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Midnight Ruin by Katee Robert

CW: I’m going to quote the content note verbatim here: “Midnight Ruin is an occasionally dark and very spicy book that contains violence, murder, blood, guns, pregnancy (not the heroine) and abortion (off-page, not the heroine).”

I can’t be trusted to be objective and balanced when the book in question made me gasp repeatedly and then exclaim at my partner that the book was SO GOOD. This book gave me so much Good Book Noise!

BUT! It didn’t start out that way. The book had a slow start and it was only when the sex started (with all that that reveals about the characters) that things really took off.

With this being book 6 in the Dark Olympus series, it’s essential that you’ve read the preceding five books. Those books are good, but don’t reach the heights of book 6, I would argue. I would go so far as to say that reading the first five books is worth it just so you can enjoy the delights of book 6.

In this modern retelling of ancient Greek myths, each book explores a couple (or throuple or quad) while the larger story arc of Olympus’ imminent destruction unfolds. Olympus is split by the river Styx into the upper city (presided over by Zeus) and the lower city (presided over by Hades). There are thirteen ruling Olympians in total, with Zeus, Hades and Poseidon being hereditary titles passed from parent to child and the remaining 10 titles being bestowed in competitions, elections or other forms of selection.

Way back in book 1, Orpheus betrayed Eurydice’s trust. Since then she’s been living in the lower city under Hades’ protection. That protection came in the form of Charon, Hades’ right hand man. In the upper city, Orpheus was cut off by his brother and had to do some serious growing up. In the opening pages, Charon and Eurydice finally confess their feelings for each other. But there is a spectre between them: Orpheus. Despite the betrayal, Eurydice is not over Orpheus. She wants some kind of closure. So Charon goes to the upper city and tells Orpheus that he needs to make things right with Eurydice. Orpheus makes the very challenging trip to the lower city to talk to Eurydice. From that point things get wild in the best way.

As I mentioned, it’s really when the three start having sex that things get interesting and not just because Robert writes great sex scenes. I’m going to tell you what makes the sex scenes so good, but I’m hiding it behind a spoiler because if you can resist reading the spoiler, then you can really enjoy the way it is revealed in the book which is delightful.

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Eurydice has been visiting Hades’ kink club as a spectator for months now. In this book, she finally puts into action some of the fantasies that she has been hoarding and even some that she didn’t know she’d like. Orpheus comes to her and Charon ready to pay penance for his betrayal. Eurydice, who has been a sheltered, favoured daughter up to this point, really steps into her power by putting herself in the dominant role and ‘punishing’ Orpheus. She embraces that power not only in a sexual setting, but also in her normal daily life as well. No more ‘baby in the corner’ for Eurydice and it is an absolute delight to read.

I had one gripe with this book and that is that Charon calls Eurydice ‘baby’. In real life this makes me angry, so it’s tough to take in books. That’s very much a ‘me’ thing though and it’s used as a term of endearment and not an attempt to belittle Eurydice.

I also have one gripe with the series as a whole: none of the thirteen ruling Olympians seem very good at their jobs because the villains always win the skirmish. I know these are primarily romance novels, but a bit more competence from the Thirteen would be great. Even Hades gets outsmarted by the villains. The ruling Olympians are repeatedly described as powerful but they don’t seem to actually have any power to wield when it comes to the villains.

Book 7 promises to be an absolute belter and I cannot wait for its release later this year. Are you reading the Dark Olympus series too? Which book has been your favourite? I’m curious if I’m alone in thinking book 6 is the best one.

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