REVIEW: The Burning by Susan Squires

Dear Mrs. Squires,

The BurningWell, this is it. The end of the road betwixt you and me and your vampire books. I loved the first book. The hero, the heroine, the whole new world you’d created. I couldn’t wait for the second book. That is until I read the second book. I disliked the second book. I was tired of Asharti, I was tired of vampire ennui, I was seriously tired of heroes getting anally cleansed so they could get it up the ass. Is this the new way to characterize skanky villain sex? Enough already. At one point in The Burning you said “pain and lust and terrible guilt.” You said it all right there. The whole plot of this book.

But I thought, Stephen Sincai is an interesting fellow. Maybe, just maybe, The Burning will take me back to my delight in The Companion. The blurb sounded good and I was ready to go. Until I read it, that is. God…more soaping, more bizarre sex. And guilt. Oh, the endless, all encompassing eternal guilt that Stephen thinks he bears. I’m surprised he can stand up straight under the weight. He should be whipping himself nightly, walking on hot coals or something to atone for all this deep, dark, soul destroying guilt you’ve loaded on him. I really got tired of hearing this over and over at least twice a chapter. Trust me, I got the message the first time.

And the sex. What is it with erotica writers now? Are you all trying to outdo each other with bizarre sex? Does Stephen really have to be sexually tortured by the trio of sister vampire dominatrices for two years? Do we really need *that* many scenes showing him services all three women, multiple times, in one session? Stephen with little chains around his member, Stephen being burned with brands while suppressing his ejaculation, then f*cking a block of ice? “Better Strength Through Sexual Repression” ought to be the Sisters’ motto. And all this is supposed to channel and increase the power of his Companion so that Stephen can be sent to kill “made” vampires?

I had also been interested in the unique heroine you’d created. I thought the handicap of being able to instantly sense everything about a person when she touched them would be cool when combined with Stephen. Only touching him sent her into a coma for 40 pages and we got even more guilt for poor Stephen. And did you have to be so heavy handed with the Blond=Pure Goodness symbolism? Ann is so generous and giving and won’t upset anyone and must be a new form of Romance Martyr. I’ll be honest and admit that when she wouldn’t tell her uncle just what a cocksucking bastard her cousin was and then wouldn’t leave when she still could have just before and after her uncle’s death, I really scared my cat by yelling at my book. Stupid Silly Bitch! This idiot bint deserves to be driven mad when her cousin violates her in all the many ways he’s already told her more than once he’s going to do!

Well, my cat still hasn’t gotten over his fright.

And then the chants that Stephen has to use to control his mighty ejaculations (which can drive vampire women to madness)….Tuatha, rendon, melifant, extonderant. After a while, I would start mentally changing the words. Tofu, radon, mellifluent, exfoliate. See? It’s fun.

And just when I thought things were finally almost over, you put us through it all again. Stephen with the BDSM sisters and Ann in her evil cousin’s clutches. By this point, I was skimming like mad just to end my suffering.

So, you see, I can’t continue to put myself through this, regardless of the fact that I love this cover. Stephen is the only reason this one doesn’t get an F. As it is, D for you.

~Jayne

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By Jane Litte