Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Book Review: Wildfire (Hidden Legacy #3) by Ilona Andrews


Wildfire
Hidden Legacy #3

By:
Ilona Andrews

Publisher:
Avon

Published:
July 25, 2017

Add to:
Goodreads

Source:
Kindle Purchase

Book Synopsis:

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.
 





My Thoughts:


Wildfire was another smashing hit in the Hidden Legacy Series!  I was overwhelmed by my need to turn the pages as fast as I could, and I could not put the book down, until I was nodding off into sleep (so I really had no choice.).  If I woke up to use the restroom or get a snack, there I was picking my kindle right back up again, reading until sleep claimed me all over again.

Wildfire began with Rynda, Rogan's ex-fiance coming to Nevada for help in locating her missing husband.  For being an empath, she managed to cause quite the raucous!!!  Now that Nevada was applying to be her own house, (so that she could protect her family,) possible suitors were coming out of the woodwork.  Jealousy spiked its ugly head as other people tried to interfere in Nevada and Rogan's relationship.  

Leroy's powers fully manifested and his character is very interesting as well!  We finally learn what Arabella's magical gift/curse is, and get to see all of them in action, along with Catalina.  The family is nervous about the upcoming trials, where their abilities will be put to the test and they will be judged on what magical level they are, as well as if they qualify as a house.  However, that won't stop their enemies (along with Nevada's grandmother, who wants them to be a part of House Tremaine,) from coming after them!

Good versus evil battle it out, with primes from different houses showing what they can do.  Nothing could tear me apart from my kindle during the final battle!  Wowzers!  Wildfire was epic!  My favorite family, The Baylors, all worked together for the greater good, along with House Rogan, and the friends that they had made along the way.  It was one heck of a wild ride!  

I am really excited to begin the novella, Diamond Fire, which is suppose to be the book that bridges Nevada's story to her younger sister, Catalinas's story!  We have barely tapped in to who Catalina is as a person, and I can't wait to learn more about her, and see who she will become.  Powerful magic is in the Baylor blood, and it will be exciting to see her learn, hone, and embrace her abilities!  

Plus, her possible love interest was hinted at, and the authors have made him very mysterious.  My interest is piqued and I want to learn more about him and the house that he comes from.

If you can't already tell, I love this series, and give it my highest recommendation for an addictive, enthralling, magical, and romantic reading experience!







Hidden Legacy Series:
My Review
My Review






Purchase At:

Amazon | Barnes and Noble | iBooks | TBD



About the Authors:

"Ilona Andrews" is the pseudonym for a husband-and-wife writing team. Ilona is a native-born Russian and Gordon is a former communications sergeant in the U.S. Army. Contrary to popular belief, Gordon was never an intelligence officer with a license to kill, and Ilona was never the mysterious Russian spy who seduced him. They met in college, in English Composition 101, where Ilona got a better grade. (Gordon is still sore about that.) They have co-authored two New York Times and USA Today bestselling series—the urban fantasy of Kate Daniels and the romantic urban fantasy of The Edge—and are working on the next volumes for both. They live in Texas with their two children and many dogs and cats.





Book Review: White Hot (Hidden Legacy #2) by Ilona Andrews


White Hot
Hidden Legacy #2

By:
Ilona Andrews

Publisher:
Avon

Published:
May 30, 2017

Add to:
Goodreads

Source: 
Kindle Purchase

Book Synopsis:

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 …


My Thoughts:

As much as I loved the first book in the Hidden Legacy Series, Burn For Me, I enjoyed White Hot even more!  In this sequel the world building is already established, but now we get even more action, and the romance between Nevada and Rogan has just begun to develop.  

We now know that there is one master villain who is being backed by several houses and has an army of deadly mages with various talents.  In this installment, Cornelius Harrison, an Animal Mage of House Harrison is looking for help in discovering who murdered his wife, Nari.  She worked for a very powerful House, House Forsberg, as a lawyer, and when Cornelius asks for their assistance, they refuse, and threaten him.  

