Ravaged and Ignited – Roman Holiday Continues

Reviewing Roman Holiday parts 4 and 5!

Roman Holiday: Blindsided  concluded with Roman and Ashley embarking on a blackmailed holiday: a road-trip. Ashley’s final attempt at proving to Roman that the Sunnyvale resort is more to people than a run down old hotel.

Ravaged - As the road trip up the Eastern Seaboard continues in Episode 4 of Ruthie Knox’s eBook original serial, Roman Holiday, sparks are flying—but Ashley and Roman are farther than ever from seeing eye-to-eye about what matters most.

Ravaged left me with all the feels for both Ashley and Roman. Their first stop of the road trip is a married couple who’s been vacationing in Sunnyvale for several years. Ashley is convinced that their spirited, though urban lifestyle, and love for her grandmother and the resort will give Roman a glance into what Sunnyvale is to people.

What she doesn’t expect is Roman’s ability to read people and their needs, the depth to which his skill and knowledge runs. A few minor, yet significant, slaps in the face shock Ashley, but nothing more than a revelation regarding Roman and her grandmother. She is suddenly not as in control of the situation as she thought, and some issues surface that make her realize things aren’t so black and white.

Roman, on the other hand, is a mess. While he’s got the right cards, objectively, in his hands, he is completely at Ashley’s mercy. He’s doing everything in his power to rile her up, shake her out of balance, but eventually realizes he has to continue obliging with her demands. And on top of everything, his relationship with Carmen is crumbling and he discovers that nothing as it had seemed before. From that point on in the episode Roman was strumming my heartstrings like an expert and a few hours in the woods at the end there, make him all the more vulnerable yet determined.

One interesting aspect of this episode is their building attraction to each other, and not necessarily physically. They both make their best to jab and bait the other while at the same time feel bad for it. They start to sympathize and while not wanting to, maybe see the other’s point of view on things. On their goals. Their lives.

RH5-ignited-webA camping site run by an old friend of her grandmother’s is the setting for Ignited. That’s where we meet Stanley; an old man, recluse and a snippy curmudgeon who will bite your head off if and when he feels like it. That aside, though, I think Stanley will provide very important insight into Ashley. 

Deciding on some sort of a truce, Roman confides in Ashley and tells her the story of his childhood, about his parents and his upbringing. Ruthie Knox takes a profound and important part in history and weaves it beautifully into the plot, into Roman’s storyline, and manages to make the reader feel such a varied array of emotions, from horror to deep sadness to the intense need for a hug.

I have decided this is Roman’s episode. First, we get his story, and start to truly understand where he’s coming from and why his obligation towards Heberto is so profound, why he chose Carmen and why he acts the way he does, in a cold and calculated fashion.

So while Ashley is clearly going through many emotional turmoils trying to cope with losing her grandmother and the resort, Roman has a few breakthroughs. The first of which is realizing his relationship with Carmen wasn’t real and doomed to fail. The second is his growing feelings towards Ashley, and the third is regarding the path he chose.

This episode contains and reveals so much more, and evokes so many emotions, I’ve decided not to expand on it more. Ruthie Knox’s words in this story are food to the reader’s soul and I can’t believe we have to wait until March for the next episode.

One last note: See that green airstream badge on the right hand side of my blog? That’s the Roman Holiday forum where you are all encouraged to partake in a lively discussion about the episodes, the characters, the plot and our increasing FEELS!

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My review of episodes 1-3 of Roman Holiday can be found here.

Episode 6, Mistaken, is released on March 3rd, 2014. *grabby hands*

My rating of both Ravaged and Ignited is 5.

Preorder/purchase links to the first 5 episodes are available here.

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* My thanks to NetGalley, Ruthie Knox and Random House publicist, April Flores, for the advanced copies of the episodes in exchange for an honest review.

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USA Today bestselling author Ruthie Knox writes contemporary romance that’s sexy, witty, and angsty—sometimes all three at once. After training to be a British historian, she became an academic editor instead. Then she got really deeply into knitting, as one does, followed by motherhood and romance novel writing.

Her debut novel, Ride with Me, is probably the only existing cross-country bicycling love story. She followed it up with About Last Night, a London-set romance whose hero has the unlikely name of Neville, and then Room at the Inn, a Christmas novella—both of which were finalists for the Romance Writers of America’s RITA Award. Her four-book series about the Clark family of Camelot, Ohio, has won accolades for its fresh, funny portrayal of small-town Midwestern life.

Ruthie moonlights as a mother, Tweets incessantly, and bakes a mean focaccia. She’d love to hear from you, so visit her website at www.ruthieknox.com and drop her a line.

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