Burn by Crystal Hubbard is one of the most gut-wrenching yet beautiful stories I’ve read. The story starts somewhat innocuously and then all of a sudden goes into this unspeakable house of horror that as I read, I didn’t want to blink until I discovered what was in the room as Zebulon climbed the stairs. From that point on I was hooked. Burn is an interracial romance with moments of high suspense and while some tough issues are raised and dealt with, the romance that develops between the main characters and the budding one by their friends makes this above all else a wonderful romance novel. I loved that Cinder White is a fighter and despite what would have possibly killed most women, she was determined to not let her psychotic, ex-husband win and decides to take back control of her life. Gian Piasanti becomes Cinder’s savior but he doesn’t do so by fighting her fight; he gives her the tools she needs to fight for herself which is even better. The validation Cinder receives at the end that she can protect herself from this monster, and the support from Gian, does wonders in restoring her broken spirit.
For Cinder White love brought nothing but emotional and unspeakable physical abuse. She should be dead. By all accounts the vicious attack she suffered at the hands of her abusive husband should have killed her. Even after surviving the attack which took weeks of recovery, Cinder should have died emotionally from the trauma she suffered. However, with the help of her best friend, she relocates and tries to make a new life. She still bears the physical and mental scars of her past but determined to put some closure to her past life, she enrolls in a martial arts school both for the mental as well as physical conditioning it requires. Gian Piasanti is fascinated by the seemingly broken woman who wants to learn how to defend herself. He doesn’t know what demons she is wrestling but he knows the signs of an abused woman because his sister suffered a similar fate. Gian recognizes that Cinder is a woman that needs to be cherished and from the dark shadows he’s determined to be the man to bring light back into her eyes.