Overall Grade: 4.5 ⭐️
Jolie Vines’s epic conclusion of her Dark Island Scots series, Burn, is like riding a way at the Mavericks: adrenaline-inducing and extreme. In fact, the entirety of this series has been a departure from her earlier books. She still calls on her brand: heroes who fall maddeningly in love with their heroines on sight, even heroes who would be more aptly considered anti-heroes, and heroines whose character qualities bloom under this love. The story is the driving force of a book such as Burn, and Vines offers a bonfire of an ending. Throughout the series, she has focused on the same common themes: the depravity of human trafficking and the corruption of the political system. Interestingly, it doesn’t matter whether you are a reader in the US or one in Vines’s native England; these themes feel global in the manner in which she presents them. Even though they are presented as a community evil in Scotland, it’s felt in any country. The foundation of the books in her Dark Island Scots series does two things: 1) it entices the reader into the entirety of the series because you must read the first book to the last one to find its conclusion, and 2) it drives the reader forward more than character development. Honestly, her characters don’t change much throughout the series. Instead, their situations change. That’s the meat on the bone of this series. It keeps you engaged and is a wise authorial choice for Vines.
There is an ultimate intrigue in a story such as Burn: what is considered heroic? It’s one of my favorite questions for a dark romance because a character such as Jamieson is complicated as he commits murder and engages in arson. How can a character such as he be absolved of these crimes? Well, the answer is simple: in the same way that Batman does. When it’s done in the name of justice or to right a wrong, it makes it easier for the reader to accept, and Vines writes this truth well in Burn.
Just as Vines does with the first three books of her Dark Island Scots series, there is plenty of spice to entice, but, for me, the draw for a book such as Burn is the plotline and its intricacies. Thankfully, she gifts us the perfect ending to a series wrought with turmoil and injustice. In the end, the bad guys get what is coming to them. And it’s exactly as it should be: a huge wipeout of justice.
In love and romance,