They meet by chance. The timing is wrong.
Three years later, she finds him again, but their separation was poisoned with narcotics and bloodied by enslavement.
Her freedom gambled away, Charlee Grosky escapes the international businessman who held her captive. But his power reaches beyond her protective barriers and threatens everyone she has come to love.
Jay Mayard wears his tortured secrets under his rock god facade. Drugs are his release, even as he seeks to be the man forged of the steel only she can see.
In a celebrity world filled with paparazzi, groupies, and drugs, Jay and Charlee must face their worst fears. When the battle is over, what will be left…Beneath The Burn.
Genre: Romantic/Erotic Thriller
Content warning: Includes graphic rape, sex, anal, bondage, and violence. Age 18+ only.
Want to read the first time Jay and Charlee meet? We knew you would!
A woman with a white-blonde pixie haircut backed out of the shop and dammit if he couldn’t stop himself from gawking. She was slender, but not in a bones-pressing-skin kind of way. She had a figure that could only be toned with good nutrition and rigorous activity. Oh yeah, she was built for stamina.
She locked the door, and turned toward him, tipping back her head.
The bluest eyes he’d ever seen stared up at him. They were ringed with navy and glimmered with silver flecks. They were also wide with…fear? No, that couldn’t be it if her smile were anything to go by. Her beautiful face seemed to swallow up the glow of the streetlamps, the passing headlights, the goddamned moon.
“Hi.” Her smile wavered. “You look lost. Can I help?”
Oh Christ, her voice. It was the complete package, like the full-bodied Fsus2 chord humming from the hole in his Martin Acoustic. Gentle, cool, hypnotic—
“You’re lost, right?”
She had no idea. “Just found what I’m looking for.” Smooth, Jay. What the hell was he doing?
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
*ARC Given to Blog for Honest Review*
5++++ “Huntress” “You weren’t just a girl” “Dare to be vulnerable with me.” Kisses!
As I sit here with puffy, teary, red eyes I need to find a way to put into words the cluster fuck that is my thoughts, feelings and emotions about this book. I can do that with two words. HA! If you know me…then you truly know how funny this statement is. Why? Well..it’s simple…
Why is my mind blown? Because I didn’t just read this book…I was sucked in and taken on an insane journey of trust, pain, freedom, passion, forgiveness, strength and above all else…love. I will never forget this book. Your brain can never recover from a book like this. It’s not physically possible. And mine has been forever scarred. Forever burned. (oh yes…I just made a pun )
Charlee Grosky…who is she? She’s a shadow, a figment…because she never really got the chance to exist. Her chance was taken from her at the age of 16, replaced with an existence no human should ever have to live. But she endured. How? Why? Because she’s the strongest little spit-fire ever to grace the pages of a book! God Bless America this girl BLEW me the fuck away. I loved her. She has flaws…hello, they are quite well understood given her history – but fuck a whole bunch of that because she’s just flat out awesome and amazing and I challenge anyone to argue with me. I will say it again…I love her. The end.
‘Perhaps she was the missing elements of his soul.’
Jay…James Kristopher Maynard…my sweet broken soul…if he only knew how one hour in Charlee’s presence would forever change his existence. Change the course of how his life would play out, forever haunted by the beautiful girl that made something stunning out of scars that would always torture and plague him. But that’s what Charlee did to him…for him. Before that night he was just another guy in a band. After her…well, she was his muse. The reason for his inspiration that created the songs that gave his band, The Burn, their success. But this unwilling rock star would give it all up, if it meant he could have her.
‘Fuck him but he’d found a beacon of salvation in this gorgeous girl.
And lost his goddamned mind.’
I can’t go into detail with what makes this plot so different…but it’s so very very different. It’s dark and twisted and not for the faint of heart. If you like fluff and hugs and kisses and mushy things – turn away now, this is not the book for you. But if you love realness, raw, grit, the ugly side of love and the beauty that can be found when you push beyond all that…you will not find a better book. There are things in this book that will give you knots in your stomach, make you cringe, make you hurt – physically and emotionally – for the characters, it’s a freakin mind fuck. And I personally loved every minute of it.
‘She knew, in the moment, the absence of fear was not synonymous with courage. She wasn’t brave. She was numb. Was that how Jay felt when his scars were inflicted? Or had he always been courageous?’
Well after all that you would think, wtf Lisa, how the hell do you enjoy this? I shall explain. First of all, the writing is F.L.A.W.L.E.S.S. Magical. Spectacular. Couldn’t tell you one thing I didn’t like about it. Even when she was ripping my heart out and absolutely killing my soul with her words, I still was in awe of the way she did it. Perfect example… ‘Her eyes flipped open and collided with his where they glittered over the counter.’ Really?? That’s just them looking at each other, can you think of a more beautiful way to say that? Nope…me either. It was effortless. Like the words just leapt into my brain, did a little jig with my imagination and left me stunned and stupefied. It was a glorious journey.
‘The challenge in her tone suspended him in a moment of lucidity. Wonderful things were going to happen with this girl. She would push him. Maybe even fix him. If his nightmares chased her away, though, if she ran out the door, his existence would go up in an inferno.’
