I have to start with the good news. Cara McKenna is an extremely talented writer. This is my second book by her and my second book in this series. In both books I read I was extremely impressed by Cara’s ability to build characters with such attention to detail that you actually feel like you know the characters. More good news, you will not be bored in a Cara McKenna book, you will get sucked in to the story and whether you love it or hate it, you will be entertained and you will want to keep reading.
Now, all that being said, I have to admit that I loved the rhythm and writing of this book but I didn’t love the actual story. I think the main reason for my less than enthusiastic feelings about this book was Abilene, the heroine. When you meet her in the book she has an infant, an ex who is locked up but getting out and a lot of mystery surrounding her past and what happened with her baby daddy. Abilene is kind of a contradiction. On the one hand, she seems confident in who she is but underneath it she’s much more self conscious and much less self assured.
The hero in the book is Casey. I like Casey. His relationship with Abilene is his first venture into being a responsible standup guy. In his past life he was a criminal or criminalish but he has gone straight in an attempt to be the man that Abilene and her baby need. Where things really went left for me in this book was in Abilene’s reaction to finding out the truth about Casey’s past. Two things you need to know, first, Casey TELLS the truth about his past. Abilene doesn’t discover it on accident or something like that, Casey comes clean. The other thing you need to know is that when you find out about Abilene’s effed up past and the ish that she has done you are going to be screaming bish please. Nobody in Abilene’s position should EVER have anything to say about the past of another person. You especially can’t have anything to say about the person who is supporting you through basically being impoverished.
Abilene’s past is completely crazy and filled with religious fuckery. The story there is twisted as hell but it did add to the overall entertainment value of the book. Abilene, both her past and present, were just too much for me and I think I didn’t enjoy this book as much as I could have. There was also a lot of straining of the bounds of reality in this book. I can take some of that in limited doses but it got to be team too much in this book. This is a good book in a very general sense but the plot just wasn’t for me. Burn It Up can be read as a standalone but if you’re interested in really getting into this series, start from the beginning, it will give you much better context.
**ARC provided by Publisher**