Dane captivated Ari from the first moment their eyes locked. Every second thereafter proved they were either fated for love…or devastation.
It was a little scary how my body trembled and my breathing wouldn’t return to normal. But I couldn’t escape the intensity of our desire for each other–and how vibrant and alive he made me feel. Like I’d merely existed before. Gotten by. Now I was acutely aware of my surroundings. Of myself. Of him. Of every sensation blazing inside me…
Ari DeMille has spent her life focusing on the details and planning down to the minute. Haunted by her parents’ ugly divorce, Ari believes the only way to prevent emotional scars is to always maintain control. But when the devastatingly handsome-and powerfully dominant-Dane Bax, her new boss, pushes Ari’s boundaries, she must learn to shatter the ties that bind her if she is to sate her newfound desires… But giving into insatiable lust comes with a price. Dane’s luxury hotel business is threatened by a consortium of dangerous men who threaten everything Ari holds close. And as the stakes are raised, Ari is treacherously close to losing all control of her life…and her heart.
Burned Deep was a sexy as sin romantic suspense novel that kept me glued to my Kindle as I read it from start to finish in one sitting. What boggles my mind is that I initially passed on this novel while trying to keep my review schedule light during the holidays, but when the boss lady asked for help filling in, I figured it was meant to be. And I was so right because I thoroughly enjoyed it. Fox combines a whole lotta sex with a good amount of danger and intrigue, far more than you would expect a wedding planner to find herself dealing with, yet it worked for me on several levels.
Ari is an up and coming wedding planner whose reputation for detail and discretion has landed her a society wedding that seems doomed thanks to missing groomsmen (and the groom) and an approaching monsoon. While Ari can’t control the weather, she does have some sway over the groom and his groomsmen and after a rather intense encounter in the venue’s bar, she manages to pull the wedding off without a hitch. But the incident in the bar brings her to the attention of Dane Bax, a businessman who is in the midst of launching an exclusive resort that Ari has applied for a position at. While it’s not a big stretch of the imagination to know that Ari will be hired on at 10,000 Lux and that she and Dane will begin seeing one another, what did surprise me was that it was Ari who insisted on their non-work relationship remain strictly sexual while Dane was pushing for more. But Dane was not above using his sexual prowess – of which he had a LOT, boy howdy – to try and convince Ari that they could have more. Because I don’t want to spoil the read for anyone about the romantic suspense angle in the novel, I won’t go into specifics except to say that the incidents proved to be rather thrilling in how they escalated over the course of the book. That said, I really liked that there was more than one plausible suspect and it wasn’t clear (at least not to me) who was actually responsible until the reveal.
I really liked Ari’s character and I think I connected with her so well because she reminds me of a very close friend. Like Ari, my friend’s parents went through a rough patch and there was a lot of yelling, screaming and door slamming, which resulted in complete relationship avoidance for years. Because I saw so much of my friend in Ari, I recognized many of her behaviors as realistic responses to conflict and love. As for Ari’s parents, I loved her father’s character and that they had such a good relationship. Her mother, on the other hand, was despicable and an example of narcissism in the extreme. Dane’s character surprised me because he was far more accommodating to Ari than I usually see in the dominant alpha male billionaire. That’s not to say he wouldn’t do all that he could to convince her to do as he asked, but he seemed to understand when to relent on certain issues. While I really enjoyed the ending, I was surprised by the epilogue because Kyle’s final statement would suggest a sequel when there’s nothing to indicate that this is a series and Burned Deep seems complete as is. I suppose I’ll have to wait and see.