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Ruin #3


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Everything done in darkness will eventually be brought into the light. I ran, but all it did was keep me one step ahead of my past. I tried to start over; new name, new identity. But you can't change your soul. A fresh start at college was just what I needed. For a while, it worked. I was the party girl, the one who seemed confident, but it was a lie. When guys kissed me - I felt only pain. When they touched me - nothing but fear. Deep inside, every girl wants to be the beauty in the story, to find someone who will see you as their world. But the truth? I was the beast. And as much as I wanted redemption, I wasn't fool enough to think I'd ever get it.

Until he walked into my life. I wasn't prepared to fall for someone. My scars were too deep, the wounds too raw. But he offered me peace, he offered me security. I should have known it was just another lie - I should have known that falling in love with my professor was a bad idea. But I was powerless to stop myself from falling. And he was powerless to catch me. Because the darkness finally caught up to me, and as fate would have it, a cruel twist almost bled me dry. But I'm stronger than I knew. I'm stronger than you think. You think you know my story, but you don't - after all everyone has Shame in their lives - and I'm no longer afraid to show you mine.

244 pages

First published October 4, 2014

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About the author

Rachel Van Dyken

184 books18.1k followers
Rachel Van Dyken is the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today Bestselling author of regency and contemporary romances.

Hey guys I'm rarely on Goodreads, if you need to reach me feel free to email!
EMAIL ME: rachelvandykenauthor@gmail.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Rachel-...

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 567 reviews
Profile Image for Lady Vigilante (Feifei).
632 reviews2,696 followers
October 5, 2014
2 stars!


I am a huge fan of this author and the other books in this series all have been epic winners for me. Unfortunately I can’t really say the same about this final book in the series. Lisa is a character that intrigued me from the moment she was first introduced so it really saddens me that her story did not captivate me as much as the other characters’ stories did. Detailed reasons for my rating will be given later in my review but the main gist of it is that I didn’t like either of the main characters, didn’t believe in their romance, and couldn’t suspend disbelief enough to enjoy this book.


If you’ve read any other books in this series, it’s evident that Lisa had a torturous past and her current identity is not her real one. Through past journal entries, we’re slowly given glimpses to the psychotic events in Lisa’s past, and a look into her even crazier ex-boyfriend’s mind. Here is where my disconnect with Lisa’s character is: the Lisa portrayed in the other books and the Lisa in this book is completely different. It’s easy to say I’m not going to judge a person – in this case Lisa – based on their past if they’ve learned from their mistakes but it was pretty much impossible for me to think of her in a positive light here. I will never, ever, EVER understand nor accept that her love for her demonic ex is what blinded her to reason because the things she did in her past are unforgivable, at least in my eyes. If it really is love that blinded her, then she is a person with no common sense and doesn’t know how to distinguish between right and wrong.


A new character in the series, Tristan is one of Lisa’s professors and has a secret agenda of his own. I don’t want to spoil anything for you so all I can say is that he has his own reasons for becoming a professor and for getting close to Lisa. I’d like to say that I at least liked his character but I can’t. This douchenugget’s hot-and-cold behavior around Lisa was a major turn-off and when I pretty much gave up on trying to like his character. It’s one thing to pull off a rich/famous background in the first two books but do it again in this third one? While in a NA college setting? What are the freaking chances? At least Wes and Gabe were likable characters; Tristan had the whole pretentious, arrogant attitude for most of the book.

So with me not being able to like these characters as individuals, it’s a no-brainer I couldn’t see them as a couple nor did I feel the romance develop between them. Their ‘connection’ was spontaneous and came out of the blue but for some inexplicable reason them together just clicked.


With simple, heartfelt moments like the one above, it was enough to tide me over with the romance part but by then, I was too caught up in the logistics part of the plot. Doing my best to keep spoilers out so I can’t name specifics, but there were many parts where if you stop for just 5 seconds and think about it, you’d wonder how can this even happen?! And part of the reason why I didn’t like it when Tristan’s influential background was revealed is because the author uses it as an excuse/cover up to explain the logistics of certain events (like how he was able to score a teaching position for example).

There is one aspect I feel compelled to clarify: please do not decide to read this book just for the forbidden aspect alone. Though the story is technically about a teacher and his student, the fact that one of them seeks the other out for other reasons aside from the romance negates the whole forbidden aspect. It lacks the complete thrill of the chase, the sneaking around, etc… and instead you’ll end up being caught in a web full of deceit, frustration and annoyance with the characters’ pasts.

Shame is the third and final book in the Ruin series and can be read as a standalone, but because the characters from the previous books make major appearances in this story, I highly recommend reading them first. I would wholeheartedly recommend all of the books in this series aside from this last one.

P.S. I normally do not complain about the sex scenes but

ARC provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Christy.
3,912 reviews33k followers
October 31, 2015
3-3.5 stars

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“Everything done in darkness will eventually be brought into the light.”

Shame was completely different than the first two books in this series. I did like the book a good bit, and actually some parts that were way dark intrigued me, but for some reason I didn’t fall in love with this one the way that I did Gabe and Wes’s story. So even though it’s a 3-3.5 it’s a strong 3-3.5 and still one I’d recommend to someone looking for a twisty, dark and emotional new adult.
“The thing about your past… it never stays there. We just think it does until the time comes for it to reveal itself in all its gory shame. And there’s nothing, absolutely nothing a person can do, but watch”

Lisa has a past that she’s not proud of. A shameful past that still haunts her to this day. Partly because of this past, she doesn’t date or get involved with anyone. Then she meets Tristan, aka Professor Blake (there isn’t a big age gap, she’s early 20’s and he’s 27) and things change. Lisa’s secrets are always right there, on the edge of coming out- but Tristan has secrets too. These secrets could completely break them both.

Shame was full of twists and turns and at the end there were things that came out that I didn’t see coming at all. I listened to the audio of this book and the narration was good. Although I could sympathize with Lisa, I never truly connected to her or Tristan, which is a big reason why I didn’t love this as much as the first two.

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Profile Image for Michelle.
2,101 reviews1,263 followers
October 1, 2014
ARC provided by author in exchange of honest review

☆☆☆☆☆ 5 TRISTAN STARS ☆☆☆☆☆


There aren’t enough words to describe how emotionally charged, riveting , touching and heartbreaking SHAME by Rachel Van Dyken is. Rachel is one of those authors for me who can completely capture and own you emotionally. She can take her readers on an emotional rollercoaster full of twist and turns where it can leave you stunned, break your heart, and have you shedding tears. But most importantly, she has this amazing gift in writing that can piece back the pieces of your heart and leave you with a big fat smile on your face. Shame is another book that I can happily say that Rachel will leave her readers breathless. We all the know the saying ‘Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.’ So what does Lisa have to be ashamed of? What is she hiding? It is said to not look back on our past, but move forward. But what happens when the past comes back haunting you and leaves you emotionally crippled? Be prepared to find out why Lisa’s past is SHAMED.


Our lives are a collections of stories, truths about who we are, what we believe, where we came from, how we struggled and how we survived. Our past is there for a reason. It does not define us but allows us to learn, to grow and and a reminder for us to move forward. When we can let go of what people think and own our story, we can gain access to fully loving ourselves. Owning your story and accepting it is one of the bravest things we will ever do. And for Lisa, she owned her story. Her story is full of regrets, mistakes, hurt, and brokenness. For Lisa, it is a story of SHAME.

Darkness.Hell. Despair. Regrets. Lost. Emotionally Crippled. Haunted. For Lisa, these words can describe her personal turmoil and hell. A living hell where the lines of the past and presents collide and gets blurred. A constant reminder that her past is full of shame and regrets. In Toxic, readers got a snippet of Lisa’s past. A past that comes back haunting her. A past that she tries hard to forget. So when the past comes barreling back, will Lisa continue to live in fear? Or will she finally own her story?

