Author: Shiloh Walker
Love tortured heroes who get a well-deserved Happily Ever After? Shiloh Walker is the master. And, these Barnes Brothers books? They are like the how-to guide for overcoming adversity.
Ruined is the fourth title in the Barnes Brothers series. While it’s not necessary to read the books in order, I recommend it. We get cameos from other couples from earlier in the series, and it’d just make more sense (besides getting to see what’s up with those previous main characters). Sebastien’s brothers, his family, are really important to him, and we see the love and nurturing from those relatives throughout the title. This is a great book to show a model nuclear family, as well. Mr. & Mrs. Barnes have raised a brood of rambunctious boys who have ended up being wonderful men. Sebastien is a great example.
Sebastien Barnes was the second brother to make it big in show business. His older brother, Zach, was on a TV series and Seb was ‘discovered’. He’s been on this rollercoaster career ride, and he took it in stride—being the playboy and never outwardly wanting to settle down. While he’s carried a torch for Marin for a long, LONG time, he was unable to act on it because Marin is a… bit older than he is. They were at different places in their lives. It’s probably a good thing Marin and Seb didn’t hook up previously, to be honest. Sebastien dated this girl that ended up in a… situation. He became… involved, and ended up with a scar on his previously pretty-boy face. I pictured Seb like the boy next door. Gorgeous, well-built, polite, and able to manipulate the media like a master. It’s only natural he’d think his scar would be a career ender. Oh, and the whole ‘incident’ totally jacked with his head. He fell into this huge abyss of self-blame and had a huge pity-party for himself. Pretty natural, right? I mean, who wouldn’t? His entire life had been turned upside down. Stop. Reframe. When I have a major life-changer coming on, I am pretty good at playing recluse. THIS was Seb’s ticket to hermit-dom. I half expected a volleyball with a bloody handprint to show up because Seb put himself on a figurative island surrounded with great white sharks, man-o-war jellyfish, and every other dangerous sea creature imaginable.
Enter: Marin. It’s like that girl kept swimming through those dangerous waters, navigating every obstacle, to reach Seb. And that is what makes this book so awesome. I don’t care whether that person for you is a friend or lover. Everyone needs someone willing to swim with the sharks so they don’t have just Wilson to talk to. No matter what kind of crap Sebastien pulled, Marin kept coming back. Trying to be his life preserver when he thought about floating back to civilization.
What I found so satisfying about the ending of Ruined was the way things were handled. Lots of stuff for readers to find out in the story, so this part’ll be like a VagueBook post. Marin was totally kick-ass. Not in a physical way. She refused to be a victim, refused to let someone that wasn’t a part of her relationship affect her. Frankly, at the end of the story, Marin was my hero.
I devoured Ruined, the fourth title in the Barnes Brothers series. There’s one more brother, Travis…and he’s veiled in shadows. Geez, I want his story.
As one of the Barnes brothers, Sebastien has always felt blessed. Not only does he have an amazing family, but he’s become a Hollywood golden boy who has everything he’s ever wanted—with one exception. He’s had a thing for Marin since he was a kid, but when he finally summons the courage to ask her out, she turns him down. Marin is ready to settle down, she wants commitment and stability, and Sebastien is still too much of a playboy, caught up in the wild life of the spotlight.
Still reeling from the rejection, Sebastien’s luck runs out later that night when he saves a girl from an assault. The shining knight role fits him just fine, but his armor—and his perfect life—become tarnished when the near-deadly attack lands him in the hospital. Physically scarred, he gives up acting and retreats from everybody.
If anyone can pull Sebastien back from the abyss, it’s Marin. But first she has to convince him that beauty is not only skin deep…
Release Date: July 19, 2016
Series: Barnes Brothers #4
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Book Source: NetGalley