Book Review: Sapphire Flames by Ilona Andrews

Book: Sapphire Flames by Ilona Andrews

Published August 2019 by Avon|400 pages

Where I Got It: I borrowed the e-book from the library

Series: Hidden Legacy #4

Genre: Adult Paranormal Romance

In a world where magic is the key to power and wealth, Catalina Baylor is a Prime, the highest rank of magic user, and the Head of her House. Catalina has always been afraid to use her unique powers, but when her friend’s mother and sister are murdered, Catalina risks her reputation and safety to unravel the mystery.

But behind the scenes powerful forces are at work, and one of them is Alessandro Sagredo, the Italian Prime who was once Catalina’s teenage crush. Dangerous and unpredictable, Alessandro’s true motives are unclear, but he’s drawn to Catalina like a moth to a flame.

To help her friend, Catalina must test the limits of her extraordinary powers, but doing so may cost her both her House–and her heart.

I liked Sapphire Flames a lot more than I thought I would!  I mean, I liked the previous books in the series, so I was expecting to just like this one.  But I liked it a lot more than I thought I would!

So, this book focuses on Catalina, Nevada’s younger sister.  This book is set several years after the third book on the series, and it’s clear that Nevada’s story is pretty much over.  She does pop up, by way of phone calls, but this book is clearly centered on Catalina as head of house and navigating the family through hard times as their three-year grace period comes to a close.

I really liked Alessandro and Catalina together.  I didn’t spend the whole book waiting for something to happen between them, and I felt like there was more of a something between them than I did with Nevada and Rogan.  I like them together, and there are certainly going to be challenges in terms of them getting together, but I have no doubt it will happen.  I feel like they’re evenly matched, more than Nevada and Rogan.  I’m interested to see how their story plays out over the next few books, and if there will be more books but featuring other characters.

I’m also curious to see how things will go now that they’re past their grace period.  Catalina has a lot in store for her, and I’m sure she’ll rise to the challenge of steering her house in the right direction.  I just hope she can balance that with finding love.  Hopefully with Alessandro, because I do like them together, and I feel like it’s being set up for it to happen.  It’ll be an adventure getting there, I think.

It’s weird how shifting a series to a different set of characters reset the series for me.  I liked Nevada, and I liked her story but maybe I wasn’t super into her story.  Still, her story led to Catalina’s, and that is something I’m happy about.  I’m glad we get to see her abilities, and I really want to see more of them.

4 stars.  I really Sapphire Flames, and I can’t wait to read what happens next!

Book Review: Wildfire by Ilona Andrews

Book: Wildfire by Ilona Andrews

Published July 2017 by Avon|400 pages

Where I Got It: I borrowed the hardcover from the library

Series: Hidden Legacy #3

Genre: Adult Paranormal Romance

Just when Nevada Baylor has finally come to accept the depths of her magical powers, she also realizes she’s fallen in love. Connor “Mad” Rogan is in many ways her equal when it comes to magic, but she’s completely out of her elements when it comes to her feelings for him. To make matters more complicated, an old flame comes back into Rogan’s life…

Rogan knows there’s nothing between him and his ex-fiance, Rynda Sherwood. But as Nevada begins to learn more about her past, her power, and her potential future, he knows she will be faced with choices she never dreamed of and the promise of a life spent without him.

As Nevada and Rogan race to discover the whereabouts of Rynda’s kidnapped husband and are forced to confront Nevada’s grandmother, who may or may not have evil motives, these two people must decide if they can trust in each other or allow everything to go up in smoke.

I liked Wildfire!  I’ve enjoyed this series, and it’s been pretty entertaining and interesting.  I’m also excited to keep reading because I really want to see what happens next with Nevada and her family.

The thing with Nevada and Rogan as a couple is that I’ve never felt completed invested in them as a couple.  There’s a lot of interactions but for the most part, it felt like business and not romantic.  I’m not sure if it’s something that happened more off-screen but I didn’t particularly care when a big moment happened between them.  I had a hard time caring because there was barely any build-up to it.

In fact, I’m not really sure why I’m shelving it as a paranormal romance because the romance for me has been minimal.  Actually, urban fantasy might be a better categorization but for now, I’ll keep it under the paranormal romance shelf.

I really like Nevada’s family, and there are a lot of challenges they have to deal with in this book.  I doubt things are over in this book but hopefully, things will be a little better for them.  I don’t want to give it away, but I wasn’t surprised by where things went in terms of them forming a House.  I also wasn’t surprised at the outcome, and I am excited to see how things are different for them.  Assuming things change at all, which they very well could.

Honestly, I don’t have anything else to add for this book.  I’ve definitely said everything I wanted to!

3 stars.  I liked Wildfire, but I’m not interested in Nevada and Rogan as a couple.  I still want to see what happens next!

