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The Burning Point [Mass Market Paperback]

Mary Jo Putney
1.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Book Description

29 Jun 2000
The Burning Point is New York Times bestselling author Mary Jo Putney's first contemporary novel, a riveting story of the ties that bind two people together -- and the incendiary forces that can tear them apart.

Product details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 335 pages
  • Publisher: Berkley Publishing Corporation,U.S. (29 Jun 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 042517428X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0425174289
  • Product Dimensions: 17 x 10.6 x 2.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 1.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,886,973 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

A New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USAToday bestselling author, Mary Jo Putney was born in Upstate New York with a reading addiction, a condition for which there is no known cure. Her entire romance writing career is an accidental byproduct of buying a computer for other purposes.

Her novels are known for psychological depth and intensity and include historical and contemporary romance, fantasy, and young adult fantasy. Winner of numerous writing awards, including two RITAs and two Romantic Times Career Achievement awards, she has five times had books listed among the Library Journal's top five romances of the year, and three times had books among the top ten romances of Booklist, the magazine of the American Library Association.

Her favorite reading is great stories, but in a pinch she'll settle for the backs of cereal boxes. She's delighted that e-publishing can now make available books that have been out of print.

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One hour until detonation. Read the first page
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Tacky book, characters are unrealistic 26 Jan 2012
By shelf
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This book is hideous. Truly a joke. Spoilers follow as there's plenty of places to find the synopsis for the book.

The heroine left her violent, physically and mentally abusive husband 10 years ago. She never told anybody about the abuse, not even her close family, and the husband the 'hero' (which is a damned joke) ends up working in the family business and becomes very much a son of the heroine's father. The father effectively cuts her off because he thinks the hero is such a great guy and when the father dies he makes it condition of the will that the heroine and 'hero' must live together for one year (they've been divorced for 10 years at this point) or the hero won't get his stake in the business and the heroine and her brother (who the father also disowned) will get nothing. It's guilt-tripping, it's disgusting and shame on Mary Jo Putney for using such stupid Harlequin/Mills and Boon plot lines (the will stipulation) for something as serious as domestic abuse.

