SYNOPSIS: 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 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.
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.
SERIES: Immortals After Dark #16
GENRE: Paranormal Romance
RATING: ★★★★☆/ 4 sassy and surprising stars.
REVIEW: Sweet Ruin is the 16th book in this series, so if you haven't read any of the previous books, then this review will probably be lost on you. And in that case, if you're a fan of Paranormal Romance books, then I highly recommend this adult series. And if you do read the Immortals After Dark books, then proceed.
It took me a while to get around to this book for a couple reasons. One was the ebook price when it was first released. I didn't want to pay $15 for a Kindle book, especially because of my second reason, which is that I was unsure of this particular installment of the ongoing series. We were being introduced to two completely different and new characters that aren't affiliated with any of the characters that have been strung together up to this point. Yes, Josephine is Thad's sister, but they aren't in contact and Thad has only popped up here and there, without his own book, so it was a very thin thread. I wasn't sure how I was going to like getting to know a new faction in what has been, up till this point, considered the enemy. So I waited till the Kindle price dropped and then jumped in to finally find a pleasant surprise.
I loved Josephine. She is gruff and sassy but with a damaged and yearning soul. There are many wonderful aspects of her character that we get to explore in this book. Her origin and journey are in turns alarming and entirely satisfying. But of course that's only half of the book, because the other half is Rune. Rune is the complex male that isn't actually complex at all. And it would be a letdown except that he's a member of the Møriør, those supernatural boogeymen that we've only heard about in the past couple books. His story is wrapped up in a slew of new information and people that is completely intriguing. Together Jo and Rune have started a new angle for the war that has been building since book one. I feel like we're finally getting somewhere (although I also see the opportunity for a dozens more books)!
There is much that I could say about this book but I don't want to spoil anything. I can say that Cole continues with her addictive writing, creating new facets to explore in this ever expanding world she has written, as well as bringing the heat of burgeoning romance that we have come to expect. I don't think you'll be disappointing with this latest installment, and like me, you'll be dying for more stories and urging Cole to write faster!