Book Review: Sweet Ruin (Immortals After Dark #16) by Kresley Cole
Sweet Ruin Immortals After Dark #16 By: Kresley Cole Release Date: Dec. 1, 2025 Publisher: Gallery Books Add to Goodreads Source: Finished Copy from the publisher in exchange for a honest review GR's Summary: A foundling raised in a world of humans Growing up, orphaned Josephine didn’t know who or what she was—just that she was “bad,” an outcast with strange powers. Her baby brother Thaddeus was as perfect as she was flawed; protecting him became her entire life. The day he was taken away began Jo’s transition from angry girl…to would-be superhero…to enchanting, ruthless villain. A lethally sensual enforcer on a mission A threat to the Møriør has brought archer Rune the Baneblood to the mortal realm to slay the oldest living Valkyrie. Whether by bow or in bed, he never fails to eliminate his target. Yet before he can strike, he encounters a vampiric creature whose beauty conceals a black heart. With one bite, she pierces him with aching pleasure, taking his forbidden blood—and jeopardizing the secrets of his brethren. A boundless passion that will lead to sweet ruin… Could this exquisite female be a spy sent by the very Valkyrie he hunts? Rune knows he must not trust Josephine, yet he’s unable to turn her away. Despite his millennia of sexual conquests, he can’t ignore the unfamiliar longing she arouses deep within him. When Jo betrays the identity of the one man she will die to protect, she and Rune become locked in a treacherous battle of wills that pits ultimate loyalty against unbridled lust.
I've been in the mood for a good paranormal romance lately. I have heard so many great things about the Immortals After Dark Series, and have enjoyed many other books written by Ms. Cole. Therefore, I was really excited to try out a book from the IAD Series. While Sweet Ruin is the sixteenth book in the series, I had no problem following along with the main characters storyline.
I was introduced to a lot of new terminology, but Ms. Cole did a wonderful job of explaining and re-explaining this new vocabulary. She even gives readers a list of the important terms and definitions at the beginning of the book, which I used repeatedly for quick and easy reference. As the story went along, I was introduced to many secondary characters that fascinated me, and am looking forward to reading many of their stories.
Sweet Ruin is the story of Josephine "Jo" Doe. When the story opens, Jo is a young orphaned girl, who doesn't remember anything about her life before the tender age of eight. She is living on the streets, doing everything to survive and protect her baby brother, Thad. When Jo and Thad get separated, Jo continues to watch her baby brother from a distance. She lives a lonely existence, and dreams of having a connection to someone else. As she grows older, she gets stronger and comes in to many different paranormal powers. However, Jo, doesn't know who or what she is.
When Jo first see's, Rune, a Dark Fey, she is intrigued. He is having sexy time with one nymph after another, and they seem to be enjoying it immensely. However, he seem's bored and like he's just going through the motions. Jo hopes that he may be able to help her figure out what she is, and strategizes in the hopes of getting that information.
Rune is on a mission for the Morior. He has been sent by his liege, Orion, to kill a powerful Valkyrie by the name of Nix. However, when he see's Jo, he is drawn to her like no other. She inspires passion, frustration, the unexpected, and the inability for him to stay in control. Jo and Rune's paths are interwoven, and as they embark on a mission, love might just catch them by surprise...
Sweet Ruin hooked me from the beginning. I felt for Jo, the young girl who was both vulnerable and strong because she needed to be, and the tough as nails woman who longed for love and connection. She was a fierce, warrior, and I loved her brash sense of humor. Rune was a fun character. He was arrogant, and vain when it came to his sexual prowess. Yet, as I got to know his history, I felt for the man who had known so much pain, tragedy, and shunning for what he was.
I loved the setting of New Orleans, and felt as if I were a tourist sightseeing all that the city had to offer. Ms. Cole took me to a magical place, where immortals blended in with humans, danger was all around, and imagination transported me to a place where anything was possible.
Together, Jo and Rune brought searing hot passion, and stood toe to toe as equals when they were arguing or engaged in battle. The plot of the story was complex and full of suspense, danger, secrets, and questions about who could be trusted. Sweet Ruin kept me turning pages, as I was on the edge of my seat to discover what Jo was, if Rune was her mate, and if she could get him to change his womanizing ways. I also loved learning about the Morior, and hope to read each of these individuals stories!
I give, Sweet Ruin, by Kresley Cole, 4 Magical, Suspenseful, Passionate Prowess, Sexy Seduction Filled Stars!
Kresley Cole is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of the electrifying Immortals After Dark paranormal series, the young adult Arcana Chronicles series, the erotic Gamemakers series, and five award-winning historical romances. A master’s grad and former athlete, she has traveled over much of the world and draws from those experiences to create her memorable characters and settings. Her IAD books have been translated into twenty foreign languages, garnered three RITA awards, a Hall of Fame induction, and consistently appear on the bestseller lists, in the U.S. and abroad. Cole lives in Florida with her family and “far too many animals.”