Author: Amy Tintera
Publication Date: May 3rd 2016
Emelina Flores has nothing. Her home in Ruina has been ravaged by war. She lacks the powers of her fellow Ruined. Worst of all, she witnessed her parents’ brutal murders and watched helplessly as her sister, Olivia, was kidnapped. But because Em has nothing, she has nothing to lose. Driven by a blind desire for revenge, Em sets off on a dangerous journey to the enemy kingdom of Lera. Somewhere within Lera’s borders, Em hopes to find Olivia. But in order to find her, Em must infiltrate the royal family. In a brilliant, elaborate plan of deception and murder, Em marries Prince Casimir, next in line to take Lera’s throne. If anyone in Lera discovers Em is not Casimir’s true betrothed, Em will be executed on the spot. But it’s the only way to salvage Em’s kingdom and what is left of her family. Em is determined to succeed, but the closer she gets to the prince, the more she questions her mission. Em’s rage-filled heart begins to soften. But with her life—and her family—on the line, love could be Em’s deadliest mistake.
I always struggle with five stars reviews, because all I want to do is talk about how much I loved the book and talk about every little detail, but then my review will turn into the length on my thesis paper and I really don't want that to happen, Ruined easily made the list of my favorite books of 2016 so far, it was everything I hoped for and more. I struggled with Tintera's other series, so I was a little hesitant going into Ruined but I am glad I gave it a shot!
Em has nothing to loose, her home country is destroyed, and her sister is being held captive. In desperation Em comes up with a plan to become the Princess of Lera (The country that captured her sister) and help her sister escape captivity. Em kills Princess Mary, and takes on her identity and marries Prince Casmir (Cas) But as much as she expects to hate him she can't, he nothing like she expected. As Em falls deeper into her plans and lines are crossed she thinks there is no way to come back from it.
Em is fierce, like holy crap. In the first chapter alone you can see it. At a glance I wasn't sure I was going to like Em, she was in constant fighting mode. How she could kill someone in a room, how fast she could do it and if she could get away, it annoyed me a bit, but eventually though out the novel you watch those thoughts fade away and her feelings for Cas develop. Em had one goal in mind, and though she had obstacles in the way, she kept true to what she wanted in the end. That is something I really admire about her.I love characters that stick to their morals, and what they want. Even if things change.
If you love slow burn romances this one is for you! It was a touch here, a glance there, some blushing. I loved it, even if nothing steamy happened for 75% of the book, and then it was just one scene. But oh how I am looking forward to more of Em and Cas in future books, there is something about their "forbidden" (and I use that term lightly) that I really love.
The world building was fast and simple, which I loved because it didn't take away from the actual story. You learned the countries, what hunters are, and what everything is rather quickly. I'd love to see it grow more in future books though!
Overall I really adore this book and I am glad that I decided to give it a chance instead of writing it off! This book is perfect for anyway who loves fantasy, fierce characters, and a book that is clear cut!