Review: Burn for Me by Ilona Andrews ★★★★★

20705702Burn for Me (Hidden Legacy #1)
by Ilona Andrews
Review Copy:
Own Purchase
Length: 400 pages
Published: October 28th 2014 by Avon
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Rating: ★★★★★
Synopisis: #1 New York Times bestselling author Ilona Andrews launches a brand new Hidden Legacy series, in which one woman must place her trust in a seductive, dangerous man who sets off an even more dangerous desire…

Nevada Baylor is faced with the most challenging case of her detective career—a suicide mission to bring in a suspect in a volatile case. Nevada isn’t sure she has the chops. Her quarry is a Prime, the highest rank of magic user, who can set anyone and anything on fire.

Then she’s kidnapped by Connor “Mad” Rogan—a darkly tempting billionaire with equally devastating powers. Torn between wanting to run or surrender to their overwhelming attraction, Nevada must join forces with Rogan to stay alive.

Rogan’s after the same target, so he needs Nevada. But she’s getting under his skin, making him care about someone other than himself for a change. And, as Rogan has learned, love can be as perilous as death, especially in the magic world.


He stepped lightly, his stride sure and unhurried, like a huge jungle cat, an apex predator out for a prowl in his domain. There was no hint of submission anywhere in his body. He walked like he didn't know his spine could bend.
Oh my goodness...

How do they do it? How. Do. They. Do. It?

How do they make starting a new urban fantasy series look so damn easy? Are they even aware that it's meant to be hard? That people try and fail at this all the time? Could this be why the covers are so bloody awful? Is it to give other authors a fighting chance?

Image result for aww how sweet gif

Just kidding. Except not really.

So here we are, ladles and jellyspoons. The #writing #goals pairing that is Ilona Andrews is gifting us mere mortals with another UF series (not PNR, as the fugly covers might suggest!). It's called the Hidden Legacy series, and there are two, very soon to be three, books out in it so far. Its dominant features are its imaginative and totally believable worldbuilding - an alternative history version of Houston that I would say, even at this early stage, seems of be of equal brilliance to their blockbusting Kate Daniels series' on-again-off-again magical Atlanta; an amazing, kick-ass female protagonist (Nevada), and a delicious if slightly morally questionable potential love interest (Mad Rogan!); and, of course, the superb writing of Ilona Andrews, which by now feels a bit like meeting an old friend, a friend who gently strokes your hair with padded oven mitt hands until you fall asleep. Or something.

Within this new world construct, it's already easy to see the tremendous potential for future stories, villains and magical abilities. The Andrews have given us a basic world template, but haven't set down too many rules within it. There has been no limit set as to the type or amount of magic you can have, and abilities so far range from telekinesis to precognition to teleportation... Basically, if they can imagine it, we can potentially have it, which is just SO exciting as a reader!

The world in a nutshell - A century and a half ago, a serum was discovered that can bring forth people's innate magical abilities. These abilities vary in nature as well as strength, and once triggered, become hereditary.  The present day result of all this is that magic=power, and the most powerful families or "houses" have already duked it out in years past to decide who's the top banana and have claimed territories and even have their own armies. Marriages are, for the most part, now simply alliances for creating the most gifted children to become heirs to each new branch, allowing the powerful families to stay powerful.

So, it's basically life [Jim], but not as we know it.

Our main character, Nevada, is a private investigator, and there was a healthy mystery element driving the plot here in Burn for Me. She's hired to bring in a rogue magic user hell bent on setting fire to the world, and in carrying out her duties, she inadvertently comes into contact with Connor "Mad" Rogan, a.k.a. The Scourge of Mexico. Doesn't he sound like a peach? Well, he was very interesting and complex, let me tell you. The two of them spent a lot of time together in this book, but it feels like we've only just begun to understand the many layers of Mad Rogan and Nevada Baylor. There's clearly going to be an ongoing will they?/won't they? here to keep readers glued to the pages. It already has me positively salivating and was my favourite aspect of the book!

As a first instalment goes, this was a lot closer to perfection than Magic Bites (Kate Daniels #1) ever was. The worldbuilding and characterisation is noticeably cleaner. Reading was effortless, and putting the book down was tricky, even when my eyes were getting sore and scratchy. This really is a drop everything and read them all type of series, and that's precisely what I plan to do.

For UF fans, this is a complete no-brainer. Go and buy it immediately.

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