Review originally posted here: http://thebookpushers.com/2011/11/02/review-the-ruby-kiss-by-helen-scott-taylor/
Publish Date: Out Now!
How I got this book: NetGalley
I can be somewhat picky about my fantasy romance. When it’s done well it’s so amazing, but when I don’t feel it, things tend to unravel quickly. For me, Taylor’s book had great promise, but the execution just didn’t work for me.
Ruby has lived her whole life with a magical gift that has inconvenienced her at every turn. She wants nothing more than to get rid of her gift and just live a normal life. But that all changes when a dark winged creature breaks through her roof one night. After that, Ruby’s life takes a turn and she becomes immersed in the world she has been running from.
Nightshade is hunting for his father, looking to get him to swear an oath to stay away from Nightshade’s half brother. When he meets Ruby, he feels the stirrings of lust for the first time ever. When she requires a powerful protector by her side to ensure her safety, he will do anything to keep her that way. But when Ruby realizes her power is more than anyone could have imagined, Nightshade just might have to lay down his life for her.
I really wanted to like this book, and there were aspects of it that I really enjoyed, but for me it had too many places where it just fell apart. I enjoyed the characters themselves. Ruby is strong and despite the horrible history with magic, she takes her own ability in stride. Although she fights her new powers, she is also accepting of the good she can do, and of the advantages of her gift. I liked that about her. Nightshade is tortured and broody and yet sensitive and protective of Ruby, his half-brother and the ones he considers family. As individuals, I really enjoyed them both.
However, as a couple there were so many twists and turns that I had a difficult time believing in their romance. Ruby isn’t freaked out by his wings and power, yet the thought of being bit scares the crap outta her, and has her running into a fake relationship with someone else. Then, while she was forced to bond with another, she was almost selfish in that she didn’t want Nightshade to have a blood bond with anyone else. Their relationship felt very one-sided in love (through Nightshade), and just awkward at best.
Most of the secondary characters were enjoyable to read as well. Taylor set up quite a few characters that could be a great continuation to the series, and I do hope that we get to see more of the unique world. I have to say through, there was one character who really rubbed me the wrong way, Troy, and I could have done without many of the scenes involving him. He just seemed somewhat seedy and a little bit of a creeper. I also didn’t think the story lines regarding Twister were finished, instead we were left in limbo regarding the bond he forced on Ruby.
I did enjoy bits and pieces of the plot. Some things felt convoluted and unnecessary, but for the most part things kept moving along, were action packed and engaging. I really enjoyed the world, and was immersed in the drama between the Seelie and Unseelie courts.
All in all I wanted this to be an awesome fantasy read, but instead it was just an okay read. While it had great characters and a decent plot line, the story started sluggishly, had some slow parts in the middle and a few unsavory secondary characters that dragged down the overall tone and feel of the book.
I give The Ruby Kiss a C-