By: Anne Stuart
Narrated by: Susan Ericksen
Published by: Tantor Audio 02/2011
11hrs and 59mins
Few outsiders will ever witness the dark misdeeds of the Heavenly Host. And among this secret society, where exiled Georgian aristocrats gather to indulge their carnal desires, fewer still can match the insatiable appetite of their chief provocateur, the mysterious Viscount Rohan.
Pursuit of physical pleasure is both his preferred pastime and his most pressing urge, until he encounters the fascination of a woman who won’t be swayed. And while his dark seduction appalls the pure and impoverished Elinor Harriman, she finds herself intrigued…and secretly drawn to the man behind the desire.
Ruthless Audiobook Sample
I didn’t know what to expect when I downloaded this book, going by the cover I had an idea that it was a Historical Romance. I took a chance on a new author (to- me) and it paid off. She’s absolutely going into my favorite’s category.
I put this book on the back burner while I listen to some of the books I’ve read reviews about, when I finally picked it up I never stop. This book is wonderful, engaging and emotionally moving a good way, and in a bad way, the author’s ability to describe the scenes is incredible, I felt the disgust, dislike and repulsion of the dark world you get introduced to at the beginning of the book.
Elinor and her sister Lydia find themselves living in the slums of Paris in a deplorable condition, and suffering economic hard times, all caused by their mother’s awful behavior, who once was a beautiful woman, but now is nothing more than an alcoholic and a gambling addict, and on the verge of death from the Spanish disease.
In one of her mother’s usual disappearance, Elinor set off to go after her – knowing the most likely place where she would find her, she heads straight to Heavenly Host, a place where a self indulgent group of aristocrats meets to revel in the orgiastic delights and wild pleasures, and definitely not a place for this young and uncorrupted girl. While in there, she gets discovered, and brought to the attention of the host, Lord Francis Rohan, who immediately gets charmed and enchanted by Elinor, who’s not necessarily a beauty, but possesses a strong personality and a wicked tongue.
She treats him in a prideful and in a condescending way that does nothing but arouse his interest. He quickly finds her fascinating and welcomes the challenge, especially since lately he has grown bored with all the women and orgies at his disposal.
I was utterly amazed at the author’s talent that took an insidious, cynical, seedy and depraved hero – one that made my skin crawl and managed to turn him into a beloved character, the kind of man that you would want for yourself, not an easy task!
There are small elements of mystery and suspense, as well as a secondary romance, but it doesn’t take the focus away from Francis and Elinor.
I loved the plot, while not terribly romantic, I did enjoy the cat and mouse chase that Elinor and Francis engaged in for most of the book, and the only reason this book is not going on my favorite’s list, it’s because I wasn’t completely satisfied with the ending, there were a few loose ends; I felt as the author just said, That’s all folks!; Nevertheless I found the story totally engaging, it held my attention from beginning to end.
All in all, if you like dark, and sexy romance with “as close as it gets to a unredeemable hero” then this is the book for you.
This was a great introduction to The House of Rohan’s series, and as soon as I’m finished my current listen I’ll be moving to the next book, Reckless.
Ruthless Audiobook Narration by Susan Ericksen
Susan Ericksen is a pro! I have a strong feeling this is a much better book on audio, she’s an incredibly talented narrator, she really gets the books and the characters. Perfect tone, perfect pace.
She reads the story in a way that makes you really live every scene, and even though she doesn’t have a tremendous amount of distinctive voices for the characters, she still manages to deliver a great read. The distinctions come mostly from the manner the dialogue is delivered – and she sure pulls it off.
She made Francis Rohan sound just like the cynical character that he is, and the sharp and witty tone of Elinor was flawless.