There are so many things wrong with the heroine. Aside from her character being weak-willed (possibly from the abuse but I don't think Putney is that deep; the heroine was a happy-go lucky rainbow and bunnies type before that) the heroine is also SO pious and unrealistic that it is sickening. For example, during their separation, the hero starts sleeping with the heroine's long-time best friend. When the heroine finds out? She of course hugs the best-friend and reassures HER. No. I am sorry but real people have FEELINGS. We are selfish, we hurt, we feel pain. At this point in the book, it is clear that the heroine has never stopped loving the hero (ridiculous but I can't even get into that) but of course since she's so wonderful it's acceptable that her friend has been sleeping with him.
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Amazon.com: 3.4 out of 5 stars  65 reviews
84 of 105 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Domestic violence should never be romanticized! 3 May 2000
By Sandra Creelman - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Before reading this understand that i am a die hard fan of Ms. Putney's and have enjoyed many of her books. I have never questioned her writing talent and I eagerly looked forward to her contemporary debut. 100 or so pages into the book i want to scream. I would have given my right eyetooth for Ms. Putney to have picked any other subject than domestic violence or spousal abuse to be the conflict between the hero and heroine. I have finished the book and have even read this one twice to be fair, but my feelings about this book have not changed.
Katie and Donavan divorced ten years ago. Katie moved away from family and friends to start a new life with no reason as to why to anyone. Patrick "Donavan", her ex husband stayed and continued to work for her father Sam. Sam own and operates a building demolition business. When Sam is killed in an explosion, Katie has to return home for the funeral. During the reading of the will, Katie finds out that her father has never really given up on her and Donavan and in order for her, her brother, and Donavan to inherit, she must live with Donavan for at least one year after Sam's death. Katie complies and they discover that Sam was murdered, not accidentally killed and someone is out to destroy the business.
What follows is described by some as a story of suffering and redemption. What follows is suppose to show love conquers all and forgiveness goes a long way. What follows is suppose to show that as long as you love each other you can overcome.
What is suppose to happen just does not happen for me. The minute the conflict was revealed between the two main characters this book ceased being a romance for me. When it was revealed all i could think about was simply this: no love, no money, nothing should have justified Katie going back into this situation, especially as blindly as she did. This was simply too unbelievable to me and sends a terrible message to the 100000 women out there.
What also didn't work was Donavan's character. I know this is fiction and fiction is suppose to mimic our hopes and dreams. It would be wonderful if men who abuse women would immediately realize that they had a problem when they lose the women they "love". That Donavan did this was totally unbelievable and by shaping his character in such a way, Ms. Putney went a long way in reinforcing the myth's surrounding domestic violence and spousal abuse.
When i finished this book, i desperately read the authors notes to try to find out why Ms. Putney approached this subject so carelessly, so unresearched, so flippantly. I was disappointed.
To her credit Ms. Putneys states that domestic violence is never right, it is wrong. And to her credit, having Katie leave when she realized that her husband was an abuser was right and brave. Having Katie agreeing to go blindly back into this situation reinforces the "give him a second change syndrome". And the main problem with this book was the hero. Ms. Putney's author notes describe him as not a bad man, just someone who was abused himself as a child. She further describes him as having lost the love of his life, Donavan had to come to some hard realizations and take control and come to terms with his problem. Ms. Putney went a long way in trying to sympathize this character and in doing so also went a long way in reinforcing many of the myths surrounding domestic violence.
myth: domestic violence is about loss of control. fact: domestic violence is about control as its most fearsome, and about using fear and physical abuse to control the victim.
I would have respected Ms. Putney more if she had research her subject matter and that it had reflected more responsibly in her book. I do not think anyone exposed to any type of domestic violence situation or anyone that has any knowledge of DV would be able to enjoy this book. This is one subject that should never be romanticized or sympathized in a contemporary setting.
I was disappointed in this book and quite frankly disgusted with the lack of empathy and responsbility this author has shown toward those brave women that have chosen to renew their lives by getting away from these situations. She went a long way toward possibly making them feel guilty for doing so or reinforcing them to stay in such situations.
Ms. Putney is a wonderful author, how could she have been so misguided on this one? I would ask her one question. Is this the kind of message she you wishes to send the 2 out 10 women who will read her book that are currently in DV situations?
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Contemporary romance with disturbing theme handled well 19 Dec 2000
By Dr W. Richards - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I'm a fan of Mary Jo Putney for her wonderful Regency-period novels, but I've also read her one mediaeval and loved it, so decided to give this one a chance despite the mixed reviews here. And I'm very glad I did. Putney has certainly not lost her talent for taking a seeming impossible relationship and bringing the couple back together. Here, along with forgiveness and understanding, goes redemption.
I liked Putney's way of introducing us to her two main characters. We meet Kate and Donovan when they've been divorced for ten years, but are not told what caused the break-up of their marriage. Instead, we get to meet them both and get to know them a little first. And Donovan seems to be a nice guy, considerate, understanding, regretful over the way he treated Kate. By letting her readers get to know Donovan in this way, Putney not only lets us get to know him without preconceptions and, as a result, come to like him; it means that when we do find out what happened in Kate and Donovan's marriage, the shock is all the greater.
