Soul Burn by Megan Hart and Brenda MurphySoul Burn by Megan Hart and Brenda Murphy is a paranormal, BDSM, erotic novella collection about finding acceptance and unconditional love. The two stories highlight how secrets and loneliness are their own form of captivity and how the right partner can provide emotional and physical freedom.

Shifting Flames

Eve Perez’s reputation is in tatters. With the help of her agent, they are looking for a project that will restore her status as a top Hollywood screenwriter. When the opportunity to adapt a best-selling novel into a screenplay presents itself, she jumps at the chance despite her misgivings about working with the reclusive and notoriously difficult author.

Celeste Quon is adored by a generation of readers, but what would they think if they knew the truth about her? Celeste finally agrees to bring her best-selling novel to the screen, but she’s going to do it on her terms.

When a freak snowstorm strands Eve at Celeste’s estate, the two women are forced to work in close quarters. They have an undeniable chemistry. When Eve discovers Celeste’s incredible secret, will she succumb to their fiery attraction or leave Celeste as soon as the screenplay is finished?

The Fire Inside

Clara is a sought after Domina and her unique ability to craft pleasure out of pain keeps her roster of clients full.

Selena has a terrible secret and pain is the only thing that keeps the fire that burns inside her at bay.

When she hires Clara to be her Domina, it’s her deliverance. When their perfect business arrangement is threatened by invading emotions, both women are overwhelmed by the possibility that their relationship might be turning into something more.

Clara has had Selena’s submission for months. When Selena is faced with giving Celeste her heart as well, she runs. She can’t risk revealing her secret. When she flees Celeste gets a glimpse of Selena’s terrifying true self – the reason that sent Selena seeking Celeste’s brand of pain to begin with.

Clara can’t fight her desire and wants more from Selena. As Selena’s Miss, she’s not afraid to demand the opportunity to explore their shared feelings. When they are snowed in at Clara’s mountain cabin, they have to face the truth about themselves and what they mean to each other.

Can true love conquer the darkest of fears?

The Characters

The character development in each story is fantastic. I love that both authors chose to place the character with the paranormal abilities as the submissive in their story. It presents a great juxtaposition with the powerful forms those two women transform into when their true natures take over. It’s a wonderful analogy for the Dominant/submissive dynamic where power play addresses the needs of each participant. For Celeste and Selena, their submission is their salvation. For Eve and Clara, their dominance fuels their compassion and innate protectiveness.

The Writing Style

Hart and Murphy do a great job bringing the worlds of their stories to life. With the paranormal aspect, there is a broodiness to each novella. The frigid temperatures and snow work in contrast with the heat lurking within Celeste and Selena. The rugged mountains and thick forests represent the primal environments where these women can feel free.

The dialogue reflects the despondency and isolation Celeste and Selena live with. It also showcases Eve and Clara’s commanding yet compassionate personas.

The Pros

I enjoyed both of these novellas, and I liked how the authors connected them by theme. In a perfect world, I would have loved it if each one had been a full-length novel because the stories and characters are so appealing.

The Cons

It’s BDSM. That’s not a con, just don’t be surprised by the content. (Someone is always outraged.)

The Conclusion

This erotic, BDSM, paranormal romance is a lot of fun and a whole lot of sexy. I’m a big fan of BDSM erotica when it’s written well. I look for stories where the BDSM elements inform who the characters are at their most authentic selves. The paranormal element of these stories adds another layer of complexity to this duology. Soul Burn features four richly developed main characters, and the two stories felt unique. I’m a fan of paranormal romances featuring shifters because I think they are tremendously alluring. (No disrespect to vampire lovers.) All said and done, Soul Burn was a win/win for me.

Excerpt from Soul Burn by Megan Hart and Brenda Murphy

The fire fed on it in the way the wolf she became fed on flesh and blood. It was all tied together. The better something felt, the harder it was to deny the fire that led to the change, Pain had been her only solution. First by using her fists to punch walls, but that had broken her hands. Cutting had been useless. She’d have had to slice herself to the bone, over and over, for it to hurt enough to force away the wolf when it was trying to get out. Selena had been twenty years old before she discovered there were others who sought pain the way she did, and although most of them did it for different reasons, her entry into the realm of BDSM had been her salvation.

At least so far. The longer she went without letting the wolf take over, the harder it became to hold back the fire. The more pain she needed to shove down her impulses. And, given that the pain had become inextricably linked to pleasure, she wasn’t sure how much longer it would be before even this solution no longer worked.

Then what would she do? Surrender totally, first to the burning fire, then to the beast? Run as an animal full time?

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