REVIEW: Explosive by Beth Kery
Dear Ms. Kery:
I’ve had mixed reactions to your work. I enjoyed your first one, Wicked Burn, quite a bit but Daring Time seemed to be more a romance about the city of Chicago than a romance between two characters. Other books like Sweet Restraint and Holiday Bound had complicated emotional connections involving other characters and I wasn’t necessarily convinced at the love connection between the two main protagonists.
My reaction to Explosive is much more in keeping with my reaction to Wicked Burn. It’s hot and, more importantly for me, focused mainly on the main two protagonists. The story is told in a non linear fashion that initially confused me but once I had read a few chapters in, I wondered if it wasn’t intentionally put together this way to add a layer of empathy for the hero.
Thomas Nicasio and Dr. Sophie Gable work in the same building. Nicasio is an investor and Dr. Gable is medical doctor who both have offices at the tony high rise in downtown Chicago. Thomas’ brother was a patient at Sophie’s clinic and she would see him in the waiting room reading a newspaper or flicking through his blackberry. She would sometimes see him in the building. Sometimes they would exchange glances conveying sexual desire and sometimes flirtatious banter, but they’ve never translated those looks into action. When Thomas’ brother dies unexpectedly and Thomas’ father is under investigation by the FBI for organized criminal activity, the hope Sophie has of any real connection with Thomas dies swiftly.
When Thomas shows up at Sophie’s Lake Haven cabin, she couldn’t have been more surprised. Thomas appears dazed, confused, perhaps suffering from some trauma. But when asked what he is doing, he only replies that he came for her. Thomas has suffered a short term memory loss (Amnesia folks!). His amnesia hasn’t prevented Thomas from remembering how much he wants Sophie and when something happens in Chicago that leads Thomas and Sophie to take refuge in her cabin home, his pent up desire takes on a physical incarnation.
The suspense is provided by not only Thomas’ dangerous past, but also the secrets that Sophie is keeping from Thomas, for fear that by sharing them she’ll trigger some negative amnesiac event. While Thomas and Sophie are enjoying each other’s bodies and getting to know each other’s minds, the underlying tension is when will this all go wrong for them. I’ve always thought it is effective to use the romance genre constraints against the reader in that the reader provides her own tension to the story knowing that no romance is not without it’s ups and downs.
My complaints with this book would be that I wanted to see more of Thomas and Sophie outside the confines of the cabin and in their natural business habitat. I would have liked to have seen more of their pre Lake Haven contact. Thomas and Sophie eye flirted for over two years. I wished that there was some space given over to the development of their feelings prior to their intimacy. I thought that Thomas’ background of being a navy explosives expert was dressing and not well integrated into the storyline. Some of the details were really vague, particularly about Sophie. I wanted to know more about her past, her background.
This book, like Wicked Burn, is very hot and having read a number of erotic romances I truly understand how difficult this is.
Sophie held her breath as he opened his long legs and pulled her between them. He leaned down and placed his hot, open mouth on her abdomen. Her chest tightened with emotion and she exhaled raggedly.
"Thomas," she hissed as her fingers delved into his thick hair.
He turned his face, his lips caressing her skin. She saw his ribs expand as he inhaled.
"I can smell you, Sophie, and you're sweet." His voice sounded hushed in the still room.
There are a number of sex scenes between Thomas and Sophie and I was pretty impressed at how none of them seemed repetitive. Thomas views Sophie as one of those girls that never get messy which drives the impulse in him to get as dirty with her as possible because somehow he thinks deep down he can cleanse himself in her. But he’s afraid of hurting her, turning her away with his increasingly kinkier demands.
In the past, I might have rated this a B- but as I’ve read more and more erotic romances, I really appreciate the skill it takes in making a book both hot and believable so I’m giving this a B.
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I loved Paradise Rules and have been looking forward to another scorcher. This one sounds really good.
This book sounds interesting. She’s a new author to me so I value your review.
How many pages in the book please?
I see it’s $9.99 for the Kindle edition which I think is quite steep bearing in mind it’s digital and not paper. Is this one of THOSE publishers?
I’m a new Kindle owner having finally given in :) I still love my Sony Reader though and don’t think the Kindle will replace it for me so will use in tandem – with Amazon being cheaper sometimes. I digress :)
@Sarah_Florida: Hmm. It’s 326 pages. It’s a published by Penguin which is an Agency publisher so no discounting. It’s slightly cheaper in print. $9.99 is a lot of money. What have you read and enjoyed in ero romance? Maybe I can give you a better judge of whether you would enjoy it?
Does it make a difference that it’s 326 pages of a trade size book?
I’ve read and enjoyed books by Maya Banks, some Lora Leigh, some Cheyenne McCray, Annmarie McKenna, and a couple Shiloh Walker.
Your reviews of Lisa Marie Rice’s Midnight Series made me try hers which I enjoyed very much ;)
Also enjoy Allyson James but don’t know if she is what is described ero?
I went through a phase where I enjoyed some Carol Lynne m/m & m/f/m despite some off the neg reviews!! Not read any of hers in ages though after that whole town seemed to be gay :)
The reason I asked about the number of pages was to just check it wasn’t a short story (200 pages) for that high price.
I just remembered that Amazon were offering Snow Bound free and I downloaded it but not read it. So I think I will try that to see if I like her voice.
But am still interested in your opinion on whether I will like Explosive.
Beth Kery, Shiloh Walker, Maya Banks, Lora Leigh, Lisa Marie Rice and Cheyenne McCray are some of my fave authors. I auto buy everything they write. So is it safe to say that you’ll love Beth Kery’s books?
The issue is that I find her unique. She writes deeply emotional like Shiloh. Very erotic like Lisa Marie & Maya. I don’t like comparing but it’ll give you an idea.
When I’m not sure about an author I will go to the web-site & read excerpts.
I love every book I’ve read of Beth’s starting with Wicked Burn.
BTW – I only mentioned that it was trade size to give you an idea of the word count.
I enjoyed your review. I really like that Beth has a unique voice that I love but it’s true that I never have that “she used that lingo before” feeling. I also really like the combo of vulnerable alpha hero.
For me, Thomas was the biggest contrast of the most vulnerable hero while still maintaining his alphaness (not a great word I know).
@Sarah_Florida: I didn’t find Snow Bound to be on par with Explosive but I do think, based on your likes, that you would enjoy Explosive. I know it’s expensive and I can appreciate your hesitation. It’s easy for me to recommend a book because I haven’t paid for it, but I will be buying my own electronic copy now that it has been released.
Thanks Jane and Mary
For some reason I like my erotica in ebook format ;) so even though there are some paperback versions cheaper I will probably pay the ebook price.
What I do love about the Kindle is the ability to download a free sample. I’ve just got samples of all her books to check.
I also notice the 2nd KGI book from Maya Banks is out today – yeh!!
I loved the first KGI book – one of my top faves of 2010. Got the 2nd one today.
Oh yeah. Enjoy the samples too.