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Wednesday, May 31, 2017

ARC Review: Ruckus by L.J. Shen

Ruckus is the third book in the Sinners of Saint series. I know it says #2 but the first book in the series is technically a novella so I guess the author doesn't count it in the series count. The series tells the stories of four friends from Todos Santos, "the hotholes" (uh yeah, that's the stupidest clique name EVA but they got in high school so we'll give them a pass), and Dean- "Ruckus" is the third friend whose story we get. You could technically read any of the books in this series as standalones but I would not recommend that. Each book contains at least minor spoilers of the book that came before it and this series is so good that you don't want to mess it up by reading it out of order.

So, for all of you Todos Santos fans, you know that Dean is the fun loving, mostly high, often drunk member of the hotholes. Dean was somewhat of a mystery to me in prior books. He was the guy who seemed to have a good heart but he had an A hole switch that he seemed perfectly comfortable switching when the occasion called for it. Dean seems to have the most stable family of all his friends and also seems like he is the most easy going. But, hold off on any assumptions you might have about this one. This book reveals a character that is way more nuanced than what we see in other books. In fact, it takes time for Dean to come into full view in this book. He is a man who is fighting some seriously ugly demons and the book is as much about his struggle to defeat those demons as it is his relationship with Rosie.

And speaking of Rosie, she is another dynamic character for the ages. Rosie is so much more than Emilia's sickly younger sister. The problem is proving that to her family can be a little difficult. Rosie was gutsy, outspoken and independent. Rosie has an illness which gets in the way of her doing all the things she wants to do in life. But Rosie doesn't hide, she embraces even what she doesn't have and lets herself experience joy in others even when it's not her own. Rosie knows that Dean is effed up way beyond what other people see of him and she sacrifices herself for him. Rosie lets Dean take out all of his issues on her body and in exchange she accepts his love and loves him in return.

I was worried about how I would feel about Rosie and Dean since Dean did date Rosie's sister in prior books. The relationship between Rosie and Emilia, however, is not at all what it was cracked up to be and both of them knew it. The really fascinating thing was how Dean and Rosie basically agreed that Dean would be with Emilia to protect Emilia. They sacrificed their own happiness for Emilia's. You can't help but to root for a couple like that.

So you know...Rosie is kind of dying and the end is not at all guaranteed in this book. The author forces the reader to pull a Rosie. Embrace the moments you have and don't worry about what happens in the end. Just enjoy the journey. This book is amazing as is the entire series. This one has more emotional angst than the last one but it's good angst and I think you'll like it.

**ARC provided by Enticing Journey Book Promotions**

Purchase: | Amazon |


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