire life. She carries a huge secret that will have a huge impact not only on her parents’ lives but the powerful people unknown to her if uncovered. The secret she has kept even from her best friend and business partner, Meghan. Both of them now are the owners of the inn located in the mountain—a thriving business they both have dreamed of and worked hard for. However, on the night where they are celebrating their success, she meets a man she cannot help but attracted to, that soon becomes the reason her quiet, simple life turns upside-down.
The problem with lies is belief. That’s how things fall apart in the end. When I stop believing the lies, it’s just a story. When I believe the lies, it’s as much truth as the actual truth.
The blurb had me right away. It was clever and had the elements I love—the dark, suspense aspects I’m always drawn to in stories. Adding them to the romance elements, it then has my full attention, which was exactly my experience with this book. It was such a love at the first sight that made me put away the book I was planning to read and started this book once the publisher sent it on my kindle instead.
However, as we all know that there is no guarantee an insta-love will make a relationship lasts, so did my insta love for this story. The plot had my interest from the start but when the romance ignited, my interest started to fade. I didn’t feel connected to them as a couple. Their insta-love felt more like an insta-lust and there was no significant development in their characters and, to some extent, their relationship other than it progressing too fast.
The hero turned out to be someone I didn’t expect. He was softer and more predictable than the persona he had been portrayed from the beginning. He was not as alpha and intimidating as I expected him to be. In addition, I found some inconsistency in his thoughts and character which, unfortunately, affected the way I saw him and thus my connection with him.
The same way went for the heroine as well. Her quick-to-trust and quick-to-fell for a stranger felt unlike her character, in my opinion, considering her background and the tough life she had had. I didn’t feel connected with her and found myself doubting her actions at times. I wish their characters would have been better developed toward the end.
The ending felt like an anti-climax. It was too rushed and had me hanging for more. Hence, it left me more questions unanswered as the result. I would have liked to see what the real motive behind Bates’ actions who, surprisingly, turned to be the most interesting character I found in this story despite him being a secondary one. I wish he will have his own story written soon.
The other side characters added a little flavor to the overall story but, unfortunately, not enough for me to want to know their own stories. They had very little appearance throughout the story which didn’t give me enough time to get to know them.
All in all, Ruin Me is an interesting story for those who love insta-love and a little suspense. Despite my issues, however, I like the idea of this story and would like to see more books by this author in the future.
“You’re larger than life, Penny. You fucking glow and I can’t resist you. I can’t stand that I’ve hurt you. And I want… I want us not to be us.”
Thank you to the publisher for giving me this review copy for my unbiased review.
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