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Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Ruined Hearts by Natasha Perry

Ruined Hearts by Natasha Perry
Publisher: Midnight Showcase Fiction
Genre: Historical
Length: Full Length (186 pgs)
Other: BDSM, M/F, Spanking
Rating: 3.5 Cherries
Reviewed by Fern

Melissa Markham, daughter of an Englishman and a Chinese concubine, wants something her mother never had—respectability. Wealthy lumber baron, Ethan Trent, a man of erotic, dominating appetites, decides he wants the exotic woman for himself. Even though Melissa fights her attraction for Ethan, she also finds herself craving his domination. Can two headstrong people find a way to heal their ruined hearts, find love, and discover they both want to share the same thing—an unusual passion for each other?

Ruined Hearts is an erotic romance of a different sort. Not necessarily because it is a historical romance and provides a unique reading experience, but rather the themes are both heartbreaking and gut-wrenching.

When the story begins you are introduced to Mei Lin, the daughter of a Chinese concubine and an Englishman. She’s fleeing a life of servitude and sexual slavery to a man who has abused her and has assumed another identity using the name given to her by her father. Now Melissa Markham, she is in the United States prepared to start a new life. When she sets out to seek justice for her only sibling -- her brother -- she is devastated to learn the man she’s blamed for his murder isn’t guilty of a crime at all.

Ethan Trent is a recently retired US Marshall, and from the moment he sees Melissa, he wants her. A tempestuous relationship soon follows, with Melissa and Ethan attempting to stem their feelings. However, it’s not their flourishing attraction that places them into danger. Rather, the man who once laid claim to Mei Lin without her consent returns to bring her back to her place as his concubine.

While the writing is very well done, as is the pacing, there were a few moments when I had to re-read portions of the story as there is a bit of head-hopping that occurs and I needed to clarify whose point of view I was experiencing. Aside from this, the story flowed nicely and provided a few twists and turns, as well as some heavy emotional scenes that cause your heart to ache. The BDSM elements are definitely present, which create a significant amount of heat for those in the mood for a good, steamy erotica. Yet there is enough romance and tension between the hero and heroine to allow the reader to connect to them on a deeper level.

I would recommend Ruined Hearts to fans of historical romance that enjoy a bit more heat in their reading material. If you like tortured heroes, feisty heroines, and something apart from the norm, this just might be what you’re searching for.

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