Cornelius is friends with Augustine, who confides in him that Nevada, is a Truthseeker.  Cornelius convinces Nevada to take his case.  Rogan is also thrown in to the thick of things, so Cornelius, Augustine, Rogan, and Nevada end up working together.  Along the way, danger is at an all time high, with Rogan, Nevada, and her family being targeted by an Ice Mage, a Manipulator, and various other mages.   As the danger escalates, so do the feelings that Rogan and Nevada feel for each other.

I loved White Hot!  There was never a dull moment in this action packed story.  The suspense, mystery behind the Ice Mage, Manipulator, and their leader, had me turning pages.   The delicious white hot chemistry behind Rogan and Nevada's developing relationship had me excited to see what was ahead for these two.  The strong, independent, and courageous Nevada was extremely likable.  The fiesty banter between Nevada and Rogan was a lot of fun, and this story brought smiles, laughs, butterflies, surprises, and excitement throughout.  

We learn more about the origin of Nevada's powers, as well as what her sister, Catalina's magical powers are.  I hope the next book lets us in on Arabella's abilities.  Nevada's cousin, Leon didn't think he had any magic, but we are starting to get a glimpse of what his ability may be.  I love Nevada's mother and grandmother, and her sisters and cousins are so much fun to read about as well.  We are also learning the back stories of Rogan's employees and why they are so loyal to him.

My favorite thing about this sequel is that we see the transition from "Mad Rogan" to Connor Rogan take place.   We see how brave, courageous, loyal, and strong Rogan is.  We see PTSD from combat is what has made him the way he is.  Rogan has two sides to him.  While the first book hinted at the good in Rogan, this sequel really starts to show us why we should love him and root for him to be with our heroine!

White Hot was an excellent addition to the Hidden Legacy Series!  I am really excited to dive in to book three, and can't recommend this series enough!  It has everything that a reader could want in a story; action, romance, suspense, humor,  magic, extremely likable characters, and romance!






Hidden Legacy Series:
Add to Goodreads 
My Review











Purchase At:

Amazon | Barnes and Noble | iBooks | TBD



About the Authors:

"Ilona Andrews" is the pseudonym for a husband-and-wife writing team. Ilona is a native-born Russian and Gordon is a former communications sergeant in the U.S. Army. Contrary to popular belief, Gordon was never an intelligence officer with a license to kill, and Ilona was never the mysterious Russian spy who seduced him. They met in college, in English Composition 101, where Ilona got a better grade. (Gordon is still sore about that.) They have co-authored two New York Times and USA Today bestselling series—the urban fantasy of Kate Daniels and the romantic urban fantasy of The Edge—and are working on the next volumes for both. They live in Texas with their two children and many dogs and cats.






Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Waiting on Wednesday (84)

Hosted By: Wishful Endings


Cruel Intentions
By: Siobhan Davis
Release Date: June 10, 2019

Book Synopsis:

In the power struggle between two elite groups, one feisty girl will bring them to their knees… 

Life is a cruel game where only the most ruthless survive. It’s a truth my mother rebelled against, and she paid for it with her life. Now, I play their game. Publicly accepting the destiny that lies in wait for me when I turn eighteen. 

But, behind closed doors, I plot my escape. 

Trent, Charlie, and my twin, Drew, rule the hallways of Rydeville High with arrogance and an iron fist. I execute my role perfectly, hating every second, but they never let me forget my place in this world. 

Everyone obeys the rules. They have for generations. Because our families have always been in control. 

Until Cam, Sawyer, and Jackson show up. Throwing their new money around. Challenging the status quo. Setting hearts racing with their gorgeous faces, hot bodies, and bad boy attitudes. 

Battle lines are drawn. Sides are taken. And I’m trapped in the middle, because I made a mistake one fateful night when I gave my V-card to a stranger in a blatant F you to my fiancĂ©. 

I thought it was the one thing I owned. A precious memory to carry me through each dark day. 

