Ruthless Sinner (Zetas #6) by A.J. Adams
A well crafted, captivating and thoroughly enjoyable story.
Spirit is definitely full of just that, a tough cookie of a heroine who, even when life kicks her down, paints on a happy face and thinks of others. Coop is a mystery wrapped up in an enigma, all parceled up in one gorgeous package. Both of them have secrets, both of them have known suffering, both of them are loners, used to coping on their own.
When Coop first met Spirit he really didn’t impress me, he wouldn’t take a polite no and then took offence when she stretched the truth to fob him off. It took a loooooong time but Coop did eventually realise just how wrong he had been, but not until Spirit has suffered through a few fraught encounters, and a lot more, with him.
I don’t want to say too much due to spoilers, so I’ll stick with how much I loved these characters. We get glimpses of old favourites, from previous books, though this story could very easily be read standalone. Neither of the main protagonists are perfect, they both have made mistakes but equally they are incredibly loyal people. The chemistry between them felt very natural, meaning it was incredibly easy to believe in the developing relationship.
The romance between Spirit and Coop is only one element of the book. There are also a couple of different mystery elements and plenty of action filled plot that add up to one really great read. Ruthless Sinner is quite a long book, allowing plenty of time to fully develop both the characters and the story line. It was the perfect balance, so that nothing felt rushed but at the same time it didn’t drag either.
I sort of guessed who the bad guy was, though it was more of a hunch. I wasn’t totally convinced it was definitely that person, for a while, and I did waver over other suspects too. The suspense element was really well written through the story and the big “show down” was unexpected, twisty and amazing. I loved how it drew in previous elements of the story, how it sort of drew a line under things and allowed a fresh start of sorts.
Elements of the book are pretty thought provoking too. Coop is a “chemist” who cooks up drugs for the cartel to sell, he kills other bad guys and makes no apologies for that. Spirit, with no qualifications and in need of money, spent a brief period as a sex worker and she seemed to be the more judged for that past. She had done nothing to harm anyone, but was a pariah in her community. Looked down on, disregarded as trash, yet she had the most caring and forgiving soul. In real life I really wouldn’t want to know a Coop, because drugs to ruin lives, but (a) this is fiction and (b) in all other aspects he was a very honorable man. He drove himself into the ground to try and ensure the safety of local women. He was also loyal to those who had earned his trust and respect. We can be pretty quick to judge and in some ways this is a case of ‘let he who is without sin cast the first stone’.
In summary this is an action packed, well written, steamy mafia romance with two great main characters and a fantastic plot. Highly recommended.
Title – Ruthless Sinner (Zetas #6)
Author – A.J. Adams
Genre – Mafia/ Contemporary Romance
Goodreads – https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/53410129-ruthless-sinner
Determined to get her mother the healthcare she needs, drop dead gorgeous Spirit Westcott works as a stripper, not caring that it cements her reputation as the Beauview village bad girl. But when Spirit falls foul of John Cooper, the newest member of the notorious Zeta Cartel, she loses her job. Furious, Spirit confronts Coop–only to discover his secret drug lab. When Coop decides to save her, by disappearing her and keeping her captive, Spirit is less than impressed. However, she quickly learns that Coop has an even deadlier secret, and one that may drag her into the abyss.
When dangerous, single-minded John Cooper learns his best friend was murdered, he resolves to exact bloody vengeance. The knowledge that his prey is a Zeta, one of Mexico’s most dangerous cartels, doesn’t stop him. Coop joins the organisation, only to discover that finding his prey won’t be easy. To his annoyance, sexy Spirit Westcott is also a spanner in the works. After embarrassing him in public, Coop suddenly finds himself saddled with her as an unwanted captive. Then, just as things couldn’t get worse, a killer starts to pick off Beauview village girls. As Coop is drawn further into the cartel, he is forced to make decisions that may cost him his life–and that of his love.