Ruin by Rachel Van Dyken



By Rachel Van Dyken


I’m not your typical girl. I’ve been running away from the memories that haunt me for so long that depression has become my only comfort. I was content in the darkness…until Wes Michels offered to be my light.

I didn’t know that time wasn’t my ally — that every second that ticked past was one step closer to the end of something that was beginning to mean the end of myself. He tried to warn me. He promised me all he was able to offer–each moment as it came–but it would never be enough.

Sometimes when you think it’s the end, it’s only the beginning. Wes thought he could save me, but in giving me everything, he ruined me. Because after one kiss, one touch, I couldn’t–I wouldn’t ever be the same.

And from that moment on, his heartbeat became my own.


Kiersten Rowe has convinced her Uncle JoBob that she can make it on her own away at college.  The past two years she has been barely living.  Depressed and plagued by night terrors after the death of her parents, Kiersten wants to try to start living again.  Now at the University of Washington she is about to find out how to live, how to face her fears and most importantly what it means to fall in love.

Weston Michels may be rich and hot, not to mention the star quarterback but life is definitely all sunshine and rainbows. No one knows how he became  an RA his senior year, especially after rumors of an alleged rape or why he seems to travel in an entourage.  Weston seems to be keeping secrets

Absolutely one of the best books I have read all year.  I have to admit I was started to feel a little disappointed as I searched for a book to add to the short Favorites of 2013 list I have going.  2012 seemed to be a year full of so many good books I wasn’t even able to narrow down my top 10 without a lot of deliberation and quite a few tears.  2013 has not been the same, while there have been a few books I have loved very few have actually jumped out and made me think about them long after I have finished them.

Ruin is that book.  It is an emotional book that had me not wanting it to end.  I loved the fact that unlike so many New Adult books that are out right now this book did not follow the same formula of the twenty-something guy who has vowed that he will never fall in love.  He will live a long happy life as a womanizer even though at the ripe old age of 23 or 24 I am not quite sure if he really has the maturity to decide that love is not in the cards for him.  Wait til your thirties or hell even your forties before you make the decision to live without True Love.

Ruin is not like that.  I hate to say too much because I do not want to give anything away, even if you can pretty much guess what it’s all about.  I absolutely loved Wes from the very beginning and my favorite parts of the story were definitely the parts from his POV.  This is romantic, sweet and at times bittersweet.  I laughed and I cried and at one point almost thought I wasn’t going to be able to finish it because it was so sad.



I am glad I finished the book and I loved it, even the sad parts.  It is definitely a story I recommend highly.  This is the second book this year by Rachel Van Dyken that I have read and loved, so she is an author I will keep coming back to.


Charade (The Games Series)

Charade (The Games Series)Charade by Nyrae Dawn
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Nineteen-year-old Cheyenne tries to portray the perfect life to mask the memories of her past. Walking in on her boyfriend with another woman her freshman year in college threatens that picture of perfection.

Twenty-one-year-old Colt never wanted college and never expected to amount to anything, but when his mom’s dying wish is for him to get his degree, he has no choice but to pretend it’s what he wants too.

Cheyenne needs a fake boyfriend to get back at her ex and Colt needs cash to take care of his mom, so they strike a deal that helps them both. But what if Cheyenne’s past isn’t what she thought? Soon they’re trading one charade for another—losing themselves in each other to forget about their pain. The more they play their game, the more it becomes the only thing they have that feels real.

Both Cheyenne and Colt know life is never easy, but neither of them expect the tragedy that threatens to end their charade and rip them apart forever. (Goodreads)

Loved it!

I don’t know what it is about books that make me cry but I love them. When I first saw the blurb about this book on Amazon I had no clue that it would be as good as it was. I thought it would be a cute, fun little read about a good girl and a bad boy. I was surprised that there was so much more to this story than just that.

“You don’t cry, Tiny Dancer.” His chin rests on the top of my head as we hold each other.

“Not if I can stop it.”

“It’s okay, you know.”

“Wow. Is the hard-ass going to give me a pep talk?” I feel like a bitch the second the words come out, but he doesn’t call me on it.

“I don’t know if pep is the right word.” Then he leans closer. “Just know that you can. I won’t tell. I might not be able to do much for you, but I’ll hold your secrets.”

Cheyenne walks in on her boyfriend with another girl. Immediately decided that she cannot allow anyone to think that this broke her she comes up with a plan to show she has no problem moving on. When she sees Colt, a guy who she knows for sure will piss her ex Gregory off she offers to pay him to pretend to be her boyfriend.

Colt has no desire to pretend to be anyone’s boyfriend especially not a
“Princess” like Cheyenne even though he could really use the money not to mention he can not stand her ex Gregory. Colt has too much on his plate right now for games. Between school and trying to help his dying mother Cheyenne is more of a pain than anything else.

Not long after meeting events lead Colt to rethink his decision about Cheyennes proposition and he reluctantly agrees that he will act as her man for two weeks. Unfortunately these two can’t seem to get along enough to pull this charade off. Just when they decide to call it quits they find themselves pulled together again.

Slowly Cheyenne and Colt find that they have more in common than they thought. They aren’t what they seem and each has a unique ability to help the other face things they thought they would never be able to. What starts off as a charade becomes so much more. Together they deal with Fear, Death, Love and Hope.

I loved both characters. Cheyenne has so many secrets and a past that is hard for her to come to terms with. Her fear and inability to let anyone in is sad and frustrating and the fact that she allows Colt to see her in ways that no other has ever been able to shows strength and courage. The fact that she doesn’t let Gregory get away with his cheating is also encouraging because too many times these characters don’t see when it’s time to let someone go until it’s too late.

Colt both touched and broke my heart. He wanted so much to make his mother happy before she died and I found myself wiping the tears in many of the scenes between them. His ability to take care of Cheyenne also proved how strong he was.

I really enjoyed this book and the writing and would love to read more by this particular author.