Ruthless Love by Penelope Bloom
A distinct departure from Penelope Bloom’s usual style, this high school romance has a bully vibe but never gets too heavy. While our hero does some things that are less than nice (to a girl who is in a wheelchair), it doesn’t cross the line into abuse or have the same heaviness you sometimes experience in books within the genre. Ultimately, this has more of an enemies to lovers feel, and I liked that things weren’t taken to the extreme. I enjoyed the read but found it lacking that certain something to push it to the next level – I think probably it could’ve used some more tension to amp up the chemistry.
The story follows Kennedy, a 17-year-old who has a number of undisclosed health issues and requires the use of a wheelchair to get through the day. She is homeschooled and isolated, so when she moves into a new place with her mom, she’s anxious to get to know other people her age. Unfortunately, that eagerness causes her to get on the bad side of Tristan, a football star and all-around alpha jerk. The two have a series of run-ins until they get to know each other better and cross the line from foes to lovers.
This book is probably best suited for someone looking for a “safer” bully romance, or just an enemies to lovers high school romance. Tristan definitely has that alphahole vibe but it’s not at the same level as antiheroes from other authors, which gives this a lighter feel. While I’m a big fan of inclusivity, I can’t say I was completely sold on the fact that our heroine uses a wheelchair and takes several prescriptions that alter her behavior. Adding that element into a bully romance was kind of iffy for me, and the fact that there wasn’t a condom in sight didn’t really help that. I wouldn’t hesitate to sample more from this series since I know Bloom is capable of some great writing, but it wasn’t a homerun for me. There’s definitely potential to turn this into a solid series, and I’m intrigued by a few of the other guys introduced in the story. I received a free copy of this book via Booksprout and am voluntarily leaving a review.
I’m the girl nobody sees.
That is, until I move next door to Parker High’s most eligible bastard, Tristan Blackwood.
He’s gorgeous. Eyes as cold as moonlight. Lips made for cruel kisses. The entire town knows it. Apparently being able to throw a football elevates you to god status around here.
He could have anything he wanted.
But somehow, all he wanted was to torment me.
Me, trapped in my mom’s protective bubble: homeschooled and invisible, stuck in a wheelchair and saddled with more medical issues than I could count. Normal? I might as well wish to be a fairytale princess.
There aren’t any princesses or knights in my fairytale. Just the dark prince who lives next door. Parker High royalty in the flesh. But to me, he’s a devil in a letterman jacket. A boy cruel enough to make me wish I’d never stepped outside.
His life should be a dream, but the only thing he cares about is becoming my nightmare.
And when my pride isn’t enough for him, he decides he wants my body.
He wants my heart.
He wants every last inch of me to himself.