Journal entries of Lisa’s ex-boyfriend, Taylor B. begins each chapter. These journal entries are nothing but vindictive, cruel, malicious, spiteful, and just plain awful. In these entries, readers are finally exposed to the truth of Lisa’s past. Though Lisa is not perfect and ashamed of the things she has done but these entries gives us a glimpse into the life and torment she suffered from her emotionally abusive and controlling ex-boyfriend. The games he played and how he targeted on Lisa aka Mel’s insecurity and naivety. Simply Taylor was a bully and monster that she was trying to escape but somehow he would play on her emotions and put her down so she can join him in the darkness. A life of SHAME. So when she finally thought she was freed from him physically, the past comes barreling back like a bulldozer and emotionally crippling her from living.


When the past reemerges, Lisa begins to slowly fade back into living with fear, regrets, and shame. Behind the walls, lies a broken girl wanting to be free. Free of her past, free from her memories of Taylor, and most importantly free of her demons and shame. When darkness begins to creep back in, a light of hope begins to shine down on Lisa with the help and support from her friends, Wes, Kiersten, Gabe, Saylor and most importantly with the help from Tristan, her college professor. Tristan was the beacon of light for Lisa. He made her FEEL. For so long, Taylor took away her power and made her feel of little value. He took away her happiness, love, hope and living. And when Tristan enters into the picture, he gave Lisa back the control she needs. The will to face her life, own her mistakes and regrets and the power to love again. Will Tristan be able to fill Lisa’s life with light and love? Or will their forbidden romance be another thing to add to Lisa’s pile of Shame?


Shame is a story that must be experienced like the first two books of the Ruin Series. There are not enough words to describe how beautifully heartbreaking and moving this book is. Shame is simply RAW. The truth hurts. The past cannot be changed. Mistakes and regrets are a lessons to be learned. And everyone has lived a life of SHAME. This book is filled with suspense, surprises, friendship, heartbreak, and love. What I truly love about this book it reminds us all the past cannot be changed, forgotten, edited or erased. It can only be accepted. It should not define, destroy, deter, or defeat you. It should only strengthen you to be a better person inside and out. Shame broke my heart, twisted it and slowly piece by piece taped it back together. Be prepared to LIVE, LAUGH, and LOVE. And most importantly it reminds us all, don’t live in the past, you have already been there.

Rachel Van Dyken
Profile Image for Jacqueline's Reads.
2,833 reviews1,481 followers
October 28, 2014
4 Learn from your mistakes Stars

A LOT happens in Shame. It’s crazy, but in a good way

I loved Ruin, was a bit disappointed with Toxic, but Shame really rounded everything out. I’m very happy I stuck with the series and Shame left me satisfied.

Summary (brief)

Remember Lisa? She’s Gabe’s best friend. Anyhow, Lisa dated a crazy person and he killed himself “because of Lisa”. She’s trying to move forward, but every time she does, it seems like a creepy stalker is bringing up her past.

Tristian is Lisa’s professor. I know.. it’s not really that kind of story. Tristian has intentions towards Lisa, but not all of them are noble.


I don’t even know where to begin. First off, the prologue is a bit confusing, but for once, it’s not truly a true foreshadowing (meaning, it doesn't give everything away). Dyken is known to foreshadow and it drives me bonkers. This one I could handle.

Second, there’s a lot that happens and a lot of twist and turns. I do not want to give any away, but let’s just say some are less obvious than others.

I liked Lisa, even though she’s kind of messed up because of her ex. I also liked the excerpts from her ex’s diary. It really gave me a glimpse of what Lisa was going through when she dated him. I also liked Tristian because he seemed really complex. He also has a lot of issues and I just wanted to unravel it.

Overall, the story and plot was great. The characters were good too. The execution is a bit choppy. I felt like this book was a bowl of soup and everything was thrown into the pot. Tristian being a professor doesn’t really portray the true storyline of a student/teacher relationship. Dyken does touch on it, but come on, it wasn’t necessary.

The stalker is a great element to the book, because it gives me the damsel in distress I crave, however some of the scenes where the stalker is there, makes it a little too obvious for me to who he is and I kind of wanted to be surprised.

Reading more, I felt like the story was starting to jumble a bit and I was kind of rushing to finish. I love the beginning and the overall plot, but I got lost towards the end.

Regardless, Shame was a decent read with plenty that kept me interested.

Series Order
Ruin (Ruin, #1) by Rachel Van Dyken REVIEW | AMAZON
Toxic (Ruin, #2) by Rachel Van Dyken REVIEW | AMAZON
Shame (Ruin, #3) by Rachel Van Dyken AMAZON
Profile Image for Roge.
2 reviews
February 5, 2015
Expected publication: June 2014

OMG please let this be Lisa's Story!! please please please!!!!!!!

---------------------UPDATE JULY 23 2014-------------------------


---------------------UPDATE AUGUST 25 2014-------------------------


---------------------UPDATE SEPTEMBER 11 2014-------------------------





Profile Image for AJ.
2,931 reviews958 followers
November 11, 2014
3.5 rollercoaster stars

This book is the final in the Ruin series, and finally gives us Lisa’s story. It’s a rollercoaster of emotions for her but sadly, I didn’t feel it as much as I wanted to - probably because I had issues with some of the story. But there is no denying that this is an intense read with lots of twists and turns, which ties off the series nicely.

From the very beginning of this series, it has been obvious that Lisa is hiding some big secrets. Some of them were revealed in the last book of the series, but the full extent of her past – the guilt and shame that still plague her - is now finally revealed, and is about to come screaming back into her present in a huge way. I’m not going to go into any specifics about it all, because it’s best you discover as you read, but Lisa is tormented by all that was done to her, and by the things that she has done. It’s pretty disturbing stuff, and I really felt for her trying to deal with it all.

And then Tristan enters her life. He is her College professor, and so completely off limits, but there is a definite connection between them. But Tristan is hiding secrets of his own and he needs Lisa to help him unravel it all, and it brings the two of them together in a way that startles them both with its intensity.

Gaining her trust was the only way to gain her knowledge.
Falling for her hadn’t ever been part of that plan, but I imagined it would be too late. I was caught in the spell of her.

But as much as Lisa wants to move on and have the kind of love that her friends have found, her past isn’t ready to let her go yet. And with danger lurking close by, she is about to enter a battle the likes of which she never expected.

OK, here are my issues:

1. Moments of disbelief in the story
2. The ‘forbidden’ romance that actually isn’t. It should be, because he is her Professor, but the way they behave, it’s totally not.
3. The bad guy
4. The sex

I actually did like the love story. Regardless of Tristan being her Professor, the progression of their relationship was really sweet. The banter, the physical attraction, and the genuine emotion between them was gorgeous, and Tristan turned out to be absolutely amazing. Supportive, protective and deeply caring, I love the way he loves her.

“If I could take that hurt from you and carry it for the rest of my life, I would. I know that’s not how life works, but know I’d do it in an instant. If I could take all that guilt and shame? There would be no hesitation, but because I can’t, at least let me hold your hand while you walk through it.”

I also enjoyed the way that the past was revealed throughout the book, and the way that the author told the story about Lisa’s ex-boyfriend. I thought the insights into his psyche were fascinating – what a dangerously sick sociopathic fuck! I’m still not sure how I feel about Lisa remaining with him for as long as she did, but I guess it’s the nature of an abusive relationship that people get stuck in them without knowing how to escape. This relationship was particularly dark, and I thought that the way Lisa’s suffering because of it, was written was really well done.

I loved seeing Wes and Kiersten, and Gabe and Saylor happy together and in love. And the dynamics between the group are sensational! They tease and banter constantly, but they genuinely care about each other, and the boys are fiercely and beautifully protective of Lisa (and Wes is still a walking, talking hallmark card). I loved the scenes where they were all together.

I’ve enjoyed this series. While this one isn’t my favourite of the three (that would be book 2 – Toxic), I genuinely like these characters. Their stories have been both fascinating and highly emotive, and I loved getting to see them each find their happy endings.

For this one though – 3.5 stars.
175 reviews59 followers
November 3, 2020
4.5 stars

Are you promising me forever?”
I stopped moving, nearly killing myself in the process, and reached up to touch her face. I tasted her with my lips, trailing them down her cheeks, kissing away the tears.
“The broken pieces are the prettiest ones, Lisa. The demons, the proudest scars.”
Profile Image for [~Ami~]♥Sexy Dexy♥ .
501 reviews454 followers
Shelved as 'did-not-finish'
October 3, 2014
DNF at 20%

Storyline was interesting enough. Lisa is running from her past and then Tristan turns up as her new professor. How does he tie in with her past?

