Hell is looking for a way to break loose…
Jax lost the genetic lottery. Descended from Cain, the world's first murderer, he's plagued by a curse that demands violence in exchange for his happiness. He left everything behind, including the girl he loved, but thriving on the pain of others is lonely… And it's killing him.
After a series of heartbreaking losses, Samantha put rubber to pavement and headed for college as fast as her clunker could carry her. But she can't outrun her problems. When an attack at school drives her back home, she's thrown into the path of a past—and a guy—she's been trying to forget.
Sam strains Jax's control over his darkness, but running isn't an option this time. Someone—or, something—followed her home from school: a ruthless monster with a twisted plan centuries in the making. Forced together to survive, and fighting an attraction that could destroy them both, Jax and Sam must stop a killer bent on revenge
Title: Ruined (The Eternal Balance #1)
Author: Jus Accardo
Publication Date: December 30, 2013
Publisher: Entangled Embrace
As a fan of Jus Accardo’s Denazen series, I’d been looking forward to Ruined ever since being a part of the cover reveal. And when I read it, I enjoyed it as much as I’d hoped I would.
Jax is the highlight of the book, in my opinion. He brings a whole new level, and then some, to the phrase ‘tortured hero’. But I guess living with a demon, who craves violence and rage, inside him is the biggest contributing factor in that. Despite this, he believably fights the temptation of succumbing to the demon’s needs—which he secretly enjoys, too—pretty much every moment of the book. Combine this with the fact he’s hot, and considerate, and hot, and bada$$ and strong, and hot … and you have one wicked MC.
He’s not the only dude between these pages, though. Because Jax comes with a brother—Chase. From the off, we kind of get his number where Jax is concerned. From the off, I decided he was a selfish sleeze. Also, from pretty early on, I figured out he was somehow involved in the whole affair that Jax and his lady friend had gotten hauled into. However, I had by no means guessed just how involved he was—because this dude is in the thick of it, for sure.
And then alongside these two is the third point of the triangle, Samantha. She’s the balance to the wonkiness, yet the wonkiness to the balance. She’s the pinnacle of the moment, and the catalyst for disaster. She’s also easily as strong a character as Jax is, and a great counterpart to his tormented soul; plus their history is solid and relatable.
If you’re now picturing some kind of love triangle, you’d be scarcely right and mostly wrong. Because it’s only a love triangle when the love is aimed in more than one direction. And it’s only a love triangle when one of the sides isn’t twistedly warped and a danger to humanity and enough to make you run for the hills (cue the Iron Maiden music).
But then, on top of these three and their story, we also have other, smaller-played but just as important characters, who were obviously well thought out and vibrantly displayed. Rick, though we didn’t see that much of him, felt ‘real’. And I loved the addition of Heckle, the role he portrayed, and the revealed secret he came with at the end.
If I had to gripe about something, it would mostly be that the hotness of the book and what repetitively took place regarding that started to get a little … well, repetitive, thus slowing the pace down at points. And again regarding the hotness, when we finally get to the point that something might happen, there were quite a few continuity boo-boos in my ARC that should have been caught in editing, which stalled from the words giving as clear a picture as was needed and made it hard to follow in parts. These weren’t the only editing boo-boos I spotted, but this was an ARC, and hopefully, those have all been caught before going to print.
But those aside, I enjoyed this a lot. I respect the author for not wrapping it up with a big fat bow and giving the reader what they might have wanted, but I agree with what she probably already knew in that it would have been sickeningly contrite and unrealistic to have done that. In fact, all this ending has succeeded in doing is to leave me extremely curious about what’s to come—like how they’re going to overcome what they need to, what’s the deal with Sam, what’s going to happen next because, ya know, it ain’t over ‘til the fat lady sings, and all that jazz. So, yes, defo a decent read that makes me want to continue on.
A native New Yorker, she lives in the middle of nowhere with her husband, three dogs, and sometimes guard bear, Oswald.
Her first book, Touch, came out in November 2011 from Entangled Publishing. She is represented by Kevan Lyon of Marsal Lyon Literary Agency.