Paperback: 351 pages
“What could be a corny premise turns into an exhilarating, fun ride in Edelson’s adept hands. Her characters are smartly drawn, and readers will easily identify with Ruby, a strong yet insecure young artist on the verge of adulthood, who is still recovering from her tragic past . . . Fans of Twilight and modern fairy tales will fall in love with Ruby and root for her eventual romance.” —Blue Ink Review (Starred Review)
“Between Wild and Ruin is a stunning story of legends, romance, and destiny with themes of starting over, small towns, beauty, and community . . . Edelson perfectly breathes new life in mythology by honoring the oral tradition of a small community and the ruins that bring to life Ruby's destiny.” —Manhattan Book Review
“Highly recommended to mature teens through new adult and adult audiences, this is a story that lingers in the mind long after its final revelation.” —Midwest Book Review
“A great addition to young adult urban fantasy.” —Seattle Book Review
“Descriptions of the New Mexico landscape are rich and atmospheric, arousing the senses with references to the scent of smoke and juniper, the predatory roar of mountain lions, and the brilliant dazzle of stars in the desert sky . . . The writing conveys a sense of timelessness, making it easy to believe Ruby’s sense that the land is spirit-haunted and that Leo, the handsome young man she encounters near the ruins, is somehow connected to it all.” —Clarion Forward
“An intriguing historical tale and an over-the-top love-quadrangle romance.” —Kirkus Reviews
“The paranormal aspects of the tale are credible and richly steeped in traditional lore, and the plot is finely crafted . . . Between Wild and Ruin is most highly recommended.” —Reader’s Favorite (5-Star Review)
After falling for Ezra and discovering a gateway to the Otherworld, it’s a truism Ruby knows to take to heart. But La Luna finally feels like home, and with graduation just weeks away and a cushy internship on a nearby archeological dig in her pocket, it’s easy to downplay the strange new events taking place in the Glorieta Pass. Even when Angel’s deadbeat father reappears after twenty years, stirring up questions about Angel, the ruin, and Ruby’s mother.
Ruminating, I turn to walk back to the tent just as Ezra sails down from the berm. He backs up, corralling me against a root-tangled crumbling shoulder, growling at something up the hill as he blocks my way. When Angel and Racine notice, they shoot up. Angel grabs Racine’s hand and tugs her back, closer to me.
Ezra roars, and his deep, agitated rumbling shakes me to the core. He growls low in his throat, warning away whatever it is up the hill that suddenly growls back. Breathing hard, I move
closer to him, positioning myself right behind his hindquarters. Angel and Racine follow.
“I really thought Ezra was La Luna Maldito,” Racine gasps.
Above the terraced hillside the bushes rustle, and a set of wide, round eyes catch the moonlight. Staring out above the tallest sage brush on the hill, they look like glowing red embers.
“Bobcat?” Angel asks, positioning Tess.
“I don’t think so. It’s way too big,” Racine whispers.
“I think it’s a jaguar,” I tell them.
“In New Mexico?” Racine gasps.
“It’s rare to find them this far north,” Angel says.
In the moonlight, glassy black spots glisten from the cat’s huge, tawny crown. “Maybe but look at those markings.”
Ezra backs up a step. You’re partially right.
From the bushes, the jaguar purrs, churning out a low hum like a generator, defiling the otherwise still night. Racine’s hand finds my wrist, closing around it in a death grip. “Oh God,” she whispers.
“You think Ezra can handle it?” Angel trains Tess on it just as Ezra jumps away from us, toward the brush, growling low in his throat.
Unnerved, I spit out, “Yes, I think so. Just don’t move or freak out.”
The jaguar slowly creeps down the bank and my heart speeds up, beating so hard I feel it in my throat when I swallow. Racine squeezes my hand, and this time I squeeze back, frozen beside her and Angel. Angel keeps Tess trained on the jaguar’s sleek frame, but Ezra’s body blocks his line of sight. Until the jaguar meets Ezra face to face, and I realize what a beast it is, towering over him.
“I won’t shoot unless you tell me to, Ruby,” Angel says through his teeth. “Or it gets too close for comfort.”
“It’s already way too close for my comfort,” Racine whispers.
Ezra releases another deep rumble from low in his throat that reverberates through my body. The sound provokes a rash of goosebumps up and down my arms, but it doesn’t stop the jaguar from slinking closer. The cat saunters toward us, its muscular haunches rippling as it approaches, backing Ezra into the berm.
Copyright © 2021 by Jennifer G. Edelson
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