If you've read the other books, you will know that this series tend to be on the OTT side, I did like them once upon a time. But I just couldn't stop shaking my head at 20%. I had no desire to put all the pieces of the story together and so another DNF.

ARC provided by the author
Profile Image for Yahaira.
557 reviews50 followers
September 29, 2014
I would probably change one thing in this story and I still gave it a 5 stars. I've been dying for this book. If you haven't read the previous books, Ruin, Toxic and the novella Fearless, this is NOT a spoiler free review.

So we all know how perfect Wes is, right? Right? Even in his little parts in Shame I love him more and more. He's the life of it all. He kicked Cancer in the ass, married Kiersten and went on to becomes football player. How about Gabe the movie star in hiding who lost his fiancé? That's alright, Saylor picked up his heart and he put a ring on it. I can keep going on about these two books. But this is not about them, this is about Lisa aka Mel.

So if your remember where we last left off with Lisa, she thought she saw a ghost from her past. Readers...if you think Wes or Gabe had it bad, Think again. Now I can understand why Gabe was so overprotective of her. Why she was in hiding and needed a new identity. But some times as hard as you try, you can't run from your past.

So the new guy Tristan, who's also filthy rich, is linked to her past. How? Not telling you. All I can say is 2 wrongs don't make 1 right. Both Lisa and Tristan hold so many secrets you know this was going to be a disaster when those secrets came out to the open. Tristan came to town with one thought on his brain and the moment they crashed into each other, life took a turn and those thoughts disappeared like vapor. Although he denied it and was rather the little asshole to her, he couldn't fight what was brewing inside his heart. The author did a great job at captivating me with the storyline and with the few twists and turns (some mind-fuckery) I devoured this read. It wasn't InstaLove, more like I hate her but still want to help her and shit I'm having feelings for her.

At the beginning of every chapter she gave us journal pieces to the sick twisted mind of the person responsible for Lisa's past. I found myself saying quite a few times: "You sick Fuck." Which also had me saying: "Seriously Mel, WTF?! Run Dammit." Not only was he mental but the fact he manipulated her to the point where she did things she didn't want to, oh that had me burning inside. Why is the book called Shame? Well it's a damn Shame all the shit that happened to her and the ones caught in this monsters path.

I feel like this series showed that no matter how hard life is and what it throws at you, you can make a new future for yourself and you don't have to be blood related to anyone to call them a family. Wes, Gabe and Lisa needed each other and it's one of my favorite things about this series. Their ongoing love for one another and the acceptance of a new life after all the wrong. Am I a happy camper? You bet I am. Of course the greedy reader that I am I wants another novella. Yup, short little story of what's going on with the Ruin gang. Maybe a wedding. Life after college and married life. More Please!!

*An arc was received by the author in exchange for an honest opinion.*
Profile Image for Michelle.
2,082 reviews861 followers
October 27, 2014
Shame brings us Lisa’s story. Part of her past was eluded to during Toxic, but for the first time we get the clear picture of just what she escaped when she escaped her life two years ago.

For two years Lisa has lived with guilt over the part she played in her past, two years of living in fear... two years of not really living but just going through the motions. But when Tristan appears and ignites a fire within her, Lisa begins of the journey of having to face her past. But the problem is, her past isn’t ready to allow her to let go and move on.

As each chapter opens we get a piece of the puzzle. A journal entry from Taylor, Lisa’s ex. An entry that showcases the manipulation she endures at the hands of a boy that was sick. A boy that was out to ruin everyone, Lisa included. We see the glimpses into Lisa’s past that explain the reason why she’s been frozen with fear for the last two years.

But when her professor enters her life, she begins to feel something beyond the fear that she’s become accustomed to. She feels desire for the first time. A need to be close to someone, a feeling that had escaped her for years. But Tristan’s appearance in her life isn’t just by chance.

As her past is coming back to haunt her present, Lisa is forced to face her fears and take control of her life.

I love these characters. I love the feels that Rachel Van Dyken evokes in you as a reader. Shame was just as fantastic as the prior books in this series and although Ruin will always be my favorite of this series, Shame held its own. Lisa’s story was a tragic tale of a girl that was found when she was lost, she was forced to make choices that would turn her world upside down and in turn she ends up far more lost than she ever was.

But the journey to discovering who she is, isn’t just about the fear and shame of her past. It’s about the one man that enters her life that brings a little bit of light to her darkness.

Shame wasn’t just an emotionally dark read that focused on the power of fear as a tool of manipulation – it was comical at times. For those that are familiar with this author, you know what I mean. These characters have the ability to not only bring you to your knees emotionally, they have the power to make you laugh out loud. The levity that the humor brings to this story was done perfectly. It allowed you to cheer Lisa on and want her to find a way to move past the fear and find the girl that was lost all those years ago. You fought for her to forgive herself.

Another stellar installment to this series and another fantastically written story from Ms. Van Dyken that completes the journey of this group of friends.
Profile Image for Sofia Lazaridou.
2,734 reviews136 followers
February 22, 2015
Sometimes the most beautiful things are the ones that pose the most danger, just like the ugliest of the world turn into objects of absolute beauty. The cancer was ugly, but Kiersten turned it to beauty. The death of Gabe’s fiancée was horrendous, but Saylor made the death redeeming, precious. And Lisa… her past was ugly, but look at the beauty of the disaster that struck: Tristan, redemption within their family, and finally, love. I think the world has it wrong when it strives after the beautiful. It should fight for the ugly; it should hope for the damned; it should seek the lost — because in the end, if there weren’t tears, if there wasn’t fighting, then do you really deserve to feel satisfied and happy? —Wes Michels

Shame is the first book in the series that didn't make me cry like a baby. I adored the suspense part of the story, I am not sure how Lisa managed to miss all the pointers about who her stalker was, but it added to the excitement. That plot twist in the end was the perfect climax to this side of the story.

Tristan might be ideal for some, but unfortunately he wasn't my man. And it's not because Wes set the bar too high for anyone to compete. For some reason I didn't like Tristan as much as I feel I should have. Maybe it was due to his behavior in the early events of the book when he didn't know Lisa very well and he was a little prejudiced against her. Still he is a great person and very likeable. I am sure you will love him.

I missed Wes's wisdom at the beginning of each chapter. I liked the quotes that replaced them though. Not because they were nice or funny or inspiring, but because they gave us the much needed insight to what happened when Lisa was dating Taylor, without interrupting the flow of the story.
Profile Image for Novel Grounds.
1,519 reviews74 followers
October 6, 2014
5 Stars
Meg's Review:
AHH! Rachel has done it again. I had to read this THE MOMENT it popped up on my Kindle. I have been anxiously awaiting Lisa's story and I finally got to devour it.  I was in this novels grips until the early hours of the morning. At one point I even cursed loud enough to wake my husband up. I love when a novel has a twist that I don't see coming.

Favorite Quote:  And... officially called out. Words jumbled in my head - big words, great explanations, excuses mostly, but what came out was, "You're beautiful."

Lisa is full of shame and regrets about her life before what we know of her. She is haunted with every move she makes by that past and never lets anyone see how truly vulnerable she is as a result of it. No one until now.

With all of the characters in this series we have been with them as they overcame some soft of huge and emotional mountain in their lives. Lisa is no different. My heart broke from that first peek into her past.

Enter Tristan. The Professor. I know that you may think you know where this novel is going, but you have no idea. Really. I swear it. You don't. Tristan is a force of his own to be reckoned with and when him and Lisa collide it is a sight to be seen. So many secrets and so much broken inside both of them. But she it comes to things like fate and destiny? You don't really have a choice.


This novel has you guessing and wondering a lll the way until its epic ending. I couldn't figure out what was coming next. I swear every time I thought I had it down, Rachel threw another curveball at me. She wraps you up in Lisa and Tristan's web. You want so much for a happy ending, but sometimes we don't always get what we want.  This novel mixes the light humor that you have come to love from RVD and mixes in a darkness that I thought really gave a depth to the novel. The characters not only were wonederfully presented to us, but the more we got to know them the more we related to them.I fell hard for this novel.