Domestic violence is unacceptable. I have no intention of getting into the debate which has raged in these reviews about whether it is or is not a forgiveable offence. Putney herself acknowledges that it is a highly controversial theme to include in a romance. However, I did accept by the end of the book that she had shown Donovan as not only genuinely sorry for what he'd done, but also as someone who had overcome his violent impulses. He'd worked out why he was violent (violent, controlling father, the influence of alcohol), and had undergone counselling and treatment. He had unlearned the habit of violence. I was totally convinced of that. And so I was totally convinced that Kate was right to come to love him again.
What spoilt the book somewhat for me, though, was the dramatic/action/mystery plot. It took over too much for my liking: I prefer my romances to focus on the individuals. I understand that Putney was using the demolition industry as a metaphor for the characters' relationships, but that's not really what I want from a novel, and for me it overshadowed the *real* story. There were also a few too many secondary characters; I might wonder whether Putney is considering writing about some of Kate's friends, except that I hoped for similar follow-ups to Uncommon Vows and it didn't happen. I suspect Putney likes to try out different genres as experimentation, whether or not she intends to continue writing in those genres, but still finds it hard to resist introducing a whole cast of secondary characters just in case she might want to make use of them some day. (That said, I did like the secondary romance in this book).
So, while I enjoyed this book and will definitely keep it, it won't be re-read with the same enjoyment or frequency as M-J P's historical novels.
23 of 28 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars No. Just no. 12 May 2000
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I am a published author who has enormous respect and admiration for Mary Jo Putney. She once gave my publisher a lovely author quote for one of my books and I was inordinately pleased and flattered.
I thought to myself that if anyone can tackle this subject MJP can.
My husband put a gun in his mouth and committed suicide in front of me after keeping me at gunpoint for eight hours. The police department reiterated how fortunate I was - most cases of domestic violence end in the wife being killed first. What happened to me was a classic and almost textbook case of the escalation of violence. At first it was a push, then a slap, then I was being struck. I remember at one point cowering in the corner of the dining room with my arms over my head, praying that I wouldn't scream so hard that my children would awake. I didn't know until later that they were hiding in the closet crying.
I left my husband twice, and returned because I convinced myself he'd changed. He had therapy, he was genuinely contrite. The contrition is part of the pattern. I am alive today not because of my intelligence, but because of luck. Or perhaps I'm blessed.
Abusers do not change. The redemptive power of love is more correctly turned toward the victim. She should forgive herself, understand that she did not deserve it. I volunteer at a Battered Women's Shelter and see the same thing as portrayed in this book. But the ending isn't forgiveness and trust. Unfortunately, it's the pattern of abuse escalating.
This book is written in the usual wonderful Mary Jo Putney style. She is enormously talented.
But the message the book leaves is horrifying.
21 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must for any Mary Jo Putney fan. . . 28 May 2000
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
If this is the first review of the book that you have read, and you are a MJP fan, STOP READING NOW, buy the book and judge for yourself. You may love it, you may hate it, but it will better to just read it and decide for yourself.
It is impossible to review this book without a "spoiler," so if you are still reading, be warned. Well into the story, the reader discovers that the secret in Kate and Donovan's past was that he was physically abusive to her during their marriage.
Now, it is impossible to deal with this issue without controversy, and to have it show up in a romance novel plot is a bit shocking. But I gave this book 5 starts because it dares to raise this issue. Abusive heros are not uncommon in romances - in fact during the early days of romance they seemed the norm - but having a clear contemporary wife-batterer show up as the protagonist makes the issue explicit.
At the heart of these stories is whether the flawed hero can reform. Traditionally, it is the love of the heroine that reforms the hero, which I think is a dangerous message. In this book, though, it is clear that love is not enough. Kate has to leave and Donovan has to face himself before he can change his ways. And he has to do it the hard way, by himself, with no expectation that Kate will ever return. In the end they do get back together (it is a romance, after all), but Donovan's changes are in spite of Kate, not because of her. In the end, I think this is a more positive message than most romances send.
I do agree with the reviewer who wished that Donovan's reform was more explicit - I wished the story had SHOWED his hard work rather than told about it. But I do think that the book did show Kate doing a good job of setting her own boundaries, and is worth the read.
21 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Daring subject, well handled 7 May 2000
By amaryllis_USA - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I love Mary Jo Putney's historicals, and was very much looking forward to her first contemporary. However, when I picked up the book for the first time and began reading it, I was shocked to discover that the subject was a reconciliation of a marriage that had ended due to abuse. Honestly, I thought she was nuts - how could that be remotely acceptable? But the story is well-written, as always, and I felt driven to see how the situation was handled. To my surprise, I thought that the issue of abuse was incredibly well-done. I actually felt like I learned quite a bit about the topic by "listening" to Kate and Donovan's discussions and thoughts, and "watching" them learn to deal with each other and themselves. I thought that Ms. Putney made it abundantly clear that Kate had needed to leave the abusive situation entirely for either of them to change or learn from the experience - this book in no way encouraged women to stay with an abusive spouse. Admittedly, a reconciliation in this situation is unlikely, but I don't think it is any more so than many of the plots in other romance novels. And while this may be an unusual forum for addressing domestic abuse, I think the author did an excellent job of showing all sides of the issue. Thank you, Ms. Putney, for a compelling read.
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