Ruined was the second of the Martini Club 4 series that I read, and I found it fascinating. Unlike the other stories, this one features a woman who is not aristocratic or wealthy. Eliza is a housemaid in an aristocratic home, and when she fights back against a rape attempt, she thinks she’s killed the man, and must flee. By a stroke of luck, she is taken under the wing of three wealthy young women running away from home, and becomes their fourth companion. Once in New York, Eliza is not quite as lucky, and I found myself feeling quite sympathetic towards her, and wishing she wouldn’t have to go through so much.
I especially liked the full, vivid characterization of Vince Taggart, whose story is told nearly as completely as Eliza’s. He is also quite a sympathetic hero, and he and Eliza are well-matched. I would love to read more about him, and about his boxing career, so I hope the author will write another story 🙂
I definitely recommend reading all four stories, as they dovetail quite nicely with each other, and they’re all quite good.
Ruined: Martini Club 4 Series – The 1920s
Blurb: She vowed she’d be no man’s doxy, but fate had other plans…
After the Earl of Goodwin attempts to force himself on her, housemaid Eliza Gilbert flees England for New York, hoping to build a better life. But the land of opportunity proves as harsh as the London docks, and she finds herself in a situation more dreadful than the one she escaped.
Former boxer, Vince “The Fist” Taggart dreams of marrying, having a family, and living a quiet, peaceful life. But when a girl he’s known since childhood disappears, he heads to New York in search of her and meets Eliza, a woman with a less than honorable reputation. Inexplicably captivated, Vince can’t force himself to stay away, especially when he learns Eliza is the key to finding his missing friend.