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Burn for Me by Ilona Andrews ARC {3 Stars}

Burn for Me by Ilona Andrews is an urban fantasy focusing on a private investigator with a family to take care of and no desire to attract the attention of the magic elite that rule the world. I must stress immediately: Ignore the cover; Burn for Me is much more urban fantasy than paranormal romance! There isn’t even any sex! Now that that is out of the way…. I really wanted to love Burn for Me because of the awesome new magical world and alternative history that it depicts, but I ended up being put off majorly by the romance that does develop and being reminded a bit too often of Kate Daniels. The world is very much intriguing and unique, the plot is twisty and mysterious, but the character dynamics are old hat and made me drag my feet.

Note: I received an advanced copy of Burn for Me from the publisher. Some things may have changed in the final version.

Burn for Me by Ilona Andrews ARC {3 Stars}

Burn for Me by Ilona Andrews (Hidden Legacy #1)
Published by Avon on Oct. 28th, 2014
Genres: Adult, Urban Fantasy
Page Length: 400 pages
How I got my copy: Publisher
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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.

3 Stars

Strengths:

  • The world of Burn for Me is not one where magic is hidden from the public; everyone knows that magic exists because the families with the most magic (passed from parent to child genetically) rule the country, if not the world. There are levels of classification for how powerful someone is, and if you aren’t magical enough, there just isn’t much upward mobility available to you. This completely changes how society functions despite its similarities to our world and I loved it!
  • Burn for Me focuses on a main character who is the primary investigator for a family business. I love that this meant Nevada was grounded by the random amusing interactions with her younger sisters, her mother, and her grandmother. Her cousin helps her with her investigative work, and they all live in a big warehouse they refurbished into living space and work space (her grandmother is a highly skilled mechanic :D). Urban fantasy tends to lack family dynamics most often, so this was great to see.
  • Nevada is a pretty great heroine to root for even when she isn’t trying to keep her sisters from killing each other ;-). She is tough and practical and even when things start to go into crazy town with the plot and the romance, she keeps trying to stay grounded and sensible. A for effort!
  • The romance, while definitely there as evidenced by the cover, is definitely slow burn. I didn’t even know who the romantic interest would be for sure until halfway through and things are definitely not resolved by the end of Burn for Me, so there is lots to look forward to in book two.
  • The mystery of Burn for Me is what kept me coming back despite times where I set the book aside for a bit. People are acting in ways that don’t make sense for their personality and we keep finding deeper and deeper connections between disparate events and people. I did not guess the answer at all and was determined to find out what was going on. There are still some questions at the end of Burn for Me too though, making me all the more excited to get my hands on the second book.

Weaknesses:

  • The romance honestly borders on stalking and abusive once it develops. I don’t care what you think a girl is feeling “deep down” if she says no, that means you back the hell off! You don’t tell her that she’ll be begging you back by the time things are over, you don’t keep pushing. If she then gives you an explanation about why she isn’t interested despite her feelings of lust, you respect her decision to follow rational thought instead of animal emotions! If you aren’t into alpha-male relationship dynamics, you’ll probably be pissed at this romance, just saying >.>.
  • If you’ve read the Kate Daniels series, you’ll probably end up feeling a bit of deja vu…. Between the alpha-male romantic interest, the private investigating, the world of magic out in the open, and the specialness of Nevada’s magic, I couldn’t help but make some faces here and there.
  • Remember those fun family dynamics I mentioned previously that I loved? Those kind of disappear as Burn for Me progresses and Nevada spends less time with her family and more time on the case. Why must my favorite element decrease while my least favorite element increased????
  • I absolutely love Andrews’ other series, so I know that it isn’t that I don’t like her writing, but for some reason Burn for Me just failed to hold my attention. I only read it in short spurts and had to resist getting distracted by other books that looked more entertaining. Burn for Me was just missing that X factor that makes you tear through a book to the end for me.

Summary:

Burn for Me has potential to lead to a really fun series, but it isn’t off to a great start. I am very frustrated by the unhealthy romance that is developing and can’t help being reminded of a certain other series by the same author. I am very excited about the questions left open at the end of Burn for Me and hope that the elements I liked, such as the family dynamics and the cool world, are highlighted better as the series progresses. Maybe the romance will get magically better too? I can certainly hope!

Anya from On Starships and Dragonwings

Have you read this one? What did you think? Are you excited for it if you haven’t gotten to it yet?
– Anya

 

 Burn for Me by Ilona Andrews

© 2014, Anya. All rights reserved.

Comments

  1. I think yours is the first non-glowing review I’ve read, but it’s kinda refreshing to get an idea of what didn’t work. I’m just now working on Kate Daniels and I’m really enjoying it but I can see it being less fun as second time around. I was excited to hear about the family dynamics, so its kinda a bummer that they faded. Hopefully they’ll be more dominant later on in the series.
    Berls @ Fantasy is More Fun recently posted…My TBR List | December 2014 VotingMy Profile

  2. It looks like the cover was a poor choice, because it suggests romance more than anything else and the title doesn’t help to change this idea. I prefer to avoid books with this kind of relationships, so thanks for the warning!
    Hellen recently posted…Review/Reseña – Travel Glasses – Chess DesallsMy Profile

    • I do have to defend the title since it’s dropped by a character during the climax and has nothing to do with romance ;-)

  3. Ok now that I know its more UF then PNR I’ll totally read it – its that cover it so throws things off.

    And hey I haven’t read Kate Daniels yet lol
    Tabitha (Not Yet Read) recently posted…Review: The Accidental Highwayman by Ben TrippMy Profile

  4. It does look more romancy. I like the sounds of the plot and world building, too bad the romance overshadowed it. I hate abusive relationships! Thank you for warning me about that.
    Molly Mortensen recently posted…Indie Book Review: Elemental Rancor by Charles LominecMy Profile

  5. I am absolutely loved this one. I thought Mad Rogan was perfect in this story but alas we can’t all love the same people :)
    Felicia the Geeky Blogger recently posted…New Look by Creative Whim! #AwesomeMy Profile

    • So true ;-) I figured I’d be the black sheep for any Ilona Andrews books, but I’m just not used to the alpha male romance dynamics I’m afraid

  6. Sadness! I really loved this one, honestly. Mad Rogan’s stalker tendencies were pretty unsettling, but I was able to deal because well…his whole character is unsettling? I mean that was probably the least insane thing about him. Personally I found Adam a lot more annoying than Mad Rogan, so I was relieved that he didn’t end up being the love interest. Grandma Frida was a scene stealer for sure, and Nevada’s cousin Leon was also friggin’ hilarious! The family dynamics definitely pushed Burn For Me up a star rating for me.
    Danya @ Fine Print recently posted…Tough Traveling: High PriestMy Profile

    • I definitely had been worrying that Adam was the love interest, but I guess I would prefer annoying to abusive :( Loved Grandma Frida and the gang though :D

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