I couldn’t have been more wrong. 

Because the stranger was Camden Marshall, leader of the new elite and my perpetual tormenter. He hates me with a passion unrivaled, and he won’t be the only one. Fire will rain down if the truth is revealed, threatening alliances, and the power struggle will turn vicious. 

My life will hang in the balance. 

But I’ll be ready, and I’m not going down without a fight.

Why I'm Eagerly Waiting:

I saw this book on Fictional Reviewer's Book Blog.  I loved the movie Cruel Intentions, and after I read the book summary, I knew that this was a book I wanted to read.  The enemies to lovers trope is a fun one, and this story sounds like it will be chock full of drama, lies, and sexual tension!  I love the book cover as well, and this is a story that I can't wait to read!

What Are You Waiting On?


Book Review: Ayesha at Last by Uzma Jalaluddin


Ayesha at Last

By:
Uzma Jalaluddin

Release Date:
June 4, 2019

Publisher:
Berkley Books

Source:
Finished Copy received in exchange for a honest review 

Book Synopsis:
A modern-day Muslim Pride and Prejudice for a new generation of love. 

Ayesha Shamsi has a lot going on. Her dreams of being a poet have been set aside for a teaching job so she can pay off her debts to her wealthy uncle. She lives with her boisterous Muslim family and is always being reminded that her flighty younger cousin, Hafsa, is close to rejecting her one hundredth marriage proposal. Though Ayesha is lonely, she doesn't want an arranged marriage. Then she meets Khalid who is just as smart and handsome as he is conservative and judgmental. She is irritatingly attracted to someone who looks down on her choices and dresses like he belongs in the seventh century. 

Ayesha is torn between how she feels about the straightforward Khalid and the unsettling new gossip she hears about his family. Looking into the rumors, she finds she has to deal with not only what she discovers about Khalid, but also the truth she realizes about herself.



 

Lindy's Thoughs:

Let's take a journey back in time...  Do you remember what it felt like to fall in love for the very first time?  It was so exciting!  Something as simple as looking in to each others eyes, exchanging a smile, sharing a laugh, or the butterflies that flitted like crazy in your stomach upon seeing that person in a crowded room for the first time....It was about savoring the simple things.  It was an exciting adventure that built over time.  Love wasn't all about the carnal and physical intimacy that is more of a focus in modern times.

That is what the story, Ayesha at Last reminded me of.  It was a breathtakingly beautiful love story, where every little simple thing carried oh so much more meaning.  Pride and Prejudice is one of my favorite classics of all time.  That was what initially sparked my interest in this story.  However, it stood brilliantly all on its own.  Ms. Jalauddin's writing style was effortless.  The moment I started reading, I found myself completely immersed in Ayesha and Khalid's love story.  The vivid imagery, the connection and love that took the time to grow for these two main characters, and an abundance of feeling, made this read everything I had hoped for and more.

Ayesha at Last, touched a lot on the way that our initial perceptions of people can cause us to be judgemental, and often times we are wrong in those perceptions.  It was a story that took the opportunity to speak on Indian Culture, family dynamics, the many facets and negative connotations that come from being a practicing Muslim in the modern world, hypocrisy, having the courage to take charge of one's happiness without letting fear or other people get in your way, and most of all; love.

The secondary cast did an excellent job of supporting the main characters.  I especially loved Ayesha's grandparents, her Nana and Nani.  They were both very loving and wise.  I looked forward to being in these characters presence.  Nana had a fondness for quoting Shakespeare whenever he wanted to give advice, and I found myself paying extra close attention to his recitations.  Clara was a good friend who helped both Ayesha and Khalid, and I liked her a lot.  

