Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Book Review: Ruined (The Eternal Balance #1) By Jus Accardo

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The Eternal Balance #1
By:  Jus Accardo
By:  Entangled Embrace
Release Date: December 30, 2012
Source:  Publisher

GR's Summary:

Hell is looking for a way to break loose…

Jax lost the genetic lottery. Descended from Cain, the world's first murderer, he's plagued by a curse that demands violence in exchange for his happiness. He left everything behind, including the girl he loved, but thriving on the pain of others is lonely… And it's killing him.

After a series of heartbreaking losses, Samantha put rubber to pavement and headed for college as fast as her clunker could carry her. But she can't outrun her problems. When an attack at school drives her back home, she's thrown into the path of a past—and a guy—she's been trying to forget.

Sam strains Jax's control over his darkness, but running isn't an option this time. Someone—or, something—followed her home from school: a ruthless monster with a twisted plan centuries in the making. Forced together to survive, and fighting an attraction that could destroy them both, Jax and Sam must stop a killer bent on revenge.

Lindy's Thoughts:

The premise of the main character Jax, descending from, Cain, completely intrigued me.  Most of the New Adult books available on the market right now are contemporary, so I was really excited to dig in to a New Adult Paranormal story.  This was the first book, I read by Jus Accardo.  I loved it, and am highly anticipating the next installment in this series. 

Jax and Chase are identical twin brothers, but appear to be complete opposites in temperament and personality.  Jax carries a demon inside of him that constantly demands violence.  He cannot control this demon, but does his best to limit the violent acts, and tends to engage the darker side of humanity with this vice.  Jax keeps to himself, has a brooding personality, and is treated like he is the spawn of satan in his hometown.  He has always loved Samantha (Sam).  They grew up together, became best friends, and fell in love with one another.  However, Jax feels he's undeserving of Sam's love, and whenever he is with her, the urge for violence tends to get intense and hard to control.  So he left town three years ago to protect her.  

Chase is the "golden boy," who can do no wrong.  Girls are always throwing themselves at him, and he never gets serious about anyone.  Chase and Sam are best friends, and while he has feelings for her as more than a friend, she does not return them.  Jax and Chase cannot stand to be around one another, because Jax always has extremely violent urges toward his brother, due to the demon inside of him, and the Cain curse.  Parentless, both brothers were raised by their uncle Rick.  As death draws near to Rick due to his terminal illness, Jax returns to his hometown.  He realizes that his feelings for Sam never changed, and on top of that, her life is consistently being threatened.  Jax is determined to protect Sam from peril, and once he removes the danger, he plans on leaving her forever.

Ruined was a very unique story.  I enjoyed the fresh topic, the creative and intricate plot, as well as the very steamy and swoon-worthy scenes between Jax and Sam.  The story started off at a slow pace, as Ms. Accardo took the time to really develop the story, and give us the necessary background information.  A lot of the story focuses on Jax's constant challenge with fighting the demon inside of him.  Ms. Accardo did an excellent job of making Jax and his demon, really distinct entities.  While the demon fed on the anger and fear of others, Jax would constantly fight against his need for violence.  He felt guilty, and believed himself to be truly evil.  The demon had no remorse, and learned about human emotion from Jax.  The demon also learned about love from Jax, as he too fell in love with Sam.  The two were united when it can to there deep love for her, as well as their need to protect her.

At about the halfway point, the story really picked up pace!  I needed to unravel all the clues, and figure out who was trying to kill Sam.  There were so many twists, turns, and surprises along the way.  The more I learned about the origination of the curse, demons, and other paranormal entities, the more I became completely immersed in the story.  I loved Jax and Sam's character's.  Jax was so loyal, loving, and protective when it came to Sam, and I appreciated his willingness to sacrifice anything for her.  Sam was great too.  She never stopped believing in Jax, and no matter how much she got hurt, she let herself be vulnerable when it came to him.  She saw him for who he was, and her good heart really shined through.

My Rating:

I give Ruined by Jus Accardo 4 Addicting, Unpredictable, Fascinating, and Steamy Stars!!!  For a  unique, paranormal, New Adult Story, with a twist, look no further than Ruined!  I can't wait to read the next installment in The Eternal Balance Series!  Ms. Accardo has completely hooked me with Jax and Sam's story!

My Favorite Quotes:

"Even then, so early in my life, I saw pieces of myself mirrored in her eyes.  Lost.  Alone.  Separated.  Ruined.  It was another one of those defining moments.  I'd known, even then, that this girl would play a monumental role in my life."  (eARC, Loc. 2226)


"Doesn't matter that you won't admit it," she continued.  "The truth is, you're a good man-not a demon-and I love you.  I've always loved you."  Warmth enveloped me as she placed her hand on the side of my face.  "Always been in love with you."  (eARC, Loc. 2534)


"Love you?"  he whispered at my ear.  Breath warm and voice a deep, velvety whisper.  "I fu**ing breathe you.  Your face, your laugh, the way you chew at your bottom lip...All of it.  All of you.  Any light you think you see in me is an echo of you."  (eARC, Loc. 2683)


Mikki's Review:

Wow! What a phenomenal start to this new series by Jus Accardo! I have heard many great things about her books. I’m so happy I got the chance to discover her talent with Ruined. This is the kind of book that pulls you in from the very first page and makes you forget about everything that surrounds you. 