This series as a whole just plucks at you heart strings. Dive into it and let Rachel work her magic yet again on you. It is worth the ride.
Everything done in darkness, will eventually be brought into the light.

I ran, but all it did was keep me one step ahead of my past. I tried to start over; new name, new identity. But you can't change your soul.
A fresh start at college was just what I needed. For a while, it worked. I was the party girl, the one that seemed confident, but it was a lie.
When guys kissed me--I felt only pain.
When they touched me--Nothing but fear.

Deep inside, every girl wants to be the beauty in the story, to find someone that will see you as their world.
But the truth? I was the beast. And as much as I wanted redemption, I wasn't fool enough to think I'd ever get it.
Until he walked into my life.

I wasn't prepared to fall for someone. My scars were too deep, the wounds too raw. But he offered me peace, he offered me security. I should have known it was just another lie--I should have known that falling in love with my professor was a bad idea.
But I was powerless to stop myself from falling.
And he was powerless to catch me.

Because the darkness finally caught up to me, and as fate would have it, a cruel twist almost bled me dry. But I'm stronger than I knew. I'm stronger than you think.
You think you know my story, but you don't....after all everyone has Shame in their lives-- and I'm no longer afraid to show you mine.
Profile Image for Rebecca.
2,606 reviews41 followers
October 6, 2014
Anyone that is around me for five minutes knows what a huge RVD fan I am. I have LOVED everyone of her books and will one-click anything she writes, without even reading the synopsis. Ruin was the first book I ever read by RVD, and it will always have a special place in my heart. I started Shame with mixed emotions and extremely high expectations. How would this series end? Would we finally learn all Lisa’s secrets?

I was so very tired of being that girl. The brave girl who pretended everything was fine.

I have adored Lisa since Ruin and my opinion of her has never wavered. After finishing Shame, I loved her even more. Lisa’s past life events are extensive and a lot has to be divulged; RVD was able to do this perfectly. I was literally hanging on every chapter wondering what revelation would be revealed. Lisa’s true pain and heartbreak is finally brought to the surface. My heart ached for her and all that she had to endure from Taylor.

How do you see so much when I try so hard to hide it?

Maybe because Gabe and Wes are so amazing, but I was not a huge fan of Tristan. He is a complex character and is manipulating Lisa on two fronts. I eventually grew to like him, but never felt any heart stopping moments with his character. Perhaps if there were more buildup with their relationship? It was just a little too rushed for me, especially given Lisa’s past.

Funny how one person can change your mind, your heart, your soul so completely that you forget what you were fighting for the first place.

I would argue this is RVD’s “darkest” piece of work. While I really really liked this book, it did not have the “magic” for me that Ruin and especially, Toxic held. However, it is a great book and is well written, and I am certain Ruin fans will love it. I applaud Rachel for breaking her norms and giving us a such a thought provoking book. Life is not always rainbows and happiness.

Perhaps some day Rachel will give us a peek into the lives of these beloved characters again. I can not imagine truly saying goodbye to them and have truly loved this series! I highly recommend it to any NA fan!
Profile Image for Kelly.
120 reviews8 followers
September 23, 2014
I was lucky enough to recieve an Adavanced copy of this book for an honest review. Rachel seems to surprise me at every turn with each new book she publishes.
This is Lisa's story and there's a lot of lead up and hints to her situation in Ruin Fearless and Toxic but nothing can prepare you for this.
I was pulled in from page one. At one point I got so mad that I threw my reader. Then ending is amazing. What you thinks going to happen doesn't. This is definitely a must read.
Profile Image for The Hopeless Romantics Book Blog.
737 reviews203 followers
October 1, 2014
Review: Surj Harvey 4.5 Stars

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Mystery and suspense are two elements in a book that absolutely have me clawing at the pages, my inquisitive side always getting the better of me, my desperation to uncover the missing parts of the puzzle so strong that more often than not, I'll pull an all nighter just so that I get the answers I crave. Even my husband knows better than to interrupt me when I get that crazed look in my eyes... don't judge ladies.. we all do it!!!
"The broken pieces are the prettiest ones, Lisa. The demons the proudest scars."

So what happens when you pick up a book and figure out the direction the story line will take very early on? What happens when the element of surprise is gone (or so you think)? Well, for me that was the case when I read Rachel Van Dyken's "Shame" but it honestly didn't matter because this book was just brilliant and I was 100% emotionally invested in Lisa's story. It wasn't about what was going to happen because that wasn't difficult to work out and to be honest, I don't think it was the author's intention to keep that information hidden. It was there plain as day for her readers to work out. Instead, it was about the why's, when's and who's, the story line so intricately woven, the tangled web of secrets, lies and deceit so strong, I was desperate to watch it all unravel and see the effect it would have on the characters and the dynamics of their relationships. The thing about secrets is, they never stay hidden for long and the past always has a habit of catching up with you and that was absolutely the case here.
Unfortunately, the thing about running, the thing about trying to start over- eventually that hope is dashed by your past coming up to greet you like the fires of hell.

"Shame" was different than the previous two books in the series in that the tone was much darker, it was more twisted, f**ked up for want of a better word and within the first few chapters, I realised why Lisa had up sticks and left all she had ever known behind, giving herself a new identity and a fresh start. It also went a long way in explaining the over protective nature of her best friend Gabe. Ah the penny finally dropped and I got it!!! Lisa's story left me feeling saddened, devastated and even scared at one point. It was like watching a thriller... you know the one's where you know exactly what's going to happen but your helpless to do anything about it but in the same breath, you're also unable to look away? Yup, that pretty much summed up this book for me.
Hearts don't make sounds when they break, but there's pain- God, is there pain. One minute you're find and you're able to breathe, able to feel blood pump through your veins. And the next minute? You're unable to focus on anything but the tightness in your chest as the world falls from under your feet and takes your heart right along with it.

Rachel Van Dyken gave me a whole host of new characters in "Shame", some lovable, some likable, some frightening the ever loving life out of me and then there was one who just plain and simple weirded me out. Lisa's character was one I'd grown to really like over the course of this series and in this book, my heart shattered for her. Her back story was ugly (pure and simple). Not surprisingly, it had moulded her into the person she had become... broken beyond belief, full of guilt and remorse and I completely understood why. I really wanted Tristan to be the one who fixed her, put her back together, help her overcome all that she had been through but he was harboring his own secrets and initially, I really struggled with his character. What were his motives? It appeared he had his own hidden agenda and although I knew what that was, I also knew the consequences had the potential to shatter Lisa. And Taylor... he started at the root of this dark, twisted story and honestly, getting into his mind sent chills down my spine, an overwhelming sense of fear at what he was capable of consuming me.
I loved what she made me feel. I loved that instead of being afraid of me, she fed the beast. She fed me more than my heroine addiction, more than coke, more than the girls, the fast cars.She filled me temporarily but I knew it would come to and end someday. She had a conscience, whereas I did not, and I'd have to change tactics with her.

"Shame" was a fantastic ending to what has been an amazing series. The story line for Lisa's book was different, unique, a breath of fresh air and I really struggled to put it down. The writing was truly engaging and a true reflection of the tone and mood of this book. I felt the pain, sorrow, mind f**kery and fear that was reflected in the story line and that's what made this final book so good. "Shame" also concluded Gabe and Wes's stories with an epilogue that was just perfect. I've enjoyed every single book in this series and am gutted it's come to an end. A job well done Rachel Van Dyken. I rated "Shame" 4.5 Hearts
Profile Image for Selly - Leggere Romanticamente.
1,167 reviews258 followers
February 11, 2016
4 stelline e mezzo!
Sul blog trovate la mia recensione qui ---> http://www.leggereromanticamente.com/...

