Series: Summer in Winter #1
Published on 08/21/2013 Genres: Romance
Kate Bell isn't perfect. Not even close. The things she got up to in college would cause her parents to fall off their pedestals in shock. Home for the summer vacation, Kate settles in for a long, boring break in the tiny backwater of Winter with folks who still treat her like she's twelve.
Then Ben Parker arrives and suddenly Winter gets interesting. He's hot, mysterious and good with his hands. Kate falls for him instantly, but her cop father warns her to stay away. But how can she stay away from someone as compelling as Ben? Someone who thinks she's perfect just the way she is?
When Ben's secrets catch up to him, not only is Kate's heart in danger of being broken, but Ben's entire future could be ruined.
RUIN is a new adult contemporary romance intended for mature readers. It contains strong language and sexual situations.
Ruin by C.J. Scott surprised me in a very good way. I already knew I liked C.J. ‘s writing, but I haven’t had good luck with novella’s in the past. However I was worrying for nothing because after reading Ruin, she’s moved up to the short list of authors who if I know it is by her, I’ll be more than willing to read it.
What I liked: As soon as it started, I was sucked in. Ruin is short, but don’t let that fool you. There is a ton of worldbuilding here, done so skillfully that it never becomes bothersome. Every single sub character has wants, and clear motivations. They have histories and rich, definable personalities. It’s very easy to see how the different people are going to class just because of what they want. I feel like I got to know them so well that they might as well be my neighbors. The scenery is also beautifully portrayed, and now I want to go on vacation to the town of Winter. The people and places just truly came alive for me. I also loved how clear and distinct Katie’s voice was. She’s such a fun character, with a great personality.
I started to get worried about 30% into the book because I had so many questions: What was Ben running from? Would they manage to fall in love? Would it be believable? Will we get to see resolution with Jane and Mrs. M? What about Katie and her parents? Knowing this was a novella and I was approaching halfway through, I started to think that I was about to have a cliffhanger shoved down my throat rather than being given a complete story. I started to think I was going to be unhappy and unfulfilled or else the pace was going to be far to fast at the end in order to wrap everything up.
And I was wrong.
(yes, it happens occasionally)
C.J. Scott is a master. She kept a perfect pace, leaving me racing through, only to wind up grinning at the end. Next time, I’ll know better while reading and will trust more than everything will be just as it should be, because this novella was a total delight.
What I didn’t like: Umm… I still want more. Not because I have unanswered questions, but because I enjoyed these characters so much, I want more. I want them to be friends who I can go have coffee with, or visit. I’m not ready to say goodbye. Fortunately, the series is continuing with Jane’s story and hopefully Katie and Ben will make appearances =) I’ve got my fingers crossed.