Okay. So. I haven’t read erotic romance in a couple of weeks now, so it took me a while to settle down with a book of that genre–mostly because I wanted that renewed immersion to be a rewarding one. Now, I was flipping through the wonderful world of the Internetz one night when I found Wicked Burn, and writer Beth Kery. I was provided a copy for review, and I immediately put it in my digital reader. And bam, am I glad to have reentered this genre.
What the back of the book tells you: He wanted all of her… // Vic Savian knows what he wants when he sees it. And what he wants is his sexy neighbor, Niall Chandler. So when he sees her in the hallway of their building being harassed by an aggressive suitor, Vic makes his move—and finds himself greatly rewarded… // And did she ever let him have it… // Sleeping with her gorgeous neighbor—when she didn’t even know his last name—was the craziest thing Niall’s ever done. Now, she can’t seem to get enough of Vic—or the uninhibited passion he stirs in her. Suddenly, with his help, she’s opening to sensual pleasures she’s never known before. But when Niall’s past comes back to haunt her, will she and Vic let themselves venture beyond the bedroom and explore the possibility of love that’s in their hearts?
Why You Should Read This Book:
[ 1 ] Because, no, this is not another erotic romance. It’s one of the finest examples of contemporary erotic romance I’ve ever had the pleasure (no pun intended, I swear) to read. The characters–including the secondary ones–are well-written people. Niall is a cool and classy woman, with a career she loves and is successful at. Vic is your hot and passionate playwright (okay, random, but I know a lot of playwrights, and they tend to be gay, so yay Vic). I applaud Kery for making sure that the individual characters still live their separate lives, and it’s credible storytelling. Niall works for the Chicago Metropolitan Museum, and Vic is a celebrated playwright–and you see them in the story doing just that. Yes, time stops when it’s hanky-panky time, but there’s the real life out there. But, take note, it’s a real life that doesn’t take away from the romance between these two.
What I love most about them is their dichotomy, and that disparity between their personalities is backed-up, i.e., Kery actually shows us what’s what. For example, Vic has so much potential to be Mr. Angst, what with his terrible experience with a woman who was supposed to be he’s wife, but no–he’s a straightforward man, and we are as jarred by his honesty as Niall is.
“Vic, we…things…things between us really started off….”
“With a bang?” Vic finished for her dryly when she paused.
Her mouth hung open. “Yes,” she agreed after a moment, nodding her head in a matter-of-fact, earnest manner that he found adorable. “With a bang. I don’t really date that much. I haven’t in years, I mean. And then…what happened that night happened…that night you happened.” She rolled her eyes and took another drink. “I’m sorry. I’m not sure I know how to put this.”
“You think I’m coming on too strong,” Vic supplied.
She tilted her head uncertainly. “Not just you. I am too. I don’t know what to make of it.”
“You think we should back off, take it a little slower?” he prompted. Her eyes flashed warmly, as if she was relieved that he’d found the right words for her.
“Don’t you think that would be for the best?” she asked.
Her lower lip trembled. “No?” she repeated incredulously after several seconds.
Did I enjoy that scene so much. And Vic goes on:
Vic crumpled the flimsy paper cup and tossed it on top of the bag. She wasn’t going to like this, but—“No. I want you too much to take you in stingy little servings. Maybe you’ll think that’s greedy of me, but I’m not the kind of guy who takes what he wants in half measures.” He met her gaze. “That’s not who I am Niall.”
Oh my goodness. He is so refreshingly honest. In contrast to skittish Niall, who’s skittish because she needs to be. And that cryptic little phrase brings us to number 2:
[ 2 ] The plot is thoughtfully crafted. It doesn’t stop at the sexual relationship between these two–we see Niall & Vic develop their relationship, and not without some difficulty. This isn’t a Happy Ever After Right After We Have Awesome Hawt Sex. There are issues to be faced, matters to be discussed, secrets to be revealed. And the revelations come slowly, carefully, and well-timed. We’re never bombarded, but we’re never sick of the secrecy either. And those secrets–and how the characters chose to reveal and accept them–were vital in the strengthening of these two’s romance, their relationship.
[ 3 ] One of my AWW moments was when Niall and Vic were walking home from a day spent together, and they were just so happy, with giddy smiles on their faces, and the world was suddenly such a beautiful place. Isn’t that what happens when you’re in love? And having hawt sex?
[ 4 ] I just had to say this: there are details in the book that don’t call attention to themselves. Like when a car backfires and a crimson scarf falls to the pavement. It’s blink-and-you’ll-miss it, and I’m so glad she put it there and left it alone.
[ 5 ] The sex. Goodness, but did I love the sex. Beth Kery writes a sex scene that singes the soles of your socks (it’s December, it’s cold ok?). Steamy, scandalous, with just the right edge of extreme naughtiness. After the first (followed immediately by the second) sex scene, I had to take a thoughtful cigarette break. And call my boyfriend. Yes. I just said that. Hi, Mom.
Also, well, beyond the sex, Wicked Burn had sensuality and sexuality threaded all over it. Take Vic who retains that raw and earthy yumminess beyond the bedroom. Take Niall, whose awakening can be seen even in the quiet moments of the book. All the intrusive sexual thoughts of the characters that occur in their “real life” wasn’t jarring to the narrative, but captured how sensual and sexual these two characters really are.
Dude. Let me say it again: Kery writes some of the best sex scenes I’ve ever read.
Now. Go out and get Beth Kery. You still have a couple of weeks left to say that she’s the best contemporary erotic romance author you’ve ever read in 2009. I said, go.