Con questo romanzo siamo arrivati alla conclusione della serie new adult “Ruin” di Rachel Van Dyken, che questa volta vede come protagonisti principali, nonché narratori della storia, Lisa e Tristan.
Conosciamo Lisa sin dal primo libro della serie, dove ci veniva presentata come la cugina di Gabe, ma nel finale di “Ricordati di Amare” abbiamo scoperto che non è proprio così.
Per dimenticare il passato e lasciarsi alle spalle la persona che era, Lisa si era rifugiata dal suo migliore amico Gabe, iscrivendosi nella stessa università sotto falso nome.
Alcuni anni prima Lisa era una modella conosciuta, ma aveva commesso azioni perfide ed orribili insieme al suo ex, un manipolatore psicopatico che abusava addirittura di lei.
Dopo le rivelazioni del libro di Gabe, anche l'identità di Lisa è stata compromessa, in questo libro a lei dedicato ne scopriamo le conseguenze, oltre ad approfondire tutto quello che la riguarda e che non potevamo nemmeno lontanamente immaginare.
Il protagonista maschile lo incontriamo invece per la prima volta in questo romanzo: Tristan è un affascinante e giovane professore (amico di Wes tra le altre cose), che ha preso una pausa di 6 mesi dalla sua vita di successo per dedicarsi all'insegnamento. Tristan si comporta inizialmente in maniera pessima, prendendo in antipatia Lisa e mettendola in difficoltà in ogni occasione, ma ben presto le cose cambiano e i due si ritrovano molto vicini e sempre più attratti l'uno verso l'altra.
A questo punto penserete alla classica storia romantica studentessa-professore... e invece no! Perché Tristan non è finito in quella stessa università per caso, ma per far luce su alcuni fatti accaduti in precedenza ed è determinato come non mai a trovare delle risposte.
Preparatevi quindi perché la realtà non poteva essere più complicata ed intricata di così, l'autrice ha messo in piazza diversi risvolti mica da poco!
Come nei precedenti libri di questa serie, nella trama vengono toccati argomenti seri e delicati e non manca nemmeno un pizzico di suspense e di tragedia.
Le scene con protagonisti Lisa e Tristan sono spesso dolci e romantiche, lui diventa sempre più protettivo nei confronti della ragazza ed entrambi si meritano il loro agognato lieto fine!
Il romanzo mi è piaciuto molto per la sua particolarità, l'ho divorato in pochissimo tempo come mi capita spesso quando le storie mi prendono molto!
Devo ammettere però che l'ho trovato un pochino sottotono rispetto al precedete, che è stato veramente una meraviglia!
Colpa probabilmente della conclusione un po' affrettata, però l'epilogo è stato qualcosa di fantastico! Ci volevano proprie le “sue” parole per concludere in bellezza questa trilogia. Lo stile di Rachel Van Dyken mi piace e spero di leggere altri suoi libri, in generale questa serie è molto più emozionante, emotiva e “tosta” rispetto alla serie The Bet, che invece consiglierei a chi cerca qualcosa di più ironico e frivolo.
Profile Image for Candace.
1,176 reviews4,330 followers
October 17, 2015
Whew! This one surprised me a little. I've gotta say that this book in the series was a bit darker than it's predecessors in this series. I love a little dark with a side of crazy in my books, so this was fine by me.

If you've read the earlier books in the series, then you know that Lisa is kind of the last woman standing now that the other main characters have paired off and married. Honestly, I loved the other books, but I was afraid that this would be another "perfect" love story full of rainbows and sunshine. Ms. Van Dyken definitely threw me for a loop, completely changing it up!

While there are some similarities to books 1 & 2, Lisa's story had far more suspense and mystery. It also had a dangerous, creepy vibe vs. the ugly-cry inducing, heartbreaking "secrets" that the other 2 had. With the memory of her bat-shit-crazy, abusive as hell, psycho ex-boyfriend to keep her company, I'm just surprised that she didn't become a total shut-in!

All in all, this was a very entertaining read! It was action-packed and fast-paced. I listened to the audiobook and it had wonderful narration as well. It is part of a series, but can easily be read as a stand-alone. Great book!
Profile Image for Tricia  Santos.
293 reviews36 followers
October 6, 2014
**ARC provided by author in exchange for an honest review**

**NOTE: Every book in the Ruin series may be read as a standalone. HOWEVER, this is one of the best series ever, so I would highly suggest you read them in order. You can’t miss out on Wes. Or Gabe**

I think everyone knows that I pretty much love everything RVD writes. Her Seaside series? Stole my heart. The Bet series? I choke on my laughter. Ruin? Slaughtered me. Her Eagle Elite series? My preferred form of crack. Toxic? Broke me. Shame? Healed me. I seriously can’t believe that this is the last book in the Ruin series. What am I going to do with my life now without Wes, Gabe, and Tristan? Not to mention, the women who saved them, Kiersten, Saylor, and Lisa. I love them all. Their chemistry as individuals, as lovers, and as a family has made a huge impact on my life.

“My past came knocking sooner that I could have imagined.
In the form of a ghost. A person I had no idea existed. A person who knew all my shame.
A person I fell in love with.”

Ruin is one of my all-time favorites. Toxic was heartbreaking. And so I was truly scared to read Shame. And not because I was scared I would hate it, no, I would never doubt RVD like that! But, because I knew it would consume me. And it did. From start to finish, my eyes raced across my iPad screen as I devoured the unconventional love story that is Lisa and Tristan. It was riveting, dramatic, haunting, and most of all, beautiful. As with most books, I can’t say much without giving the plot away. We found out a huge secret about Lisa’s identity in Toxic. However, I can safely say that we barely scratch the surface of her past until we dive into Shame. I was horrified, I was sympathetic, and even I could feel the shame. It amazes me each and every time how talented RVD is with making me feel! All. The. Emotions. With a complex plot that seems so simple, Tristan and Lisa manage to take my breath away and effortlessly steal my heart.

“She probably thought I was pissed—far from it, just so damn tired of being the perfect son, of doing the right thing. I wanted her. It wasn’t right; it was wrong, and for the first time in my life, I wanted the wrong. I wanted the bad. I wanted it more than the truth. Give me the lie. Just give me her.”

By the end of the book, I can’t help but think that Lisa is truly one of the strongest heroines I have ever had the pleasure of reading. She has a terrifying past with her ex, Taylor. And not only do I admire her for her ability to survive that, but I can see how much she grows throughout the course of the book and that astonishes me. She’s drowning in guilt and living in fear, but she still manages to make it. She still manages to lean on her family, Wes, Kiersten, Saylor, and Gabe. And she still manages to find love and peace in Tristan.

“It won’t be easy. Letting you in.”
“It won’t be easy. Keeping you out.”

Tristan was a huge enigma for me at first. I was seriously glad that we got to see alternating POVs between him and Lisa. I liked the way that RVD set up his character. We discovered new things about him basically every other chapter. But, by the end we realize we found yet another Wes and Gabe. He’s rich, he’s sexy, he’s alpha, he’s crazy protective, and an even fiercer lover. He could almost give Wes a run for his money in things he says that makes me swoon. Almost. Because everyone knows how spot-on Wes is with his “Hallmark quotes” and advice.

“I was pretty sure that’s how you know you’re falling for someone—when you want the good and bad, when you want everything, regardless of how horrible, how dark. You want it all, because at the end of the day, it’s still them.”

In the end, we get to see everyone come full circle. You’ll be happy to know that you actually get to see A LOT of the cuteness that is Wes and Kiersten and Saylor and Gabe. I laughed, I almost cried. I got angry. I fell in love. Over and over again. I didn’t know at the time that I read it that this was the last book in the Ruin series. It makes sense, except I’m incredibly sad to see them go. I will miss Kiersten’s quiet strength, Wes’ amazing heart and wisdom, Saylor’s ability to keep Gabe in check, Gabe’s protectiveness, Lisa’s humor, and Tristan’s sexiness. Well, let’s face it—all the guys have the sexiness, protectiveness, and swoon factor. It’s one of the things RVD specializes in, after all.

“You’re beautiful. And I love you more…and more…with every passing day. And I’m never letting you go. For as long as I live, I’m never letting you go.”
“Are you promising me forever?”

