Thursday, January 17, 2013

Review: Ruining Me by Nicole Reed

Eighteen year old Jay Stevenson is living a horrible nightmare.  Two years ago she had the world in the palm of her hand and in one moment it was all ruined for her. Secrets, lies and the worst imaginable betrayal will haunt her for the next two years, until all of it catches up to her and she will lose the control of the lonely world she has built around herself.  Three guys from her past and present will be there when it all comes crashing down. JT the perfect boyfriend she never wanted to give up, Rhye the local bad boy “rock star” that made her forget the past and Kane the funny and sweet tattooed bartender that wants her future.
Is it possible to change the path she chose for herself and still keep all of her secrets?

Release Date: September 26, 2012
Publisher:  Self Published
Genre:  Contemporary Romance, New Adult
Purchase at: Amazon or Barnes & Noble 

Two years ago I learned the hard way how every moment of our lives define everything we are and everything we will be.  These moments either bind us deeply with reality or sever us from all the ties that bind us to it.

Ruining Me is a book that I didn't see coming.  It deals with a deep, dark, heinous secret, and one girl's journey to overcome her past.  Jay Stevenson used to be a very popular girl at Jackson Heights High School.   She had two endearing best friends, Molly and Reed, and was dating star football player JT Higgins since she was in middle school.  For two years, no one has given Jay the time of day.  She broke up with JT a couple of years ago, and Molly and Reed have given her the cold shoulder.  Only JT's best friend, Caleb, is still speaking to Jay, and that's just because he refuses to go away.

But things aren't what they seem.  Jay is the one who has pushed her old life away.  Something happened to this girl that has affected her profoundly, and the only way she knows how to deal with it is to become a loner.  The other way Jay deals with her pain is by using her fake ID and hanging out at local bars while scouring the scene for one-night stands.  Fortunately for her, her parents are pilots and are rarely home to supervise her.  While visiting her favorite bar one day, she meets a new bartender, Kane, who is immediately attracted to her.  Only problem?  He's 23.  Kane wants more than a one-night stand with Jay, and even though she is only 18, he begins strongly pursuing her.  I liked Kane at first, even though I thought it was a bit creepy since Jay was in high school.  Jay is very interested in Kane - he's sexy and older and has no connection to her horrific past. 

My eyes takes him all in, with his black shaved head and shiny emerald eyes.  He has a strong nose and nice full lips.  His tight black t-shirt hugs his huge biceps and he has black swirls that go down his lefts arm, while on his right, there is a total tattoo sleeve.

Rhye Clark is a high school classmate of Jay's.  He is the singer of a local rock band and is edgy and very sexy. With dark hair and intense eyes, Rhye struts around with eyebrow piercings and tattoos, oozing rock star cool.   Rhye was Jay's first sexual conquest after she left her old life behind.  Rhye, unfortunately, had a fling with a groupie which squelched his chances with Jay.  There's a sweet part in this book where he tries to win Jay back with a song that had me melting for this bad boy!

Her eyes haunt me when I close mine / I can't imagine what secrets they hold / I won't make the same mistake / I will remove all that pain from her soul

 JT is the quintessential sweet, all-American boy-next-door.  He has loved Jay for the better part of his life.  Throughout the book, ex-boyfriend JT tries to get back together with Jay.  When Jay broke up with JT, it left him very confused.  There was never any explanation from Jay.  No matter how many times JT has tried to move on, he can't forget Jay.  At the same time that JT is pursuing Jay, Jay's best friend Molly attempts to get Jay back into her life.  Enough time has passed that Jay is happy to have her old friends back.  Kane and JT put Jay in a tough position in choosing between the two of them.  

Someone hurt you and took you away from me.  You weren't some girl that I didn't know.  You were my world.  The reason I smiled every morning when I woke up.  I went to bed the past two years, remembering how you felt in my arms and how your lips tasted.  I looked at you and seen my future.  These last two years have been hell for me.  

It become fairly obvious what happened to Jay that changed her life, but it is still a frightening sequence of events.  The big reveal is what propels the heartbreaking end of this book.  I was shocked when the "big emotional thing" happened at the end, yet it left me wanting more of Jay's world and her story.  (Sorry - I don't want you spoiled!!)   

The writing and the angst had me pulled into this book from the beginning.  I love Jay.  I love her feisty nature and her honesty.  She has dealt with issues that would crush many others.  Jay had found what looked like the light at the end of her dark tunnel until a tragic event occurs, and I'll be rooting for her in the next book in this series.  Although Jay is still in high school, I consider this book part of the New Adult genre due to language, older characters, sexual situations and the fact that the main character uses a fake ID to gain entrance to bars and alcohol.   

As much as I like JT, I can firmly say that I am on Team Rhye.  I love those bad boy rock 'n rollers!  It will be interesting to see where Nicole Reed takes Jay in Ruining You due on January 29.  

"The truth can set you free."  That truth can't set me free.  It can fuck my future fifty ways to Sunday.  In my mind, the horror has already happened and no one can take it back.


Nicole Reed said...

Jamie, BEST REVIEW EVER!!! Can we be friends for life????? lol :) Jay is a fatally broken young lady that is hurting and doesn't know what to do with herself. Ruining You picks up where Ruining Me ends and will be out 1/29/13.

Jamie said...

Aw, you're making me blush ;-) I cannot wait for Ruining You!

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