November 3, 2016

REVIEW & EXCERPT: Ruled (Outlaws #3)

Ruled (Outlaws #3), by Elle Kennedy
Publish Date:
November 1, 2016
Publisher: Berkley Romance
Format: ARC, provided by the publisher
Genre: adult dystopian romance
To Buy: Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Rating: 5 STARS

(Synopsis) 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.

Since the beginning of this series, Rylan has sort of stolen the show, you know what I mean? Even though the first two books were about other characters, whenever Rylan was present, he was PRESENT. He's the fun, sexy guy that every dude wants to be friends with and every girl wants to get with. So, I just knew - I KNEW - that his book would be the best of the series. And I was SO right. 

We learned in earlier books that Rylan is really into Reese. Reese is the hardass ruler of the largest town in their dystopian world. Rylan loves how strong and sexy she is. And I think he secretly loves that she turns him down every time he propositions her. 

Reese loves her town and taking care of her people, but her previous relationship has proven to her that being alone is better for everyone. Reese isn't actually alone though. She has her right-hand man, Sloan, always by her side to advise her and support her. And secretly crush on her. 

Rylan is in Reese's town for awhile, which means he has lots of time to wear her down. And wear her down he does. But, he also learns that Reese and Sloan are a package deal. She doesn't make any decision or do anything major without consulting with him first. Good thing Rylan is the kind of guy that doesn't care about that. In fact, having Sloan join he and Reese is even better than he could've dreamed. And definitely way more feelings than he ever bargained for. 

If you thought Claimed and Addicted were hot, trust me when I say, you haven't seen anything until you've read Ruled. The three of them - Rylan, Sloan and Reese - are so ridiculously explosive. They're all three very different, so they have a very unique dynamic. Reese is the hardened one. Sloan is the intense one. Rylan is the fun one. So, when all three of them decide to give in to everything they're feeling, it's seriously incredible. 

Now, of course, the threesome isn't the only part of the book. There are other things going on with the  Enforcers that have been circling the town like vultures. A pivotal moment in the book changes everything for Reese and her people, and sets things up for the next book in the series. It also forces Reese to make a choice - decide to put her past in the past for good, or continue allowing ghosts to make her decisions for her. Those moments proved her stronger than I thought possible. 

This series is incredible. There's almost no dystopian erotica out there, so this series is unique. Not only that, but it's so well done. The world building, the characters, the situations - they're all so real and tangible. Elle Kennedy has done an amazing job, and I can't wait to see which characters she's going to give an HEA to next. 

Reese curled both hands around the cracked ceramic mug and breathed in the mint-flavored steam rising from the rim. It heated the tip of her nose and brought a much-needed rush of warmth. She’d felt chilled to the bone all morning, and it had nothing to do with the dipping temperature outside.

“So the raid was a success?” The very pregnant Bethany waddled over to the small sofa under the window.

Reese nodded. “We’ve got enough guns and ammo to start a war.”

Bethany’s eyebrows flicked up. “Or a revolution.”

“Same thing.”

“Is it?”

She didn’t even know anymore. Reese lifted the mug to her lips and took a small sip, all the while doing her best to avoid looking at Bethany’s bulging stomach. Seeing it reminded her of her own losses, the choice that had been stolen from her. And it reminded her of Arch, the ginger-haired giant who was never going to see his baby come into this world.

Arch had been a good man, an exceptional soldier. Everyone in town was still grieving for him, but none more so than his woman, whose brown eyes fixed on Reese now.

“What’s going on?” Bethany stroked her belly in absent- minded gestures. “You look worried.”

Reese set down her mug. “Nah, I’m fine.”

“Bullshit. Something’s up.”

She hesitated, because she didn’t confide in many people. Sloan was the one she went to when she was feeling vulnerable. Sometimes Lennox. Tamara. But for all the others, she put on a strong front. She was their leader, which meant they weren’t allowed to see her worrying, or vacillating, or drowning in self-doubt.

She’d known Bethany a long time, though. Shit, it had been almost eight years now. The two women were seventeen when they’d first crossed paths. Where the hell did the time go?

“I did something stupid last night,” she found herself confessing.

“Yeah? What’d you do?”


Bethany snorted. “Ah. So he finally charmed his way into your bed?”

The humor in Bethany’s eyes was such a welcome sight that Reese’s heart squeezed. In the two months since Arch’s death, Bethany’s expressions had alternated between completely vacant and raw with grief.

“How was it?” Bethany pressed.

How was it? Reese couldn’t even begin to answer that. Hell, she wasn’t sure there were actual words in the English language that could describe what went down between the two of them last night.

No, the three of them.

Her wrists were still sore from Sloan’s punishing grip. He’d held her, restrained her so she was at Rylan’s mercy. Sloan’s mercy. The memory sent a rush of desire to her core, which only confused her body. She didn’t even know who she’d been coming for last night. Rylan? Or Sloan? Or both?

What she did know was that she’d done a very bad thing. A dangerous thing.

Rylan had been as wild and addictive as she’d suspected he’d be, but . . . she’d crossed a line with Sloan. She’d stared into his eyes while she was sobbing in release. She’d clung to him while Rylan screwed her hard enough to make her see stars. She’d threatened their friendship, and for what? A few orgasms?

It wasn’t fair to Sloan. She knew damn well that he wanted her—she’d always known—yet she’d selfishly asked him to be there last night, even though it must have been torture for him.

What kind of friend did that make her?

“You’re worrying me again.”

Bethany’s quiet voice jolted her from her thoughts. “I’m sorry,” Reese murmured. She picked up her mug and took another long sip. “My head is foggy this morning.”

“Good sex will do that to you.”

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