See full review here http://www.romanceaddictbookblog.com/...
Profile Image for Red Cheeks Reads.
2,183 reviews365 followers
October 6, 2014
I am absolutely in love with the Ruined Series by Rachel Van Dyken. These NA reads have wormed their way into my heart so hard. I have been dying for Lisa’s story. This whole damn story with her has been so mysterious and I really wanted to know what her deal was. I love how all of these books make you feel all WTF for most of the book. I kept thinking “what is happening” or “what the heck is going on” through the whole story and I loved every second of it.

Lisa’s story is definitely a dark one and really addresses some very serious issues; bullying and rape, being two of the big ones. So be prepared for a pretty dark read, guys! Lisa’s past has finally caught up with her present and at a time when she thinks she has finally found love again, with Tristan.

Tristan is Lisa’s professor at school and he has a WHOLE story of his own that Lisa knows nothing about.

“Madness…” My voice dropped low. “…recognizes madness.”

Wow, Tristan and Lisa’s tale really blew me away. The secrets, mystery, and the sexiness was so intoxicating; grabbing me from the beginning and keeping me hooked until the end.

Of course the rest of the gang was in this book as well (my favorite, Gabe. Le Sigh). They were just as charming and endearing as ever, also bringing some comedy, as well. It was good to be back with my guys!

They were like one big happy world-saving family. All doing something to benefit others, while I couldn’t stop thinking about myself, about my failure, and my sadness.

And the new addition Tristan, well, the boy is just smoking hot. Whew! He was a terrible flirt with a side of alpha. I kinda loved him but nobody will ever take Gabe’s spot for me! I loved that Tristan wasn’t a perfect book boyfriend and that he definitely had issues of his own to work out. He still managed to uber sexy and Lisa and his chemistry was off the charts!

One of my very favorite things about Rachel’s books in general is that they somehow manage to be incredibly sexy without being all that sexual. It is hard to explain but a lot of the time they do not even include the actual act of having sex but they still manage to give me the sexy tingles I love so much. Also, she seems to be really good at dragging on the sexual tension between characters for a good while and I really love that!

This is a complete novel with a very Happily-Ever-After. Tristan and Lisa will reach out and hug your heart with their dark story. This book had it all; mystery, love, danger, and it was oh so sexy! Loved it!

Profile Image for Carissa.
269 reviews61 followers
October 9, 2014

3.5 Stars


RVD has brought us another instalment in the Ruin series. It's Lisa's story, her Shame.

"Everything done in the darkness, will eventually be brought into the light."

But that's the thing about choices; you don't regret them until after they've been made. It may be a second later, or a year. 

Shame always comes.

Lisa's shame is ever prominent within the shadows, the eerie threats, and the emotional and psychological trauma that she suffers daily. Changing her identity and living a college life should make her happy, but she keeps meeting her sinister past at every turn. Filled with remorse, regret and utterly vulnerable over her past mistakes, Lisa is constantly jumpy and running around. Not being able to be settled and have a sense of peace and calm. She runs smack dab into her sexy professor.

"Unfortunately, the thing about running, the thing about trying to start over - eventually that hope is dashed by your past coming up to greet you like the fires of hell."

Dr.Blake, is an arrogant, egotistical, ARSE!! Tristan, is the smooth talker. Sexy and seductive, flirtatious and funny, with a possessiveness that haunts Lisa. Tristan is in awe of Lisa. She isn't what he expected. Now this coming from a man with an ulterior motive for being a professor for a couple of months. Tristan starts to question his purpose and its efficacy.

"Funny how one person can change your mind, your heart, your soul so completely that you forget what you were fighting for the first place."

Tristan sees the pain and suffering that's warring within Lisa, but he also sees the strength to persevere. 

"The broken pieces are the prettiest ones, Lisa. The demons the proudest scars."

As Tristan is sifting beneath the surface, with the aid of a secret diary and Lisa is being haunted by her past memories of a dead boyfriend and staged spectacles all videoed and documented on a public website. The darkness is drawing her in. But Tristan refuses to allow this to happen. They both come together through secrets, lies, manipulation and a passion that's like a 'moth drawn to a flame.'  

Sometimes you spend your whole life being a victim--until you decide you want to be a survivor.

“It won’t be easy. Letting you in.”
“It won’t be easy. Keeping you out.”

“I was pretty sure that’s how you know you’re falling for someone—when you want the good and bad, when you want everything, regardless of how horrible, how dark. You want it all, because at the end of the day, it’s still them.”

*ARC provided on behalf of the author via  InkSlinger PR*

This was a lovely and enjoyable read. I'll be honest and say that the most memorable parts in this book was the Diary of Taylor B. There was a more indepth  and terror filled connection to Taylor than with the other characters. Wes and Gabe were such fierce and protective sweethearts. I really need to read the other books in the series in order to get the full picture. Please understand this is simply my opinion.
Profile Image for Kim.
2,546 reviews152 followers
September 21, 2014
4.5+ stars
Unfortunately, the thing about running, the thing about trying to start over---eventually that hope is dashed by your past coming up to greet you like the fires of hell. My past came knocking sooner that I could have imagined.

We were teased by Lisa's back story in Toxic. She has been around in all of the books in this series as she is friends with Gabe, Wes, Saylor, and Kiersten. But now she is really struggling. Gabe's past came out and now hers is haunting her in the form of threatening mail. She already lives with guilt and shame for things she did when younger and her painful history with her ex-boyfriend Taylor has left permanent emotional and psychological scars.

But that's the thing about choices; you don't regret them until after they've been made. It may be a second later, or a year. Shame always comes.

But now there is a new, young, hot professor, Tristan, who favors her ex. And he seems intent on calling her out and making her life miserable. And he has ties with people in her life, making it harder to escape his attention.

She is already scared, insecure, and full of guilt and self loathing, She's afraid of the threats, her past catching up to her, and her attraction to her professor. He does not fit with her previously set plans. She was so marked by her past that she tried to reinvent herself and leave it all behind. But it never really leaves her mind, and with new threats stalking her it is just adds more fear and tension. But she does not like to be a burden to those she cares about, so tries to be strong and handle everything herself.

Tristan is taking time away from his real life to do some investigating. He needs answers. He is angry and set on revenge based on one side of a story he has been privy to. He feels like people do not really know who he is and he might not have all of the answers himself, He is ruthless in business, but not so secure regarding real relationships, He needs order and control to keep his life compartmentalized and safe. But Lisa brings some messiness, disorder, and makes him feel. In order to get the answers he seeks, he has to be secretive himself. And as the story unfolds he begins finding more questions than answers.

But their circumstances also add a forbidden element. There is a pull that they both should resist. But when that proves difficult, there is more at risk than they think...feelings, trust, reputations, and their safety. Evil manipulative games from her past are haunting both of them in the present. There is the dichotomy of good vs. evil and truth vs. lies.

I will admit it took me a bit to warm up to Tristan and even to them together. But as they story got more convoluted, motivations were questioned, and decisions were made, I could feel their connection and emerging feelings. I began to see them more as a couple. They were two people with facades that had to be broken down bit by it. Half truths, hidden agendas, and misconceptions were in play from the beginning. Trust and security are difficult when there are so many secrets and insecurities. But deep down they both had their demons to fight and could provide strength to each other in their battles.

Sometimes you spend your whole life being a victim--until you decide you want to be a survivor.

I loved getting more with Wes, Gabe, Kiersten, and Saylor...the over-protective boys especially. They love Lisa fiercely. Their interactions are both funny and taunting, but also supportive and protective, They are truly a family and all have lived through some kind of hell to come out at a better place. It is only right that they try to lead Lisa away from the darkness and chains of her past and try to help her continue to move past it,

"The broken pieces are the prettiest ones, Lisa. The demons the proudest scars."

This one was full of secrets, subterfuge, deceit, and emotional and psychological warfare. There were some very toxic and manipulative people in this one. It was truly disturbing and downright creepy at times. There was a layered plot with many twists and turns. I will say that I figured it out by really analyzing it all, but it did not lessen the tension or anxiety I felt. It was a nerve wracking, appalling, infuriating, heartbreaking, suspenseful, yet inspiring story. It was told in Lisa and Tristan's points of view in the present and the teasers at the top of the chapters were from journal entries of her ex, or from Lisa or her past alter ego Melanie. And there was an epilogue in another point of view that made me smile. This is another book in the series that grabs you, frustrates and angers you, makes you feel, builds you back up, breaks you down again, and leads you on a wild ride...but once you finally get there it is the beauty in healing that makes it worth the fight to get there.

