Title: Beating Ruby (Spotless #2)
Reviewer: Ivy @PoisonIvy70
Genre: Thriller & Suspense
Length: 480 pages
Rating: 5 stars
Life hasn’t been quite the same for computer engineer Island Chaptal since March, an OCD-ridden professional killer, burst into her life to clean her bedroom and take her on a global chase for a legendary diamond. Sadly, the (hit) man doesn’t just break bones; he breaks hearts, too.
Since then, Island has found solace in Alex—the perfect boyfriend—and Ruby, a software project about to revolutionize online banking security…for the worse. When Island’s boss is found dead after allegedly using Ruby to steal a vast fortune, it’s up to her to clear his name and recover the money. Someone else wants answers, though, and this time, Island might be in over her head.
From New York to Zürich, it’s going to take the return of a cleaning expert, a mini-octopus, and Island’s wits to beat Ruby. All while deciding whether to trust a man who already jilted her, or one who may have his own deadly secrets.
The Setup: When we meet up with our heroine Island Chaptal, a bit of time has passed since the adventures of the first book, Spotless. She’s trying to move on with her life, with her job working in IT and a new perfectly safe boyfriend Alex. She hasn’t seen March since he left her, for her own good, of course, but he is forever in the back of her mind. As it should be.
When her co-worker has been found dead (possibly “helped” into taking a leap off their office building), Island knows that this is tied to Ruby, the software program capable of wreaking global financial disaster (of course). This is but the first step down the rabbit hole that is Island’s life, but she must search for the truth, and trust me, it’s worth the strange, strange trip.
March and Island are quite possibly my favorite hitman/heroine combos ever: These are words I do not utter easily. Mostly because it’s a bit crazy, but that’s the name of the game when reading books about loving men who kill for a living. There are several hitmen and the women who love them romances on the market. The hitman is usually protective and sweet that you can get over that pesky murderous streak he has. It’s for a good cause after all.
However, while this series certainly embodies that, it is also about the little quirks that makes these characters come alive in their own wonderfully unique way. From March’s need to clean Island’s apartment, to Island’s nerdy tendencies and wild imagination, to the excerpts of particularly cheesy (made up) romance novels at the beginning of each chapter, those are the little things that make this series stand out for me.
Read Spotless first…or not: If you choose not to read Spotless, I believe Ms. Monk has really done well recapping the important bits necessary to follow the story. That said, Spotless has more of March and Island’s interactions, so I’d heartily recommend reading it first.
Additionally, It’s got a very international sensibility and I think it’s a series that could easily translate to film or TV. If you love suspenseful action/adventure series with a good, dry sense of humor, I encourage to check this out. I loved it.
Kisses only, people: Alright yes, my smut-loving heart would love to see more than simply wish for it, but having read Spotless, I think I was prepared for the extremely slow burn and mostly fade to black nature of Island and March’s relationship. There’s a great connection between these characters that isn’t dependent on a physical relationship and it fit my current mood perfectly. Besides, I’m enough of a dirty bird that I can fill in the blanks just fine.
One mild warning: So, geometry and my romances should never meet. I loathe it. So for my sensitive peeps who hate triangles, and dislike interlopers, there is one in this story. However, Island and March aren’t in a relationship when this interloper appears, and there’s also never a doubt as to who wins Island’s heart when the chips are down, which allowed me to ride out that little speed bump.
Best of all worlds: Ms. Monk has managed to do is create an ongoing story that still manages to give me a resolution at the end of every installment, thereby allowing me to feel pleased at the outcome, yet still hoping to find out more, like the true burning question – is Krakky alright?
I really loved it. Island and March have some fantastic chemistry, the action is fun and exciting, the dialogue’s sharp, Island’s POV is wonderfully cheeky and fun. If that’s not enough, there’s even ostriches, cavys, and platypuses, oh my. Sorry, I couldn’t resist. Truly, I encourage anyone interested in romantic suspense/action adventure series to check this out. I can’t wait to see what’s next for Island and March.
*An ARC was received for an honest review.