Burden72lgTitle: Burden 
Author: Annmarie McKenna
Cover Artist: Angela Waters
Publisher: Samhain 
Buy Link Genre: Contemporary/Men in Uniform
Length: Novella
Rating: 3 stars out of 5

A Guest Review by Zac D

Review Summary: A good premise and a solid start, let down in places by some pacing issues and patchy editing. An inspired character saves this book and makes it all in all, a good ‘cop’ read with a sweetly erotic sub plot.


There’s more than one way to guard a body. In the year since his car flew off a cliff, Detective Brennan McGuire has struggled to relearn the simplest tasks—like speaking without a stutter—and even more with trying to fill the gaping holes in his memory.

But when his daily visit to a local coffee shop turns into a melee of flying bullets, Brennan’s instincts take control.

So much for Keegan Monroe’s first day off after a long undercover assignment. One minute he’s relaxing over coffee, the next his cheek is kissing concrete. Question is, is the gorgeous man on top of him his savior, or the one who took a potshot at his head?

As Keegan shepherds the too-quiet, too-skinny Brennan through the investigation, attraction flares into nights of white-hot passion. But with each scorching encounter, more and more of Brennan’s memories shake loose…and it becomes clear someone doesn’t want him putting those pieces together.

With Keegan’s oath to protect and serve putting him squarely in the crosshairs of a murderer, now the question is, who is protecting whom?


Like I say in the summary, Burden is a good read. I wouldn’t go so far as to say it was solid, but I enjoyed it very much. The main reason for this was Brennan. Brennan is a wonderful character. He tugged at my heartstrings from the get-go, and I shared Keegan’s almost instant urge to protect him.

His struggle with his disability is beautifully told when the reader is lucky enough to be in his head. Told through his eyes, his day to day life is wonderfully written…poignant and heartrending. I could’ve read a whole book of this alone. The guy is sweet and endearing at every turn. Some may find the kitten subplot a little nauseating, but I (and I speak as someone who has a large ginger tom about to stick his paw in my breakfast…) rather liked it.

God, that sounds so English. Man, I’ve been here too long…

Anyway. Yeah, Brennan was an awesome character. With some real development and proper groundwork, he could’ve been magical. I loved the concept enough some testy execution.
I was less enthused with Keegan. He is a little overbearing at times, and the dialogue does him no favors. In places he comes across a bit thick and shallow.

There are some pacing issues with this book too. It’s a novella, so it comes with the territory that things happen fast. That’s a given. There’s no time for a slow burn, or much development before we’re into the insta-love.

Here me now…

I’m not one of those who objects to insta-love, at least not in the shorter books. If I did, I wouldn’t read them. End of. I’ve said this a lot recently, but I see little point in ragging on a short story for being…well, short.

BUT, there are limits to how far you can push reality, and I found it slightly galling that the MC’s in this book were on nickname terms within hours, yes, hours, of meeting one another. I would’ve found it more believable that they had full penetrative sex in that time, rather than this. It was a real WTF moment for me.

There are also editing issues with this book. Tense flip flops, head-hopping, and even typos. At one point, Brennan is referred to as ‘her’. Not good. It may not bother some, but for me, the plot and over all writing style wasn’t strong enough to hide them. Beyond the emotive beauty of Brennan, the writing had a tendency to become very weak, and the sex scenes come across as rather crass, when they could’ve been far more constructive to the plot.

That being said, Burden is an entertaining read, and though Keegan didn’t quite work for me, I did get a huge kick out of his rather clumsy attempts to guide Brennan through his flashbacks and suppressed memories. It could’ve been done better, but the general idea was really good.

If you’re looking for a hard ass cop drama, this isn’t quite it, but if you’re on the fence between emotion and action, this could be the book you’re looking for.

Three stars.


  • Just love the publisher name! Samhain sounds so mystical, Sam Hain sounds really down to earth. Just by inserting a space…


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