WICKED BURN by Beth Kery is a contemporary erotic
romance that has a terrific plot that will tug at your heart
strings. The two main characters are well drawn, three
dimensional and layered with subtext. It seamlessly blends
romance, steamy erotic interludes and character
development with a good story line. Bravo Ms. Kery for
creating a world I wanted to spend time in.

WICKED BURN takes place in Chicago and involves a
playwright and a museum curator. Both the hero, Vic, and
the heroine, Niall, have instant chemistry upon meeting
each other. While both Vic and Niall have their own reasons
for acting on this instant attraction, what develops is a love
story fraught with heartbreak and misunderstanding. I'm not
a big fan of the 'misunderstanding' between the hero and
heroine. It often makes me want to throw the book across
the room. But in this instance Ms. Kery has given us a solid
foundation for why the misunderstanding occurs and how it
lends itself to further develop both the characters and the
story line. No easy feat, but the author pulls it off.

Vic is a talented and well known playwright living in Chicago
mounting a production of his new play. He also happens to
live across the hall from Niall. Their first encounter is
sudden, electric and steamy. Ms. Kery knows how to write a
good erotic scene. Her hero is all alpha male; his
dominance in and out of the bedroom as well as his
somewhat brooding personality is off set, or better yet,
tempered by the fact that he is a playwright who is intuitive
about human nature and emotions. Niall, a museum
curator, is a woman who has a truly tragic past. The worst
thing imaginable happens to her and her family. And yet
three years later she is trying to get on with her life and find
a new way to live. She's beautiful, talented and intelligent -
and she's no victim. And while her parents would love
nothing better then to continue to exert their control on her
life, she continues to set into motion her plans to start fresh
and to try to be happy again. I liked Niall immediately. Her
struggles and her pain are very real, and yet she is
determined to make her life not about the tragedy of her
past but about the possibility for the future.

Both Niall and Vic are recovering from experiences that
have left emotional scars. Niall more so than Vic
understands what it is like to loose the most precious thing
in one's life. While these two begin to explore a relationship
that begins to grow into a deep emotional attachment, Niall
still finds it difficult to share with Vic the most important
things about her life. The biggest problem in their
relationship becomes their inability to communicate.
Although Vic is a writer, he's not much for saying what's on
his mind. And Niall is a woman who can't bring herself to tell
Vic about her past. Her fear of being judged by him holds
her back. This leaves them open and vulnerable to
misunderstandings. What is important here is that they are
falling in love with each other and communication is
paramount if they are going to further their relationship.
Watching these two try and find their way to each other is
the journey this book takes us on. From the bright lights of
the Chicago sky line to a farm in downstate Illinois, these
two travel distances both in miles and emotional turmoil to
find each other.

WICKED BURN, is an erotic romance with equal emphasis
on both the erotic and the romance. It has emotional twists
and turns with characters that are layered and rich. This is
the first book I've read by Beth Kery, but it certainly won't
be my last.

Reviewed by Marisa O'Neill
Marisa is a television producer and Vice President of
Programming for Romance Novel TV, a web site devoted to
romance novels, authors and readers.
Book Review

Beth Kery

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