Tag: Mary Burton

Guest Review: No Escape by Mary Burton

Posted December 20, 2013 by Whitley B in Reviews | 0 Comments

Genres: Romantic Suspense

17381896Whitley’s review of No Escape by Mary Burton

He Was Taught How To Kill

Even behind bars, serial killer Harvey Day Smith exudes menace. Psychologist Jolene Granger has agreed to hear his dying confession, vowing not to let the monster inside her head. And Harvey has secrets to share—about bodies that were never found, and about the apprentice who is continuing his grisly work…

And Now He’ll Teach Them

He buries his victims alive the way his mentor Harvey did, relishing their final screams as the earth rains down. And as one last gift to the only father he knew, he’ll make the most perfect kill of all.

How To Die

Everything about this investigation is unnerving Jo, from Harvey’s fascination with her to the fact that she’s working alongside Texas Ranger Brody Winchester, her ex-husband. Harvey’s protégé is growing bolder and more vicious every day. And soon the trail of shallow graves will lead them to the last place Jo expected, and to the most terrifying truth of all…

This was a cozy little mystery, lacking in real thrills but still with plenty of curiosity to it. It had moments of being truly horrifying, especially with the scenes depicting the murders, but the rest of the book was very slice-of-life. It almost felt like were following Jo around, getting a peak at her daily life, and oh by the way there just happens to be a few serial killers paying undue attention to her.

Perhaps part of that was the lack of actual investigation and figuring things out in the book. Characters just did stuff until the bad guys made a move, and then they went and looked at the bad guy’s move. And in between finding dead girls, they sat around and talked. In the end, a bit of actual police work did find the bad guy, but it was a fairly isolated instance.

The highlights of the book, for me, were the family drama and the stalking. Those were the points that felt most interesting, especially as we got into the warring personalities in Jo’s family and the way each player felt that they were the wronged party. It was interesting to watch how the two sisters had such similar arguments, even though they were coming from two very different lives. A+ drama. And the sideplot with a stalker, even though it was a completely extraneous, was still more tense for me than the serial killer. The invasiveness of the stalking, the descriptions of how violated and helpless Jo felt, the frustration of knowing that the guy was “technically” staying legal but was still able to cause such an uproar in her life, all that sucked me in. I just wish I’d gotten the same feeling from the serial killer plot, instead of twiddling my thumbs and waiting for Robbie to do something.

The writing in this book needed some spit and polish, however. The sentence structure of “doing this, she did that” got repeated constantly, to the point that every participle made me cringe. I also wasn’t a huge fan of the romance. I did enjoy the set up and potential of it, but it felt like they got 3/4ths of the way to a solution and then had sex and declared everything fixed. The plots that are so tantalizingly close to being good always tick me off more than the ones that miss the mark completely.

3 out of 5

This book is available from Zebra Books.  You can buy it here or here in e-format.

Tagged: , , , , , ,

Guest Author: Mary Burton Discusses Why She Loves Carnivals.

Posted February 20, 2012 by Rowena in Promotions | 1 Comment

Please join us in welcoming Mary Burton to Book Binge. We’re delighted to have her join us to discuss why she loves carnivals. Take it away, Mary!!!


One of the backdrops in BEFORE SHE DIES is the carnival. It’s the fall. The air is crisp and the carnival has just set up near Alexandria. It is an exciting time for many but for my heroine Charlotte Wellington the carnival brings bad memories of a past she wants to forget.

When I was a kid I looked forward to the arrival of the carnival. The lights. The clowns. The Ferris wheel that made me a little dizzy. The ring toss I could never win. I loved smell of caramel popcorn and the funnel cakes. I could not wait to visit this magical place.

However, I could never quite understand why my parents didn’t love these visits. My dad
grumbled about the characters lurking about. My mom talked about the dirt and grime. They
saw what I didn’t see when I was a child. They saw the darker side of the carnival.

Now as an adult I understand exactly what they were saying. In the light of day without the
night and the sparkling bright lights, it’s easy to see the chipped paint, the worn equipment and
the tired faces of the workers. It can be as rough as it is magical.

A carnival also is the perfect foil for a villain. Bad guys can wear one face in public and much
darker one in private. It is the light and dark, good and evil contrast of the carnival that I love so
much. And why it is the perfect setting for BEFORE SHE DIES.


New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Mary Burton’s romantic suspense novels include the just published Before She Dies, her two earlier Alexandria, Virginia set novels Senseless and
Merciless, and her thrillers Dying Scream, Dead Ringer and I’m Watching You. All have been published as paperback originals by Zebra Books.

