Sweet Ruin (Immortals After Dark Book 16) by Kresley Cole
**I received a free copy of this book from Netgalley in exchange for my honest review**
Let me start out by saying H-O-T…that will certainly be a theme throughout my review. How could it not be when it’s about a 7,000 year old Baneblood who’s never wished to experience love, only lust for most of those 7,000 years old – but then comes along the last thing he ever expected…a woman that can actually stand him, and his blood. For Josephine, aka Jo or Josie, when she woke up at age 11 with a baby boy (whom she assumes is her brother) is in her arms, she can’t remember a thing about who her parents are or where she came from. All Jo knew was survive – which meant pick-pocketing and stealing to get by. But when her and her little brother, Thaddeus, aka Thad or Thaddie, end up in Child Protective Services several times, she always knows that it’s her and Thad together forever – no one can replace the life, however screwed up it is, as long as they are with each other. However, when Jo messes with fire, in the form of a local thug, she finds herself torn from her earthly life and thrown into an immortal life of being completely alone. But she finds a powerful force at work within her when she wakes up as a vampire hybrid of sorts. And after 14 years, Jo has finally met her match in the form of Rune.
Right off the bat, Rune and Jo have an immediate attraction and they are completely enamored with each other. But when Rune gets the wrong idea about Jo’s interaction with a Valkyrie that Rune is trying to kill, his interest in Jo becomes even deeper. So much so, that he feels the need to sequester her to his home in another dimension, so she can’t escape and he can question her further – but what Rune doesn’t realize is that the Valkyrie has ties to her younger brother Thad and she just wants to save him. Through their differences yet extreme attraction to each other, Rune and Jo realize they are working toward a common goal and begin to form an alliance…not only on the war field, but also physically. And what happens can only be described as amazing fireworks all over the pages of their story. Their chemistry is so red hot, it’s hard not to spontaneously combust while reading. But with Rune’s past a man-whore, his decisions lead him to make a huge mistake which could lead to not just his “Ruin”, but Jo’s and Thad’s as well.
I loved Jo and Rune’s story. While there was plenty of heat, the smolder was what made this book impassioned. With so much working against them, at times it seems happily ever after is possible for a 7,000 year old man-whore and a black-blood drinking vamp – of course, Rune would never settle for that, he’s looking for naughtily ever after, which is exactly what Jo is willing to give him! Thoroughly enjoyed their story and all the emotions it brought with it!