(Released: July 16, 2011)
From the Cover:
Jessa is one healing away from death. Under the thrall of her gift, the Court's Senior Healer risks giving her life in exchange for her patient's.
Vale is a rebel ruler. When his brother is killed, he's given the throne and the decree from the Court to produce an heir or lose his family's hold on the land--and his deceiving advisors aren't afraid to use murder as a weapon if their directive to stay away from the Senior Healer goes unheeded.
But Vale burns to possess Jessa. The heat between them leaves a wake of smoke, and even the powerful forces above want to bind them in a union that lasts forever. Vale taking another would be a betrayal neither could survive.
Their enemies fear a child born of such a powerful Healer and Warrior, but the true threat lies in the bond forged in shadows and fused in fire.
Jessa has had her named besmirched all because she's a healer. Everyone in her village thinks she has given herself to Vale's brother, King Zander. She's tarnished, wanton, used. When Zander goes missing, she's called to confirm whether she can feel his life force even as it ebbs away. She can't save him if she can't touch him. Though her heart breaks with the loss of her friend, now she'll be forced into the service of his brother, Vale.
Vale believes the rumors, that Jessa uses sexual healing and has willingly given herself to his brother, Zander, and it burns into his soul. When he's forced into the Kingship, he stubs the young healer, thinking to replace her, but no one has her talent. When she saves his life, he realizes his mistake. Slowly, as he spends time with the healer, she reveals her secrets, and Vale comes to realize, he must have her for his own... and it is forbidden.
A race from a distant place crosses into their realm, hoping to find a home, but what they find is a woman, beaten and battered, something intolerable in their society. Instead, they find themselves forced into war not of their own making and just when King Vale's kingdom finds itself in near shambles.
Ruined by Kinley Baker is a fast, fun read with twists and turns, and there's not only a tortured hero, but a tortured heroine, each made for the other. Their people have learned to use the shadows, gifted. When Zander goes missing, Vale is forced to take his place, bringing Jessa and the rebel King together. Vale and Jessa are like coal and flame, and it takes but a spark to ignite their fire. But, even as they consummate their relationship, Vale discovers they can never be married, he must choose another. Though it goes against everything in his soul, he's forced to ask another to be his wife, someone he doesn't want and can't ever love, someone who is already in love with someone else. Crushed beyond reasoning, Jessa agrees to stay, but another problem arises, one she can't share with her lover, Vale, because he has vowed to marry another. Jessa has to make plans to escape his castle, and if she must, their kingdom. To watch Vale with another woman is beyond her capacity. When she recognizes that Vale's intended is pregnant, she knows the time to leave has come. There is evil brewing in the realm, ready to take Vale's place, and this evil is like nothing the realm has seen. Can Jessa live without the one person who stirs her blood? Can Vale understand that Jessa can't share his bed while he beds another? What will become of the love Jessa and Vale share?
Ruined is a great read, from the first pages of the book, I was rooting for the love shared between Jessa and Vale, even before he can understand and acknowledge their love. Jessa is an innocent wrongly accused. Vale is the misunderstood brother of the King, hoping to never have to fulfill his obligation. When these two come together, they share more than love, the ancients brand them, one for the other, a perfect match. Both choose to ignore this branding as law forbids Vale to marry any healer. Ruined is a story of lost love and hope, a love story that ignites the pages. It takes Jessa's disappearance for Vale to realize he can't live without her. Evil is brewing in their kingdom, waiting to take Vale's life and his kingdom. Ruined captured my heart as the two young lovers struggle to be together. Paranormal romance lovers as well as historical lovers should give this one a try. I'm glad I did. This is Kinley Baker's debut novel, and I hope there is much more to come from this author. 5 out of 5 fairy kisses for this paranormal romance lover. PS: If you visit Kinley Baker's blog and Jean Murray's blog, you can entered to win a copy of their books: Ruined by Kinley Baker and Soul Reborn by Jean Murray.
I received this ebook from the author, Kinley Baker, for review. All opinions expressed are my own.