Cover Image: Ruined

Ruined

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A silly little Regency inspired romance for the Bridgerton girlies. I actually liked the script of this graphic novel a lot, I liked seeing the two main characters slowly fall in love -- this is a marriage of convenience, of course. But that is about where it ended for me. The art is pretty flat and really detracts from the story. There is none of the lovely shading from the cover -- everything is so plan and lacks character.

There is a bit of nudity including a couple of steamy sex scenes, but for this art style I think it would have been much better served by a nice fade to black or under the covers action. There are some diverse characters and a sapphic romance on the side.

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I liked the art style for the most part, some of the facial expressions had a weird style at times that works better in film than graphic novels. Instead of drawing more expressive eyes, like widening them in surprise or embarrassment, they’re drawn as plain black dots which I didn’t like personally. But otherwise the colors and style were nice!

Dark, brooding love interest *swoon* very Darcy-esque and THE PINING!!! Also a couple of side romances, including a sapphic, friends to lovers. There’s one semi spicy sex scene, and since it’s a graphic novel it does show…everything 😅

Romance did feel slightly rushed due to the format but overall it’s a cute romance that had me giggling and kicking my feet 🥰 The characters are fairly well developed but again due to the format you don’t get to really know everyone. The ending was perfect and I think it would be fun to have this as a series following the different romances and characters further!

If you love the P&P 2005 carriage/hand scene, you’re in for a treat 💕 Also recommended for fans of Bridgerton and/or other regency era romances!

Tropes: slow burn, marriage of convenience, grumpy x sunshine

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The drawing style of this novel was delightful, and I liked the colour scheme used throughout. The story itself was pretty simple BUT that doesn’t make it bad in any way. It was very focused on the characters, and it was a nice, little love story.

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This graphic novel follows Catherine Benson after she is forced to marry Andrew Davener because of rumors that she was caught in a compromising position with another man. Davener marries her for her dowry. I wish there was more character development. I love historical romances, so I thought that I would like this more, but it was missing something. I enjoyed the illustrations and the art style, but the actual romance was too forced and predictable. Contains nudity and some sex scenes.

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This was a very enjoyable graphic comic.

It felt reminiscent of the Pride & Prejudice reworks where Darcy and Elizabeth are forced into marriage due to unseemly circumstances.

Well, in Ruined, the same happened to our romantic hero’s Catherine and Andrew. However they lack the tense history and knowledge of one another. A marriage of convenience for both parties included.

The cast of characters was very engaging and diverse. I would’ve liked more history with Catherine’s sister and her love interest. But overall it was touching.

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Ruined by Sarah Vaughn, and illustrations by Sarah Winifred Searle and Niki Smith, is a Regency-era romance graphic novel featuring a marriage of convenience.

To escape the gossip of the ton, Catherine Benson agrees to a marriage of convenience with Andrew Davener, a second son who inherited a family estate that is in major disrepair as her dowry could set it to rights. As the two of them grow closer, could falling in love tear their marriage apart?

This was a very enjoyable and quick read. I was so pleased to see a graphic novel in this genre! The illustrations are great, and the color palate feels cozy. The romance is open-door, so there are NSFW pages, but they're not super detailed.

Several of the side characters are a bit fleshed out, and we see their stories progress as the graphic novel goes on. They have their own aspirations and plans that don't involve our main couple, which is lovely. Understandably, they're not as fleshed out as our main plot between Catherine and Andrew, but I found myself wishing for more depth from those storylines. If the pacing was a little better plotted for the side characters, I would have cared more about them.

The major thing that stands out to me about this graphic novel is the diversity it showcases. I'm always glad to see casual queerness, and we receive that here with a sapphic side couple figuring out that they love one another, and some random side conversations at a ball as well. It feels like they were race-neutral when they were creating this, which is also a great thing to see in Regency-era romances. Additionally, we see neurodiversity in Andrew's younger sister, Gemma, who is coded as agoraphobic.

If you're a fan of Bridgerton or Regency-era romance in general, I highly recommend you check this out.