What else was there to like? The characters, their growth and development…their interaction and the way the melded together. Even the evil fucking ass holes were impeccably crafted…you have to sit back and tip your hat to a good fuckin villain. And then of course there is Jay and Charlee. My heart broke and ached, it soared and rejoiced, it crumbled and disintegrated and then was healed and lovingly pieced back together. You go thru every emotional journey with them, and believe me…they have it in spades…but the process of watching them go through it together…is breathtaking.
“Do you know what happens when you open up?”
She closed her eyes and inhaled through her nose. “It makes you strong.”
He kissed each lid and whispered against them, “Dare to be vulnerable with me?”
So…the ending…that was the icing on my battered and bruised heart. Just when I’m happy…when I think there is a light at the end of the tunnel and I can breathe a sigh of relief, that’s when I can see the writing on the wall. The writing that tells me ’yeah…fucking…right! Roy Oxford is not going to go away that easily.’ I’m not going to sugar coat this, from about 91% till 95% I Did. Not. Stop. Crying. Bawling. Big fat crocodile tears accompanied by the heaving gasps where you can’t catch a breath…mainly due to the fact that you can’t breathe thru your nose because of all the snot. I’m not painting a pretty picture here folks, and I know this. But….would I do it all over again? You bet your sweet fuckin tits I would!
“More than anything, I want to learn how to bend to your touch without breaking.” He stroked his cheek along hers, the rise and fall of his chest intoxicating her. “I want you tot touch me inside and out.” He straightened to look at her.
The heat from his words left her breathless.
He squeezed their hands at her back. “You saw strength in me once. Do you think you could find it again?”
My brain will never fully recover from Beneath the Burn…Charlee and Jay are permanently etched into my heart and I love that. I never want to give up on my characters (because to me…they are mine, sorry!) but they are exactly where I want them to be. Happy. Complete. Perfect. Now…would I love for some spin off’s…hell fuckin yeah I would! O.M.G. Laz is brilliance and probably is the only thing that kept me from completely slitting my wrists. The boy is hilarious. I love him…in a different way from Jay, but I might have a small obsession with Laz. Wil and Rio seem like they would have a fun story to tell, too. Obviously, they don’t go into a lot of detail about the band, but you know there is history there and it would be nice to get to know that side. Plus I’m a series whore, so sue me that I don’t want to let go! Don’t judge me.
“This will hold me.” She poked him on the chest. “You have the heart one expects to see at the center of a fire, bending and twisting like steel, but never breaking. If something happens to mine, yours would be stubborn enough to beat for both of us.”
There is so much I am missing…like about her pain, his fears and how the approach them together. Always together. Or about how many freaking things I highlighted…the decisions on which quotes to put in this review were literally painful for me to choose. But if I went on and on about everything this review would turn into a novel, rather than just the novella that it currently is. I babble…once again, don’t judge me. So…in conculsion…you must read this book. I don’t say this lightly, Beneath the Burn is one of the best books I’ve read this year and in my life. It’s a soul searing, life-altering book that will leave you gasping for breath, clinging to hope and yearning for more.
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
“Do you know what happens when you open up?”
“It makes you strong.”
I am. On top of. THE MOTHER FUCKING WORLD right now!! Yes, you heard me. Actually, I am pretty sure I am sitting on the moon somewhere or just orbiting up in the star filled galaxy because I have been BLOWN…the…FUCK…away!! Goodbye that is all!
I guess I need to give you all a little more than that, huh? Alright well how about you try this on for size. The Fault in Our Stars. The Edge of Never. The Sea of Tranquility. The Dark Duet series. I could go on. But here’s what you need to know about those books I just listed. ALL of those books are some of my top favorites. ALL of those books, especially, TFiOS, has been unmovable since it was placed on my top bookshelf inside of my fucked up head. But holy mother of God that ALL JUST CHANGED! Oh yes my lovely people, Beneath the Burn has taken the fucking cake. Number one, favorite book, that changed my life from here on out, until books no longer exist on this planet, has now been replaced. Out with the old, in with the burn.
While reading this book I felt like I was having mini heart attacks, on top of feeling like I was 84 months pregnant with every hormone known to woman running through my body thanks to the emotional mess of a roller coaster I was on, and then, upon finishing, I felt like I was coming down off of the highest high that you could ever imagine while simultaneously feeling like I was bathing in 100 proof liquor and letting it seep into my pores. Yeah, that’s how fucked up I felt. And don’t even get me started on the tears. Dear god those fucking tears. Yeah well I have pics to prove it that I sent to Lisa (a.k.a. blog partner) that I took while refusing to finish this book at…ohhhhh let’s say…94ish%. My head hurt, my heart hurt, I had snot in mouth and on my shirt, I couldn’t breathe and I all I wanted to do was get in bed and dream happy dreams of all the wonderful fucked up moments that took place in this book.
