Review: Ruin (Ruin #1) by Rachel Van Dyken

RuinTitle: Ruin
Author: Rachel Van Dyken
Series: Ruin #1
Rating: 4 stars
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Links:

Blurb:
I’m not your typical girl. I’ve been running away from the memories that haunt me for so long that depression has become my only comfort. I was content in the darkness…until Wes Michals offered to be my light.

I didn’t know that time wasn’t my ally — that every second that ticked past was one step closer to the end of something that was beginning to mean the end of myself. He tried to warn me. He promised me all he was able to offer–each moment as it came–but it would never be enough.

Sometimes when you think it’s the end, it’s only the beginning. Wes thought he could save me, but in giving me everything, he ruined me. Because after one kiss, one touch, I couldn’t–I wouldn’t ever be the same.

And from that moment on, his heartbeat became my own.

My Review:
I read this a few nights ago when I was in a bit of a funny mood. I had loads of great ARCs to read but for some reason none of them were jumping out and saying ‘read me now’ so I went on a bit of a prowl. This book was on sale and it sounded perfect. Then I did something I don’t normally do – checked out the reviews on Goodreads (I usually only look to see if it has a decent overall rating) and lots of reviewers spoke to the emotion and angst and I was hooked. Perfect.

Gosh, I think I’ve forgotten that this is supposed to be a review. Enough waffling!!

Ruin is beautifully written and the heartfelt note from the author at the start and end of the book was very touching. There is a very personal reason behind this story.

Wes is a reformed player thanks to a nasty ex and an equally nasty false allegation. He hasn’t gone near a woman in months, but all that changes when newly-arrived freshman Kiersten literally falls into his arms. Wes is instantly smitten with the stunning red-head. Kiersten has her own issues and she is still struggling to come to terms with her parents death. Both of them have their secrets and reasons for needing this relationship exactly at that time in their lives.

It’s pretty much a case of insta-lust/love, but they don’t act on it for a few months, as Wes doesn’t want to hurt Kiersten by pulling her into his drama. But he just can’t stay away from her and the inevitable does happen. When they finally succumb to their intense attraction, they both fall head over heels in love. Ah, I loved them as a couple. They were perfect together. And the romantic scenes were swoon-worthy in the extreme. Wes is definitely a new addition to my Book Boyfriend list (that very long list that just keeps on growing. Lol.)

Gabe and Lisa are great side characters though I felt both could have benefitted from some additional development.

The dialogue is funny and romantic and there was great chemistry between the two mains.

I really enjoyed the writing style and loved that we got both POV.

I did have a few minor issues that stopped me rating it higher. Kiersten was very naive when it came to the secret that Wes was hiding. After months in his company, it would have been obvious, so it wasn’t believable that she didn’t discover the truth. The same could be said for the allegation made against Wes – she doesn’t question or challenge him and that was way too trusting for someone she didn’t know. I get that she’s innocent, but she’s not dumb.

However, the main reason why this is a 4-star rather than 5-star read, despite how much I enjoyed reading it, is because I didn’t fully connect emotionally with what the characters were going through. I’ve read a few books recently which focused on illness and death and I was in floods of tears. My eyes didn’t even get moist reading Ruin, it just didn’t resonate with me strongly enough. Perhaps reading the other reviews in advance ruined it for me (no pun intended!)or maybe it lacked depth, or it was just my funny mood; I’m not quite sure.

Anyway, in summary, this is a great read and I would recommend it to anyone who enjoys well-written NA with a fabulous male lead and heart-stopping romance. I will definitely be continuing the series.

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