Tropes in this book include: marriage of convenience, slow burn, forced proximity, second son inherits, open door romance

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The cover is pretty - but I couldn’t get into the story and the animation was not a style that I liked. For some reason these faces looked really weird and I couldn’t get passed it. DNFed at 20% through

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DNF - page 165

This is obviously trying to be a weird hybrid Bridgerton meets Mr. Darcy meets marriage of convenience, but it fails on all fronts. Besides by eARC being a bit grainy, the story felt unpolished and unfinished, and not compelling at all. I just don’t think the art or story style is for me.

My main problem is that it fluctuates between regency and modern customs, mentalities, and speech, but not in the nonchalant, camp way Bridgerton does. As someone who just read all the Jane Austen novels, I have a pretty good understanding of Regency rules, and there were just too many breaches of social custom that just don’t work. Plus I didn’t expect this graphic novel to get explicit?? Be warned of nudity…

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A little rushed but cute enough. Hit the spot for what I was looking for. I loved Catherine as a character, she really resonated with me. The other characters were alright. The art was simple but effective.

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Was approved to read this, downloaded it, and then proceeded to binge-read the whole thing. I am such a sucker for a marriage of convenience, especially when the MMC is broody and unwilling to admit that he has feelings for the FMC. It was very much giving Bridgerton and Tessa Dare vibes with that. And the spice... Whew. It may not have been as extremely detailed as other books I have read, but it was something else to see it illustrated.

I would have liked to see more between the two main characters. I felt as though there was not enough, and maybe I am thinking that more because I am used to more development in non-graphic forms of novels. I did enjoy all the side characters and would LOVE to see this turned into a series where we get to see every story in their own book! Would highly recommend this book to someone looking for a short and fun historical romance.

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Ruined has the same vibe as Bridgerton but in a graphic novel format! Rumors are swirling about Catherine having lost her virtue but when Andrew learns about her sizeable dowry he knows that he can save his family home from debt. They agree to marry each other but could they actually fall in love?

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Thank you to NetGalley, FirstSecond Books, and the author for the opportunity to read an ARC of this title. An honest review was requested but not required.

I requested this because the synopsis and cover were both intriguing. A regency graphic novel? Sure! Sounds good! Unfortunately the art style on the front didn't match the art style of the contents, which was too bad. And the synopsis WAS in tune with Bridgerton to a certain extent: side plots, modern standards for representation, graphic nudity etc. (Personally I could have done without the explicit body parts but that's just me.)

However, I was disappointed in the fashion, which was sort of lackluster in the book, especially since much was made of the lady's maid's talents in that department. Her fancy ball dress looked pretty much like every other dress. And I have to say that as heartwarming as the lady's maid's story and the sister's story were, they did the MCs a big disservice. A graphic novel is much shorter than a regular novel and there is much less written content. It's almost like a short story with pictures. There wasn't enough time to properly develop the main characters. Coupled with the fact that plot-wise the main characters' actions weren't well justified or explained, I felt largely unconnected and uninvested in the story overall.

What *was* good? I'll give full points for a nice Well, as previously mentioned, the lady's maid had a really interesting story arc and I would have been interested in having the entirety of the story be about her. The sister had a cute side plot but it had a fairly shallow plot trajectory, so I would agree it was best kept as a side plot. I also enjoyed the agoraphobic sister of the male MC and I was hoping there would be more about her. It's just not a great sign when literally every other character besides the two main characters is more interesting. YMMV.

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Puede ser el cómic con el dibujo más feo que he leído en la vida.
Agradezco mucho el intento de hacer una novela romántica enagüil con aires de los Bridgerton televisivos, con sus guarrerismos y todo, en este formato pero hace aguas por todos lados, la historia, el ritmo, el dibujo… Hay demasiadas cosas metidas en una historia tan breve y te pierdes cada dos por tres.
Un buen intento pero un resultado pfffff

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This was a fast-paced graphic novel that I think fans of Bridgerton would really enjoy. Rumor has it that Catherine Benson has lost her virtue, though, no one is able to agree on the details. What respectable man could want to marry her now? Enter Andrew Daveners. His family's estate is in desperate need of repairs and Catherine's dowry could prove to be the solution. The two are wed and enter a marriage of convenience. Unexpectedly a passion starts to bloom between them but falling in love could be the very thing that tears their marriage apart.

