by Anne Stuart

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Viscount Rohan is a very bad man. Leader of the notorious Heavenly Host, he steers the dissolute and pleasure-seeking aristocracy in their revels. Content in his wickedness, he knows there is no room for a starchy, brave English spinster in his self-indulgent existence, but his body disagrees.

Elinor Harriman is so intent on protecting her baby sister and their dying mother that she doesn't realize the danger she's in. The notorious Viscount Rohan could have no interest in someone like her, thank God, and no idea that she melts with longing every time he touches her. She's an intelligent, plain woman, and his tempting, his teasing has to be some kind of joke.

But Rohan takes his appetites very seriously, and sensible or not, he wants Elinor Harriman in his bed. There is only one problem with indulging himself–he's starting to want her in his life as well. And that would destroy everything.

Product Details

BN ID: 2940161404942
Publisher: Anne Stuart
Publication date: 08/16/2019
Series: House of Rohan Series , #1
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Sales rank: 1,275
File size: 613 KB

About the Author

Anne Stuart (b. 1948) is an American romance novelist who has written more than 100 books and is the recipient of the Romance Writers of America Lifetime Achievement Award, among other honors. Her first book was Barrett's Hill,a gothic romance published in 1974 when she had just turned 25. In addition to numerous stand-alone novels, she is the author of the series House of Rohan, Ice, and others. A native of Philadelphia, Stuart lives with her husband in Vermont.

