Review & Excerpt: Ruled by Elle Kennedy

ruled Ruled
(Outlaws #3)
By: Elle Kennedy
Publisher: Berkley
Publication Date: Nov. 1, 2016
Genre: Erotic Romance
Rating:

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In the latest novel in the series with the “sexiest, baddest, hottest”* outlaws around, one woman must choose between the two men who want to claim her…
 
…Or does she?

Despite his magnetic personality, Rylan can’t seem to seduce Reese, the deadly leader of their town of outlaws. Winning her over is a welcome challenge, but her indifference isn’t the only thing standing in his way. If he wants Reese, Rylan must also win over Sloan, her stoic protector…

Sloan has always loved Reese, but their painful past has stolen his chances of a future with her. Rylan’s interest in Reese only intensifies the tension—until Sloan begins to wonder if the reckless man might be the one person who can bridge the distance…

The last time Reese fell for the wrong man, she had no choice but to kill him. Now, she desperately wants to take what both Rylan and Sloan are offering. But if she makes the wrong call again, she risks losing them both.

 

 

My thoughts…

 

Normally I start a review off by summarizing it but I just can’t seem to do that for this book because I just need to dive into how awesome this was. I’ve enjoyed the Outlaws series but this is by far the best book yet. I mean, Elle can write some steamy and suspenseful scenes but this one tops the cake.

You see, Reese is in charge of a sizeable outlaw town. She’s taken in anyone who’s needed shelter and protection and she’s worked out a way to keep the enforcers away from hunting her people. However, she hasn’t been able to keep Rylan away. Any time he has met up with Reese he’s tried as hard as he can to get between the sheets with her. Except, she ALWAYS turns him down. It doesn’t help that Sloan, her guard dog/right hand man, is always by her side. Always. Pretty soon, Rylan finds himself not only attracted to Reese but Sloan as well, and that is when things get really interesting for these three.

I have been waiting for Reese and Rylan to get together, you knew it was coming, but I had no idea it would be like this. I had no clue that Sloan would be included into the mix and I honestly couldn’t be happier with the outcome. Sloan has been by her side since the moment they met and he’s always had her best interest at heart. On the flip-side, he’s also been in love with her from day one. Sadly, their relationship never went past that of friendship, that is, until Rylan finally makes it into Reese’s bed. Pretty soon their friendship lines get blurred. And boy were the blurry lines steamy. I don’t know what was sexier, Reese and Rylan, Rylan and Sloan, Sloan and Reese, or Reese, Rylan, and Sloan.

It’s not all about the nookie though. I mean, there’s some deep emotional stuff going on. Rylan opens up about his past, Sloan opens up about his regrets with his friend who ultimately had to be “put down” and for not seeing the signs sooner, and Reese feels the intense pressure of having so many people relying on her. However, from first glance, Reese seems like a bad-ass bitch that doesn’t have feelings, Rylan seems like he takes everything as a joke, and Sloan is as emotional as a rock. I loved that we got POV’s for each of them and we got to peel back their layers.

Not only was the character development on point but the action was intense. You had enforcers knocking down Reese’s town just about every time she coughed, she was going out all the time with her crew to take out enforcer posts, there was never a dull moment with this book. I was either on the edge of my seat of fanning myself off.

I loved that this story not only surprised me with its outcome, but it exceeded all my expectations. Elle definitely stepped up her game with this one. I can’t wait to see what she has in store for us next.

 

 

Favorite quote…

“Connor was right. Life was so much easier when there was nobody around you to give a damn about.”

 

Excerpt…

 

Rylan didn’t waste time. He strode to the two-story brownstone on Main Street and entered behind her. He didn’t bother to knock. Better to ask for forgiveness than permission and all that.

He found her upstairs in her small kitchen, arms braced against the counter as she stared out the window at the unkempt yard behind the building. It was empty, save for a decrepit playset in the back corner. The slide was long gone, but a single swing hung from a rusted bar.

“When you die,” she said without turning around, “I’m going to dub you Saint Rylan, patron of lost causes.”

Rylan stepped close enough that he could feel the heat from her body, but far enough away that there was room for her to escape. “How’d you know it was me instead of Sloan?”