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I honestly would love to see more historical romances put into graphic novel format. It's such a popular genre and certainly it is lovely to see rather than just read stories set in the Regency period. That said, there were things I liked about this version and a lot that I just never connected with or enjoyed. This is very much a modern interpretation of an historical romance: much like the Netflix series Bridgerton it is color blind in casting, has individuals of all body types, and features LGBQT side characters.

Story: Catherine Benson thought she was in love and gave herself to a man who never intended to wed her. Ruined, she recognizes that her only future now is spinsterhood or an arranged marriage. Andrew Davenport is barely holding on to his estate - years of neglect, mismanagement, and lack of funds means there is little left for his sister and himself to survive. An arranged marriage is fine for both except for one small detail: Catherine still believes in love and suddenly finds herself falling for her capable and honorable husband.

The plot is one we've seen many times - an arranged marriage leading to love. But as noted earlier, this is a modern take on the genre: the art style is modern and kind of chunky, there are several very graphic scenes, and the characters feel a bit too anachronistic. It is a gentle love story but one that is greatly diluted by a heavy focus on side characters and their goals/tribulations separate from the main couple. Their stories just weren't compelling enough to want to follow any of them: from a former lady's maid looking to start her own clothing design business, a relative dealing with agoraphobia, to a sister dealing with her feelings toward a same gender friend.

I wasn't a fan of the artwork at all. The fashion of the era being willowy and boyish thanks to Empress Josephine and the empire style, just wasn't well represented here. Especially at the beginning of the book, the artwork was very chunky and kind of clunky. There wasn't much interest in the fashion and only in the latter half of the book did the artwork firm up and become a bit more confident. Too much of it felt too modern in expression and style to really fit an almost old fashioned historical romance. I wanted so much more from the art- to really experience the era, the grand clothing and homes, and all the wonderful details. This art was just too spartan in that regard.

In all, I would love to see more books of this nature. This one didn't work for me but it feels there is so much that could be done with historical romances in the regency period. Reviewed from an advance reader copy provided by the publisher.

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I really enjoyed this book. I hope the author continues to write more books in the future. I can't wait to see what this author releases in the future.

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This is my first graphic novel here on Netgalley and thank you for this eARC. Thank you First Second and Netgalley for an eARC of this novel.

This was a cozy romance read. There is always a certain charm in witnessing a couple involved in a marriage of convenience turned into falling for each other kinda thing. I think this does happen in real life especially for those countries where arranged marriages is still practiced in their culture. This kind of trope just feels incredibly fitting.

I was a little bit disappointed with the artwork though, I thought it was going to be similar to the cover but alas it was not. I appreciate the portrayal of the Regency period though - for me it's one of the most interesting periods and I always enjoy TV shows, books in that era.

While I typically devour graphic novels, the pacing in this particular one left me a bit unsatisfied. I found it to be somewhat sluggish, leading to moments of boredom, which ultimately influenced my rating. However, if you like regency romance era, they say this is similar to Bridgerton but I've never really read or seen that one -- you may like this graphic novel.

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Sarah Vaughn's 'Ruined' is a compelling read with well-developed characters. While there were moments where the pacing could have been tighter, Andrew's depth and charm added a layer of richness to the story, making it a solid 4-star experience overall.

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I normally love this artist's work, but the panels in this book felt a little flat. I don't know if it was an effect of reading a digital ARC, but it just felt like the illustrations could have been so much better. The story was nice, though, if a bit simple.

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As it turns out, regency romance translates exceptionally well to graphic novel format. Ruined was proof of that. The story - following a familiar romance pattern of a marriage of convenience that turns into something more - was illustrated with gorgeous coloring and visuals, making it immersive and lovely to read. And since it was a graphic novel, I devoured Ruined in one sitting.

My only real complaint about this book is that the story itself fell a little flat at times. The reader is thrust into the middle of things, and while Catherine and Andrew's pasts are ultimately explained, I felt a bit lost in the beginning. Much of the tension that might exist in narrative in a traditional romance novel was missing here, and while the illustrations were kinetic and able to communicate a lot, there was still a level of interiority that wasn't ever present.

Still, I loved finding a new way to experience a favorite genre, and definitely recommend this book to other histrom fans!

3.75/5

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