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Ruthless 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 270 reviews.
harstan More than 1 year ago
In 1765 Paris, English Lady Elinor Harrington struggles to prevent her hedonistic out of control mother from wasting what little funds they have left. When her mom runs off to a party hosted by the notorious King of Hell Viscount Francis Rohan, Elinor follows thinking she knows what debauchery she will find there, but is unsure of how to remove her mom from the decadence without causing a scandal. Rohan knows an innocent Elinor does not belong in his den of iniquities. However, he is also stunned that his lower other head disagrees with his assessment of her. Thus he decides to play with her. However, as he lowers the bar with his S&M games, he finds himself wanting more from his now beloved who is confused by her sexually voracious "protector". This erotic Georgian Era romance is not for everyone as Rohan living up to the title is an extremely dark lead male filled with Fire and Ice while Elinor initially comes across as a victim (of her mom and beloved). Sub-genre readers will enjoy this tale of codependency as the sexual predator becomes the prey of his mentee with love as the equalizer. Harriet Klausner
Joanna_Terrero More than 1 year ago
I prefer them tall, dark, tortured and vindictive, but Francis Rohan does pretty good. Anne Stuart's Ruthless, the first book of the House of Rohan trilogy, is set a few years before the French revolution in Paris. As usual she does an excellent job of describing the setting in which the story takes place, including the aristocratic privileges that jointly with the financial crisis would eventually trigger said revolution. Ruthless has two uncommon main characters. Elinor is not as beautiful as the usual historical romance heroine, she has an ugly, manly nose. She is smart, brave, witty and loyal to her family, especially her young sister, for whom she would sacrifice herself. Elinor doesn't want anything to do with men because of a previous bad experience. She doesn't believe in God either. However, she has more in common with a traditional heroine than the hero has with a traditional hero. Francis Rohan, Le Comte de Giverney, is a Scotsman exiled to France. He is clever, beautiful, sadistic, cynical, vain and loyal to his only friend. He doesn't believe in God or the devil, but he enjoys performing fake rituals for those who do. And as the leader of the Heavenly Host, (a.k.a. Debauchees"R"Us) he is worshipped like a demigod. He's nearly forty, and bored with his routine. He slowly but surely falls in love, for the first time in his life, with Elinor - maybe because she despises him and rejects him, something which has never happened to him before. Most of the book is dedicated to Francis eschewing the feelings Elinor inspires in him. He meets Elinor in a moment of his life when he feels twice as old as he is. She's nearly twenty years younger and in spite of the life she endures, an innocent compared with Francis's life experiences. Francis treats her as though he were her better and older benefactor. Their verbal duels are the best part of the book. These two can really say witty and hurtful things to one another! Because of his dark nature, and absolute lack of hope in anything good, Francis had decided not to procreate or ever marry. Marriage for him is a way to give a respectable woman the perfect excuse to take lovers. At one point, he tries to arrange a marriage between Elinor and his cousin and heir, so he could become Elinor's lover without tarnishing her honor. He does everything he can to gain her hatred, while he protects her. He risks his life for her at the end of the book, proving how much he cares. Why did I like it? It's an amusing read. Being a romance I knew he would fall in love with her, and it gave me a 'gotcha' moment. He wasn't so wicked after all!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I found this book entertaining. I enjoy Anne Stuart and her books; the prequel was a nice intro into the series. I originally downloaded the book on the release date and like so many others got the wrong book. A call to customer service and they quickly refunded my money and made sure that the correction was noted and made. Those who rate the book as one star shouldn't do so until they've actually read the book. It hurts the author as this was not her error, it was Barnes and Noble's error.
LadyScarlet More than 1 year ago
What a deliciously dark and enticing anti-hero! This is my first book by Stuart and I loved it. It had all the forbidden evil intrigue of falling in love with an arrogant vampire without all the vampire nonsense!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anne stuart is a master of the genre
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
If you love historical romance that has a rakehell as the guy and an almost innocent lady plus a twist of a little mystery then you will love this book! Thanks for a great book. :)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Wow! this was an excellent read! this was my first Ann Stuart book and it wont be the last!! I adored the Hero character Francis is an extremely beautiful vain sexual villein that only an excellent writer could dream up! The heroine Nell is a strong willed plane jane who because of unfortunate circumstances meets Francis and battles him at every turn and the sexual energy the two characters creates is explosive! Anne starts the book off strong and keeps it strong all the way through with lots of powerful emotions and excellent secondary characters to pull it all together. I recommend this highly to anyone who loves a good sexy read!!!
Anonymous 17 days ago
LOVED really interesting and fun and spicy
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A great dark romance in which both the hero and heroine are intelligent and determined. Supporting cast is also well drawn.
dkthain on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I know this is not the first time this has been said, not by me and not by others, but Anne Stuart writes some of the darkest, most twisted heroes and I love that about her writing. She takes a hero, takes him almost to the edge of us readers hating him and then manages to pull him back from the brink to the point where we just love their twistedness. And Francis, Viscount Rohan is no exception. He's the leader of the Heavenly Host, a group of depraved, bored aristocrats living in France to whom nothing is forbidden. He first meets Elinor, our heroine, when she breaks into one of his wild parties determined to find her mother who is dying of the pox. Francis is bored, bored of his 'friends' with the exception of one, bored of his decadent lifestyle, just bored of everything. So when he meets Elinor, a rather plain, prickly young woman who so obviously has fallen on very bad times, he is intrigued and can't quite seem to get her out of his head. Much to his dismay he finds himself thinking of her, even to the point of becoming her benefactor, much to her dismay. You see Elinor is horrified by him and even more so, afraid he will set his depraved sights on her younger sister Lydia. But her family is in such reduced circumstances, that she is forced to accept his contributions.Francis is confused. At first he's determined not to have anything to do with her, then he figures he'll marry her off. Then he figures he'll marry her off, but have her for himself later. It would be so easy to dislike this vain, hedonistic man, but as I said, Ms. Stuart can find a way to make us route for such a hero and I found myself smiling at his self-delusion since we know what's really happening is he's falling in love with her, though he would be appalled to think such a thing himself. He's wonderfully and deliciously wicked.Now Eleanor Harriman I found a bit problematic for me. At times she was more than a match for Francis. In fact most of the time she was. But I also found her too self-sacrificing and I would get annoyed with her. She gives up EVERYTHING for the sake of her sister's welfare, even to the point of forgoing milk in her tea so her sister could have it. I'm not to fond of martyr heroines and/or heroes and she crosses that line a few times to much and too many for me. Lydia, her sister, is a lot more savvy than Eleanor gives her credit for and I found it too much at times. And I really didn't understand her loyalty to her mother. Her mother pulled some real nasty sh#t on Eleanor, yet at one point in the story, she was ready to die herself to save her mother. I didn't get that.There's also a lovely secondary romance between Lydia and Francis's only real friend, Robert. It's a touching romance between two people who fall in love, but feel their love cannot flourish due to circumstances.Overall I enjoyed this one quite a bit. I adored Francis, but thought Eleanor could have been a little less selfless. But I'm glad her next one comes out so soon. I'll be getting it for sure!
tarenn on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
BREATHLESS by Anne Stuart is a historical romance set in Regency England. It is the third in "The House of Rohan" series,but can be read as a stand alone. Book one " Ruthless",Book Two "Reckless". It is well written with depth,details,fast paced,page turner and a keeper.BE WARNED: THIS STORY IS ON THE DARK SIDE! It has romance, sensuality, betrayal, deception,love, revenge,a dark hero,a ruined heroine,date rape,young love, a jewel thief,adventure, risk taking,redemption,banter, violence,painful,traumatic childhood,crudity,dysfunctional family,and secrets.This is a dark,violent,cruel story of vengeance and love being found between a dark,brooding,villain and a brave,reckless,ruined woman.The characters are a challenge. The secondary characters,a jewel thief and friend of Lucien's and Jane,the sweet,innocent friend of Miranda is heartwarming and sweet.Lucien,is dark,brooding,scarred, vindictive,from a dysfunctional family,seeking revenge for his stepsister's suicide,after the Rohan's oldest son for said suicide, and so goes after Rohan's sister,Miranda and finds love,understanding and a high spirited women who can tame his troubled soul. Miranda, beautiful in a plain sort of way,is witty,intelligent,reckless,brave, saucy,high spirited,ruined from being abducted,deflowered,but can she tame the scarred,soulless,dark Lucien. Who she learns is only out for vengeance. Be warned this is a story of a man with a dark,soul who can be saved by a sweet,loving women. Although, it takes us to a dark side of the soul,it also takes us the redemptive side of that same soul. This story does same to be a little darker than the other books in this series, I would still recommend it, especially if you enjoy love coming from the ashes of evil.This book was received from Net Galley for the purpose of review and details can be found at Harlequin,an imprint of MIRA and My Book Addiction and More.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Deviant hero falls for spunky heroine who comes to find her courtesan mother at a wild party He is smitten & champions her Liked the relationship development of & h Didnt like that heroine was sexually abused for a 3 month period as a teen Skipped that part too depressing but good story made it tolerable to read
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Dear Lisa Kleypas, I officially wave my magic wand and give you permission to relax. It's OK? You don't have to be the, unofficial romance author,spokeswoman for all the poor down trodden woman of the world.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Buy it! Will enjoy it.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I am all for sexual tension,but not when it spans 3/4 of the book. I was interested but kept thinking... come on go somewhere with this already. Will try Book 2 and hope the author picks up the pace. ceb...
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Could nt put down
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