Ruined by S. Pratt

Let me start by saying that this will contain spoilers. I also want to take a second to thank The Little Black Book Blog & Shelly Pratt for the copy of the book I won.

“We all have secrets. Some are just buried deeper than others. But they’re there – hidden deep within. Mine I bury in that little red box people call a heart. Sometimes I wonder if I have a heart at all, for if I did I surely wouldn’t do the things I’ve done.”

I really thought the preface was well written. I was immediately sucked in. I didn’t feel so great about things for long, though. Bailey Michaels seems to have everything going for her. She has a great job in the fashion industry, owns her dream home, and is engaged to a doctor. But, despite all this, she’s very unhappy.

“He is the one person who I will ruin everything else good in my life for, despite how bad he thinks our relationship is.”

The problem is…Bailey is having an affair. She’s in love with someone else she isn’t supposed to be with. Bailey would give up her whole life if only her “Angel” would give in, but he struggles more with the morality of their relationship. So, who is this “Angel”? We don’t know yet. This affair started when Bailey was only 15, after an attack on her one day at school. It is strongly hinted at that this mysterious “Angel” may be the high school Coach. Yet, there’s a much more subtle hinting that this person may be her brother, who was taken into her home for fostering when Bailey was very young.
A picture is painted of her first sexual experience the day of her attack. She is badly battered, and at this point I’m seriously hoping it is her brother, which is sad itself. This idea sat better with me, though, than to think a grown man would have taken advantage of her in this predicament. Nonetheless, the relationship carries on, but only in short weekend visits here and there, while Bailey carries on with her life at home as if nothing is wrong. After a Christmas weekend spent in her hometown, this “Angel” decides he cannot live with her having a relationship with another man any longer, and he’s now willing to have a full-time, although still secretive, relationship. Bailey doesn’t hesitate. She starts making all these arrangements to move her life to Angel’s home & doesn’t even have the decency to yet inform her fiance, and even goes so far as to continue sleeping with him to avoid any discussions of what is really going on.
The day comes that Bailey is leaving. She leaves a note for her fiance (VERY tacky), and she’s packed and ready to go – awaiting Angel to pick up her belongings. He’s late, though. She turns on the TV as a distraction & sees that there’s been an accident and then her phone rings. It’s her fiance. She needs to come to the hospital immediately – her brother, Emmett, was just in an accident, and they don’t know if he’ll make it. Yep! Angel’s her brother! So, I’m not going to say whether he survives or not – I want to give you something to wonder about – if you’re intrigued.
My thoughts – I wanted there to be some sort of redeeming quality to Bailey, but it never comes. She is just an awful person to everyone around. She couldn’t be more selfish. I really don’t even get the whole “love” thing, either. Out of every single encounter between her and her brother, you only get a picture of lust. It’s almost as if they are both just attracted to the forbidden. Some of the reviews I read stated that people were surprised at the ending, but I wasn’t. I’ve read enough, that I can usually pick up on those subtle hints, though. I wasn’t sure, however. I knew it was a toss up of the brother or the coach. I don’t regret reading this. It gives insight into the way some people think, and reason with themselves. Pratt did a decent job at creating characters that had me wanting to knock some sense into them. Bailey was in fact – RUINED!!