There were quite a few characters that I disliked with a vengeance!  Khalid's mother, Farzana, tops the list.  She was controlling, manipulative, and I couldn't find one redeeming quality about her.  Khalid's boss, Sheila, was a prejudice egomaniac, and made my blood boil.  Ayesha's cousin, Hafsa, was spoiled and self-centered.  Initially, I gave her the benefit of the doubt, because she was young and naive.  However, there was something she ends up doing, that made me see her as a narcissist that only cared about herself.  The author tries to redeem her in the story, but I just couldn't forgive and forget.

I highly recommend this gorgeous love story!  It will completely pull you in, and leave you with a smile on your face, as it comes to its sweet conclusion.  If you enjoy reading the classics, retellings, multicultural literature, or beautiful love stories you should pick this one up!


Ro's Take on this Journey:

Ayesha at Last by Uzma Jalaluddin lives up to it's reputation as being a modern day Pride and Prejudice; my favorite love story of all time!  Ms. Jalaluddin has brought us a wonderful love story with so much insight and so many emotions.  I was pulled in to the life of the two main characters, Ayesha and Khalid and their respective families from the first paragraph, and couldn't put the book down.  They live in an ethnically diverse neighborhood with immigrants from all over the world.  These  characters are two lonely souls, who are deeply scarred from the vesectatudes of life, that come together against all odds.

Ayesha is a strong willed, educated woman with firm principals and ideals about how she wants to live her life, and how Mr. Right is going to fit in. Though Ayesha is only 27, Hafsa repeatedly refers to her as a spinster, as does the rest of the family.  Hafsa is her younger cousin in love with love, attention, and run by dollar signs.  Her parents are wealthy and immigrated Ayesha and her mother and grandparents from India to Canada since the taboo death of her father, and now Ayesha feels compelled to do whatever they ask, because she feels obligated to them. 

Ayesha is very outspoken and opinionated, which causes a lot of problems for her with the elder Aunties, who think she hasn't been brought up properly.  She has a wonderful relationship with her grandfather, she calls Nana, who is a retired English Professor from Osmania University in Hyderabad, India, and a poet.  He is always reciting Shakespearean quotes, and making the reader feel what real love is.  The reader becomes compelled to bring out their own book of Shakespeare and find themselves the love of their lives as he has in his lyrical world.  Ayesha is always trying to get him to stop smoking to no avail.  Her Grandmother, Nani, makes exotic dishes perfectly formed with just the right spices to open the senses, and they go wild when Ayesha and Khalid take a cooking lesson with her in their cozy kitchen. 

Ayesha works as a substitute teacher, while waiting for a permanent position to open up.  Her real passion is writing poetry and going to Bella's, an open mike, to recite her poetry.  She doesn't believe in herself enough to make a full commitment, but carries her poetry journal in her bag everywhere she goes!  Ayesha is confused, but finds her way little by little, when she realizes that Khalid might not be so bad after all.  This is when she becomes aware of his inner soul, and what a loving heart he has.

Khalid lives alone with his very domineering mother, after the sudden death of his father six years ago, and is kept in the dark about the circumstances following the estrangement of his older sister, Zareena.  Though he does everything his mother requests of him always, he still keeps in contact with his sister, without his mother's knowledge.   His mother is not the woman he thinks, and this redirects his journey in the direction he desires. 

This book was phenomenal!!!   A must read!  Ms. Jalaluddin has outdone herself!  I am hoping for a second book that keeps us in Ayesha and Khalid's lives.  I didn't want this book to end!  It was a journey I loved every minute of.  The ups and downs were a bumpy road that kept me wanting to move forward...

My Favorite Quotes from Nana:

"This is just an illusion, as is most of reality, this is not a cigarette."

"We are all just cosmic players in the eternal dance of life."

I give Ayesha 5 Emotionally packed, dramatic, magical, love always wins Stars...







Purchase At:




About the Author:

Uzma Jalaluddin is the author of AYESHA AT LAST, a revamped Pride and Prejudice set in a close-knit Toronto Muslim community. The book has been featured in the Globe and Mail, Toronto Star, Chatelaine, Quill and Quire and The New York Times. She has been a guest on television shows Cityline, CTV Your Morning and The Social, as well as CBC Radio. AYESHA AT LAST was recently optioned for film by Pascal Pictures. In addition to fiction, Uzma writes a culture and parenting column for The Toronto Star. She lives in the Greater Toronto Area with her husband and two sons.