A Virginia native whose family’s Richmond roots run as deep as the nation’s, Mary was born, raised in, and raised her own family there. She graduated from Hollins University and began a career in marketing before writing her first novel, a historical romance, published in 2000. Eleven more novels and three novellas for Harlequin followed. In total, she has written nineteen novels and four novellas.

She is a graduate of the Henrico County Citizens Police Academy and the Richmond FBI Citizen’s Academy, and has participated in Sisters in Crime’s Forensic University program and the Writers Police Academy in Jamestown, North Carolina, where she attended seminars on undercover work, autopsies, and the theories behind why people kill.

When not killing people—the total is upwards of a dozen now—or researching, Mary can be found
pursuing her second love, baking, practicing Astanga yoga, enjoying her family, playing with her miniature dachshunds Buddy and Bella, or pursuing her Baking & Pastry Arts Certificate at the University of Richmond.

Mary Burton writes full time. Her next suspense novel is The Seventh Victim, which will be published in February 2013.

Mary Burton
Zebra Books/Mass Market Original/Fiction
February 2012/On Sale 1-31-12

Thanks so much to Mary Burton for stopping by today. If you haven’t read her book yet, you should. Her new book Before She Dies is out in stores today!

Tagged: , , ,

Live Video Chat at Turn the Page…

Posted February 18, 2011 by Rowena in Reviews | 0 Comments

Publisher: Avon, Harper Collins

The folks over at Avon sent over an email with some pretty exciting news. On February 19, 2011, Avon Romance will be live streaming the book signing at Turn the Page in Boonsboro, MD where the following authors will be:

Things will kick off at 10:30am EST with a live video chat with the featured authors so you won’t want to miss out on this. This seems like the perfect way to include your readers that live all over the world and I think it’s pretty darn awesome!

For more information on the book signing/livestream session check out Avon’s website here.

Tagged: , , , , , , , , ,

Review: Dying Scream by Mary Burton.

Posted February 4, 2010 by Casee in Reviews | 0 Comments

Genres: Romantic Suspense

Casee‘s review of Dying Scream by Mary Burton.


An aspiring artist. A high-school senior. A stripper. Three women who seemed to have nothing in common except their sudden disappearance. But one man knew them all. Wealthy, privileged Craig Thornton even claimed to love them. And for that, they paid the ultimate price.


When Adrianna Barrington receives an anniversary card from her husband Craig, she assumes it’s a some crackpot’s idea of a joke. After all Craig is dead. But then come phone calls, flowers, messages…all reminding her how much Craig misses her. While Adrianna begins to doubt her sanity, grisly remains are found on the Thornton estate. Detective Gage Hudson is convinced the bodies are linked to Craig. But the biggest shocks are yet to come.


A psychopath has taken up his chilling work again, each death a prelude to the moment when she is under his control at last. And the only way for Gage and Adrianna to stop him is to uncover the truth about a family’s dark past–and a twisted love that someone will kill for again and again.

I wasn’t too impressed by Mary Burton’s debut. It bore too many similarities to I’m Watching You by Karen Rose. I was able to get this book free on my Kindle which is really the only reason I read it. I’m glad I did because it has convinced me that while I didn’t like her debut, I like her writing style.

I liked Adrianna. She was very matter-of-fact. After losing her husband to a drunk driver, she has to take care of two years of medical bills and various other debts. Adrianna is auctioning off anything that remains of her husband’s estate. Selling the familial home is the last thing Adrianna has to do before she is free to start a life away from the east coast and anything that has to do with the Thornton’s.

Gage Hudson long since thought that Craig Thornton was involved with the disappearances of several women. When Adrianna needs to excavate the cemetery on the family property, he thinks it’s the perfect opportunity to find where the bodies are buried. Literally.

Adrianna and Gage had a brief summer affair before she went to back to Craig and subsequently married him. It was hot while it lasted, but ended when they started spending less and less time together. The attraction is still obviously alive between Gage and Adrianna. I don’t know what it was that made me care about this couple as much as I did.

I didn’t see what was coming which is not unusual. That didn’t ruin my enjoyment of the book. I found that the blend of romance and suspense was done extremely well.

3.5 out of 5.

This book is available from Zebra. You can buy it here or here in e-format.

Tagged: , , , , ,

Lightning Reviews: Various

Posted January 15, 2008 by Casee in Reviews | 2 Comments

I don’t generally like making New Years resolutions. Big resolutions lead to big disappointments. This year I decided to make a relatively easy resolution: keep track of all the books I read. How hard could it be? I keep the spreadsheet on my work laptop, which I (unfortunately) have to take everywhere. Keeping track for 15 days and I’ve already noticed how the # of reviews and the # of books read are getting farther and farther apart. Then I thought that I’d just do lightning reviews at the end of each month for all the books I didn’t review. There’s one problem with that. My memory is shit. So waiting until the end of the month doesn’t really work b/c by then I would forget everything except for the plot. Maybe not even that.

