Friday, October 31, 2014
Burn For Me by Ilona Andrews
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.
This is the type of book that you pick up and want to finish in one sitting because once you meet Nevada and Rogan it's obvious that these two are going to be great! They have such an interesting relationship, one that I'm pleased to say has substance, and is not necessarily about hopping in the sack for some snuggly fun and nothing more. How they interact feels genuine and real, in a way that enhances the storyline, making the book about both the need to stop a madman from magically destroying the city and about how these two very different individuals start to care about each other. We are treated to a woman that knows what she's worth and a man that is more than willing to work for it.
One of my favorite scenes is towards the end of the book, one of those conversations that you can actually visualize happening, and as it plays out you find yourself reading with a silly grin on your face. Rogan is trying to figure out why Nevada doesn't think sex is a good idea:
"Do I have any redeeming qualities?" he asked. A charming, self-depreciating dragon. No, not buying it. That charm could tear in a split second, and then there would be flame and sharp teeth.
"Not running over the squirrel was in your favor."
"Mhm. Good to know." He smiled wider.
"Don't do it."
"Don't do what?"
"Every time you smile like that, someone dies. If you attack me, I will defend myself."
"Of all the many interesting things I'm thinking of doing to you, killing you or hurting you is not on the list."
He winked at me.
Rogan is a Prime, meaning his magic is off the charts, so his confidence that borders on arrogance makes sense, since he's essentially been a weapon for the government for half of his life, using his abilities to defend and protect on a larger scale than most people would understand. He's been in the military mindset for so long that it's difficult to see from a less do-or die perspective. After meeting Nevada he is introduced once again to the emotional side of humanity for the folks that are not Prime, feelings like empathy and compassion that he checked at the door once he became a military machine. She brings these feelings to life for him once again.
We also know that he is capable of deeper emotional connections based on how he treats his employees and the actions he takes for those that have served in the military, something that as a long time military spouse I feel quite strongly about. His treatment of veterans isn't about charity at all. He understands how difficult the transition from military to civilian can be, how hard it is to utilize the skillset learned in the military within the public sector, how difficult it can be to succeed once the tide of public sentiment shifts to whatever worthy cause is blasted around by the media. What he does for vets within the confines of this story is give them back a small piece of their confidence and pride by providing a genuine opportunity. This small plot point served as a measure of depth for me, reminding me a bit of Roarke from the In Death series which happens to be my all time favorite long standing series. It isn't something that's shoved in your face, it's a subtle mention that lets you see another side of the tough, alpha Prime, mega rich magic user guy that is slowly winning over the main character of a book that you are starting to love.
Speaking of other main characters, Nevada is my favorite type of female lead because she is smart, capable, dedicated, able to take care of business on her own if necessary, and her looks are not the main talking point for why she is so kickass. She loves her family, which in this case make up a fantastic set of secondary characters, and they provide her motivation for taking this seemingly impossible case of bringing a Rogue Prime back to his family. Nevada has magic of her own, her ability to know if the truth is being told is something she keeps close to the vest, because she has no intention of allowing the Houses to use her for their own gain. However, that secret comes with the price of not knowing the true depths of her talent because she lacks the formal training that's given to people with measurable magic. Rogan tries to help her with that, out of a time constrained necessity, and it's an issue I envision will be discussed more, especially once the secret is out.
The chemistry between Nevada and Rogan swirls around them like an electrical current that will leave readers begging for more (if you thought those kisses were earth shattering, can you imagine what sex would be like?), although I wouldn't necessarily say it's the primary focus of the story. The action is non-stop as they race to prevent Adam Pierce from burning metro Houston to the ground, and throughout every twist and turn we learn more about this thrilling magical world that's been created for the Hidden Legacy series. I'd easily rate this a 5 star and I dare you to finish this book without immediately jumping online to see the release date for the next one! Go on, try it!