I was gifted a copy in exchange for an honest review. Will be posted at Reviews by Tammy and Kim.
Profile Image for Beatrice Masaluñga.
1,141 reviews1,672 followers
July 11, 2015
Lisa/Melanie Faye is a model with a traumatic past. In the present time, it still haunts her because she received lots of threats and makes her life a living hell. She's vulnerable because she is abused and her friends are going to do anything to keep her safe, but she knows that it won't be forever. She meets Tristan Blake, her hot-&-cold professor. Her attraction to him is undeniable but trusting him isn't enough. He has a secret, seeks for an answer and the only way to find out is to earn Lisa's trust.

I'm in awe of how this book is beautifully written. The story isdark, intense, romantic, alluring and unputdownable. I also love the twist and turns in this book and Rachel Van Dyken wrote this perfectly. This can be read as a standalone, but I prefer you read the entire series so you'll get to know more about all the characters mentioned in this book.

So much feelings for this book. It's heavier than the previous two because this one is about abuse. My heart aches for Lisa through out this book. . Tristan Blake is one sexy, hot professor. omfg. *fans self* Forgive me for fangirling like this, I can't help it. He is caring, protective, cocky, and romantic. Why is the name 'Tristan' freaking sexy? Hands down perfect!

Praises to Rachel Van Dyken! I'm sure be looking forward to read her future novels.
Profile Image for Heather andrews.
9,520 reviews151 followers
September 10, 2014
Yep I have a new favorite man in this series and it's Tristan, "old," I finally managed to croak out. "Like gross old man. You're lucky I stopped kissing you when I did. Don't want my arthritis rubbing off on you." Yes that man is quite the jokester. Lisa she can be a smarta** at times but that is her strong point, it's her defense mechinism (did I spell that right?), "should we make necklaces or something? I can wear your tight-a** professor jacket to school...prove to everyone we're going steady." I loved the atmosphere Tristan and Lisa had when they were together, "because you like naked men running around trying to find things to dry themselves with?" Lise I think sometimes likes to tease her man, "really?" His voice hoarse from sleep. "You wake me up just to turn me on? Thanks, Lisa, really, I appreciate that. Not like I've had enough shock to my body these last few days." I loved this book.

Profile Image for Jo - •.★Reading Is My Bliss★.•.
2,405 reviews208 followers
July 18, 2017
So I read the first two books in this series a few years ago so it was cool to read more about Gabe, Wes and the girls. This can be read as a stand alone however and I listened to the audio version.

Lisa was in a manipulative, controlling relationship with a guy called Taylor. She was at the height of her modelling career when she met him and he managed to convince her to do some things she is not proud of. Until he took his life, in front of her.

She is now following her dream at University and moving on with her life. It has taken her a long time to get to a place where she could deal with what happened with Taylor and she still has nightmares about him.

Just when she was beginning to believe things would be okay, something creepy is going on. Notes and threats are being made, the sense of safety she had is now gone and she can't figure out what the hell is going on and who is behind it all.

And just to add to all of that she has a new professor. A very handsome, young professor who seems very interested in Lisa. Tristan has his own reasons for seeking Lisa out but the more he gets to know her, the more he is drawn to her. He had every intention of getting answers he has been seeking but he is beginning to rethink his intentions. This girl has completely captivated him.

This is quite a suspense filled story with lots of twists and turns, with a big emphasis on mental illness.

Profile Image for Lustful Literature.
1,822 reviews326 followers
October 8, 2014

“The thing about your past…it never stays there. We just think it does until the time comes for it to reveal itself in all its glory shame. And there’s nothing, absolutely nothing a person can do, but watch.”

Rachel gave us a small tease of Lisa/Melanie and her back story in Toxic and Ruin. We seen her throughout the series as a friend in the group. But WOW what Rachel managed to tell with her story was unlike anything I was ready for and I have to say I think this is my favorite book in the series. Lisa‘s story is gut wrenching, the guilt and shame she lives with from her past is beyond painful to read. Lisa is scared, she is so full of shame she doesn’t want to let anyone in due to this fear she carries from her past, the fear her past will catch up to her.

“But that’s the thing about choices; you don’t regret them until after they’ve been made. It maybe a second later, or a year. Shame always comes.”

And that’s where her new professor enters, Tristan. Tristan seems like he was sent to just call her out and ruin her life even more. The worst part she can’t escape him because he is connected to everyone in her life. This also doesn’t help the fact these two have this instant chemistry/attraction.

“I don’t believe in flirting or being coy.” I twirled her around twice then pulled her against my chest. “I believe in honesty and truth. When a women smiles, and it takes your breath away, she damn-well better know it that instant. Otherwise, what’s the point in thinking it? The point in staring?”

Tristan is taking a step away from his real life to do some investigating, he is looking for answers, answers he needs. Tristan has his own secrets, his own set of problems. He is full of anger and he wants revenge. He is the perfect example of what happens when you only have one side of story but deep down you know there is more. Tristan knows there is more to the story and he wants that other half. Tristan is this man that is good at what he does he has made his father’s business beyond successful because of it. He is organized and he keeps everything organized in fact, he is an obsessive labeler, labels are safe, he needs the order, the control. But Lisa brings chaos into his life, she makes him feel.

“I wanted nothing more than to peel every label and replace it the wrong one. Give the man a bit of chaos. He could use it.”

There is this pull that neither can resist even though they both know they should. I will admit it took me a while to adjust to them together. But as I read my feelings grew right along with theirs. These are two people that carry so many secrets and they both have so many insecurities but somehow together they were strength for the other.

“Healing was more than just being cured of cancer or finding the one who actually saw you for you. It was more than getting over your past, embracing your future. Healings waking up every day when you’d rather stay in bed; healings when you smile instead of cry; healings when you can hold your head high, despite what demons try to pull it down.”

This is a book full of secrets, full of deceit, and maybe one of the best head games I was every invited to witness. This book was like watching a horror movie and honestly it was terrifying at parts. The twist and turns Rachel takes you on that bring this story together was shocking.

“God, is there pain. One minute everything’s fine, you’re able to breathe, able to feel blood pumping through your veins. And the very next minute? You’re unable to focus on anything but the tightness in your chest as the world falls from underneath your feet and takes your heart right along with it.”

This was beyond a nerve wrecking read, this was talk to your kindle, fetal position, questioning everything kind of read. Rachel put you not only in Lisa and Tristan’s head but she puts a twist with someone else’s voice in this book, a twist that gave me goose bumps and made me almost physically sick. Rachel also gives an epilogue that made my heart smile. To me after reading this final chapter, I have to say this series is an absolute A MUST READ!!

“Ten thousand…” I angled my head and watched the pulse jump on her neck. “That’s how many nerve endings, on average, are in your lips. Consequently, when your body anticipates pleasure, the build-up is the best part. Imagine, those ten thousand nerves are swelling, allowing blood to surge through them in anticipation of … what?”

You totally want to know the what?
Profile Image for Shera Layn ~ Book Lovers Obsession.
455 reviews94 followers
October 2, 2014
A tragic, twisted, beautiful story. We see hurt, love, loss, pure tragedy wrapped up into one perfectly mastered book called SHAME. Rachel Van Dyken has outdone herself with this one!

“I controlled her, and I needed her to remember that even though she weakened me, I still had control. And she was mine. Forever. She was mine – The Journal of Taylor B”

This story is about a tragic chain of events, most we will read about in the Journal of Taylor B. See Taylor was her boyfriend, was supposed to love her but the only thing Taylor did was manipulate people. He wanted to Shame people, ruin lives, ruin that persons hopes and dreams, including hers. She finally got into college, she was going to leave him and that was the straw that broke the camel’s back. He succeeded in delivering pure Shame by having the one person who truly loved him do it all for him. When you love someone you believe that you must keep feeding the beast in order for them to stay alive, to stay with you. Only, Taylor had an end purpose and he was going to make sure everyone suffered including Lisa.