In Ruined we meet Jax. When people see Jax they see trouble. His reputation follows him wherever he goes. What people don’t know about Jax is that he’s hiding a secret. He has to share every single moment of his life with a demon that lives inside of him. A demon that makes him do cruel things that he can’t control.  A monster that feeds on negative human emotions, that survives on the pain and misery of others. This curse has made him run away from his only family. He needs to run away from the horrible things that the demon wants him to do to his brother Chase. Three years have passed since he left town. He knows he has to stay away if he wants everybody to stay safe, but when his brother Chase calls him concerning a problem with his uncle Rick, he breaks his promise and comes back to his hometown. Once he’s back in town the last person he wanted to see was Samantha Merrick. The girl who is his everything. Samantha never forgot about Jax. He was the one that helped her survive the tragic loss of her parents. They created a bond that was unbreakable until one night, three years ago, he left her with a goodbye kiss that she still can’t forget. After suffering an attack at school, she decides to go back home. The last person she expected to see after a long absence was Jax who she’s been trying to forget without much success. Once they meet again, they can’t seem to stay away from each other. Jax wants her to run away from him and she wants nothing more than to hang around him. Even when his dark secret is revealed she won’t let him go. The more they stay together, the more the demon inside of him wants out. Danger is lurking around Samantha, and Jax will do everything in his power to find out who is after her.

I could not put this book down! I was not sure what to expect of this story. I don’t really read much paranormal books anymore, but this book makes me want to rediscover the paranormal genre. The writing style was really fascinating. I love it when an author can capture my attention with just a few words. That’s exactly what happened with Ruined. From the moment I read the first chapter, which is Jax’s POV, I was hooked! What I loved about this book is that it was easy to read. Sometimes when I read paranormal books, there is so much details to absorb that it confuses me.  In Ruined, the author gave us details, but it was not overwhelming. She gave us the perfect amount of details to understand the origin of the story.  Jax and Samantha are an amazing couple. The sexual tension that these two have … Eeeeep!!! Prepare your fan!!! Samantha is so strong and confident. The way she fights for her man … You go girl! You should see her go against the demons. She’s awesome!!!  Jax is …. OMG! Where do I start with Jax?!?! He’s sexy, passionate, protective, and I could go on and on! The ribbons of emotions that I felt while reading this story were similar to the ones that the characters felt. A rainbow of colors swirled around me. The author wrote a twist that I never saw coming. It left me with my mouth open … A real WTH moment! I love it when this happens :) This book does leave us with a cliffhanger, but don’t let that stop you from reading this awesome book ;)

My Rating:

I give Ruined by Jus Accardo, 5 exciting, sexy, intense, captivating stars! It was my first time reading a book writing by Jus Accardo and it won’t be my last! I loved every single minute of it! The second installment of this series can’t come soon enough! I’m crossing my fingers we will get some details soon ;) 

My Favorite Quotes:

''I would wreck you, Sammy. Make you scream for hours and hours until your voice is gone and you don't remember your own name. Is that what you want?''

eArc (location 1625, kindle) -Jax

''Love you?'' he whispered at my ear. Breath warm and voice deep, velvety whisper. ''I fucking breathe you. Your face, your laugh, the way you chew at your bottom lip ... All of it. All of you. Any light you think you see in me is an echo of you.''

eArc (location 3208, kindle) -Jax

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About Jus Accardo:

Jus Accardo is the author of YA paranormal romance and urban fantasy fiction.

A native New Yorker, she lives in the middle of nowhere with her husband, three dogs, and sometimes guard bear, Oswald.

Her first book, Touch, came out in November 2011 from Entangled Publishing. She is represented by Kevan Lyon of Marsal Lyon Literary Agency.


  1. OK, I added this to my TBR straight away, since both of you loved it so much, there was no other thing to do, right?

    I can't wait to delve into a NA that's a little different - I agree, it's always nice to find the ones that break the molds a little.

    Lexxie @ (un)Conventional Bookviews

  2. It is very nice to see more New Adult Paranormal books being published now. And I agree, a book about a descendent of Cain is very interesting. I'm so glad you both enjoyed Ruin!

  3. I too loved that it was a paranormal NA! Paranormal books are my first love, but I have become obsessed with NA so its nice to see the two getting along. I agree, the whole premise for this one is simply intriguing and I loved this twist on demons.

    Teresa @ Readers Live A Thousand Lives


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