Friday, July 15, 2016

[ARC Review]: "Ruined"

Ruined by Shiloh Walker
Publisher: InterMix (July 19, 2016)
Series: Barnes Brothers, 4
Genre: Contemporary Romance

From the national bestselling author of Busted and Razed comes an unforgettable story of a love that transcends tragedy...

As one of the Barnes brothers, Sebastien has always felt blessed. Not only does he have an amazing family, but he’s become a Hollywood golden boy who has everything he’s ever wanted—with one exception. He’s had a thing for Marin since he was a kid, but when he finally summons the courage to ask her out, she turns him down. Marin is ready to settle down, she wants commitment and stability, and Sebastien is still too much of a playboy, caught up in the wild life of the spotlight.

Still reeling from the rejection, Sebastien’s luck runs out later that night when he saves a girl from an assault. The shining knight role fits him just fine, but his armor—and his perfect life—become tarnished when the near-deadly attack lands him in the hospital. Physically scarred, he gives up acting and retreats from everybody.

If anyone can pull Sebastien back from the abyss, it’s Marin. But first she has to convince him that beauty is not only skin deep...

Where to Buy*:
More Info:
Reviews of Walker's Previous Novels:

Headed for Trouble (#1) -- Pat

My Review:

Sebastien has had a thing for Marin for years. But Marin hasn’t wanted to admit any feelings she may have in return. She’s older than him (33 to 26) and while they’re both actors, they each wanted different things; she was past the glamour and lights of Hollywood and wanted to settle down, while he’s still Hollywood’s young golden boy, and still very much loving the limelight and attention. They’d be better off just friends, even if they both have feelings that go deeper than that.

After fighting for his life, watching his ex get killed, and escaping with scars – inside and out – Seb falls into a downward spiral of booze and self-inflicted blame. Only Marin is able to stay close to him, and somewhat get through to him during the dark year following the horrible events. All of that changed him, and he’s no longer the Seb everyone knew – publicly or privately.

Marin was there for him through it all, a comforting presence that Seb is so very thankful for. Yet they can’t continue to ignore their attraction, and after a particularly triggering day for Seb, he crawls back to the booze -- hoping to both forget the nightmares and distract himself from the allure of Marin – they end up in bed. Problem is Seb was too drunk to remember it in the morning (Marin left in the early hours). His nightmares become a bit less frequent, but instead they’re replaced with such realistic dreams of pleasure with the woman he’s always wanted, but never had . . . or did he?

I had a problem with Marin’s handling (ha!) of a certain situation later in the book. SPOILER ALERT: their night resulted in pregnancy. But rather than 1, telling him about their night when it’s clear he didn’t remember, and then 2, telling him about the baby – and that it’s his – she spends waaaaaaay too long letting him believe the baby belongs to another man (Dash – they’re just friends, but they did go on a chaste date earlier). I spent quite a few chapters wanting to smack her and lock them both in a room until the truth was laid out. Her excuse of “Well, he was always walking away/busy” when she tried to tell him irked me. For something that important, you don’t let him walk away, you make time and you make him listen. Especially since he kept blaming poor Dash, thinking he was the Casanova father ignoring his responsibility to Marin.

Once he’s told the truth, Seb is very supportive and loving about the baby (he was concerned and protective before, but also jealous/mad thinking it was Dash’s baby). There were a few small heartwarming moments where Seb was so very gentle and sweet to Marin and her baby bump, which I loved.

But Marin’s avoidance of talking to Seb was really the only negative experience I have to point out from this book. Otherwise this was a good read, and I zipped through it quickly (one day). The sexy scenes were hella fantastic, the writing drew me in, and the Barnes family grabbed my attention – I’ll be adding the previous brothers’ books to my list. I’m look forward to Travis’s book (which I assume is still to come); I have a feeling there’s some demons he’s hiding. I had also hoped Dash (costar and friend to both Seb and Marin) would get a book, but I'm not sure if that'll happen. He’s fun and flirts like it’s his default setting. Oh, and he’s bi. Did I mention I need his story?! A reader can dream, I suppose...

If you want an angsty, hot read about friends-to-lovers set against the backdrop of Hollywood, Ruined is the one to pick up.


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I received an e-ARC of this book from the publisher, via NetGalley.

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Have you read any of Walker's other books? Is there one I should pick up next?


Until Next Time,


  *TBQ's Book Palace is a member of both the Amazon and Barnes and Nobles affiliates program. By using the links provided to buy products from either website, I receive a very small percentage of the order. To read my full disclosure on the matter, please see this post!

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