Shine Not Burn, by Elle Casey



A review by:  Terri Kinckner

I will start out by saying that yes, Elle Casey is my favorite author. She writes amazing YA books and although I’m almost 40 years old, I will buy and devour each book the day it is released. That being said, I usually HATE romance books! I’m not sure why, except that maybe they gave me unrealistic expectations of what love was when I read them as a teenager. I now know that romance novel-type love is possible (although not nearly as perfect), but I still can’t bring myself to read romances…until now.

Elle has a knack for creating strong female characters with just enough flaws to make them endearing and believable. Andie is no exception! I loved her from the very start! I could relate with her childhood, and I even understood her need to create a life plan and stick to the script. I was absolutely shocked when she went to Las Vegas and threw that plan out of the window, if only for one night. I actually high-fived my kindle for that one! Of course, if I ever came across a Mack in real life, I’d certainly put my life plan on hold, too!

Speaking of Mack… I just ignored the last three letters of his name and named him Mmmm. It fits! I love nothing more than a sweet, honest and HOT country boy (I’ve got one myself). Mack is the kind of man that loves completely, hurts deeply, and knows exactly what he’s doing under the sheets. For a country boy, he’s also well-educated, which surprised Andie. The personalities of these two characters fit each other like a glove! It was a perfect balance of strengths and weaknesses.

I absolutely adored Mack’s family. I wanted to find them and invite myself to dinner! The love in that household, and the way Maeve kept all of those men in line and managed to do it so gracefully, made me smile. Even Boog, the “man bear pig” brought a smile to my face. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, just because Elle wrote a romance book does NOT mean that she isn’t going to fill it with her wonderful colorful banter and unique expression. This book has Elle written all over it and there were moments that had me laughing out loud, grabbing for tissues and sobbing, and even fanning myself while debating whether I should put the book on hold and go spend time with my “Mack” or not.

I read this book in almost one setting. I would have, had I not brought a bottle of wine out to my deck with me to read under the stars. That book was distracting… I kept refilling that glass until the bottle was empty! Although I usually am not a fan of romances, I will not hesitate to read more of this genre…as long as Elle writes it!

I give this book 5 holy hot wow stars out of 5!