I received this book for free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.He Will be My Ruin by K.A. Tucker
on February 2nd 2016
A woman who almost had it all . . .
On the surface, Celine Gonzalez had everything a twenty-eight-year-old woman could want: a one-bedroom apartment on Manhattan’s Lower East Side, a job that (mostly) paid the bills, and an acceptance letter to the prestigious Hollingsworth Institute of Art, where she would finally live out her dream of becoming an antiques appraiser for a major auction house. All she had worked so hard to achieve was finally within her reach. So why would she kill herself?
A man who was supposed to be her salvation . . .
Maggie Sparkes arrives in New York City to pack up what’s left of her best friend’s belongings after a suicide that has left everyone stunned. The police have deemed the evidence conclusive: Celine got into bed, downed a lethal cocktail of pills and vodka, and never woke up. But when Maggie discovers a scandalous photograph in a lock box hidden in Celine’s apartment, she begins asking questions. Questions about the man Celine fell in love with. The man she never told anyone about, not even Maggie. The man Celine believed would change her life.
Until he became her ruin.
On the hunt for evidence that will force the police to reopen the case, Maggie uncovers more than she bargained for about Celine’s private life—and inadvertently puts herself on the radar of a killer. A killer who will stop at nothing to keep his crimes undiscovered.
K.A. Tucker is almost a name brand around my house. I’m all too familiar with her style of writing, and she’s my go-to author when I’m looking for a tense romance. After reading the synopsis for He Will be My Ruin, I thought it didn’t sound much like her usual books, but obviously I was going to give it a try. Honestly, at first, I didn’t know what to think. It was so far off from what I was expecting that I’m sure I was acting personally offended. But then something happened… I pushed the memory of every other K.A. Tucker book out of my mind, and I started reading with a fresh perspective.
This new novel is unlike anything Tucker’s written to date. She’s not some one trick pony! She has definitively proven herself to be completely versatile. Some authors (I’m not naming names or pointing fingers. Let’s just leave it at a hypothetical) have been known to branch into new genres in order to find a new fan base, or to increase their own marketability and sales. I admit, I’ve become a bit wary when new genres are tackled, and it’s my own cynicism doing me in. Well, I am happy to report that while the new genre gives Tucker’s writing a certain new twist, it still holds a familiarity. There are still elements of her contemporary romance, but it is also solid in the suspense and thriller categories.
The story is largely told from Maggie’s POV, and she was a tough character for me to get a handle on. She’s rich, but not necessarily entitled. She works her ass off, using her money to establish communities in impoverished countries. Sounds pretty noble, right? When her best friend commits suicide, she is immediately reluctant to accept the police reports and takes control of the situation. There were times when I applauded her bold personality, but there were also a few moments where I found it overpowering. Her confidence was unwavering. As a complete introvert, I found her impossible to relate to. There were occasional chapters from Celine’s POV scattered throughout, all too brief glimpses into what she was facing in her life. As bold as Maggie was, Celine was the polar opposite. She became too easy for me to relate to. And the secondary characters? They could all have their own books! I would read them all!
I have to tell you the best part! When reading Tucker’s contemp romance, you always know there will be this happily ever after. The girl will always get the guy. You will be left glowing with all those good feels. When I read Ruin? So. Much. Doubt. Every time I thought I had it all figured out, I had a curve ball whipped at my head. Who did it??? I started looking at the least likely of suspects, like that sweet little old lady next door, because I simply didn’t know where else to look! (She’s 80, but maybe she’s a spry 80) I wasn’t sure what was real anymore. Sometimes the evidence was hidden deep down, but sometimes it felt like it was too easy, creating even MORE doubt! And this is exactly how I like my mysteries.
So the very best advice I can give… begin reading He Will be My Ruin with a clean slate in mind. DO NOT compare this book to any other, no matter how much you love K.A. Tucker’s style. This book deserves to stand by itself.