The Burns Enigma

by Erin O'Quinn

The Burns Enigma - Erin O'Quinn - Burns Mystery
Editions:Kindle: $ 2.99 USD
ISBN: 9781310940194
ePub: $ 2.99 USD
ISBN: 9781310940194
PDF: $ 2.99 AUD
ISBN: 9781310940194

When Burns walks into that good night in The Unicorn’s Secret, how will Thomas cope with the rest of his bleak existence? Is there a way these two lost souls can still find each other?

Turn the clock forward…from the day before today, to the present. A tough cop and a reclusive civilian discover that an old crime and a new murder are connected. Worse, the common denominator is one of them.

Thomas Fitzgerald and a “new” lover are in the shadow of a criminal, one who has set his mind on brutal revenge.

The first five Burns! Mysteries tiptoed to the brink of the paranormal and finally teetered over the edge. What will happen in this mystery, as then and now and tomorrow start to merge? The enigma begins, and ends, with Burns…

Publisher: New Dawn Press
Cover Artists:
Pairings: M-M
Heat Level: 5
Romantic Content: 4
Ending: Click here to reveal
Character Identities: Gay
Protagonist 1 Age: 18-25
Protagonist 2 Age: 26-35
Tropes: Alpha Character, Bodyguard/Guardian Angel, Criminals & Outlaws, Healing Power of Sex, Hurt / Comfort, Love Can Heal / Redemption
Word Count: 21648
Setting: Edinburgh, Scotland
Languages Available: English
Series Type: Continuous / Same Characters

From Chapter 4, "Poet, Lover, Madman"


This Burns looked like his Burns. But he was guarding himself with the same flint-hard armor of the man he’d first encountered on the highway. Not quite aloof. Just…careful. A sense of humor, a hidden warmth, but not a man to stretch out on a stranger’s small sofa and flaunt his very prominent crotch.

Thomas was glad. In fact, he felt exhilarated. There was no way he could allow himself the first move, and Burns seemed incapable. So their reunion would no doubt be a slow waltz instead of a fevered tango. 



He had already made the first move, inviting a stranger to a place that was utterly private. Letting him see the portrait. And just now he’d made another bold statement, toasting the idea of their mutual friendship. What next? He shifted uncomfortably and lifted the glass to his mouth, knowing the gesture was a shield against any possible intimacy.

Burns’ next words sent a bolt of electric fire through his body.

“Did we—och, fuck, lad, did we become more than friends?”

Burns was forcing his hand. He swallowed too much whiskey, then leaned over and put the glass on the table, giving himself a moment to compose himself, wishing his hands would stop shaking. He spoke to the table, afraid to look up.

“Yes. But that is not why I asked you here. I…want…I need to know the Burns in front of me. Not a chimera. Not an impossible ideal from a fantasy. The last thing I want is to let the past shape our present. And our future. Does that make sense?”

He glanced up.

“Nothing that’s happened since midnight this morning makes any sense. Since the moment you called me. I only know you are a very desirable man, Thomas Fitzgerald. And I’m sorry if that truth ruins your plans.”

Astonished, Thomas stared at the man next to him on the sofa. He looked more like an aroused falcon than he ever had in his fantasies, with a whirlwind gathering in his fierce eyes. He was clutching his glass, bent toward him with rousing feathers, his long hair seeming to fly around his face.

Bloody hell, this really was his Burns.

He said I’m desirable.

He could hardly grasp the intent of this man’s words. He’d kept himself in deep camouflage most of his life. His disappearance from home, the too-large trousers, the face always shadowed except for a hunter’s eyes… Only his dream-Burns had ever seen beyond the disguise, to the man under the shroud.

“Put—oh, put down the glass. And…come closer, Bobbie Burns.”

Never shifting his gaze, Burns carefully set his glass next to his own. With one hand, he reached out and touched his cheek, letting his thumb trace its outline, allowing his warm flesh to reach the hollow of his throat. Thomas felt a blistering heat sizzle along his skin and fought to breathe, while the intense man put his other hand at the nape of his neck and drew their heads close.

Burns spoke into his mouth.

“Why did you call me that?”

“I—I’m sorry. I promised myself I wouldn’t do it.”

The tongue traced his lower lip.

“Wouldn’t do what?”

“Pull my fantasies into my reality.”

“Even if I beg you, Thomas Fitzgerald? Even if I crave your every word, every fantasy?”

He answered the only way he knew how. He opened his mouth and allowed Burns inside.

Reviews:"Bo" on Amazon wrote:

Back to the Future

There are a few of us loyal Erin O'Quinn fans whose jaws dropped and eyes bulged at the end of "The Unicorn's Secret," the fifth and what was billed as the "final book" of the Burns-Fitzgerald mystery series. No spoilers here, just a word of caution and a word to the wise to those who were not necessarily expecting this book, ever, or so quickly.

Word of Caution: If you have any kind of COPD affliction, make sure you have clear air passages and an inhaler close by. Why? Because from the first paragraphs this book will simply take your breath away.

Word to the Wise: You are smart enough to figure out the trick Ms. O'Quinn is playing on us when a business card is mentioned and the plot is afoot. However, you are not as smart as Ms. O'Quinn is to imagine where that business card will take Thomas Fitzgerald and his beloved Bobbie Burns.

This one ticks all the tingles, checks all the boxes, and has a climax which is not sexual in the least but hilariously sexual if not explicitly described.

Most of all we still have our Thomas and his beloved Bobbie, and let us hope, sincerely pray, offer up sacrifices and dance around the fires that Ms. O'Quinn ain't done with them, or us, yet.

"Kathy G" on Amazon wrote:

Ah Yes---The Roses--

A fitting conclusion--I've been in love with these two men since the first book, and it only gets stronger. No spoilers here--but this is a page turner until the very end. Great job, Ms. O'Quinn. Roses and Drambuie---

"DTM" on Amazon wrote:

Och lad!!....LOVED IT!!

Absolutely love this series...I can not get enough of Burns and Fitzgerald. The writing is just beautiful!! The series is a must read!!

About the Author

Erin O'Quinn was born almost literally on the side of a mountain in Nevada and was hauled kicking and screaming into the nearest town, fifty miles away, to attend first grade. To this day, she claims to be kindergarten-deprived.

O'Quinn earned a few degrees from the University of So. California, but her real education began on the back docks of the Las Vegas (NV) Review-Journal newspaper; on the good-old-boy car lots in Abilene, TX where she sold new Chryslers and used cars; and in a big-box store in Austin, TX where she alternately hauled pallets and ran a garden center.

You'll find a lot of action-adventure, and a character-centered, plot-centered group of seven series and a few stand-alones

Of 46 published works for adults, 33 (I think) are in the gay lit (M/M) genre. From the Noble Dimensions series (small town/contemporary) to Old World Ireland, Jacobite-era  and modern Scotland; and back to the retro world of Ireland in the Roaring 20s, she says, "My men, and my settings, are no-frills, no hearts and flowers. But I think a certain nobility and even spiritual element often creep in among the honest sexual feelings."

Any reviews you see are unsolicited, and are always welcome.

Settle back, enjoy what Erin O'Quinn calls "literotica with a flare for the unusual...thoughtful and with passions too big for their britches."

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