Series Review: Is this series worth your time? Does it get better as the novels progress? Or does it get worse? Find out below:
Synopsis for Ruined (from Goodreads):
Outside a glittering party, I saw a man in the dark. I didn’t know then that he was an assassin. A hit man. A mercenary. Ronan radiated danger and beauty. Mercy and mystery.
I wanted him, but I was already promised to another man. Ronan might be the one who murdered him. But two warring families want my blood. I don’t know where to turn.
In a mad world of luxury and secrets, he’s the only one I can trust.
Series: Hearts or Ruined | A Midnight Dynasty Series
Author: M O’Keefe
# of Books: 3 (Full Reading Order Here)
Book Order: Chronological
Genre: Adult, Contemporary, Dark Romance, Erotica
Heat Rating: Hot (Kink: mild – Book #3 only)
Point of View: First Person, Single (#1); Alternating (#2-3)
Publication Dates: May 2021 – August 2021
Source & Format: Kobo Plus–eBook
Why I Picked it Up / My Expectations:
I’ve been binging the Midnight Dynasty Universe books but I have to admit, I wasn’t sure what to think of this series before going into it. Our hero makes a brief appearance in the Beast of Bishop’s Landing Series (which I read before this one though it should have been read after) but it wasn’t long enough for me to form a big opinion of him. So, I went in with zero expectations!
The Concept – Midnight Dynasty:
The Midnight Dynasty Universe is a collection of books (series and standalones) by different authors but feature the characters from a collective world. They’re intended to be read in any order because each series focuses on two characters at a time, but there are some shared chronological events and character interactions throughout the universe that overlap in the different series.
Unlike other series I’ve read to date in the Midnight Dynasty Universe, this story doesn’t seem to be inspired by another classic romance or fairy tale. Or if it is, I didn’t really put it together.
Compared to other series in the universe, I felt like this one was more plot and character driven than erotica driven. Poppy, while not an immediate Constantine family member, does interact with many of the main Constantine cohorts we’ve met in the universe so far. So that makes her story kinda feel like an aside in the sense it is somewhat independent of the other series’ plots. However, I think her story does a good job of showing the power and the characters the Constantine and Morelli families are.
The first book has a great suspense to it that I really enjoyed. And while the danger is always lurking throughout the series, it kind went to a low simmer for me after the first book. The story shifts to Ronan and Poppy’s relationship; which I enjoyed reading, they have great chemistry. But I really missed that element of suspense going forward.
As I said, Ronan was only briefly introduced in Secret Beast (#1 – Beast of Bishop’s Landing Series). So he was a bit of an enigma to me. Add to that, we don’t get his POV in Ruined (#1) either which I really liked. It adds to the mysterious aura his character has. We do get his POV for the rest of the series, which helps to develop his character by getting his inner thoughts.
Poppy is the main lead for most of this series and I loved her character progression as she tried to find herself after years of doing what she was told. She has great growth as she finds her independence.
These two lit the pages on fire anytime they were together. I loved their scenes. I love reading about a male hero who tries his darndest not to let his feelings show but cracks from time to time.
Midnight Dynasty’s Reading Order:
I had found a suggested reading order on Redit but have made some recommendations based on my own readings. Here is the suggested order based on that post and my own readings:
- Cinderella Trilogy (K Webster)
- Starcrossed Lovers (Jade West)
- Beast of Bishop’s Landing (Amelia Wilde)
- Hearts Trilogy (M O’Keefe)
- The Collector Trilogy (Amelia Wilde)
- Wicked Idol [Hellfire Series #1] (Becker Gray)
- Lessons in Sin (Pam Goodwin)
- Dark Dream Duet (Giana Darling)
- The Arranged Marriage Trilogy (Monica Murphy)
- Deception Duet (K Webster)
Series Rating: 3.5/5
Ruined 4/5 | Broken 3/5 | Untamed 3/5
While not the darkest or kinkest of all the series in the Midnight Dynasty Universe, fans will enjoy the high risk love affair and the suspense that comes along with it.
Read if You Like: dark romances, forbidden romance, violence
Avoid if You: dislike dark romances