Ruthless is the first book in the House of Rohan series by Anne Stuart. A decadently, dark and intriguing tale, Ruthless will leave readers wanting more.Viscount Rohan runs the mysteriously Heavenly Host, a secret club where people give into their secret desires. Francis Rohan is bored and tired of this lifestyle. Dubbed the King of Hell, he throws himself into the role but there is another side to him. Elinor Harriman has seen enough of life to know that fairy tales rarely exist. As the oldest, she is viewed as the care giver for her family. So when her mother goes missing again, she sets out to find her and bring her back home, fearing that she will spend the last few dollars that they have. Elinor is not surprised to hear that her mother is at Heavenly Host but she is shocked when she comes face to face with the King of Hell and finds a strong attraction to him. Despite his reputation and sinful ways, Elinor is intrigued by Rohan’s dark ways.Rohan agrees to help Elinor retrieve her mother. The plain, brown hair beauty is average and dull but there’s something about her that beckons him and he wants nothing more than to find out what passions Elinor keeps hidden. After he returns Elinor’s mother, who is dying of pox, he finds that he have a harder time returning Elinor, for she does not sway easily under his charm.Though Rohan has a hard reputation, his character demonstrates that he has a soft nature, especially when it comes to Elinor. He takes the task of helping her family out, and though she believes he wants something in return, Elinor is grateful that her family does not have to suffer. A slow relationship builds and neither one is sure what to do with their emotions. I was rather surprised at how captivating this story was. Both characters are deeply damaged and their road to emotional healing and trust was simply delightful. I couldn’t help but want a HEA for the both of them, despite the fact that it took some time for me to warm up to Rohan. There was also a side romance between Lydia, Elinor’s sister and Rohan’s friend, Charles Reading. The romance was so unlikely because she is seen as a true beauty and he as a physically scarred man but their emotions went way past the physical.Overall, I found this to be a nice story with plenty of twists that kept me entertained.