I’ve burned muses.
I’ve felt little remorse.
I stored our tales.
I sold them for this life—
Their sighs and lies
led me to believe they
enjoyed the dance too.
I’ve burned muses.
I laughed at those tales.
Then I met him.
(**ARC provided by the author in exchange for an honest review**)
“Don’t let fear sway you. You’re not your past.”
I will not deny that I am a long time fan of J.R. Rogue’s work and her striking and emotionally charged words. A fan of a poetry that seems to undress us and expose the most intimate and secret emotions that agitate within us. So, to say I was ecstatic to learn that she would release her first novel is an understatement. To say that never before I had sent an ARC request in such a hurry would also be an understatement. My fingers were not fast enough to meet my anxiety. To say I was thrilled to see the notification that the file had been sent last weekend, would be a euphemism.
And to say that J. R. Rogue did not disappoint me is the absolute truth!
“He is music, and I am merely madness and melancholy.”
In her debut novel, J. R. Rogue brings the story of Seraphina Daniels, a successful writer who, after achieving fame, is facing a writer’s block. After several attempts to put an end to it, and a troubled break up, Sera decides to return to her hometown when her childhood best friend, Kat, calls needing a friend. Moreover, she is convinced that the change of scenery is exactly what she needs to write a novel she can be proud of.
When Sera meets Chace, a relationship is the last thing on her mind, after all, besides the fact he is much younger than her, her family treats him as one of their own. Chace is unlike any man she has ever dated. Gentle, innocent, hardworking…Their friendship comes easy. However, the attraction between them soon becomes difficult to ignore.
“I think I wanted you before I even knew what it was like to want someone.”
As expected, J. R. Rogue brings a captivating narrative. The power of her words, the emotion overflowing from them is there, bringing out our own emotions. For the past two months I haven’t been able to finish a book. I have picked up several books to read, several of them highly acclaimed, but none managed to hold my attention, being put aside quickly. For the last three months, I haven’t been moved by any of my readings. I have not felt the butterflies in my stomach, or my heart get warmed, or squeezed, or had the tears running down my eyes, both from joy or fear. For a long time, words haven’t brought excitement to my life. J. R. Rogue with her lovely story, loaded with emotion and simplicity, brought all those things back.
“I fell in love with your voice, with the brokenness you owned, too.”
The author develops the plot with a serene pace, with an almost poetic cadence, which did not surprise me. The narrative is not rushed. The events are not ran over. The pace is so nice and touching and the plot so captivating that you find yourself in a mixture of wanting to finish the book as soon as possible to find out everything that happens, with the will to enjoy it slowly so that it never ends.
“You hold this darkness deep inside your ribcage. I know how that feels. I have it too. It isn’t the same as yours, I know that, but your darkness is fucking blinding, Sera. It’s beautiful and it’s part of you. Use it.”
In the background, the author also addresses complex, difficult, aching issues, but with such respect and in a delicate way, that the reading doesn’t become heavy, always remaining with that emotion that warms much more than burns our heart. Maybe, I can compare the writing style of J. R. Rogue to Laura Miller’s, undoubtedly one of my favorite authors. I even daresay J. R. Rogue may ultimately become my Fall as well. Fall with the poetry of the orange and dry leaves carpets on the ground… Fall with the explosion of shades of pink, orange, blue and purple in its sunsets… Fall with the comfort of the gentle breezes which somehow warms our hearts… Fall with its simplicity that stir our emotions.
Rogue’s characters are real, and with which we can relate to. There isn’t all that drama and juggling situations in their stories and actions. Only bare and raw emotions, and humans trying to face each of the obstacles that are thrown in our daily lives, trying to fight, win and grow with each of the difficulties that life presents us, and trying to turn their pain into something positive that boots us to keep moving on in life.
Technically, the book revolves around 4/4.5 stars for me, which is something extraordinary for a debut novel. I felt the plot could have been developed a little more in some aspects. The book could certainly be a little longer without becoming tiresome. However, this in no way tarnishes the book, which is still charming and exciting in the same way.
But, some books have the ability to affect us in such way it is impossible to explain. I credit this power to what is behind each written word. In those books, I suspect that the emotion that comes out of their words and strikes us are the genuinely real emotions that their authors shed into those pages. That’s why the emotions end up being so tangible. Burning Muses definitely has that ability, nailing 5 full, complete, heated and accelerated hearts from me and putting J. R. Rogue among the authors for whom I’ll eagerly anticipate their upcoming releases.
Congratulations, J.! Your debut novel is beautiful and captivated my heart!
P.S.: I do must confess I LOVE the age difference theme! 😉
By Fernanda Aragão
Did you get curious? The book is aready live! Go grab yout copy! > https://goo.gl/ZwdJ9H
Burning Muses playlist: http://tinyurl.com/BurningMusesPlaylist
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