Radiant Sky Publishing Group, $0.99
Contemporary Romance, 2016
I bought Burning Muses because I was led to believe that JR Rogue writes like a ballerina doing cross-stitch with her toes on one’s nerve ends, or something like that. Basically, I heard that she writes incredibly well, giving me deep insight into the human psyche and what not, so I was pretty hyped about this one.
I then read a few pages, promptly found something more interesting to do, and forgot all about it until all my books are packed away at the new place, and I have to dig through my hard drive to find something to read.
Basically, this story touches on seven months in the life of Seraphina Daniels, a successful author of erotic romances under the name Lexa Fire. I honestly don’t know which name is worse. Because she is an author. Sera spends the whole time being deliberately cynical and moody, making woe-is-me observations and I’m-really-artistically-broody statements that teeter dangerously on “Teenage girl insisting haughtily that she is, like, really deep and smart!” territory. She has writer’s block too, so she goes back to her hometown to get her groove back, only to have her brother’s friend, a much younger man, wanting to be the mojo that fills up her groove.
That’s basically it. This story is full of “Look at me! I’m really deep and sensitive and moody, y’all!” stuff as the main character meanders around doing mundane things, all this while telling me how everything is bleak, dark, cynical, and full of depressed hot air. Even the idea of getting off with a hot younger guy is the catalyst for more expressive Tumblr-leaning, chest-thumping woe-is-me melodrama. Really, chapters can pass without anything interesting happening because the heroine is too busy auditioning to be the next big cliché in a terrible young adult story. Since she is a successful author who can afford to take time off from her job to roll around and wallow in the cheese of pretentious me-me-me’ism, she can stuff her fake downer attitude up her melancholic rectum.
Some chapters are merely poetry, some jump abruptly to the dude Chace’s point of view, and things are really deep when the author has the main characters saying the same things (oh my god, they are, like, totally soul mates!), only with the pronouns changed, and I feel like I’ve lost several dozen brainpower points after reading this pretentious twaddle. Here we have a woman who goes back to her hometown and snags a hot young guy without much effort – she’s a lost cause who can drown in her own vapid poetry if she had to make this fun premise come off like an anguished break-up letter of an emo adolescent.