RUTHLESS is probably my favorite book Anne Stuart has ever written with the blithely rakish main character who is so cruel that he teeters into villainous territory. When the sequel, RECKLESS, went on sale, I had to have it. RECKLESS is about the son of the couple from the first book, Adrian Rohan, a playboy who ends up falling for a bluestocking who has had a crush on him for years.
The couple meet at a debauched party similar to the ones that the hero was so fond of in RUTHLESS. Charlotte only wanted to watch out of curiosity, since she considers herself a spinster on the shelf, but ends up participating far more than she ever imagined when Adrian happens upon her in the gardens and spirits her away to his rooms. They have great chemistry (surprise) and the affair persists, growing more serious against a backdrop of danger.
I have mixed feelings about RECKLESS. Ultimately it was fine. There were some fantastic erotic scenes in here; others, less so. The heroine was cool because she's 6' and wears glasses, and as a tall, bespectacled gal myself, it's nice to see that representation. Adrian could be hot but he was also smarmy and thick-headed at times, which made him less charming than the hero in the first book, who was basically a human version of Jareth, from Labyrinth. Hnnng.
I didn't really think the "villainous" subplot added a lot to the book, but Lisa Kleypas likes to do the same things in her books-- half-cocked murder attempts that go absolutely nowhere. The villain was painfully obvious since he announced his intentions from the beginning, which killed any hope of suspense. I also didn't like the secondary romance between Simon and Lina. Lina was a cool heroine with a sad backstory, but Simon was a sleazy prat and I didn't buy his variety of "charm" at all.
I'm definitely interested in continuing the series because I hear the hero in BREATHLESS is a really cruel and evil hero, and as I said before, those are my absolute faves. This book in the series, I could take or leave. I don't regret getting it for $1.99 but I wouldn't have wanted to have paid more than that.
3 out of 5 stars
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