Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Review - Burn by Anne Rainey

by Anne Rainey
Jan. 6, 2009
Short Story

Buy it Samhain

A woman scorned…can be damned delicious!

Ally Ryanaldo and Blake Steele were high school sweethearts, in love and inseparable. Ally always assumed she’d be his wife, raise his babies and live happily ever after. Those dreams were shattered the day Blake left her and his small town life for the bright lights of New York City.

Now, ten years later, Blake is back—and wants to pick up where they left off. Ally has other ideas. Naughty ideas. With the help of her kinky girlfriend, Heather, Ally shows Blake her wild side.

When her little plan backfires, though, Ally’s very much afraid she may lose the only man she’s ever loved—for good.

Burn is one of those short, sexy stories that are good for a quick pick me up. It’s also one of those few books out there that have a ménage between two women and a man, one of my favorite scenarios and it was pretty hotly written.

Ally lost her virginity to her high school sweetheart, the only guy she’s ever loved, and then he dumped her without a word, going to NY. Even though it really hurt her, she got on with her life and has become a famous, successful writer.

Blake seduced and sweet talked Ally as teenagers into having sex, telling her how special she was and how much he cared for her, then he took off to make something of himself. Now that he’s successful, he’s come back home and wants Ally back.

At first Ally is all pissed off with him and tries to act all nonchalant about the fact that all those old feelings have come up and she still wants him, and she does manage to hold him off briefly. In the meantime, her best friend is visiting from Florida and she cooks up a scheme to get back at Blake by having a threesome, which includes her friend. Her friend Heather is bisexual and they did have a sexual encounter years ago, so Heather readily agrees to it.

This is a short story, but it did manage to affect me on quite a few levels. Ally is very interesting to me in that because Blake really did treat her like crap, she’s trying to be strong and fight off all those old feelings that never went away, but doesn’t quite make it. I had all these mixed feelings about how she reacts. I wanted to tell her to just be done with him. He doesn’t really apologize to her or even act that contrite, but comes back expecting, hoping to some degree that she will still want him just because he loves her.

Ally does vacillate quite a bit both fighting and giving into her desires, still feeling like she’d do anything for him and yet trying to let him know that she won’t tolerate him hurting her again. I finally did believe that maybe she could be strong enough to not let him get away with more disrespectful treatment in the future. Yet at the same time, I felt on some level that if he really pushed it, she would let him walk all over her again once she really opens up to him again.

Blake got on my nerves a bit as well. Ultimately he does come across as someone who really does love Ally and really wants to settle down with her. But his actions were a bit contradictory to me at times. He’s made something of himself and now he’s ready to be with her. What really pissed me off here is that he’s that typical high school guy who promises all kinds of crap to a girl to get laid and then blows her off after getting it. And then, although after getting back he tells her that he’s always loved her and such, because HE is ready, then she should give him a second chance. He doesn’t come off as apologetic enough for me as I think he was a real ass to her and really thinks all is OK now that she’ll see him again.

I kept thinking that if he really cared about her, the least he could have done was to contact her at some point and tell her that he loved her but that he really needed to make something of himself so he’d have something to offer her when they did get together. That would have endeared him to me a bit more.

The scheme that Ally cooks up to get back at Blake on their first date again seemed a bit odd and a bit childish to me as well. What I did like about that part is that Ally has a nice, easy relationship with Heather in which they can be sexual together without any big emotional issues or complications between them. Heather is bisexual and Ally really isn’t but it came across as very sweet between them. I was actually a bit disappointed that Blake was there because then it got a bit weird, even though the sex was pretty hot. What I didn’t understand really was why Ally thought this would be something to get back at Blake with. But that’s what it is and I enjoyed reading that particular scene at any rate.

In the end though, Anne Rainey did manage to convey and make me believe that both Ally and Blake could make it as a couple and that they would have a fairly equal relationship without Blake thinking he can get away with everything by sweet talking or having expectations that she will be his doormat, and that Ally wouldn’t be giving up her self worth to be with him, which saved this book for me in the end. Besides which, Anne Rainey writes really smoking hawt sex and that was a huge part the story.

Sex rating: Orgasmic. f/f/m, m/f, toys, food, anal

Grade: C+

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