Vows and Ruins by Helen Scheurer – An Epic Fantasy Romance

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There was no end to the wanting of her, the loving her. It was in his blood, etched in his bones, and it burned through him like wildfire.

Goodreads / Storygraph

Summary from Goodreads

Against all odds, Althea Zoltaire emerged from her trials as a champion. Now, she must train even harder and prepare herself to become a true warrior of Thezmarr.

But Thea’s world is turned upside down as she struggles to navigate her newfound magic and uncover the secrets of her past. Slowly, she begins to untangle the truth about her family, her powers, and the evil that threatens to engulf the kingdom.

When Wilder Hawthorne returns to be her official mentor, everything changes. Dark forces are gathering, and he will stop at nothing to prepare her for the challenges to come, even if it means breaking her.

As war looms and their quest for answers leads master and apprentice deeper into danger, the undeniable connection between them intensifies – defying all odds, but also threatening to tear them apart.

With secrets unravelling and evil closing in, Thea and Wilder fight to save the world, and each other. The fate of the realms rests in their hands – will they emerge victorious, or will the darkness consume them both?

Full of action, adventure and steamy romance, Vows & Ruins is the second book in the spellbinding epic romantic fantasy series, The Legends of Thezmarr and is perfect for fans of The Bridge Kingdom, From Blood and Ash and The Witcher.

Thoughts on the Plot

I do just want to preface that while Blood & Steel does have a slow burn ending in a spicy scene, Vows & Ruins takes it up about 50 notches on the spice scale. The spice in this book is through the roof. 

For those who enjoy visuals:

Blood & Steel – 🌶️.5

Vows & Ruins – 🌶️🌶️🌶️.5

As a smut girlie, I have no complaints. But will agree with other readers that it was a bit over the top and added in places it really should not have been. There were several scenes that could have instead been more emotionally intimate than physically. 

So with that out of the way, this book had me in a chokehold

I literally could not borrow it on my Kindle fast enough after finishing the first book. 

The plot picks up right where the second book left off, but this time the stakes are higher. 

The pacing is on par for everything that is happening and I loved how this book really continued to build from the first book. 

There is a lot more lore and hinting at what is coming and by the end of this book, you’ll be completely eager to devour the third. 

Thoughts on the Characters

Thea and Wilder were a little more frustrating in this book than the first. In the first book, there was a clear line for both of them, and they both tried to not cross it.

In this book, the line is blurry because of all the heightened feelings and emotions. 

There was a lot of push and pull, a lot of “will they, won’t they?” and it was a bit exhausting.

There was also SO MUCH smut. And Wilder’s declaration of love came off a little too rough for my liking. 

But romance aspects aside, we really begin to see Thea’s confidence grow. She still sounds a bit young as more time continues to pass, but her development is fantastic. 

Seeing Thea throughout the series is one of my favorite aspects of this series. 

Wilder, on the other hand, is grappling with not only what is happening in the present but also his past. 

He feels disjointed between two worlds. He also needs to learn to not keep everything in that thick head of his. 

Wren also gets some character development in this book, which I really enjoyed. We also get to see a bit more of Torj, who is rapidly growing on me. 

Cal and Kipp were up to their usual standard of highjacks and chaos and I loved every single second of it. 

Seriously, can the universe send me a Cal and Kipp duo already?!

Overall Thoughts

I think if you really enjoy a lot of smut or can look past how much it ramps up in this book, then you will absolutely love this follow up to Blood & Steel. 

In my opinion, the third book (Fates & Furies) is even better than Vows & Ruins, but I still enjoyed this one all the same. 

A solid 4.5 stars out of 5 stars for Vows & Ruins

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