Review – Golden by Joely Sue Burkhart

Publisher: Carina Press
Publish Date: Out Now!
How I got this book: NetGalley

Bred for him…and for his bed.
Golden-eyed Jin has spent her life preparing to be the Emperor’s consort. She knows her destiny is to serve the Emperor by indulging the dark desire that he has buried deep inside his heart—the desire to give pain.

Only she can take the pain he yearns to give, and transform it into the most unimaginable pleasure. But to enjoy all the Emperor can give her, she must survive assassination attempts from those who would keep them apart.
Seducing the Emperor is risky…but it’s the only way to fulfill her destiny.
*Blurb from Goodreads*

I’ve been a fan of Burkhart since I picked up Dear Sir, I’m Yours last year. Burkhart has a great way of combining just the perfect amount of BDSM kink in with her romance.  When I saw the blurb for Golden, I was a little hesitant about the historical aspect, but was pleasantly surprised that I liked this one better than other historical erotica.

Jin is the first wife of the Emperor’s oldest son, but she wants nothing to do with the son. She wants the Emperor himself, as she was raised to be the one to meet his more nefarious needs. But life in the palace is rough as a consort to the Emperor, and although Jin has been trained in more than just the art of pain, she will have to use everything she learned just to survive.

At first, this book had a very fantasy like feel to it. I have never been a big fan of non-regency historical books, I don’t know why, but they never seem to hold my attention for long. But Burkhart opened my eyes to a new era of history that I think I could really enjoy reading more about. The writing is all done from the first person POV of Jin, and although she is young, I liked the one sided perspective.

This book is fairly short (only about 70 pages), but packs quite a punch. I was a little put off at first of the thought of Jin and her father-in-law’s relationship. But it was obvious early on that neither Jin nor the Emperor felt like they had a father-daughter type relationship. I was quickly able to get over that once it became perfectly clear that the Emperor had as strong of feelings for Jin as she did for him.

The sexy moments were – in true Burkhart fashion – very sexy and firmly set in the BDSM world. Both Jin and the Emperor are into pain, and like Burkhart’s Hurt Me So Good, the pain is depicted in a way that is neither graphic or off-putting. While I wasn’t expecting any kind of tenderness from the Emperor, I was happy to see that he didn’t shy away from being tender.

I was also intrigued by the backstabbing and side plots in the book with the Empress and son. The assassination plots and attempts, Jin’s need to stay one-step ahead of everyone and the secrets were another aspect of the historical time frame I found really interesting. Ms. Burkhart if you read this, please write more stories like this! Loved that, very unique and something I’ve never read before!

However, despite all the great things about this novella, there were a few things that didn’t sit well with me. Namely the way the Emperor had Jin watch the way he interacted with the Empress. It was uncomfortable for me to read, and although I got the message, I could have done without the whole scene. *shudder* Also, the way that Jin’s husband handled finding out about them seemed a little ridiculous, especially after watching a scene play out between Jin and his father. I refuse to believe he was THAT stupid…

All in all I like Burkhart’s newest novella. Golden was a sexy short novella featuring a different historical period than we normally see, and different aspects of BDSM that are not always readily explored.

I give Golden a C+

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