Book Review: Sylvia Day’s “Afterburn”

Posted December 8, 2013 by Kathy Davie in

I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Book Review: Sylvia Day’s “Afterburn”


on August 15, 2013 and has 99 pages.

Explore it on Goodreads four-stars

First in the Afterburn & Aftershock erotic romance duology.

You may want to wait until the second book, “Aftershock” (or the combined duology, Afterburn & Aftershock), comes out on March 11, 2014 because it will make you nuts having to wait to find out what happens next! The first story reads like the first half of a story — hence the “4”.

My Take

This was a unique take: a woman who wants to make it in the restaurant business, but as a realizer of dreams. It’s cooking. It’s advertising. It’s business. All rolled into one story. It’s incredible how much story Day packs into 99 pages. But it’s irritating how she leaves us at the end of those 99 pages. It feels like a tease to extort us into buying, which irritates me.

I love the sense of family amongst the Rossis. That they all pitched in to put Gianna through college. How much they love and support her.

There’s a freshness to this — yeah, yeah, think celery! Oh, wait, this is Italian food, think parsley! And it’s fun to watch the pair of ladies finagle and figure as they work to salvage the sabotage. I do like that idea of dueling kitchens; it could be fun.

Then there’s Jax. His very alpha-ness, his demands, the sex! He’s very upfront with what he wants and what Gianna can expect. Enough that you want to find a bottle to hit him over the head. Although part of me wants to whack Gianna over the head as well! Talk about a glutton for punishment. Then again, I do love her sense of fair play. She’s honest and upright with people; she wants them to be happy. It’s part, I think, of why Jax angers me so much.

Oh, I want that loft apartment!

I love that comment Gianna makes: “If you feel that your identity as the Williams twins has more potential than being Stacy Williams, you should absolutely go with your gut. It’s got you this far, after all.” Nice call, LOL.

There’s a definite suggestion that there’s something more between Lei and Ian. And it could go in several directions, hmmm.

WTF? Why would Gianna want to be with someone who betrays her over and over and over again? I don’t care how good the sex is. Someone behaves this way to me, and I am not going to be attracted to him. And Jax certainly isn’t hiding what a jerk he is. He’s proud of it. He tells her how he’ll screw her over, and she still falls for it, er, him.

I am dying to read the second in this — if only to see that Stacy Williams gets hers! Yeah, I want to see Jax get his as well… Yeah, I’ve got a pretty good idea of how it’ll end, but the fun is in the journey, LOL.

The Story

It starts with an impassioned interview that fizzles and builds. A partnership that soars as they feed off each other’s energy until that moment of almost-triumph.

A stumble from which the ladies need to recover. If Gianna can get past her own past with Jax and thwart Ian Pembry.

The Characters

Gianna Rossi has food and cooking in her blood, but she doesn’t want to cook. Not food anyway. Instead she wants to realize dreams. She has three brothers — Nico is the prankster and oldest, Angelo, and Vincent, but only one can take over Rossi’s, the Italian restaurant that’s been in the family for three generations. Denise is Angelo’s wife and five months pregnant, and she has her own beauty salon business. Mona Rossi is their sexy mother. Lei Yeung is Gianna’s boss at Savor, Inc. where chefs are turned into name brands. LaConnie is the receptionist.

Jackson “Jax” Rutledge is a jerk. Gorgeous and hardworking with a huge sense of entitlement harkening back to the days of droit du seigneur. He manages Rutledge Capital, a venture capital firm. His brother is Senator Rutledge. Parker is his father; Regina is his father’s second wife. Allison Kelsey is Jax’s bitchy cousin-in-law married to Ted.

Chad and Stacy Williams are twins, chefs, who hate each other. Isabelle specializes in regional Italian, Inez specializes in regional French, and David Lee‘s specialty is Asian.

Ian Pembry was Li Yeung’s partner who betrayed her and continues to.

The Cover and Title

The cover is a range of blues in the background ending with a splash into someone’s martini glass.

The title is what Gianna gets all the time, the “Afterburn” from the end of an affair and the many betrayals.