Nicolina Martin-Ruin

Nicolina has given us a second book in her Russo series, with Ruin, and it knocked me right the fuck out. It was a very intense book that had quite the impact on me. For those of you keeping track, yup, that’s the second book this week that killed me right down dead.

Ruin is the story of Anna and Eric. Eric is a guy who does bad things for Salvatore Russo, including tracking down money that has been stolen from him and punishing those who stole the money. And that’s what he’s doing right now. And Anna is part of his job.

Anna is now working for a small printing company, after having left her previous jobs, because of bad things. She has spent the past year basically in hiding, not talking to anyone but her dad or the people she works with. She doesn’t want to have anything to do with anyone, and she’s perfectly happy that way. Or so she tells herself, regularly.

Then, Eric. She goes out for coffee and meets him at the nearest coffee shop. And he makes her feel something.

This story is incredibly and intensely intimate. For most of the first half of the book, we only see Anna and Eric. They are put into a high pressure situation. They learn a whole lot about each other in that situation. And it develops a bond that goes straight into their souls. You often hear about people talking about soul mates or people who are the other half of their soul, and I think that for Eric and Anna, it is so true. Neither of them were complete without the other, and neither would be complete without the other. I think that they were only existing until they met each other. They both put on good faces, but there isn’t an Anna without Eric, or the other way around. But this book is more than just the journey of Eric and Anna getting together. It’s also Anna’s journey back into life. And that is a painful journey, but it would have to be, because she’s dealing with scarring and not quite healed spots.

The story is mostly told through Anna’s POV, although we do get to see a little bit of Eric’s head. I think that having mostly Anna’s POV really helps to make it so intimate, but I can’t exactly pin down why. But it also means that when we get to see inside Eric’s head, it’s like having a bucket of cold water poured on our heads, since we don’t see as much from him.

I liked meeting Christian, although he does seem a little scary, and it was nice to see Nate again. I’m hoping we get to see Christian’s story soon.


I like how it seems like Christian and Anna eventually become friends, which I would think would be weird, considering, but that’s the feeling I got from them.

I was really proud of Anna for doing what needed to be done in the beginning, because I don’t think I would have been able to do it.

OK, that’s all there is for today. I cannot recommend this book enough. Really, I can’t. Go read it right now. Happy reading!

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