Saturday, July 18, 2015

[Review] ~ Ruin & Rule (Pure Corruption MC #1) by Pepper Winters

Release Date:  July 7, 2015
Publisher:  Hatchette Australia
Source:  Netgalley
Author Links: Goodreads | Website Twitter

She is a woman divided. Her past, present, and future are as twisted as the lies she's lived for the past eight years. Desperate to get the truth, she must turn to the one man who may also be her greatest enemy.  He is the president of Pure Corruption MC. A heartless biker and retribution-deliverer. He accepts no rules, obeys no one, and lives only to reap revenge on those who wronged him. And now he has stolen her, body and soul.  Can a woman plagued by mystery fall in love with the man who refuses to face the truth? And can a man drenched in darkness forgo his quest for vengeance - and finally find redemption?  Ruin & Rule is the darkly addictive, decadent first novel in bestselling author Pepper Winters' PURE CORRUPTION MC series where friendship means family and feelings never die.

Life doesn't reward - it ruins.  It ruins those most deserving and takes everything.  It takes everything all while watching any remaining goodness rot to hate.

Pepper Winters is one of my favorite authors.  Everything this chick writes is solid.  Like her previous novels, Ruin & Rule is dark, complex and unique.  This book introduces us to the Pure Corruption MC.  It follows the story of Arthur "Kill" Killian and a seemingly unknown, yet intriguing, victim of amnesia.  

"Buttercup" aka Sarah Jones is thrust into the unforgiving life as MC property.  She wakes up without any recollection of where she is and who she is.  She knows that she is not as scared as she should be, and she is wracked by half truths and the almost, but not quite, clarity of her mind.  She is immediately drawn to Kill and senses that she knows him from her previous life.

Kill is the president of Pure Corruption, and a shell of a man.  Haunted by regrets and vengeance, Kill is a hollow version of his former self.  He lost the love of his life many years before and it left him hard, unemotional and mechanical.  He is the Prez of his MC, but he is also a financial genius, making most of the club's money from the markets.  He feels beholden to the club's previous MC, who is now incarcerated, who gave the club to Kill and taught him everything he knows about the financial markets.  Kill treats Buttercup either like a cross he is forced to carry, or like answer to his dreams.  He swings wide on the emotional pendulum, and ends up treating her like shit for the most part.  

The scenes between Kill and Buttercup are intense.  Kill fights his attraction to Buttercup, out of respect and guilt for the love he lost.  But the sex scenes are smoking hot!  No matter how hard he tried to stay away, Kill cannot keep Buttercup off of his mind, or his hands off of her body.  Winters plays cat-and-mouse with the reader - as soon as Kill starts to feel something for Buttercup, he retreats and beefs up his defenses against her.  The tension is off the charts!

My biggest problem with this book is Kill's stupidity.  There are so many obvious hints that he refuses to see concerning Buttercup's true identity.  From her looks, to her memories, to his instinctual feelings about her, she was obviously someone from his past, yet he refuses time and again to even give her the time of day.  Once Killian figures out the mysterious Buttercup, he annoyed me to no end telling her to please be patient and to wait for him to explain things to her.  It drove me crazy!  Another thing that bothered me about Buttercup was that when she started getting her memories back in bits and pieces, she didn't feel like sharing them with Kill.  It created tension in the story line but could have easily been remedied.

I loved the glimpses into Kill's past.  The love story that he tells and the sins he committed are mysterious and life changing.  There are many deep, dark secrets in Kill's past, and we learn little-by-little the life he once lived and why he lives in a self-imposed prison.  The end of this book is a cliff hanger, but it sets us up beautifully for the next book in this series, Sin & Suffer.  

While this isn't my favorite Pepper Winters book, it is still a solid dark read with twists, turns many secrets.  The way that this book is told may throw some people off - the flash backs, the memories, the different strands that come together to paint the whole picture are many.  However, I think that Sin & Suffer will be a dynamic conclusion to this story, and all the questions raised in Ruin & Rule will be answered.  I have faith in Pepper - she hasn't let me down yet!

The moment his mouth met mine, I knew.  I knew why I'd been born and what my future had mapped for me.


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