Lisa packed up took what she could and walked away from it all. She ended at up college, she’s made new friends, Gabe and Wes particularly who both come from money and will both do whatever it takes to make sure Lisa has a normal life. She’s changed her appearance in hopes that she can go on unrecognizable. It isn’t until threats start coming that Lisa knows someone knows her secret.

Then we meet “The Hot Professor” Tristan. Tristan is demanding and sexy as hell. Hess beautiful, controlled, orderly yet chaotic at the same time. He is drawn to Lisa in every way. But that’s not what he’s there for…He is there to teach, right?? Tristan has a huge secret. He needs to know what happened in the past and he feels like there is only one way to find out, but in the process something changes. He sees the ugly as she was made out to be as beautiful and from there, the story really takes off.

“The thing about your past…it never stays there. We just think it does until the time comes for it to reveal itself in all its gory shame. And there’s nothing, absolutely nothing a person can do, but watch”

You are about to go on a rollercoaster ride of emotions. You will be kept wondering what the hell is going on, you’ll keep flipping pages so fast because you just have to know. Screaming at what’s going on, crying for the hurt and betrayal. You start to feel like you are there with the characters in the book. All things always come full circle, even the bad things in life. It’s who is there to catch you when you fall. The friends that will go to the ends of the earth to make it alright. Will Tristan be there in the end, can he right the wrongs? Will Lisa survive all of this?

“The broken pieces are the prettiest ones, Lisa. The demons, the proudest scars”

This book seriously made me remember to never take for granted or forget the good memories, because they will dull the bad. We all have them, things in our life that have touched us, that hurt but it’s the good times that should shine. The way the characters were portrayed in this book, each and every one of them made the story so very real, it was brought completely full circle and was an absolutely brilliant read! An effortless, seamlessly written book and like I said just pure Brilliance! Hands down in my top 5 reads for this year and I can’t wait to see what Rachel brings next! 5 Shining Stars for SHAME!

Copy provided for honest review - Shera
Profile Image for Jill S (Love Affair With Fiction).
646 reviews65 followers
October 2, 2014
Shame, by Rachel Van Dyken -- What can I possibly say to convey my feelings about this book. You know what, I can't. There are just no words to do this justice. If you thought that the first books in the series moved you, prepare for Shame to rock your boat!

When we first met Lisa in Ruin she seems to have the perfect life. She is happy upbeat and the life of the party. As the series moves forward we begin to see hints that all is not calm, peaceful and pretty beneath the beautiful exterior she puts forth. She has scars that run very deep. So deep that she doesn't even share these secrets, wounds or the current troubles she is facing with her best friends until she is cornered and her hand is forced.

Tristan walks in to Lisa's life as her college professor. He is everything you ever dreamed in your naughty professor fantasies! But like Lisa, while the packaging is phenomenal he comes with his own baggage and secrets that he is hiding from Lisa.

Will Tristan and Lisa find their way to true love? Will their pasts and secrets be too much to overcome? Will the twists and turns that RVD throws into this book break you?

This is a book that will make you feel a huge range of emotions. I don't want to say too much, because I truly feel that you need to experience this for yourself. But I can say that I was entirely invested from the get go. Even when my friends were reading it, and messaging me to hold their hand as they read - I was thrown right back into the story line, even though I knew exactly what would happen. Rachel Van Dyken had my heart invested in the story, she had me fully caught up in the story and she had me on the edge of my seat until the very end. And, OH MY! What. An. Ending! (That's all I can say about it. But, wow! Just you wait!!!)

And for those huge fans of the Ruin series - we get to see all of our old friends - Wes, MY MAN Gabe, Kiersten & Saylor. They all make appearances and play a role in Lisa's story.

I cannot recommend this book and this series highly enough. For me this is an absolute MUST READ book/series. These will forever be on the very top of my favorite books!

I received a complimentary copy of Shame from the author in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Kara Hildebrand (Two Book Pushers).
1,662 reviews145 followers
October 1, 2014
I love the Ruin series. Ruin, book 1, is in my all time top 5 favorite reads. Wes is in my top 10 book boyfriend list, and Rachel Van Dyken is in my top 5 favorite authors list. Somehow I feel that I can end the review by just saying all of that :) But, I won't! Shame is Lisa's story. We've known Lisa since book 1 and I'm so glad that she's finally getting her story. Lisa has a dark past full of secrets and regret. We get to see bits and pieces of it as the book progresses. Gabe and Lisa have been friends for years and he's been protecting her from something. Well, we finally get to find out what and who, and it's heart breaking. Enter Tristan….he's her sexy professor and he's hiding something. Something huge! She can't seem to escape him and Tristan can't stay away from Lisa. He knows it's wrong but there's something about her that pulls him in. This story has it all: love, lies, loss, pain, secrets, danger, suspense, humor and lust. And, of course Wes, Gabe, Kiersten and Saylor! This was the perfect end to the perfect series.

Wes was too nice and hot. Let's not forget the hot part. Both he and Gabe were like walking poster boys for GQ. Both blond, now that Gabe had decided to dye his hair back to his original color. It was like looking at two really bright superstars.

The guy was either used to one-night stands or...yeah that was all I had, used to one-night stands.

So, why don’t you go have a heart elsewhere? We're full up on assholes here, and I really don’t want to have to see my own face on the six o'clock news because I kicked your sorry ass." Gabe said.

"And I have weapons of mass destruction-" Lisa said.
"Also knows as a pink Taser and Mace that she still doesn't know which direction to point." Gabe rolled his eyes.

"Cute." His eyes narrowed.
"Okay." I popped my knuckles.
"Whoa!" He chuckled and held up his hands as if to shield himself. "Preparing for a fight?"
"Just getting my question ready."
"With your fists?" He scooted away.

I'd been wrong.
It wasn't the light that had drawn him.
But the beckoning call of the dark.
And like an idiot, I'd fallen before I knew.

Funny how one person can change your mind, your heart, your soul so completely that you forget what you were fighting for in the first place.
Profile Image for Elodie.
553 reviews58 followers
November 8, 2014
6 stars

This book was brilliant. It had everything I love : a strong yet fragile heroine, a couragous bad ass hero, an interesting and addictive story, a touching love story, an incredible writing... And, most important, A TWIST I DIDN'T SEE COMING ! Hallelujah ! I'm usually pretty good at guessing these things, but in this book there are actually two twists! One that I did see coming... And one that left me totally speechless.

So.. yeah, this series is A-M-A-Z-I-N-G. It's true that Shame was a lot darker than Ruin and Toxic... But, like my sweet sweet Wes said in the (fabulous) epilogue of this (wonderful) book : "I think the words had it wrong when it strives after the beautiful. It should fight for the ugly ; it should hope for the damned ; it should seek the lost - because in the end, if there weren't tears, if there wasn't fighting, then do you really deserve to feel satisfied and happy ?"
Wise man, this Wes...

"I never imagined I'd fall for someone so soon after Taylor had ripped me to shreds, but the feelings I had for Tristan were beyond normal. They were... terrifying, and for once, I didn't turn away. I walked toward the very sun that had the potential to burn me."

"Funny how one person can change your mind, your heart, your soul so completelythat you forget what you were fighting for in the first place."

"It's in the fight that you prove your worth."
"And if I lose ?"
"If you're really worthy, you won't lose, and you won't quit, even when it looks like you're about to."
Profile Image for Janet.
398 reviews
September 23, 2014
Wow, Ruin is my favorite Rachel book and I have to say that Shame is coming in a very close second. I was lucky to have received an Advanced copy for an honest review and I am truly in love with this book. If it wasn't for work and other family things going on I would not have put this book down. We already know some of Lisa's story from Ruin and Toxic but there is so much more to her story and Rachel did a wonderful job pulling you in and keeping you there the entire time. I love the added twists and shockers we are involved in and the ending of the book just left me with a book hangover. She wrapped up the series wonderfully and I'm sad to see the series end. This is a must read series.
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