Deborah Bladon’s “Ruthless” is essentially a frenemies to lovers romance with an abundance of explicit sex. Which, in and of itself is not a bad thing but until the denouement, the reader is clueless that an actual plot exists.
Isabella ‘Bella’ Calvetti is loved by one and all and when her boss is put in rehab, she is asked to hold down the fort until he can return. In the interim Bella is expected to provide continuity to her new boss, Barrett Adler, a ruthless corporate raider type who starts by firing long-time employees in wholesale lots. Even though the sexual attraction between boss and executive assistant is a No-No, they give in to their desires and commence getting it on.
As mentioned earlier, there is a plot here but it isn’t revealed until very late in the story. The main characters are well developed and fully functional, although I had to keep in mind that a living person can’t be considered a saint. If one could, certainly Bella would’ve qualified. A veritable Little Goody Two-Shoes. And Barrett, for all his rep as a hard-a*s, seemed tamed by Bella’s shining light. All that sweetness and light made my teeth hurt.
I’m mindful that “Ruthless” is a Book Funnel freebie and that the reader’s expectations shouldn’t be unreasonable. However, if a writer has any hope of gaining a reputation as a published author, one’s writing should reflect a certain level of expertise. While the writing isn’t bad, there are some grammar issues that stand out. Like knowing the difference between “peaked” and “piqued”. Maybe that’s a function of the Copy Editor but the author should know better.
Okay, I’m climbing down off my soapbox now. This book is better than a three but doesn’t quite get to four, so three and a half stars it is.
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