**Originally posted @ ReadingDiva's Blog **
REVIEW: I have become a fan of Pepper Winters after I read her Indebted series. I was looking forward to reading Ruin & Rules and I will have to admit to having high hopes and expectations.
Ruin & Rules is the first book in the Pure Corruption Series (MC series) that explores the traitorous world of motorcycle clubs. Ruin & Rules is not your typical romance, the story deals with raw and intense moments, passion, deceit and violence. It explores the characters intimacies and exploit their feelings.
Though I wanted to love this story I can’t say I did. There were a few things that kept me from loving it. The story itself is profound and intense, however I believe the way in which it was executed took away the intensity that I expected, a story is only as good as the characters who live it. Cleo is a young woman who was born in the heart of a motorcycle club, while everything seem to be perfect, evil lurked in the background. She fell in-love at a young age of fourteen, almost too intensely for a young child, her thoughts as well as her intensity for the boy made her feelings at times seem more adult than childish. Arthur (Kill) was a bit older than Cleo, he is intelligent & sweet, destine for great things. That all changed when loyalty changed to deceit and tragedy happens.
Cleo isn’t a character one can easily relate, her story is complex and at times hard to understand her motives and actions. Her reality most times mixes with her past, and a lot times her flashbacks aren’t relevant to the scene. The story has all the things needed to make Cleo an interesting character but somehow this is not the case. Due to the tragedy she experienced, she lost memory and 8 years of her life, she doesn’t know who she really is, but at times does very little to find out. Her concerns are more intone with having sex with her found lover than recovering the lost years. Some of her struggles are inconsequential and her inability to communicate her memories creates uncertainties that are key and necessarily important to her story. Her lack of interest in her own story makes it hard to believe her need to know her past. While I think she tries to remember, I also think she focuses too much on what Art is thinking and what he is doing to help her. The lack of communication & relevant interaction between the characters take away from the raw reality I expected Cleo to experience.
Art on the other hand is a bit more open, his explorations and as well his thoughts are out in the open and that’s something I enjoyed. He says what he feels and think, and does what he says he would do. I think the author did a better job portraying a well developed and mature character, however not without flaws. Arthur (Killer) has every bit of bad boy that we have come to love in Peppers writing however, the nature of this character as well as his capabilities are highly unlikely.
The story itself is too far fetch, a motorcycle president who is also a mathematics genius as well as a very rich day trader. It is almost as if we would mix Sons of Anarchy and The Wolf of Wall Street. The combination of these two would likely create a story just like Ruin & Rule where money and trading as well as trafficking is part of the reality these characters live.
Overall, the story did not have the WOW factor I expected however it is the type of story you hope and feel could’ve been so much more. While I think the characters could’ve been better and their drama better exploit I think the focus of the story shouldn’t be so much Cleo finding Art, but about Cleo finding out who she truly is, not the young girl who fell crazy in-love but the young girl whose past came back to hunt her. The story has a certain level of predictability and it doesn’t get intense until the last 20 pages. This is a 400+ pages of self hate and uncertain thoughts.