Burn for Me – Ilona Andrews

About the Book

#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.

400 pages (ebook)
Published on October 28, 2014
Published by Avon
Author’s website
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Wow, does this book have a horrible cover. This is the kind of cover that makes me not want to read a book (harsh, but true). However, I’m going through some health stuff (again….) and said health stuff puts me in the mood to read books of this nature. It’s kind of nice to just put my mind on pause and immerse myself in a book that I don’t have to think too hard about.

Plus, it’s Ilona Andrews, and this writing duo has a tendency to create worlds that keep me interested and characters that hook me. In fact, Andrews is the author that has caused me to take another look at those urban fantasy books I’ve overlooked so often before.

Burn for Me takes place in a different alternate world than any that we’ve been introduced to before. There is an alternative history that is briefly touched on just enough to give readers a footing on what the world has turned into, but not overwhelming at any point. In fact, that’s something that this writing duo manages to do flawlessly. They have a knack for filling their books with important information in incredibly subtle ways.

Nevada Baylor is a PI, which is absolutely nothing unusual in urban fantasy. Where Nevada is a bit different is with how real her PI career feels. Furthermore, Andrews plays quite a bit on family bonds, in both good and bad ways. Nevada and her family, brothers, sisters, mother, grandma, cousin, all work together and barely keep their heads above water. The love they feel is real and solid and heartwarming in a way that urban fantasy novels rarely are. It was an incredibly welcome foundation for much of the novel to rest on. It was also quite interesting (and laughable at times) to see how their magic talents worked together.

On the negative side of relationships, the world that Andrews has created is divided between classes which are based on power and breeding. Families for those with the power are often based on contracted marriages and pedigree, like golden retrievers. These families and the relationships are often pretty twisted. People who really don’t like each other are forced to marry and have children purely so their talents can mix and merge together and create something new and better. The children of these relationships pay the price. The upper class, the ones with all the real power, are twisted by their heritage and while that’s interesting to read about, it casts a bit of darkness on the plot.

The magic system is really interesting, uniquely twisted based on the breeding and weird relationships I mentioned above. It’s also impacted all aspects of the world the authors have created, which has some pretty interesting and thought provoking implications. Some of the revelations regarding the magic were pretty predictable, for example, Nevada’s various revelations didn’t really ever surprise me, but that’s okay. The book is entertaining enough to carry me through those hiccups with ease.

As you can see, the book is pretty much based on relationships, the good and the bad kinds, and both are pretty exaggerated. Our two protagonists come from opposite sides of the spectrum. They play off of each other well, and the Andrews team uses some subtlety showing how these two slowly adjust to different world views and relationship styles. It’s well done, and makes the bit plot issues they face more realistic for it. Andrews is an established author with a lot of talents. Unique worlds, unique magic, fantastic characters – these are some trademarks of their style. While I always knew they really excelled at relationships, I never really realized just how well they crafted relationships and characters until I read this novel.

There is romantic tension. I mean, come on. Look at the cover. It’s a giveaway. However, I was expecting a really steamy, sex scene filled romance. I was pleasantly surprised to see that the actual relationship is a slow burn and the sexual tension is dragged out. The two parties in question slowly develop their feelings, and by the end of it, while some kissing contact has been had, there really isn’t much else, but there is the promise for more.

Some plot points are pretty predictable. Once you get a bearing on what is going on, you’ll probably know exactly where it will end up. However, what you won’t know is how Andrews will take you there. The out of the box world building, mixed with Andrews subtle and unique style, and relationships (of all sorts) that you can really get behind, Burn for Me was a book I expected to hate, but ended up loving. In fact, I’m really excited for the next book.

It’s popcorn, but it’s that delicious kind of popcorn that you can’t stop eating.


4/5 stars

One Responses

  • Ilona Andrews is one of my favorite fantasy authors, so this was an auto-buy for me, but I, too, was disappointed in the cover. I think it’s because it was published by Avon and marketed as a romance. It’s probably a great cover if you dig steamy romance covers (I don’t, even though I sometimes like steamy romances), but not so much if you’re looking for a smart urban fantasy.

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