by Jus Accardo
Series: The Eternal Balance #1
Genres: Paranormal Romance
Purchase*: Amazon *affiliate
Hell is looking for a way to break loose… Jax lost the genetic lottery. Descended from Cain, the world's first murderer, he's plagued by a curse that demands violence in exchange for his happiness. He left everything behind, including the girl he loved, but thriving on the pain of others is lonely… And it's killing him. After a series of heartbreaking losses, Samantha put rubber to pavement and headed for college as fast as her clunker could carry her. But she can't outrun her problems. When an attack at school drives her back home, she's thrown into the path of a past—and a guy—she's been trying to forget. Sam strains Jax's control over his darkness, but running isn't an option this time. Someone—or, something—followed her home from school: a ruthless monster with a twisted plan centuries in the making. Forced together to survive, and fighting an attraction that could destroy them both, Jax and Sam must stop a killer bent on revenge.
Last year I read and enjoyed Darker Days by Jus Accardo, and I was anxious to try Ruined her New Adult Paranormal. It is the first book in the Eternal Balance series featuring demons. This was darker than her young-adult book and once again I walked away impressed by Accardo. Mini review: Action-packed plot with twists and turns. Combined with a heated romance that kept me engaged.
Jax and his twin are descended from Cain. Um, yes as in Cain and Abel from the bible. Cain committed the first murder by killing his brother Abel. The descendants bear a mark on their soul and Jax is forced to share his body with a demon. Because of this burden he has chosen to leave all he loves behind. The girl he loves Samantha and the brother whom his demon dreams of killing. When his Uncle is dying, he returns home to say good-bye and discovers Samantha is home and in trouble. The tale that unfolds has elements of urban fantasy with a heavy dose of romance.
The tale is delivered from dual points of view, a trait I love in this type of novel. We get up close and personal with Jax and Samantha, “Sam”. Besides being smexy, I quickly fell for Jax and his tortured soul. He struggles with the demon side and willingly gives up all he holds dear to protect them. He is loyal, fierce and protective. The man wears black from head to toe and oozes dangerous and sexy. Picture Neo’s wardrobe from the Matrix. Yum! Samantha is complex and struggled after Jax abruptly left town. Accardo slowly peels back her layers and reveals why she returned home. I loved getting to know their shared history. Sam tackles thing head-on and confronts her fears making her quite the kick-ass. I loved how brazenly she talked to the demons and I found myself giggling at her snark. We do hear from Azirak; Jax’s dark passenger and I look forward to learning more about him. Sadly secondary characters aren’t fleshed out and only what is needed for the plot is revealed. Perhaps the most fascinating character was Heckle, and I am truly hoping we learn more about him.
Ruined started off slow for me, and I actually got a little nervous, but as things were revealed the action kicked up a notch and I found myself fully immersed. While the plot, gave me moments of déjà vu, Accardo owned it adding her own twists. The Demons, their hierarchy and the use of the biblical story of Cain and Abel added an interesting element to this paranormal. The villain was a surprising twist, although I pieced things together much sooner than the author intended. Accardo has an easy flow to her tales, and I thought the shared history of the main characters added depth to their romance. The ending is climatic and ends in a minor cliffhanger. Not pull your hair out but enough to have you eager for more.
Ruined was an excellent start to the Eternal Balance series, and I am looking forward to continuing it.