Berkley, $15.00, ISBN 978-0-425-26708-0
Contemporary Erotica, 2013
Ash McIntyre, at 38, is one of the richest men on the planet but he’s at loss as to where to wag his pee-pee at. You see, he used to get naked with his buddy Jace to shag a woman together, but Jace found a victim to breed on. And you know how it is: they may like doing it with donkeys, five orangutans at a time, or whatever, but they get married, the kink vanishes and it’s back to ordinary Slot A alpha-plugging into Tab B. So now Ash has no guy to get naked with on some skank, and despite the fact that he only has to breathe to get women to throw themselves at him, he is… lost.
And then he spies a woman in a party, and in five seconds, decides that he must have her. All of a sudden, he’s a Dom now, and an expert at that. He knows Josie Carlysle wants to be bent over and get shagged by him, because he catches her having drawn pictures of him at the same party. She’s an artist, you see. So, he has Josie investigated so that he knows all about her. He learns that she has pawned her valuables because she has no money, buys back her valuables and also all her paintings, and then nag at her for not letting her Dom pay all her bills and support her. This book makes the life of a submissive akin to that of a pampered princess, all the bills paid by the good Doms (who are, of course, all billionaires and zillionaires), and I’m almost tempted to take up that life, too. Until I realize that most of these romance novel billionaire-Doms are all assholes and my asshole would be pounded by another asshole, like I’m trapped in a story by Dr Chuck Tingle and I can never escape, HELP ME OH MY GOD SOMEBODY.
Anyway, this story is practically a photocopy of that in the previous book. Billionaire Dom blackmails the heroine into “dinner” (we all know what that means, don’t we) and the heroine is never really in any position to say no as she’s in a desperate and vulnerable situation. Heroine tries to claim that she can take care of her own, but she attracts all kinds of trouble the moment she steps out of the hero’s sight. In this story. her ex, who by all accounts is a meek and useless Dom, all of a sudden start whacking her black and blue. Josie is also offended and humiliated when she realizes that her triumph – selling off all her artworks – is not much of an accomplishment after all, as her blackmailer-buggerer billionaire boyfriend is the one who bought them all. Then again, given that she’s been a useless victim throughout the entire story, it’s hard to feel sorry for her. She’s written to be a victim who desperately needs saving, so whatever, go away.
This entire trilogy was written in a rush shortly after EL James made a lot of money, and it really shows. Subsequent book in the trilogy is worse than the previous one, and Burn is rock bottom with its photocopy plot, rushed and perfunctory “victim, shut up and get bent by the guy who rescues you” romance, all the tired BDSM tropes (I’d let the experts decide how accurate they are, I just know that they are pretty played out by now), and filler scenes involving couples from previous books showing up all cozy and coo-coo like sickening Full House types. Rather than inflaming my senses, this book only makes me realize that I have, basically, burned $15 on a rubbish of a rushed cash-in job. Sigh.