OK, if you are a fan of Anne Stuart’s books, you surely know what you are getting into and if not, Ritual Sins is probably that one book that would steer you away from the author. Well, there are many authors who write about dark and brooding villains as love interests but they have more or fewer shades of grey which would help in liking the guy but Anne Stuart always, always manages to take it a notch higher where her hero is a villain rolled into one without any grey. I do like my dark romances and I am honestly a huge fan of Anne Stuart but Ritual Sins, even knowing the type of heroes she creates, was a deal breaker for me. Having the hero kind of force the heroine for sex, especially when the heroine has been sexually abused at a young age, and also touching her when she is in a drug-induced sleep, OK, totally not my cup of tea, I can manage just about anything villainous in the name of romance but not that.
Luke Bardell is of course a romance lover’s dream guy, hot, handsome, and charismatic, capable of manipulation and intimidation to get what he wants, and as a CULT leader the perfect anti-hero… Rachel is all strong female on the outside but clearly, a damaged soul on the inside craving for emotional connection which did work well for the push and pull between them. The chemistry between Luke and Rachel was sizzling, the suspense of the workings of the cult was fantastic and I absolutely loved the climax.
Have to give to Anne Stuart though, love the way she crafts these anti-heroes into heroes and still gets the readers to fall hook, line, and sinker into the story. On a lighter note, I did succeed in listening to the audiobook of this one, not as fast as I would like to, but still the narrator Susan Ericksen has definitely done an excellent job with Luke’s voice, changing the inflections inside his cult and the drawling sarcasm exhibited whilst he is outside it.
Rachel Connery is a woman with a mission—to destroy Luke Bardell, the charismatic man who seduced millions of dollars from her dying mother, thus robbing Rachel of her inheritance. Now Rachel wants revenge—and she’s willing to enter Luke’s lair and risk the lure of his magnetic personality to get it. Luke Bardell is a master manipulator. He always gets what he wants from people, and Rachel Connery looks like an especially easy mark, She is beautiful and angry and spoiled, and the challenge of melting her icy exterior inspires him. For Luke it is a standard ritual. But desire is a dangerous weapon that cuts two ways. Rachel could get trapped in a nightmare of forbidden feelings…or she could use her strength and intelligence and fierce will to find a way into Luke’s heart and force his utter surrender to her—body and soul.
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