Ruin by C.J. Scott
Author: C.J. Scott
Publication Date: 8-21-13
Pages: 124 pages
Genre: New Adult
Kate Bell isn’t perfect. Not even close. The things she got up to in college would cause her parents to fall off their pedestals in shock. Home for the summer vacation, Kate settles in for a long, boring break in the tiny backwater of Winter with folks who still treat her like she’s twelve.
Then Ben Parker arrives and suddenly Winter gets interesting. He’s hot, mysterious and good with his hands. Kate falls for him instantly, but her cop father warns her to stay away.
When Ben’s secrets catch up to him, not only is Kate’s heart in danger of being broken, but Ben’s entire future could be ruined.
I was not overly impressed with this book, unfortunately. I give the author props for coming up with a plotline that was actually kind of interesting and cool; a little bit reminiscent of the style of Kate Morton and Sarah Jio. But the fact that this book is only novella size makes it hard to develop the background necessary to pull off that kind of “OMG” moment at the end of the book. I barely felt like I’d met the characters, and was not nearly comfortable enough with the story for the plot twist to feel authentic.
The writing wasn’t actually all that bad. This book definitely had potential to become something awesome. I can see it now — “a debut new adult novel from author C.J. Scott that revolves a deep-seated family secret that threatens to expose these secretive characters living in a small town.” I would totally read that book. And I think that there is a place for it in the market. But Ruin is merely a first-draft attempt at what could potentially have been an explosive hit.
Their were some other problems, though. The characters were one-dimensional, and there was no tangible chemistry between the two main characters. This was another case of insta-love that totally didn’t work. And I have to admit that I only skimmed the (two) sex scenes, because they weren’t hot or anything special.
I do feel that this book could’ve been great if the author had spent a little more time on it. I liked the dynamic between Kate and her parents, as well as the dynamic between Jane and her grandmother. And the dialogue was written decently. So, while there are a few things that I would change and I wouldn’t necessarily recommend this book “as is” to somebody, I think that it has massive potential if those three things were worked on — the length of the book, character development, and romance.