Cover Image: Ruined


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Member Reviews

"Perhaps we're good for each other, and it needs no further investigation."

I've read Ruined years ago in the first volume of Fresh Romance and I'm SO HAPPY I was approved for the ARC of the rerelease of this historical romance comic bec it's so good!

Admittedly, it wasn't my fave title from that anthology, but I appreciated it for what it was - a histrom short. I didn't know it then, but the story needed to be drawn out more, the pacing had to be slower, and the intimacy needed more space to grow and bloom, and all of that was brilliantly accomplished in this edition.

It's different from the Fresh Romance run in a sense that it greatly improved on an already good material. And here's some of my notes from when I read it (months ago now, so sorry for the delay. LOL) Might be Spoilery, but these notes are probably out of order so it's fine, I guess.

• Perryl is now POC for one thing, and more diversity in general was shown now.
• Catherine's family dynamic is more fleshed out, giving her even more emotional depth, agency, and relatability.
• Catherine and Andrew's first banter in the carriage started pretty much the same, but Catherine holds back this time, which I feel was more appropriate in context.
• No love letters in THAT SCENE this time, but it was no less painful for Catherine.
• I loved that they were working together with business things, that Catherine has so much agency, and that Andrew is really such a decent gentleman.

*The eARC was provided by the publisher via NetGalley for free in exchange for an honest review. It doesn't affect my opinion of the book. Thank you.

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Just okay for me. I wasn't a huge fan of the art but the story was good enough. I did wish it was more fully flushed out and that there were less characters. I felt a little heavy handed at times because of this.

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What a great graphic novel, I am a sucker for regency romances and I really enjoyed this!
Imagine is Elizabeth & Mr. Darcy had a marriage of convenience! ATE IT UP
I just love graphic novels, its so nice to have visuals of the story I am reading. I thought the art was beautiful, and it may not be for everyone but I enjoyed it!

100% holding me over for bridgerton and the buccaneers!

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Diving into "Ruined" felt like embarking on a rollercoaster of emotions. Sarah Vaughn's storytelling prowess shines through, creating a vivid and gripping narrative.

The characters are intricately woven into a tale of love, betrayal, and the complexities of power. The world-building is immersive, with each page unravelling new layers of the story's rich tapestry.

Vaughn's writing style effortlessly transports readers to a realm where political intrigue and personal dilemmas collide. The plot twists keep you on the edge of your seat, and just when you think you've figured it out, another curveball is thrown your way.

The artwork, skillfully crafted by the talented Leila del Duca, complements the narrative beautifully. The illustrations capture the essence of the characters and the world they inhabit, enhancing the overall reading experience.

"Ruined" is a journey that navigates the blurred lines between right and wrong, duty and desire. It's a graphic novel that leaves a lasting impression, inviting me to ponder morality's intricacies and the consequences of choice.

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Oooh the vibes from this graphic novel. I loved this story so much! It really gives Pride and Prejudice. There are some explicit scenes which I wasn’t expecting, but I didn’t mind them at all. I loved the side-character arcs, and I thought the progression of Catherine and Andrew’s relationship was just so relaxing. They fall in love in such a slow pace, but it’s so cute to see how the little things bring them closer together. I loved the queer rep in the story as well. The ending was so sweet, and you just have a general feeling of soft happiness while reading this.

4.5/5 Stars

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This book was just “meh” for me. I felt like I was reading it because I had to finish it instead of reading it because I wanted to finish it. I can’t quite put my finger on what it was.

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I'm very new to graphic novels, but after reading this one which is a historical romance with an arranged marriage, I have to confess that I loved it and want to keep reading more of them.
Thank you to the publishers and NetGalley for providing an ARC, I’m giving my honest review.

