Miss Anne Sinclair will never allow her youngest sister to find herself in the clutches of the infamous Lord Ruin! Anne has learned that the Duke of Cynssyr, Lord Ruin as he is most commonly known, has designs upon her youngest sister Emily. Whether he has marriage, or ideas of something more sinful on his mind, Anne is uncertain but she refuses to allow Lord Sin into Emily’s life at all. While Anne doesn’t know the duke personally, she has heard enough about him to know that the infamous rake is not the man for Emily. The duke is rumored to propose to Emily during their stay in Sussex at the home of Devon Carlisle---a gathering that is to include the notorious Lord Ruin himself. Anne is willing to give anything to save her sister….little did she realize that she would end up giving herself in the bargain…..
Ruan, the Duke of Cynssyr, does not believe in love, the kind of love that drives a man wild for one woman and one woman only. He enjoys the female companionship of many a lady and that has suited him just fine for many years. But now he has decided it is time to take a wife and the beautiful young Emily Sinclair would make a good match. His good friend Devon finds the eldest Sinclair, Anne, to be a good match for Devon himself but Ruan can’t even remember what this Anne looks like. That could be because Miss Anne Sinclair is a bespectacled spinster amid a family full of beautiful sisters. And Ruan has no time for spinsters. Or so he thinks. When a mistake culminates in a night of unexpected and unimagined passion, all at the hands of Miss Anne Sinclair, the Duke of Cynssyr suddenly finds himself in a very precarious position. Because he must, he will marry Anne out of obligation. But worse than this, Ruan suddenly finds himself doing the unthinkable: He seems to be falling in love—and with his wife no less. Now if only he could make her love him in return….
LORD RUIN by Carolyn Jewel is in a word: Spectacular! This is without a doubt the best book I have read in a very long time. In a time where books are riddled with secret baby, millionaire daddy, and virginal heiress plots, Ms. Jewel takes a rather normal plot device--marriage of convenience--and turns it into one spectacular romantic story to rival any book on my keeper shelf. Each character was well developed and the story line stayed fresh and interesting throughout the entire story. Anne was a wonderfully drawn heroine, strong and intelligent and so unwilling to give her heart. Ruan was also unwilling to give his heart, but surprisingly he was the first to fall and had to coax Anne into trusting in him completely. Anne is certain that Ruan could never love her because she is not beautiful and he is used to more beautiful, experienced women. Ruan is not certain that Anne could ever love him because of the affection she once shared with another man. And for as strong, unbelievably sexy and usually sure of himself that Ruan is, this makes him just as uncertain as Anne. Each one has issues they must over come as they get to know and trust one another. The romance that develops between Ruan and Anne is absolutely beautiful: sweetly romantic then sinfully sensual at all the right times. I felt completely drawn into their romance and taken along on their journey with them. The underlying thread involving kidnapped women and the mystery surrounding them only added another element to an already perfect story.
Carolyn Jewel has masterfully created a story about a duke and a spinster forced to marry but who soon find love where they least expect it—in each other. I was so completely lost in the story that anything outside of the book seemed like a distraction. LORD RUIN is full of engaging, loveable characters, a wonderful, interesting storyline, and true, realistic romance. This book reminds me of why reviewing is so rewarding---it’s these rare gems that pop up out of no where giving you a chance to find that elusive romantic story you seem to have been searching everywhere for. For those of you who have despaired of late, searching for something, anything, to keep your interest in the sea of same old, same old, I’ve found the book you’re looking for. You can bet I’ll be searching out Ms. Jewel’s backlist as well as looking forward to what she has in store for the future. Carolyn Jewel is a masterful storyteller who creates stories filled with magic. We don’t give ratings here at Romance and Friends, but if we did, LORD RUIN would be a five star, A+.
Carla Hosom, January 2003
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