Monday, May 27, 2019

Book Review: Burn For Me (Hidden Legacy #1) by ILona Andrews



Burn For Me
Hidden Legacy #1

By:

Ilona Andrews

Publisher:

Avon

Published:

Oct. 28, 2014

Add to Goodreads


Source:
Kindle Purchase

Book Synopsis:

#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.


 

My Thoughts:


I received an eARC of Sapphire Flames, so I decided to read the previous books in the series.  While I heard that I can read the book as a standalone, because it's about a different couple, I wanted to capture the full experience.

Whew! Burn For Me is a book that I suggest you start when you have a large chunk of free time carved out in your day, because you'll want to read it in one sitting!

This story is action packed, and I'm talking never a dull moment, on the edge of your seat, excited to see what's going to happen next, type of action!  The chemistry between the main couple is off the charts.  Nevada and Rogan take sizzling chemistry to the next level.  The way the chemistry builds more and more throughout the story is palpable.

The Hidden Legacy Series takes place in an alternate world were magic exists. European scientists created the Osiris serum in 1863 that brought out peoples natural magical talents, and even thought they ended up destroying the serum, the world has been forever changed.  There are different levels of magic, and Prime is the most powerful.  Families marry to strengthen magical abilities in their bloodlines.  There are "houses," which are family dynasties.  Each one has an heir that leads the family, and is bread for the position.

Nevada Baylor is a private investigator, who runs the family business with the assistance of her cousins, siblings, mother, and grandmother.  Unfortunately, the family business has been bought out by the House of Montgomery due to extreme debt.  For the most part, Nevada is able to run the business without interference.  

However, she has now been given an impossible task.  Apprehend powerful Prime, Adam Pierce, and turn him in to his family unharmed, or lose the family's business, home, and livelihood.  Pierce is a powerful Pyrokinetic, who has committed arson, burned a security guard to death, and injured the guard's wife, and two children.  Police are after him, and his family fears for his life.

Nevada knows there is a good possibility that she may die in the process, but she will not risk her family being thrown out on the streets.

Connor "Mad" Rogan is on the hunt for his cousin, Gavin, who has teamed up with Pierce.  Despite being a billionaire, he can't find many leads on Pierce or his cousin.  When he follows the money trail, he discovers Nevada, and realizes that she is the only one that is getting anywhere.  These two are not off to the greatest of starts, but become unlikely allies, when they realize they need each other in order to find Pierce, and apprehend him.

I highly recommend, Burn for Me.  This book had so many elements that I loved!  The element of magic woven throughout the story was entertaining, and I loved the action packed scenes where various characters used their unique abilities.  The main characters chemistry made this story such a delight, and I am looking forward to this very slow building romance developing more.  The secondary characters were extremely likable.  Nevada's grandma, mom, sisters, and cousins each added humor, fun, and realistic family dynamics to the story!

If you are looking for an excellent page-turning, one sitting, adult, romantic, urban fantasy, I highly recommend reading, Burn For Me.  






Purchase At:

AmazonBarnes and Noble | iBooks | TBD 



About the Authors:

"Ilona Andrews" is the pseudonym for a husband-and-wife writing team. Ilona is a native-born Russian and Gordon is a former communications sergeant in the U.S. Army. Contrary to popular belief, Gordon was never an intelligence officer with a license to kill, and Ilona was never the mysterious Russian spy who seduced him. They met in college, in English Composition 101, where Ilona got a better grade. (Gordon is still sore about that.) They have co-authored two New York Times and USA Today bestselling series—the urban fantasy of Kate Daniels and the romantic urban fantasy of The Edge—and are working on the next volumes for both. They live in Texas with their two children and many dogs and cats.