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"Ruined" invites readers into a captivating graphic novel, artfully blending historical romance tropes with a dash of Bridgerton vibes. The story revolves around the arranged marriage of Catherine Benson, deemed ruined, to Andrew Davener, a man in need of her dowry. What commences as a marriage of convenience blossoms into a tale of mutual emotions, misunderstandings, and ultimately, a heartwarming conclusion.
The illustrations weren't my absolute favorite style. However, I don't feel this is a genre we often see in graphic novels and I'm excited to experience more. While some may critique the historical accuracy, the overall charm of the storytelling, with its delightful simplicity and heartfelt moments, resonates with those seeking a quick and enjoyable graphic romance. The tropes are as to be expected and I feel like readers know what they're getting into by the cover and description alone. No one would be surprised if you described this as Bridgeton in a graphic novel by the contents of the book.
"Ruined" offers a unique experience in the realm of graphic novels, blending romance with historical aesthetics. The creators' ability to infuse the storyline with Bridgerton-esque charm ensures a delightful journey through love, scandal, and redemption.

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A really cute story that follows and arranged romance. I really like the illustrations and the emotions that they evoked. I really hope we get more graphic novels from this group in the future.

Thank you to netgalley and the publishers for providing me with an arc for an honest review.

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Though this is a beautifully illustrated and introspective romance, I wonder if a graphic novel is the right form. As a story alone, this could have used space to explore some of the themes, relationships, and the world. As a graphic novel, on it's own, the pacing was jarring.

Would recommend for those interested in Bridgeton and actively seeking similar work.

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This was an interesting graphical novel. Historic romance, a marriage of convenience story depicted well in an art form.

An enjoyable find.

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My love of graphic novels and historical romances came together in the most delightful way when I read Ruined.

This is a graphic novel from Sarah Vaughn, Sarah Winifred Searle, and Niki Smith that packs in beloved historical romance tropes. Our heroine Catherine Benson is considered ruined and now the only match left for her to make is with Andrew Davener, who needs her dowry to save his family estate.

What begins as a marriage of convenience quickly evolves into mutual feelings, misunderstandings, longing, and (of course) a happy ending. This felt like such a fun little treat of a romance in a format I so rarely get to read them in. If you're looking for a quick, enjoyable, and open door graphic novel with a Bridgerton flair, you'll definitely want to check out Ruined!

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this graphic novel was basically like "what if Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy had a marriage of convenience" and I loved it!

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My thanks to NetGalley and First Second Books for an eARC copy of this book to read and review.

I cut my romance reading teeth on Regency romances when I was in high school. I'm talking the older Signet and Zebra romances, when the MC H and h were portrayed on the covers of the books fully clothed, where the most heat would be a few kisses and historical accuracy re: how they would dress, speak and the mores of the time were fully integrated into the fabric of the story. I read them so much I would start to speak in the cadence and use those words in everyday speech. I had friends who read these books with me, so while I was somewhat influenced by the books, it wasn't in a bad way and we shared the passion.

So I was beyond excited to see this being offered on NetGalley. A Regency romance graphic novel?!? GIMME!!!

And then I got to 5% of the way into the book and DNF. I did flip a few more pages into it and oh my goodness NO!!!

If you want ANYthing even CLOSE to resembling historical accuracy, do NOT pick this up. My major beefs with this book, by 5% of the way in.

MC h was getting married at 27 years old due to a scandal where she was caught with her lover in the garden or some such. He abandoned her, she ended up with a poor lord who needed her dowry to fix up his estate. Her sister was PISSED she wasn't getting married for love. MC h was like, "I turned down multiple marriage offers before the scandal because they only wanted me for my money. I had to get married now to avoid the scandal that would have tainted the entire family." This sister, who was old enough to know better was still furious. First of all, at 27, she was an ape-leader, beyond any prayer of marriage until this happened. Back then, as icky as it may seem to our modern sensibilities, the well-to-do women wed in their late teens early twenties, as quickly and as well off as they could. Getting married wasn't for love, it was for money, power, a title. Or due to a scandal as is the case here, but it was done YOUNG. And her sister and family would have understood that.

At the reception after the ceremony, the MC h's parents and she were out in the open talking, anyone could have heard them. The father BRINGS UP THE TOPIC OF THE SCANDAL and his daughter says something and he says something along the lines of, "Your mother and I canoodled months before our wedding." Then the mom says to her daughter that she was lucky and married a dish of cream and that she was going to be unwrapping a great present later that night.

