♥ BOOK INFORMATION ♥
TITLE – The Burning
SERIES – The Companion Series
AUTHOR – Susan Squires
GENRE – Regency Paranormal Romance
PUBLICATION DATE – July 21, 2015
LENGTH (Pages/# Words) – 122,752 words
PUBLISHER – Independent
COVER ARTIST – Rebecca Poole, Dreams2Media
♥ BOOK SYNOPSIS ♥
Award-winning, bestselling author Susan Squires brings you into a world of erotic temptation that comes alive at night and thrives on our darkest secrets and longings. Take the journey to an unforgettable place in the heart of darkness and desire…
A FORBIDDEN TEMPTATION…
It is 1821 and all who know the beautiful, mysterious Ann Van Helsing believe she is insane. Yet Ann’s curse is the deep psychic ability that shows her everything about another human being—their history, thoughts and desires—simply by touching them. Overwhelmed by a power she can barely control, Ann roams the quiet woods and caves near her estate, searching for an elusive peace. Here she encounters the man who will change everything…
LEAVES HER YEARNING…
To atone for an unforgivable transgression against his own kind, vampire Stephan Sincai has become a vigilante who must hunt and kill those whom other vampires have made. When Ann discovers Stephen bleeding in her cave, she reaches tries to help him. The moment she touches him she knows every fiber of Stephens being—and the knowledge is at once frightening and irresistible…
FOR ETERNAL FULFILLMENT…
Ann and Stephen are drawn together by a powerful force. As they fight against the evil surrounding them, an enemy bent on destroying them will make them choose between what they love and what they fear the most….
GRIPPING AND UNFORGETTABLE…
Romantic Times (4 ½ star review) on The Companion
♥ My Review ♥
Title: The Burning
Author: Susan Squires
Genre: Paranormal Historical Erotic Romance
Rating: 4.5 ♥‘s
Ah, to be reacquainted with my first true love! The Burning was both a unique and a nostalgic read for me, taking me back to my teenage years where I first fell for the allure of the lone, brooding vampire. Not to mention, anyone who’s ever read Bram Stoker’s Dracula will absolutely appreciate the details the author merely alludes to – just enough – to have your mind wandering down familiar connections. Susan Squires has no problem transporting her readers to another time and place with the perfect amount of detail, authentic dialect and an exquisite vocabulary. Most importantly, she knows how to keep the plot revving up and up, so you’re constantly on the edge of your seat!
This story has a well-rounded, fully-fleshed-out cast of characters ready to be loved, hated or just felt sorry for. Truly, the main characters were a blessing. I loved Ann Van Helsing like I haven’t loved a female protagonist in a very, very long time! She was an absolute joy to spend time with, watch flourish and follow through all of her trials and victories. Stephan Sincai… what can I say? He is not your typical vampire. In fact, I found him refreshingly accepting of his immortal needs. Yet, he bears all of the hallmarks of the classic, Victorian undead we’ve come to know and love. Despite being born a vampire, rather than turned into one, the author still found a way to make him struggle with eternal damnation, guilt, humanity and the quest for atonement.
The Burning is a true Victorian era novel in the respect that it’s full of inescapable feelings of constriction, oppression, frustration, loneliness, betrayal and utter helplessness that often feels too heavy to wade through. This has always been a double-edged sword for me as a reader and reminds me of why I no longer rush out to buy this particular time-period book. On one hand I loathe the stifling negativity, yet on the other hand, it’s the very essence that gives those plot points such an impact. Regardless, the author really nailed the Victorian era down pat, especially in the lack of freedom and choices women, particularly well-bred women, had during that time. I did find the constant interruption of flashbacks quite daunting, though. One or two would’ve been understandable, but if there’s that much backstory to tell, I feel it should have its own section, so it can be read in its entirety, rather than continuously disrupting the energy of the present plot.
In short, I would highly recommend The Burning to any reader. Susan Squires seamlessly introduces a unique, paranormal element into a spot-on historical and never shies away from the graphic details, whether it’s carnal, horrific or the facts of daily life in the 1800’s, the combination offers a suspenseful, erotic romance with political fringes and the intensity of a thriller all wrapped up into one amazing story. It’s one of those rare jewels sure to stick with you long after you’ve finished reading!
♥ BUY & TBR LINKS ♥
♥ EXCERPT ♥
TRANSYLVANIA, PROVINCE OF THE HAPSBURG EMPIRE, SEPTEMBER 1820
They ran their hands over his body. There were three of them. Their palms rubbed his chest, his hips and thighs, and the bulge of his biceps where his wrists were bound above his head. The nails scraped lightly, threatening. He knew what was to come. The stone bench on which he lay was hard against the bare flesh of his buttocks and shoulders, but the room was warm. They loved heat. It was a true luxury in the winter of the Carpathian Mountains. The only illumination came from the fire licking at the logs in the great stone arches. Above him, their faces hung, unreal in the flickering light. Their eyes glowed red. Now they would compel him. Their low moans filled the little room cut into the rocky heart of the monastery. He knew every crevice in its stone by now. This room held his torment and possibly his salvation.
“Test him well, tonight, sisters,” one of them whispered. Her breasts brushed his belly.
“Is he worthy of our father’s trust?” another breathed into his ear.
He felt his loins throb, tight with a need he dared not indulge. He had no idea whether they compelled that need, or whether it belonged to him. A tongue found his nipple. He could not help but arch up into it. The chains clanked. A hand cupped his balls. He felt the scrape of canines at his throat. They wanted blood tonight. He waited for the pain. How would he bear their ministrations in the long hours ahead?
You deserve this, he told himself. A thousand years of torment would not atone for your crimes. You have one chance at redemption and they will help you to it.
He breathed as they had taught him. He focused inward, searching for an island of control. His shoulders relaxed. All emotion drained slowly away. The piercing of his carotid was a fact of pain, no more. One of them sucked at his throat while the others kept him roused.
But now he was ready for whatever they might do to him. He would become what was required. No matter the cost, he would atone.
Susan Squires is a New York Times bestselling author known for breaking the rules of romance writing. Whatever her time period, or subject, some element of the paranormal always creeps in. Susan’s work has won multiple contests including the Holt Medallion, the Golden Heart and the Book Buyer’s Best Award and reviewer’s choice awards from RT BookReviews. Publisher’s Weekly named Body Electric one of the most influential mass market books of 2003 and One with the Shadows, the fifth in her vampire Companion Series, a Best book of 2007. Time for Eternity, the first in the DaVinci time travel series, received a starred review from Publisher’s Weekly.
Susan has a Masters in English literature from UCLA and once toiled as an executive for a Fortune 500 company. Now she lives at the beach in Southern California with her husband, Harry, a writer of supernatural thrillers, and three very active Belgian Sheepdogs, who like to help her write by putting their chins on the keyboarddddddddddddddddddddddd.
AUTHOR FOLLOW LINKS
Release Blitz has been organized by