A Good Debutante's Guide to Ruin

Sophie Jordan
A Good Debutante's Guide to Ruin
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Release Date
July 2014
Book 1 of The Debutante Files
Historical Romance

The last woman on earth he would ever touch . . .

Declan, the Duke of Banbury, has no interest in ushering Rosalie Hughes, his stepsister, into society. Dumped on him with nowhere else to go, he's determined to rid himself of the headstrong debutante by bestowing on her an obscenely large dowry . . . making her the most sought-after heiress of the Season.

. . . is about to become the only one he wants

But Rosalie isn't about to go along with Declan's plans. Surrounded by fortune hunters, how is she supposed to find a man who truly wants her? Taking control of her fate, Rosalie dons a disguise and sneaks into Sodom, a private club host to all manner of illicit activity—and frequented by her infuriatingly handsome stepbrother.

In a shadowed alcove, Declan can't resist the masked temptress who sets his blood afire . . . any more than Rosalie can deny her longing for a man who will send her into ruin.

Book Review by Ashia (reviewer)
Jul 21, 2014   [ OFFICIAL REVIEW ]
124 people found the following review helpful
A GOOD DEBUTANTE'S GUIDE TO RUIN is the first book in The Debutante Files. Conflicts arise when stepsister feels a strong attraction to the stepbrother she hasn't seen in seven years.

Rosalie Hughes is the ward of Declan, Duke of Banbury. She also happens to be his stepsister. When she comes of age and is sent home from school, she has to come to terms with her attraction to the duke and his hatred and disgust of her mother. Yet, he does his duty by her, bestowing her with a dowry and accepting the first marriage of proposal that came her way.

When Rosalie realizes this, she yearns for freedom, for a choice that is hers to make alone. When a friend invites her to Sodom, a club that noblemen frequents, she goes along, disguised with a mask, wanting only to choose the person who will receive her first kiss. To her surprise, she meets Declan...and somehow, they combust. What happens when she reveals her identity to Declan?

Rosalie is a great heroine; she knows her station in life, she abides by it, yet she also dares to reach out for a chance to live life as she wants it. Her situation brought home to me the fact that women in her times don't have much of a choice--even the matter of her husband is decided by her father, or in Rosalie's case, by her guardian. It is only an indulgent father/guardian who would care for the woman's wishes, and how many of those are there? So, I applaud her for taking the chance to have the freedom to choose, no matter if it is just the man who will receive her first kiss. However, I don't get what she sees in Declan, aside from the feelings she had for the younger Declan.

With regard to Declan, outwardly, he's the typical Regency rake who is prone to drinking and womanizing. However, it is because he experienced a great trauma that he loses himself in these things. So, a tortured hero who should have tugged at the heartstrings, and yet, I don't feel much sympathy for him. I mean, his situation is certainly heartrending, but I don't feel connected to him. Moreover, I don't feel that he's in love with Rosalie. Lust, yes, but the deeper feelings? Not so much.

So, while they are both great characters individually and I can definitely see the sparks between them and feel the sexy hotness they create together, emotion-wise, they don't satisfy as much. And it's not because of their pseudo-sibling status. Actually, they don't have much to do with each other for seven years, as they lived apart and don't get to see the other, so I doubt if they even see each other as "sister" or "brother". They just happen to be step-siblings by the circumstance of their parents' marriage.

Still, it's a good read for someone who loves historical romances. I'm actually giving this book 3.5 stars. The pacing of the story was just right, and there were lots of suspenseful and spine-tingling moments, though the villains and their actions were predictable. With this book as the first in the series, there are more to look forward to. I'm especially awaiting Aurelia's book, who promises to be a spirited heroine and more than a match for her hero, whom I think will be Max (Declan's friend).
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Book Review by debra taylor (reviewer)
Sep 26, 2014   [ OFFICIAL REVIEW ]
105 people found the following review helpful
A GOOD DEBUTANTE'S GUIDE TO RUIN is a great start to a new series from Sophie Jordan. In this first installment, we meet Rosalie and Declan. It was a captivating read filled with emotional angst, a bit of intrigue and plenty of steamy sensuality. I enjoyed every single page from start to finish.

Innocent Rosalie ends up dumped on her stepbrother's doorstep with nowhere else to go. Now, Declan is a consummate rake with plenty of hatred in his heart for Rosalie's mother. He has valid reasons for that hatred but can't quite seem to separate those feelings from Rosalie. Not at first. Still, he can't just throw her to the wolves, but he does want rid of her. So he does his best to marry her off, only Rosalie wants something more. In her quest to find some adventure she inadvertently sets herself on a course for seduction. By no other than Declan himself.

Ooh, it was so good when she snares his attention and he doesn't know it's the very girl he's been trying to get rid of. I felt he had it coming. But the seduction scenes were so scorching hot!!! Gotta love that red hot chemistry. Then came the big moment of truth when he finally figures it out. Talk about climactic!

What more could we expect ? Quite a bit of suspense. Rosalie's evil mother still had some cards up her sleeve. She wanted her piece of the pie and she was willing to do anything to get it.

I'll give this one 4 flying stars. It was a really good book and I look forward to reading the next installment in the series.
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