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I love the way Sophie Jordan writes. Her words captivate and draw a picture for you. I have especially enjoyed this series from her. This was the story that you knew was going to be the best from the secondary characters in the two previous stories. She does not disappoint. Both the H and h are interesting characters and have to fight for their lives together. A great read from Ms Jordan.
I enjoyed the first book in this series much more than this one. This is only the second or third book I've read by this author. I stumbled across Sophie Jordan while waiting for some of my favorites to release their new books next year.
Overall, this book felt rushed to me. I was expecting a bit of light reading. It's not as if "childhood friends turned lovers" is the most original plot device in the historical romance genre. However, I felt like nothing was really resolved and those things that WERE resolved were reduced to a few sentences.
We start off with an interesting idea. Girl loves boy, girl catches boy with a maid, girl draws a picture that makes boy a laughingstock, boy and girl become enemies.
Fast forward to adulthood. Boy and Girl become Man and Woman and constantly argue. No, really, constantly. They say hateful things to each other. Their interactions are the epitome of emotional and verbal abuse. Despite their hatred of one another, they desire each other. But they don't LIKE each other.
Our Hero is hard to like. There were times when I was reading this that all I could think was, "How old is he supposed to be?" I expected the scene with the widow to play out differently. But, instead of showing us a moment where Max can redeem himself, the author decided to show us just how shallow he really is. Instead of finding the fact that the widow would insult our heroine in such a nasty way disgusting, it was all about how her physical appearance after getting dunked in a pond cooled his ardour.
The heroine was very immature. I like my heroines strong and sassy, but Aurelia just came across as bitter and petulant. I think she was supposed to be "witty" but she was, as Max said, selfish. The entire book was all about how she didn't want to leave London and would just die if she couldn't leave her caricatures lying around at events to "shed light" on the atrocities committed within the ton. But, we never actually see the effect these drawings have on anyone except Max. Were people made aware of what was going on? There was never any mention of the drawings, except as concerned Max. So, then, what was the point?
The story ends with our Hero having an epiphany about how much he loves the heroine. There is no reason for this great change of heart. Sure, she leaves him, but she was only gone a few hours when he realized he loves her? Then, after years and years of convincing himself that he doesn't need or want love, he loves her so much that he just blurts it out as soon as he catches up to her? And, because he said he loves her, without any explanation for his cruel behavior or why he was so against love in the first place, she just accepts that he loves her and forgives him and they live happily ever after? I understand that authors have deadlines, but a book is supposed to be a marathon, not a sprint.
In addition, when did Aurelia's brother fall in love and get married? It wasn't mentioned that he was even courting anyone in the previous book. I'm assuming the next book will be about Aurelia's spurned Scottish suitor and his wife, as they got a mention in the Epilogue. And, Aurelia's mother, who was a very interesting character in the first book, is very two dimensional in this book. She basically made a cameo appearance and then disappeared almost completely from this one when she should have had MORE to do with this book than the previous one.
I only gave this book 2 stars because it's a continuation of the first book in this series. I didn't like Aurelia or Max. And, after this catastrophe, I doubt I'll be reading anymore books in the series. I feel as if I've avoided this author because I may have skimmed and disliked a previous book she wrote, but when I checked my library, nothing by Sophie Jordan was in it, so I'm assuming I may have read a paperback years ago. In any event, I'll save my future purchases for a different author.
When Lady Aurelia first saw Maxim “Max” Alexander Chandler, the fourth Viscount of Camden she was only nine years old but had instantly fallen in love with him. At fifteen that all changed when Aurelia caught Max having sex with the maid. Aurelia never forgave Max by drawing a horrid picture of him, plus he broke her heart. Eight years later Aurelia is all grown up but has never forgotten Max or what he did. Max knows Aurelia as his best friend’s little sister and he can’t stand her. Still she manages to get under his skin and annoy him. Each time Max and Aurelia meet the hurtful verbal banter they tell each other never lessens. Until one day when Max kisses Aurelia and discovers her passion rivals his own. Max learns of Aurelia’s plan to be married by the end of the season. Max does everything he can to ruin her chances but can’t tell her the truth that no one can have her not even himself. This is an amazing story of enemies to lovers. Yes, there is much animosity between both characters but the writing is witty and brilliant bringing it to life. Sure the first book in the series was good but this one is top notch definitely up there with the first one. Luckily this book can stand alone too so the first book doesn’t have to be read. Aurelia at first seems like a very bitter woman but still there is something endearing about her. Yes Aurelia is a great heroine that of course there was a little girl crush there. There is a reason why her behavior isn’t the best and of course Max really doesn’t make things easy for her. Max really knows how to turn Aurelia upside down. One moment he is kissing her expressing how much he really wants her but can’t really say how yet pushing her away by saying mean hurtful things. Usually this is a turn-off but the verbal banter between the two is not only mean spirited but shows how much these two really feel. Of course there is a lot of passion to them. So Max also was a great book boyfriend a little tortured but still one worth having. The story is not only enjoyable but a great read! This book is one that is hard to put down and is definitely a keeper!
