Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Ravishing Ruby by Lavinia Kent

Eloisa James meets E. L. James in Lavinia Kent’s deeply sensual Regency romance! Torn between duty and desire, London’s most infamous madam fights for a future with the love of her life: an insatiable, ruggedly charming American sailor.

Emma Scanton’s grandfather wants her to marry. Though he means well, he has no idea that his sweet, shy granddaughter leads a double life as the proprietress of Madame Rouge’s. “Ruby” doesn’t mean to disappoint her family—in fact, there’s quite a bit about the job she would gladly leave behind—but she cannot bear the thought of losing her most beloved admirer: Captain Derek Price. What would she do without his muscular arms encircling her waist or his rough chin scraping her cheek? No, marriage is out of the question, for Ruby and for Emma.

Beckoned back to England to assume his role as heir to the family fortune, Derek will soon enter into a suitable marriage. But not without one last visit to see Madame Rouge. During the long months away, Derek could only think of Ruby: her luscious lips and cobalt eyes, the swell of her breasts against the bodice of her gown. Derek’s rich, attractive fiancée, selected for him by his family, is perfectly lovely. But Derek wants the ravenous, ravishing Ruby . . . for far more than one night.

Ravishing Ruby is intended for mature audiences.

Add to Goodreads

Book 3
Buy Links

Amazon US  ~  Amazon UK  ~  Amazon Au  ~  Amazon Ca
B&N  ~  iTunes  ~  Kobo

Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

This follows on from the novella Revealing Ruby, and it would serve the reader well to read it before this book. It is set many months after the first encounter between Derek Price and Ruby/Emma. I would recommend that you read all the books in order, as they build up the picture of Madame Rouge and her ways.

I really enjoyed this story as the plot developed – the first goodly proportion is hot and steamy, although it failed to move the story forward for me. Once Emma is given an ultimatum by her Grandfather, and with Captain Price also having some pressing issues, it is a fight to get the story turned around before the pages run out...but Ms. Kent knows what she is doing, and even the most cynical of us should enjoy how everything gets tidied up and moved forward. After a number of stories where Ruby is helping solve other people's issues, it was frustrating at times that she took so long to work out her own solution – but at the same time, it did make sense that she wouldn't see the wood for the trees when it came to how to resolve her future plans.

3 Ravishing Stars.
Finally a complete novel dedicated to the intriguing madam of the series, after giving readers a small taste in an earlier short novella. After so much buildup, there was a lot to live up to in this novel. Was it a success?

Ravishing? Yes.
Ruby? No.

I will admit, I have a love/hate affair with this series. There are elements I absolutely adore, while there are more I don't. I love historical romance, and prefer one that is more character & story-driven, versus insta-love/lust-driven. So keep that in mind during the following review.

In previous books, I loved the underlying story until it became a between-the-sheets-fest that buried the plot underneath the bed. Ravishing Ruby is lacking any and all development & buildup.

Ravishing Ruby begins 3 months after Revealing Ruby. Emma's pining away for Derek as she counsels one of her clients. I was actually interested in his particular story but knew it was just a lead in. In walks Derek, who throws himself because Ruby is touching the hand of said client.

From this point forward, it was most definitely page after page of Ravishing Ruby. Two scenes before the 10% mark. Which leaves little time for the reader to connect to the characters, or understand why they're always 'connected' to each other. This is coming from a reader who also read Revealing Ruby. Unless I read it immediately prior, this story felt instantaneous with no build up. So fast that instead of hot, I felt whiplash.

Narration: Ruby/Emma's narration was more enjoyable to read, because she was more serious and developed in the beginning, then more juvenile and wishy-washy. While, at first, Derek had a one-track mind that left me feeling as he is was written one-dimensional. So I had a hard time buying their intense connection past the shallow lust, because Derek showed no interest in anything but Ruby's 'dumplings' & 'rear view.' Derek says several times over how Emma is not the wh*re Ruby portrays, yet all he sees in her is his sexual fantasies playing out and instant gratification.

Frankly, other than playing together, I felt nothing between these characters, even with a previous novella dedicated to them. As a reader, I was disconnected emotionally. As a female reader, my mind and emotions are connected to the heat source the author is trying to spark in me. With my mind not engaged and not connecting to the characters, none of it came together.

The underlying story itself felt drawn-out and bogged down with repetition. All conflict could have been resolved if the characters didn't drag their feet every step of the way except to the bedroom. The story was the passenger with the lust scenes as the driver.

Even with my critical review, I highly recommend Ravishing Ruby to fans of the Bound & Determined series, who love more smexy than story. If this type of read is your thing, guaranteed it will leave you flushed with delight.

Will I continue on with this series: No, it's obviously not to my taste. I need more. I just need... more than sex. More.

Also Available in the Bound and Determined Series

Book 1
Buy Links

Amazon US  ~  Amazon UK  ~  Amazon Au  ~  Amazon Ca

For reviews & more info, check out our Mastering the Marquess blog post.

Book 1.5
Buy Links

Amazon US  ~  Amazon UK  ~  Amazon Au  ~  Amazon Ca

For reviews & more info, check out our Revealing Ruby blog post.

Book 2
Buy Links

Amazon US  ~  Amazon UK  ~  Amazon Au  ~  Amazon Ca
B&N  ~  iTunes  ~  Kobo

For reviews & more info, check out our stop on the Bound by Bliss Blog Tour.

Book 2.5
Buy Links

Amazon US  ~  Amazon UK  ~  Amazon Au  ~  Amazon Ca
B&N  ~  iTunes  ~  Kobo

For reviews & more info, check out our stop on the Sarah’s Surrender Blog Tour.

Lavinia Kent is a former two-term president of the Washington Romance Writers and a four-time Romance Writers of America Golden Heart nominee. She lives in Washington, D.C., with her family and an ever-changing menagerie of pets.

Connect with Lavinia

Facebook  ~  Twitter  ~  Website  ~  Goodreads

Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of Ravishing Ruby (Bound and Determined #3) by Lavinia Kent to read and review.

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