Okay, so you’re thinking…wonderful fucked up moments? Let me explain. Yes, I have to admit it now. I am a masochist when it comes to reading. Torture my heart. Hurt my soul. Rip me to pieces and I promise I will be lying there with a sick fucking smile on my face. I LIVE for books like this. Books that go beyond the fluff and the hearts and flowers. Books that delve into darkness and suffocate your brain. Books that are written by kick ass authors who aren’t afraid to write outside the pretty little box. THAT is what this book is. It is the fix that my addiction craves and I have never been more…perfectly, blissfully, fucked up. Yep, I will NEVER be the same. EVER!
Okay so let’s see here. I don’t want to give too much away as far as plot goes because this is the ONE and ONLY book that I am not willing to spoil for ANYONE. Even if you beg. It’s too perfect to ruin so you are just going to have to deal with that I give you.
She got off on brutality and not on tenderness? She was damaged. So fucking broken.
Let me sum her up in a few words. Broken. Damaged. Sheltered (literally). And knows, wants, craves, and NEEDS one thing…
. Charlee has had to endure months, no years, of sinfully orchestrated HELL at the hands of Roy Oxford. The man that owns basically the world and well…her. The man that stops at nothing because that’s an impossible feat. The man that tortured her body, ruined her soul, destroyed her heart, and caused her to run in fear for years. But he also gave Charlee the one thing she needs…strength.
Choosing the punishment was not the same as choosing to be punished. The beating would’ve happened with or without her consent. There was no power exchange. No safe word. Choosing the method gave her an illusion of control, and in the monsters lair, illusion was better than reality.
The strength I saw in Charlie was something I have never in my life had the privilege of reading before. This girl is unlike any other and considering the hell she has been through, is pretty fucking amazing. That’s what I loved about her. Even after going to hell and back, twice, she has more strength in one fiery red hair on her head than anyone else does in their entire body. She is afraid, yet brave. Ruined, yet healing. I love her, I love her, I love her.
He wanted to be healed by his own inner strength. Charlee had drawn the steel beneath the burns. And the next time he looked into her beautiful face, he would prove to her she had not misjudged him.
Lead guitarist and vocalist in the band The Burn. Tortured soul. Struggling addict. And above all else, never ever the same after he meets a blue-eyed tattoo artist one fateful night-his Charlee. His inspiration. His reason to be a better person. His reason to overcome his deamons. And the
touch that he will ever welcome.
“More than anything, I want to learn to bend to your touch without breaking.” He stroked his cheek along hers, the rise and fall of his chest intoxicating her. “I want you to touch me inside and out.”
Wonderful things were going to happen with this girl. She would push him. Maybe even fix him. If his nightmares chased her away, though, if she ran out the door, his existence would go up in an inferno.
Picture the earth shattering. Picture galaxies colliding. Picture beauty, meets pain, meets devastation, meets two souls forever changed. That is what Charlee and Jay are. Never in my life have I wanted anything more than for these two broken souls to be healed as one. To be cured, together, happy, and living fearless and content.
She met Jay by chance the first time. Destiny brought them together a second time. If one were to believe in such a thing, perhaps they would find each other again.
Brought together, torn apart. Suffering, waiting, wanting, and never giving up hope. That’s what sets them apart from others. The connection these two share is indescribable. I couldn’t explain it even if I wanted to. Jay and Charlee have forever, captured my heart.
Okay, so where do I go from here with this review? I think I will wrap it up now. You got my feelings, my emotions, and I even confessed to my ridiculous ugly crying. Snot and all. So what does that say for this book? Well, I will reiterate. Best, motherfucking, book I think I have EVER read. It has taken my breath away, shattered my heart, exposed my soul, and I will never be the same again. How do I feel about that? FUCKING ECSATIC!!
I will leave you with a couple of my favorite quotes.
“Love is like a series of improbable, lonely notes landing together in meaningful chaos. Where every channel carries a rhythm that conveys an expression of emotion. It doesn’t feel flat or fake or hollow. It’s not exaggerated with overtones. The complexity might feel organized, but the creation is never controlled” ~Jay
“Whatever you gave him made him look at things differently, made him want to get better. He wanted to explore it…the tattoo, you, I don’t know. But your death meant he would be forever incomplete…unfinished.” ~Laz
“I don’t know what you’re doing to me, Charlee, but whatever it is melts everything else away. It’s the best feeling in the world.” ~Jay
“You’re wrong. It’s you. You make me want to rake up the shit just to dissect it. Figure out what I’m made of, what I’m not, and who I am.” A dimple flashed on his cheek, its appearance endearing him all the more. “Got to say, Charlee, that’s an undertaking I’ve never cared to attempt. You make me want to care about a lot of things.” ~Jay
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Pam Godwin lives in Missouri with her husband, their two children, and a foulmouthed parrot. When she ran away, she traveled fourteen countries across five continents, attended three universities, and married the vocalist of her favorite rock band. Now, she resides in her hometown, earning her living as a portfolio research analyst, and living her yearning as a writer.
Java, tobacco, and dark romance novels are her favorite indulgences, and might be considered more unhealthy than her aversion to sleeping, eating meat, and dolls with blinking eyes.