Book Review: White Hot by Ilona Andrews

Book: White Hot by Ilona Andrews

Published May 2017 by Avon|416 pages

Where I Got It: I borrowed the e-book from the library

Series: Hidden Legacy #2

Genre: Adult Paranormal Romance

Nevada Baylor has a unique and secret skill—she knows when people are lying—and she’s used that magic (along with plain, hard work) to keep her colorful and close-knit family’s detective agency afloat. But her new case pits her against the shadowy forces that almost destroyed the city of Houston once before, bringing Nevada back into contact with Connor “Mad” Rogan.

Rogan is a billionaire Prime—the highest rank of magic user—and as unreadable as ever, despite Nevada’s “talent.” But there’s no hiding the sparks between them. Now that the stakes are even higher, both professionally and personally, and their foes are unimaginably powerful, Rogan and Nevada will find that nothing burns like ice…

I liked White Hot!  I think I liked it about the same as the first book in the series, Burn For Me, and I liked seeing what was going on with both Nevada and Connor.

I’m still not sure how I feel about Connor and Nevada as a couple.  The romance really takes a backseat to everything else going on, and even though you can tell they’re into each other, it’s not really acted on until the end of the book.  Which is fine, but I did go into this series expecting more romance than what we’ve been getting.  I’m actually okay with that, because there’s a lot going on in both the book and the world that the characters live in.

I had never considered the extent of Nevada’s abilities before this book.  I mean, I was wondering what she could do, and if there was more to her ability than what we saw in the first book.  There definitely is, and that means there is a massive wrench in any sort of relationship with Connor.  Especially if she goes with one particular option.  And everything we learn about her family…it makes me wish we met her dad and knew him more.  He’s mentioned, of course, but right about now, I really wish he were alive.  Then again, how different would things be if he were alive?

There’s a lot going on in this book, and it’s more of a mystery than trying to find Adam Pierce.  Nevada’s trying to find out what happened to a lawyer, and it puts her in even more danger than trying to find Pierce.  I didn’t think that was possible, but it is.

There’s a lot of shadowy puppeteer stuff going on in the background, what with trying to solve this case, and dealing with the family stuff.  The family stuff is not going away, and I do want to know how that works itself out.  It will mean a lot of changes if Nevada does what I think she’s going to do.

Her family is still a priority, and I’m glad that hasn’t changed.  She would do anything to protect them and keep them safe, and I hope that is something that never changes.  I really do like that it’s important to her, and that she wants some semblance of normalcy and independence.

Rogan is frustrating sometimes, because he seems to go against what she wants, but in his own weird, twisted, messed up way, he does want to protect her and keep her safe.  He doesn’t seem to give her a choice, which she wants very much.  It’s frustrating that he doesn’t seem to respect that.  Hopefully, he’ll figure it out, and they can work things out, because they would be an interesting couple.

3 stars.  I liked White Hot, and I really like spending time in this world.  I can’t wait to see what happens next.

Book Review: Burn For Me by Ilona Andrews

Book: Burn For Me by Ilona Andrews

Published October 2014 by Avon|382 pages

Where I Got It: I own the paperback

Series: Hidden Legacy #1

Genre: Adult Paranormal Romance

#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. 

I liked Burn For Me!  Nevada and Rogan are interesting, and I really liked the magic system.  Their world is one I wanted to stay in just a little bit longer.  It’s also one I wanted to know more about.

This book felt pretty light on the romance- there was a point where I thought Adam was going to completely change and end up with Nevada, but I realized that wouldn’t work, because things were set up so she’d end up with Rogan.  It felt more about trying to find Adam, then their attraction to each other, but maybe I was so interested in everything else that was going on that the romance went over my head.

Honestly, I think it’s because of the cover.  I haven’t read a lot of paranormal romance/urban fantasy but based on what I have read, I think I went in with the expectation there would be a lot more romance.  Part of me is hoping we’ll see more of that in the books to come, but even if it doesn’t happen, I still want to keep reading to see what happens to Nevada, her family and Rogan.

The magic is really cool, and it’s interesting how magic can get more powerful, or less powerful, depending on the generation, and how powerful their parents are.  The dynasties that each family creates based on their powers was something I wanted to know more about.

Especially because Nevada gets dragged into this world she doesn’t want anything to do with.  She’s dedicated to her family, and would do anything to protect them, even though it won’t end well for her.  I wanted to see more of her family, because they seem like a close-knit group who work really well together.  She also seems to be the main provider for them, and I’m glad she survived, if only to take care of them.  Her family is colorful and I loved that.  I wanted more with them because of it.

I like that Nevada is practical.  She has to be, but she is this practical, smart person in a world very different than the one she is used to.  She clearly didn’t want to work with Rogan but did because she had to in order to protect her family and the family business her father worked hard to build up.

Nevada had some great one-liners as well, and there’s an interesting dynamic between her and Rogan.  I am curious to see if this series will follow them, or if other characters will be the focus of the other books.  I’ll have to read to find out but their story feels far from over.

3 stars.  I liked Burn For Me, especially Nevada’s family, and the world they live in.  I do want to see what happens next.