Are you excited? Because I am. It’s the second of February (well, it was yesterday, but then again, I’m in another part of the world), which means Beth Kery‘s latest novel, Release, has, er, has now been released. The details:
His need for her was so absolute, he agreed to share her with another man in order to possess her.
Genny loved her husband Max, but something was missing—a sexual charge that was instead ignited by his business partner, Sean. He was ruggedly handsome, with a heart-stopping smile and a slow, sexy New Orleans drawl that made Genny weak. The more time they spent together, the stronger the attraction between them became and when her husband offered to share her with Sean for one intoxicating night, both Genny and Sean were too tempted to refuse.
That night in the company penthouse, Max and Sean showed Genny the heights of ecstasy. But it was Sean who scored her very spirit, and one-on-one, they were red hot. But as Genny learns, there’s a price to pay for such impulsive pleasure. What began as a night of forbidden desire spirals into a whirlpool of murder, sensual submission, secrets, and a scorching passion that threatens to consume everyone it touches.
And, a note on those details. They’re actually quite misleading–though it seems like the menage is the central trope of this novel, it’s more of a foundation for the characters’ interactions. That is, that pivotal night carries with it not only the convoluted relationship of our main characters, Sean and Genny–but also details that will reverberate throughout the rest of the novel. Like, say, murder. So no, it’s not about the menage. Not really. It’s about what life Sean and Genny build long after that menage that kicked things off (in more ways than one).
Some notable things about this kick-ass book that everyone and their mama (okay, hold that thought) should read:
1] Of the three novels of Kery’s that I’ve read, Release would have to be her darkest. See, while I was reading Wicked Burn, the dominant images in my head where creamy-walled condo units and, later, farmland and barnyard and quilts and fried chicken. In Paradise Rules, there was the sand and the sea, a lot of boats, and the grittier Hawaii in sepia-tone. In Release, the mood was all high-tech boardrooms, and dimly lit penthouses, and elevators, and the concrete of parking lots, and sliding doors. Hell, those sliding glass doors. So yeah–those were the images in my head. Which goes to show how versatile the author really is, and how well she pulls off these different fields and settings and moods. It’s admirable, really. [I'm thinking WB would have to be the most identity-building and relationship-dedicated; PR would have just that touch of sadness in it for lost innocence, not to mention a wrestling of dominance and a whole lot of stubbornness. Release, as the darkest, has murder, and sliding glass doors. Sliding glass doors, mmm.]
2] I’ve always found Kery to be an outstanding character-writer. She doesn’t balk at dedicating time and space to building up her characters. Genny is classic Kery’s strong-with-a-touch-of-vulnerable heroine, who’s confused and in danger, but showing mettle without being stupid about it. I especially love the fact that despite her insecurities, despite the fact that the past plagues her so much, she’s actively doing something about it. And Sean? Sean has a N’Awlins drawl. That should be ’nuff said, haha. He’s sexy and strong, a little arrogant, definitely in control, and he has a good heart underneath all that bad-ass yumminess of his (he’s so sweet during that menage, imagine that).
3] The pacing is particularly important in this novel, what with it being loaded with secrets and more secrets. Revelations are well-timed that you never tire of finding out more, and you never feel like you’ve been cheated out of speculating, out of thinking. That menage we’ve been talking about’s actually shown in flashback, which I appreciate because it emphasizes the fact that it’s always in the minds of our characters, that it can be bothersome in so many good and bad ways. And they’re well-written and integrated so seamlessly, they never jar with the narrative, and instead carries it forward. Which is what flashbacks should do, as professors the world over always tell us, no?
4] Do I need to even say that this will singe your eyeballs? I mean, Kery’s always written scorching novels, but, you know–this will make you very very very bothered. The sensuality is at an all-time high–not only in the sex scenes. I mean, it permeates the entire novel, and it’s always emotional. How difficult is it to pull off heart in a menage, especially when you have to make readers aware of the fact that something is happening between A and B, when B and C should really be the one connecting? And–Sliding! Glass! Doors!
So: Beth Kery has written yet another wonderful novel–this time darker, more exploratory, more daring. And the romance is there, the relationship between these two well-written characters are developed–emotional, sensual, and scorching. Release is on my virtual keeper shelf.