Why did I feel the need to explain that? I’m not sure. I think part of it was explaining it to myself.

I’m Watching You by Mary Burton (Spoilers)
3 out of 5

The first kill was easy. The second much easier.No guilt, no remorse, just a rush of adrenaline surging through him as each life drains away, and the pleasure of knowing that their deaths help his beloved Lindsay. And there are so many more who deserve to die…

The first twisted gift to Lindsay O’Neil arrives hidden in a bouquet of flowers. When her estranged husband, Detective Zack Kier, is assigned to the case,Lindsay’s past comes back with a vengeance.Because only Zack knows the dark secret she lives with—or so she thinks. Now nothing can prepare her for the nightmare to come…

Everything Lindsay’s stalker does, every life he takes,is for her. But when Lindsay spurns his gifts, she and those she loves most become targets of a depraved madman whose rage is growing, and who is waiting,watching, closer than she ever feared…

This book was eerily similar to I’m Watching You by Karen Rose. Not just the title, but the plot as well. I could have handled the fact that the heroes in both books were cops. A lot of heroes are cops when it comes to romantic suspense. What I didn’t like was that the villain, while definitely dangerous, was really trying to “help” the heroine. It was exactly the same in Karen Rose’s book.

There was also too much going on. In the end, the villain ended up saving the heroine from a secondary villain who was even more evil than the 1st villain. If that doesn’t make your head spin, well, good for you. *g*

I did like the heroine. She was very likable for the most part. I just thought she should get over her relationship hangups. While she had a past that I wouldn’t wish on anyone, she got help before it ruined her. So I just felt that she didn’t resolve her relationship with her husband in the manner I would expect from a personality like hers.

A Time to Die by Beverly Barton
3 out of 5

Ten years ago, Black Ops commando Deke Bronson’s bullet left up-and-coming journalist Lexie Murrough paralyzed.

It’s taken years of painful physical therapy to bring Lexie back from the brink. And Deke is just grateful that she has no memory of his part in the incident that left her injured and him emotionally scarred. He’s tried to put the past behind him, leaving the military and joining the Dundee Agency, but he’s never been able to forgive himself.…

When Lexie, now head of an international charity organization, begins receiving terrifying threats from the son of the dictator killed during that long-ago operation, it’s Deke who’s assigned to keep her safe from harm.

Maybe it’s fate’s way of giving him another chance, but falling for Lexie isn’t supposed to be part of the deal. And what if she finally discovers the truth?

Every time I read a Beverly Barton book, I continually have to remind myself that she’s southern. Every time the heroine bursts out with “Oh Mercy!”, I think of my grandmother. I got several chuckles as I was reading.

As I was reading (in between giggling), I kept hearing the theme song for the Small World ride at Disneyland. “It’s a small world after all. It’s a small world after all. It’s a small world after all, it’s a small, small, world“. Yes, I am crazy.

See, 10 years ago when Lexie was a journalist, she was covering a story in the Middle East. While she was there, a group of mercenaries assassinated the newly elected President, the story which she was covering. She took a bullet in the back and was paralyzed (not plagiarized). Whose shot her? You guessed it…Deke. Now does the “Small World” reference make me seem a little more sane?

This is typical Barton fare. Southern woman who is independent seeks bodyguard to protect her body. Sex optional. Danger, danger, danger. Fall in love. Deny, deny, deny. Kill bad guy.

The end.

Just a Taste by Deirdre Martin
3.5 out of 5

While trying to keep his retired hockey star brother out of the kitchen, Anthony Dante has turned his restaurant into a Brooklyn institution. But the stunning Vivi Robitaille is giving him some competition with her new bistro. The table is set for a culinary war-until things start getting spicy.

I love Anthony Dante. How can you not love a hero that has no qualms about taking a lawn chair and going to his wife’s grave to talk to her? Every single Sunday?

So overall, I think this was a good book. There were many different elements that made it very amusing. I wasn’t really feeling Anthony and Vivi, though. While the French-born Vivi was the polar opposite of Ant’s wife, she was almost too French. I enjoyed the sparring between the two of them. I enjoyed how Vivi constantly messed up American slang and sayings. I just didn’t like them together romantically. I also thought Vivi was too naive considering her childhood. It just wasn’t believable.

Without the comic relief that Michael, Ant’s brother provided, this book wouldn’t have been nearly enjoyable. There was also “Insane Lorraine” who had a big crush on Anthony and didn’t have any problem with letting him know how she felt.

While I enjoyed this book, it didn’t wow me like some of her previous work.

Tagged: , , , , , , , , ,