Reviewed by Sheena
Zeth. Mmmmm. He is such an utter indulgence. He is a mystery yet you feel like you know him. He is ALPHA yet you sense a bone deep vulnerability that is so heavily leashed you instinctively know that if he let down his walls and fell for you, it would be akin to having the fiercest lover and protector guarding your heart and watching your back- forever . Zeth Mayfair is the stuff that romance novels are made of – tall, dark and handsome – check; alpha dude – check; confident in his ability to completely blow your mind, body and soul with a single stroke of his… finger- check. Ohhhh but there is just the one thing…the immense pleasure that is Zeth is tempered with a little….pain.
Good thing heroine Sloane Romera is a physician. A surgeon at that! Young, smart, beautiful Sloane is one of my favorite heroines. She lives a quiet and sheltered life as a doctor until her world is rocked when her beloved sister, Alexis, is believed to have been taken by a Mexican Mob Boss who operates a prostitution ring. Desperate to save her sister Sloane plunges into a gritty underworld and resolves herself to selling her innocence in order to find clues to help her find Alexis. Lucky for Sloane, instead of falling victim to human trafficking and being at the mercy of a man who wants to use and abuse her, she meets Zeth Mayfair instead and is now on the ride of her life!
Burn is the third installment of Callie Hart’s Blood & Roses series and it finds Zeth and Sloane closer than ever to rescuing Sloane’s captured sister, Alexis. It is sexy and quite adventurous. I would be soo much less impressed if the author went the S&M cookie cutter route and had Zeth spank Sloane a few times, tie her up, twist her nipples, cum in her mouth and kick her like a puppy to await his next order. Not-in-the-least. Zeth and Sloane are partners as he helps her navigate the dangerous Mob Boss territory and Zeth struggles with his growing attachment and attraction to Sloane. He fights such an inner battle that every time he lets his stoic mask slip and his tender feelings are revealed, it feels like a friggin victory! Sloane is brave despite her precarious circumstances and is powerless in her struggle to keep from giving away her heart completely to Zeth:
“Since we started this whole thing, you’ve done nothing but push me to free myself. To realize I was holding myself back. You took that from me… you’re not physically restrained like I am Zeth. You’re on emotional lock down. When you’re around me, you do everything and anything you can not to feel anything…So I took that from YOU. I made you feel something. You see me as a game. An experiment. Something to toy with…You are the guy who shows up on my doorstep and screws me senseless whenever he feels like it. And I’m the girl stupid enough to let you do it.
I choke on the words, hating them… Zeth’s face is stone cold, frozen in a blank, detached expression…when he looks up at me, the conflict I see warring in his eyes takes me by surprise.”
You genuinely root for this couple and their mission impossible. You get mad and want to throttle Zeth. Then he amuses you. Then he makes you hot, then you are all like, “why was I even mad.” Sloane makes you proud, then she is a nitwit, then she won’t freaking stop RUINING it, then she is perfection, then you are all like “atta girl!”
“Do you want me, I whisper, grazing my teeth against his ear lobe…Are you going to behave if I let you come play with me on the bed…”
Get em’ Sloane!!
I find the most important supporting character in the story to be a big, black duffle bag of… ahem. Tools. After all, Zeth is a dominant, S&M dream come true- though, there is nothing violent or too dark between the hero and heroine- just think, sexy kink with a few twists and the kiss of pain that whispers along your senses- never, ever just bludgeoning the point home and coming across as hardcore S&M. There is even a thread of humor that I love because it adds balance to the sensuality and adventure:
“You’re kneeling on the floor with a gun pressed against the back of your head, wondering if you’re about to die. Don’t fucking tell me you’re not feeling anything Zeth.
Alright, I’m fucking shitting my pants. I’m losing my shit. Is that what you want to hear?
He lets out a scathing laugh.
Wonderful. I’m glad I’m not the only sadist in this relationship.”
Burn culminates one story arc and leaves you gasping…gaping and WTF’ing at the set up for the next (sure to be incredible) story arc in the series. Zeth has proved his mettle as Sloane’s rock and the next move is ALL on Sloane. Circumstances leave her reeling and what she will possibly DO next is enough to make me white knuckle it until book 4 is in my grubby little hands. It is akin to being on the precipice of something that will either enrage me or make me squee in glee and it feels F!#*&^g amazing!
This book picks up immediately where book 2, Fracture, left off. If you have not read book 1, Deviant (free right now!) and Fracture, I highly recommend you do. You seriously don’t want to miss a moment of appreciation of their journey!
Sooooo Cracky…I’m talking Freebase Crack attack!!!