** 4 out of 5 Stars **
**WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD**
Kate Bell isn't perfect. Not even close. The things she got up to in college would cause her parents to fall off their pedestals in shock. Home for summer vacation, Kate settles in for a long, boring break in the tiny backwater of Winter with folks who still treat her like she's twelve.
Then Ben Parker arrives and suddenly Winter gets interesting. He's hot, mysterious and good with his hands. Kate falls for him instantly, but her cop father warns her to stay away. But how can she stay away from someone as compelling as Ben? Someone who thinks she's perfect just the way she is?
When Ben's secrets catch up to him, not only is Kate's heart in danger of being broken, but Ben's entire future could be ruined.
I was looking for a short quick read without a lot of issues and this book covered those points well. It's a short book but worth the read. There was more angst than I expected. I'm not a huge fan of instalove but knowing it was short was ok with it. The characters were ok. I liked everyone for the most part. The heroine had a tendency to get on my nerves at points but she was over all easy to like. The hero was tall, dark, and handsome. He brooded a lot and was extremely mysterious. I figured out one of the big secrets pretty fast but didn't really expect the other one. Overall I was pleasantly surprised by Ruin. I would have liked the book to be in both POV's but other than that it was great.
Kate is home from college on summer vacation. She's 21 and has been raised in a small town with very conservative parents. Her father is the police chief as well as the only cop in her hometown. She's seen as a "goody two shoes" but isn't as innocent as others believe. She's average with blonde hair, and a slim figure. She's bored out of her mind, spending time with her best friend who is her direct opposite, and wasting away her days until she can return to school, graduate and get out of town forever.
Ben is tall dark and handsome. He's 24, has blue eyes, dark hair that's on the spiky side. He has the whole mysterious bad boy look about him. He gets off the bus and strolls into town looking for work with a past as dark as the look he wears on his face.
Kate and her best friend Jane are hanging around the only diner in town when Ben walks in. Their eyes meet and there is an instant connection but he isn't planning on staying. She pushes him to stay in town and work for room and board at her friend's rundown house. He politely pushes her away and leaves only to realize that he isn't going anywhere until the following morning. He agrees to stay and do the work for a place to sleep.
There is a definitely an attraction and some heavy flirting that night but he pushes her away when everyone else goes to bed for the night. It's obvious he's running from something but he's not talking. She's falling for a guy she's known for a couple of hours.
"You've accepted me into your home. Or Jane has, but you're supporting her. It's important to me that you completely trust me, that you can sleep easy tonight knowing I'm not going to do anything you don't want."
He has a nightmare and she wakes him up and they end up sleeping together. The next morning he isn't mean but he tells her it's over. When he talks to Jane's grandmother Kate gets even more curious about him but he still won't talk. He tells the girls he's going to stay on for a few weeks and then asks Kate to stay away.
Days pass and they don't speak, When they do see each other again he tells her he never should have sent her away and that he's missed her. They end up having sex in the barn during a thunderstorm and he lets his guard down and decides to try with her until she tells him her dad is a cop. Not long after her dad shows up and tells them who he really is.
He spent 4 years in prison for killing his father. His dad was a cop and he beat him and his mother. He came in one night to find his mother dead with his dad watching tv and blanked out. He has been out a year. Ben walks out onto the porch right after she finds out. She tells him she knows and when he won't talk to her she leaves with her dad. She tells him she will be there when he changes his mind about running away.
While she is nursing her wounds at home her dad has to arrest him for theft. He supposedly stole money from Jane's grandmother. She gets to see him and they talk and brainstorm about why this is happening. She floored him when he told her she had asked the wrong question when she didn't ask if he'd done it. She tells him she knew he didn't.
It turns out that he is the long lost relative of the grandmother making him Jane's cousin and the grandmother doesn't won't him leaving town. He decides to stay when everything is sorted out. When Kate and Ben talk he tells her he knows it's new but once she graduates from college he'll go anywhere she wants him too as long as they are together.
There is no epilogue so we don't know what happened between them. I hated that but it was still a good book. I would recommend it to anyone looking for a quick read. I give it 4 stars because it's a good book and it was exactly what I was looking for.
My Ben / Kate
"For starters, I'm so not perfect."
"You are to me."