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“Why do you keep pushing me away?”
“Because you fuckin’ scare me.”

Ruthless by Mila Crawford & Aria Cole is part of a series based at The Academy School, however, each book can be read as a standalone. Bully romances intrigue us, it’s one of those times where fiction should remain fiction as it would be too heart-breaking for the real world. Mila Crawford and Aria Cole’s writing is seamless, and we really enjoyed Ruthless and the dark and angsty romance between a battling Kyler and Madison.

‘I wanted this girl to notice me, to look at me with those warm eyes. I wanted her to shake and cry. I wanted something more than this. I couldn’t stand her just looking across the rippling water, pretending that I didn’t exist.’

This is your typical bully romance, Kyler is an utter arse, hiding his broken heart behind a tattooed and pierced veneer. Whilst Madison is a sweet naïve girl, she has an inner strength she thoroughly needs to draw on when she meets the anti-hero, she reads about in her books. Their journey is incredibly intense and angst-filled and Kyler’s demons from his past are utterly heart-breaking. Madison makes a horrifying discovery whilst fighting an instant yet terrifying connection with her tormentor, Kyler. Between the pair of them were two hearts which frantically searched the other out.

‘That was the thing about broken, fucked up people – they tried to get a connection wherever they could get it, but because it was something intangible to them they became…well, I became a miserable son of a bitch.’

Ruthless had some elements to its storyline which would definitely be triggers for some readers, however, they were dealt with in a way that was sensitive and not detailed, however, the authors definitely captured the fear, heartbreak and utter desperation. We really enjoyed Ruthless on the whole but found the story a tad rushed and would have loved for the emotional elements to be explored in greater detail which would have provided a deeper connection with the characters. The epilogues were definitely an important and most wonderful part of the story and we absolutely loved them!


Rumors spread like wildfire between the walls of Black Mountain Academy. It’s a world where secrets are draped in trust funds, and lies cloaked in family legacy.

The boys that came out of the academy were notoriously bad news. And boarding school dropout Kyler Sinclair was the worst, a good-for-nothing bully with a broken moral compass. He was beautiful, he was dark, he was ruthless.

Madison Evans prided herself on her immaculate school record. A dedicated bookworm with a love for fiction over reality, she’d always been a do-gooder rather than a good-time girl.

Transferring to Black Mountain from the wrong side of the tracks was torture when you’re a born loner. But then bad boy Kyler entered her quiet life.

He’s wrapped in ink and covered in chaos, and she never expected to become the center of his attention… or the target of his scorn.

His vicious insults left fresh wounds—but neither expected the past to catch up with them and change their lives forever.

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