Series: The Eternal Balance #1
Published by Entangled Embrace on Dec 30th 2013
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.
RUINED was a really fun read. Sexy and action-packed it cleverly used the story of Cain, the world’s first murderer and brought it into the 21st century where we meet Jax, a young man whose life has been blighted by the Mark of Cain.
When Cain murdered his brother Abel he committed the ultimate sin and because it was so heinous his descendants must carry the burden in the form of a demon that inhabits their bodies and wrestles every day with their consciences and souls. Jax has struggled every day of his life with violent thoughts towards his brother Chase and finally moves out of town to escape the darkness, leaving behind his beloved uncle and his best friend Samantha whom he cares for deeply. When his uncle gets sick, Jax returns home and is pulled back into the darkness when Sam is threatened by a mystery attacker and Jax must battle with his inner demon for control of his life in order to save Sam.
Jax was a really interesting character. He wasn’t possessed by the demon, it was more like a symbiotic relationship that weirdly was antagonistic at the same time and it was fascinating to watch his struggle with not only dealing with his demon side but accepting it and recognising it as something worth paying attention to. It was brutal at times to read about the lengths Jax went to in order to sate his demon’s thirst for darkness and violence but equally as brutal to see just how much Jax enjoyed succumbing to those impulses. His journey with Azirak, the demon who inhabited his body was compelling as they warred and compromised and battled each other into submission.
Equally fascinating was their relationship with Samantha. On one hand, there is Jax who is deeply in love with her and their sexual tension sizzles throughout the book however it was her relationship with Azirak which interested me more as she saw beyond his baser instincts and accepted him as a separate entity that was worthy of her time and friendship.
RUINED was overall a good read however considering the subject matter I did feel an opportunity was missed to really pack an emotional punch and at times there wasn’t enough tension and it came across as too light-hearted on occasion for my liking. My main issue with the book was its pacing. It started off with a bang however I felt a definite drag in the middle until the final third when it started to pick up. Thankfully there was some twists and turns towards the end which made up for the lag and set things up for a great sequel.
RUINEDwas a fun read with an interesting plot, characters with boatloads of chemistry and a unique slant on demon stories that kept me interested until the very end.