One Book Two Views: June

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For this month, afgypsysoul and I decided to visit an all-time favourite author, namely Ilona Andrews. It was the perfect time to (re) read the first book of the Hidden Legacy series, Burn For Me, as 2017 is the Hidden Legacy year with White Hot having been released at the end of May and Wildfire being published next month.

afgypsysoul: Burn for Me is the first book in Ilona Andrews’ new series A Hidden Legacy. This was my second time reading this book and I loved it just as much the second time through.

This book centers around Nevada Baylor who is a small time PI that normally works insurance or cheating spouse cases. However, she is the main bread-winner for her family (grandma, mom, sisters and cousin)and so when the company that has a mortgage on her business enlists her to solve a case she doesn’t have a choice. She has been tasked to bring in a fire mage and not just any fire mage but a Prime (the strongest level of magic user). Nevada’s only magic is telling if someone is lying or not and she knows that her chances of success are not good. Nevada ends up joining forces with another Prime who is interested in the case and although she doesn’t want to be on the radar of any prime she knows she can’t do this without Mad Rogan. He wants the fire mage for his own reasons and although he has lots of money and power it seems that the fire mage is intrigued with Nevada and she has investigative skills he is lacking.

The world building is simple and yet powerful. In a world, not too different from ours magic is everything. Families breed for magical power and dynasties are created in magical families. The truly powerful mages can and do get away with almost anything and are looked upon as celebrities. It was easy to understand and you didn’t need chapters of information explaining the world. I didn’t have to try to guess what was going on or how things worked. I could easily identify with this world and imagine living in it.

I really liked Nevada’s character. She is a strong, tough, intelligent and has a lot of common sense. She is very loyal to her family and has a strong moral compass. She feels very attracted to Mad Rogan but knows that they come from very different world and her fears of him chewing her up and spitting her out are completely justified. She stood up to him but was always aware of how much power he had and seemed to understand him.

The other major character was Mad Rogan. Wow I really loved him. He isn’t a hero by any stretch of the imagination although he does a few heroic things. He has so much power and money he’s used to getting whatever he wants and has a hard time understanding why Nevada doesn’t just “fall in line”. He’s a man who lives in a grey world – he isn’t evil but he doesn’t have a lot of empathy for the general public and will do whatever it takes to reach whatever goal he sets. He was such an interesting character and it was fun to try to figure out his motivations and see beneath his reputation.

I really enjoyed the secondary characters as well. Nevada’s family was great from Grandma to her cousin and her teenage sisters. They were funny, interesting and realistic. The relationship dynamic with her family really added to the story.

The romance between Mad Rogan and Nevada was different. The romance isn’t the star of the book. The plot about bringing in the fire mage and what he’s up to is. Mad Rogan and Nevada just happen to be very attracted to each other and they get to know one another while working together. Yes, they actually get to know each other – no instant love, sex or relationship. It’s a slow build and there’s no big resolution at the end of this book. It left we wanting more in a good way, I can’t wait to see what is next for these two.

I found the plot really entertaining and interesting as well. I wanted to know who was behind the fire mage and what the end game was. It kept me hooked and I liked figuring it out along with the characters. There were some twists and turns along the way that I didn’t expect as well. I also liked hearing about the different powers and how they could be used. It will be interesting to see how Nevada’s powers grow or more accurately how she begins to figure out how to use them as the story continues. I think she may be more of a match for Mad Rogan then she’s given her self credit for.

This was a great story, it had wonderful characters, world building, action, mystery and a the building of what I think will be a great romance.

5 Charms for me 🙂

Cocktail Phoenix: The setting of the book was easy to fall into – created with an image of the world as it is now with some magic threaded into the mix. The plot was enjoyable to follow, the action kept going with a few slower moments for a bit of banter and interpersonal relationships, just long enough to give the characters a bit of a breather. Action, investigative work, near-death experiences, mystery, paired with an arrogant, spoiled brat who gets taken down a few pegs – it was fun!

Nevada’s family is unique, as are some of the magic specialisations in this book, and I loved all of it. Grandma Frida especially is great.

As far as the main characters are concerned, it was a blast reading about them. Nevada is a character with a backbone and I love it. Even when she’s backed into a corner, she doesn’t deviate from who she is. This is something I absolutely love about Ilona Andrews’ writing. The characters stay true to themselves, no matter what. This goes for Rogan as well. He may start to see there are other ways of doing things but that doesn’t mean he’s going to change his attitude and personality from one day to the next.

Rogan (or Mad Rogan as he is most often called) is scary though, I have to admit. He’s great, don’t get me wrong, but I think I may harbour some of the same reservations as Nevada. But that, in my eyes, just makes him a fantastic character and I cannot wait to see where this will lead. Because yes, a fair amount of things have been left open between the two main characters, which is another aspect I personally really enjoy in Ilona Andrews’ writing. There is no insta-love. Sure, there is attraction (whether admitted to or not) but their characters don’t instantly go for a tumble between the sheets – it’s utterly refreshing.

I cannot wait for the next book! Good thing I’m going to go pick it up from the post office tonight on my way home from work! 🙂

5 charms from me, too, of course!

 

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