Lady Aurelia fell in love with Max, Viscount Camden, when she was 9. The spring she turned 15, she hoped Max would notice the woman she had now become, but when inadvertently she sees him having sex with a house maid, her heart breaks. Unfortunately for Max, Aurelia is also a very talented artist and her retribution for Max ignoring her is drawing a nasty caricature of Max, which is seen all around London and plagues him for years. Max knows who the culprit is but never utters a word because Aurelia is his best friend Will’s sister, and he wants to protect their family. Throughout the years, Aurelia continues to humiliate Max, who is as dissolute as ever, and their tiff nearly reaches the proportions of an all-out war. Aurelia, approaching spinsterhood, still shuns suitors until she must pick someone. Max and Aurelia see each other too much for their own taste, were it not for Aurelia’s behaviour they could have remained civil to each other, as Max never knew what irked Aurelia.
ALL THE WAYS TO RUIN A ROGUE is the extremely complex relationship between the reckless, almost ruthless Aurelia, and the unrepentant rogue that is Max. Ms. Jordan goes far beyond the gloss of the ton, and pens an outstanding character study. Character development is exceptional as we follow Max and Aurelia’s growth, trying to fill the void in their lives. Neither Max nor Aurelia are always pleasant; both are headstrong and independent, Max doesn’t care much whom he hurts while having his fun and Aurelia is bent on revenge, but when two unrelated events force them to take a good look at themselves, and how damaging their behaviour is, the story becomes positively riveting. ALL THE WAYS TO RUIN A ROGUE is a tremendously captivating journey; I was completely involved in the story, which is intense, dramatic, and richly detailed. Ms. Jordan’s prose is more sumptuous than ever, and I believe Sophie Jordan has written her best historical novel yet. ALL THE WAYS TO RUIN A ROGUE is an extraordinary book and should not be missed!
I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.
A lovely, tempestuous story of a smart, creative and adventurous girl, Aurelia, that falls in love with her brother's best friend, Max. When she feels ready to make her case at 15 y.o., she sees him dallying with one of the maids, her dreams are destroyed. Heartbroken, she draws a caricature that makes his life very difficult for some time and their relationship for the next 7 years a very heated one until she decides to take a chance to meet more interesting men and surprises him at a gambling table disguised as a temptress. The sparks are there but he feels the pressure of not touching or getting involved with his friend's sister. The situation changes after her brother gets married and she needs to leave with her mother to Scotland or get married herself in order to stay in London. She gets the attention of a couple of suitors but he can't abide by them and intervenes in their courtships while getting more and more close to her. Then it happens, they are found in a compromising position and are forced to get married. Both start of by saying the wrong things to each other and make their lives together a very unhappy situation. He does not want to love or have a family because he fears the pain he might feel if something happened to take it all away, but he can't help it, he is in love. It is a very entertaining and easy to read, you don't want to leave it until your finished.
All the Ways to Ruin a Rogue was chock full of tension! Aurelia and Max use to be friends of sorts as children. She had a crush on him, and thought herself in love until she saw him with another girl. Aurelia reacted badly to this seeming betrayal, and ever since the two have been at odds. And it’s not like they can easily avoid each other, since their families are close friends. But once Aurelia starts seriously searching for a husband, she keeps finding herself face to face with the bane of her existence.
I really enjoyed All the Ways to Ruin a Rogue. Aurelia and Max seriously go at it! They push each other to their limits, and at times are straight up vicious. Aurelia is still hurting from that incident years ago and refuses to let Max get to her again. Meanwhile Max cannot stand the idea of her being with another man, even though he keeps telling himself that he doesn’t even like her, just finds her maddeningly attractive. This makes for some seriously explosive scenes!
All the Ways to Ruin a Rogue does drag a bit toward the end, but I still enjoyed it a lot nonetheless. I absolutely loved all of the hostility and tension between Aurelia and Max, and how everyone around them knew that it was basically foreplay for the two of them. It just took them a lot longer to realize it.