Book Review: Anne Stuart’s Ruthless

Posted January 10, 2013 by Kathy Davie in

I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Book Review: Anne Stuart’s Ruthless


on July 20, 2010 and has 409 pages.

Explore it on Goodreads or Amazon.

First in the House of Rohan historical romance with a touch of the erotic.

My Take

I had a hard time finding this story and managed to read all the others first. This one, well, this one reads a bit awkwardly, as though Stuart just starting this writing thing. Which I know isn’t true, so maybe it was just a difficult switch for Stuart to make from her romantic suspense series with her so-yummy bad guys to an historical venue. I do wish Stuart had let up on Nell’s whining about her nose.

I also wish we had learned how Rohan had managed to gather up all the funds he so enjoyably tosses about. And how did he inherit the French title? As for being Viscount Rohan with a price on his head. Wouldn’t that treason charge negate his being the Viscount Rohan at all? And what’s with the bit about Elinor’s son? Gimme a break.

For all my whinging, I did enjoy this story. Rohan has his own uniquely ruthless habit of getting his way. Lydia tries so hard to find something positive to say about the obnoxious doctor while pining away for Charles. A Charles who makes a very sweet proposal. And Nell. Nell is so furious with Rohan even though Stuart has her awkwardly desiring Rohan.

Yes, it’s full of clichés, but Stuart has put them together with a laugh and a sob, making it an enjoyable read.

The Story

It’s been a long downhill slide for the Harrimans. Their mother has always been too interested in her own fun to bother with ensuring her daughters’ welfare. A fact brought too heavily to bear on Nell at one point.

It’s Nell’s disgust and rudeness that attracts Rohan, for he’s bored and looking for more entertainment. Seducing “Miss Lumpkin” should prove quite amusing. One of his first thoughts is to ensure her mother’s death, the next is to ensure Nell’s comfort.

A very different type of seduction.

The Characters

Elinor “Nell” Harriman is obsessed with the Harriman nose; she believes it makes her unattractive. Her sister Lydia is the gorgeous one of the two, and both are quite intelligent and very caring of each other and their two servants: Nanny Maude and Jacobs, the coachman. Two very loyal, patient servants. Their mother is one poxy bitch, Lady Caroline. It’s too bad she didn’t die sooner. Or that they didn’t all abandon her!

Francis Alistair St. Claire Dominic Charles Edward Rohan, Comte de Giverney, Viscount Rohan, Baron of Glencoe is the King of Hell and the leader of the Heavenly Host, a group of thoroughly debauched nobles who embrace the club motto of “Do what thou wilt” with enthusiasm. Joseph Hapgood is the faux Viscount Rohan.

Charles Reading is his best friend “with as little regard for propriety”, but poor. Willis and Mrs. Clarke are old family servants of Rohan’s who followed him to France from England; Rolande is a footman who becomes one of Nell’s supporters. The self-deluding, pompous Dr. Etienne de Giverney was born the wrong side of the blanket, and he’s furious that Rohan has the title he feels that he deserves. How odd that Rohan wants to marry Nell off to him.

I think Rohan put it well when he called the lovely Marianne a titled whore.

Marcus Harriman is the cousin, the new Baron Tolliver, who inherits their father’s estate. Sir Christopher Spatts is a fat pervert who wanted a young virgin in his bed. Mr. Mitchum is the too trusting lawyer.

The Cover and Title

The cover is very busy. I think the foggy images are supposed to represent the demon worshipping and I suspect the legs belong to the woman’s chin/chest, but the angle is so awkward that I rather hope they are two separate people. I can make better sense of the colors: mostly black with peach and green flesh and a range of purples from red-violet to a touch of fuchsia and purple.

The title sums up Viscount Rohan perfectly, for he is truly Ruthless.