“Your footsteps are different.”

“Huh.” He chewed on that piece of information a bit. He was probably reading too much into it, but the fact that she could distinguish his footsteps from someone else’s? That was all the encouragement he needed to stay. “You’re a damn impressive woman, Reese.”

“Is that right? Because I can tell you and Sloan apart?” She sounded tired, almost resigned. Rylan experienced a pang of concern. Connor had never sounded like this before, but then again, Rylan’s leader had never been in charge of eighty-plus people before either. Con kept his camp small. Even Hudson, his woman, had been an interloper he hadn’t wanted to take in.

Reese, on the other hand, threw her doors open to any misfits, wanderers, and beggars that rattled on her gates.

Rylan briefly pondered what it would’ve been like growing up if there’d been a Reese around when he was young. Maybe then every night wouldn’t have been filled with his mother’s tears and his father’s angry shouts, followed by mournful pleas for forgiveness and hollow exchanges of I love you.

“That, and because you’ve got a vision for the future that few people would ever try to make a reality,” he said frankly.

“You and Connor think I’m nuts, don’t you?”

“Nah, brave.”

And maybe a little foolish, but hell, if it wasn’t for Reese’s foot in their asses, they’d still be holed up in their isolated camp, avoiding Enforcers and scavenging for supplies. Reese’s plan was big and bold and possibly suicidal, but the alternative was to cower, and Rylan had had enough of that.

She sighed and finally turned to look at him. “Did Sloan send you in here to cheer me up?”

Was that a dig? It kinda felt like one. But it was also true—Sloan had sent him. Or at least given him the signal that he wasn’t totally barking up the wrong tree by running after Reese.

He searched her eyes for traces of derision, but he only saw fatigue with a side of melancholy. He wanted to scoop this tough woman into his arms and pleasure her until she was too satisfied to frown.

“I’m here because last night was the best sex I’ve ever had. Because walking away from you isn’t an option for me.”

She made a strangled sound—half laugh, half groan—and rubbed the back of her hand across her forehead. Is that all you can think about?”

“Around you? Yup. I fuck and I fight. Don’t scratch too deep because there’s nothing there.”

She snorted in disbelief. “Tell that to someone who’ll believe you.”

Rylan’s brow furrowed. He’d always skated on the surface of intimacy, enjoying the physical nature of sex—the hot embrace, the rough friction, the sharp desire. What he’d just told Reese was absolutely true. He didn’t feel deeply. He could appreciate it in others, but he’d witnessed firsthand the emptiness of love. What he wanted, and what he could give, was pleasure and nothing more.

“What’re you talking about?” he finally asked, feeling slightly off-center that Reese saw something in him that didn’t exist.

She studied him for a moment before waving her hand carelessly. “It’s nothing. Look, last night was hot, but there’s nothing left here for you.” She presented her back to him and stared out the window again.

Was that a challenge? Sure sounded like one.

 

 

Previous books from Outlaws
Claimed

 

7 Thoughts on “Review & Excerpt: Ruled by Elle Kennedy

  1. Oh gosh! Reading this review and the sypnosis, I am loving the book already. I’ll be getting my own copy now.

  2. I’ve read only two by Elle Kennedy so far but both have made me anxious to dive into everything she has written. I’m not familiar with this series so I’m going to have to check out the first book.

  3. Ooo yes I love this series so much, it’s right up there with Elle’s Killer Instincts series.

  4. I haven’t read this series, but it sounds like an exciting one. I’ll have to try the first book. Thanks for the great review!

  5. I love when authors can mix romance with other aspects of the book well. I like romance books, but I like the extra and not just the sex as well. 🙂

    -Lauren

  6. Girl! I wasn’t expecting Sloan, either!! That was quite the surprise but I liked it, too. Glad you loved this one, Kristin!

  7. I’ve seen this one and the series around a few times and heard good things about it. Glad to hear this was such a good one and the best book in the series so far. That’s interesting you knew those two would get together and then Sloan got added into the relationship as well, that sounds like an interesting surprise. A good romance, emotional issues and action, that does sound like a good mix for a book. Great review!

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