No. Absolutely NOT. Neither of them would have spoken to their daughter in that way and IF they would, which they wouldn't, it wouldn't have been in public where ANYone could have overheard them!!

That is the point where I just flipped pages while trying to fight the urge to fling my reading device across the room and then I came to the FULL FRONTAL NUDITY of the MC H as he and the MC h were to engage in marital activities and then she stops him and admits she had a lover and wasn't a virgin and couldn't have sex with a man she didn't love and she couldn't love a man who didn't love her. And he was completely cool with the fact that she wasn't a virgin.

blink blink blink

Excuse me, what? How is that even CLOSE to how they would have spoken and reacted in that time??! She would have laid back and thought of England while he did his duty and that would have been the end of it!!

Ironically, they weren't historically accurate AT ALL about mores, speech, etc., but they SURE did make sure they drew hair under the arms of the MC h and that they showed the genital hair of BOTH of them.

Now, none of this might bother someone who isn't into historical accuracy and yeah, I'm sure the Regencies I read weren't 100% accurate, but they were a HECK of a lot closer than this could ever hope to be. Also, some people might be into seeing pictures of a semi-decently drawn couple get busy, but I am not one of them.

This book made me very angry and I disliked it greatly. I wouldn't recommend it, but if someone wanted to read it I wouldn't stop them.

1, this has the honor of being my first one star book of 2024, star.

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Thanks NetGalley and First Second Books for this arc

4/5 stars

This was a sweet and light Regency romance. A quick read, this is perfect for when you just need something a little cute with low stakes for entertainment (ie for everyone working retail over the holiday craziness lol). This has a good story, engaging without being stressful. Perfect for Bridgerton fans!

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This was such a fun and sweet historical romance! This was simple, straightforward, and heartfelt, and would be perfect for anyone who is wondering if the next season of Bridgerton will ever come out... I hadn't read a graphic novel historical romance before, and I really enjoyed this one. I will say I wasn't expecting the explicit sex scene, so I think this could use more warnings - something about the art style misled me to think this would be more YA / fade to black style. There were also a couple moments where it wasn't clear who was talking or it felt like there were some pages or panels missing? The plot begins with a marriage of convenience, and I liked how our main characters follow a friends-to-lovers arc and each have their own personal conflicts to face when it comes to their families, reputations, and money. The ending in particular was really sweet. More historical romance graphic novels, please!

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We have a lovely regency-era romance with a whole lot of "Pride & Prejudice" and "Bridgerton" feels!
Marriage of convenience.
MMC never meant to inherit.
"Ruined" FMC.
LGBTQ+ characters who seem to be accepted without question or judgement.

Ruined is a cosy, soft graphic novel, sure to leave you with a smile and a longing for more graphic novels about the group of characters you’ve met throughout this one. I loved how we could see others come to terms with their wishes and dreams and the limitations of having or not having the "right" place in society or the right "title" or "funds".
I enjoyed reading and disappearing in this era, It gives you hope and dreams and leaves you feeling all warm and fuzzy.

I must say that I was surprised by the amount of nakedness. I had suspected some "delicately placed nudeness" but not the full on "pornographic" nakedness. Loved it. It surprised me but I loved it.

Also, who invented that woman have to shave their armpits, legs, etc...
I mean, I just loved the pureness of this comic and I have been wondering ever since....

The publisher kindly provided this arc through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

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This was a wonderful graphic novel. It gave me gorgeous art, a compelling storyline, and it pulled out my emotions as I read it. I was invested in the characters and their story. You get to see the lives of the main characters but also get peeks into the lives of their family and the help. This was a turbulent love story, but I loved reading it.

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Ruined is a Regency-era romance with a nice graphic art style. While it manages to encapsulate the overall "vibes" of Bridgerton and other Regency-era pieces, it falls short at story telling. The characters and romance weren't engaging, if anything, the side characters were more interesting than the main couple!

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I recommend Ruined for fans of Bridgerton who are looking for the same type of modernized historical aesthetic and steamy content.

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