Eager reader of history, mystery, classics, biographies, steampunk, lit fic, science, scifi, and etc. My reviews are mostly positive--I rarely finish or write about books I don't enjoy. My TBR is too high for that.
Burn For Me is my first Ilona Andrews book and even in the opening pages of this well developed, high action urban paranormal I found lots to love. I love Nevada, the almost ordinary, barely magic main character--her power is that she can tell when people lie--who’s struggling to keep her family’s PI agency afloat in a highly stratified alternate world Houston run by powerful magic dynasties. I love Nevada’s colorful, squabbling, loyal family members, including Nevada’s four teenage siblings and cousins who help with online surveillance and research when they aren’t doing homework, Nevada’s widowed sharpshooter mother, who’s a former soldier injured in the line of duty, and Nevada’s mechanically gifted, man-obsessed grandmother, who bears some resemblance to Stephanie’s Plum’s lively Grandma Mazur except that she can build tanks and other armored artillery-enhanced vehicles.
The world building is wonderfully vivid, mostly gritty but sometimes glitzy, Nevada has difficult choices to make, which kept me reading much later into the night than I meant to, and the philosophy of Hobbes is even briefly discussed, a smart touch that added to my entertainment. What I didn’t care for is the romance. When Nevada and Mad Rogan first meet he runs her down, knocks her out, chains her to his basement floor, and tortures her with magic because he wants information about the case she’s working on. While his actions make Nevada angry and wary, she finds his extreme “masculinity” a turn-on, but the episode and her response had the opposite effect on me. It took me a while to get back into the story, but the wife and husband author team writes with skillful savvy, and the many things I loved about the plot and characters meant I did enjoy most of the rest of the book.
This is the first of a new series so the romance is just developing--I imagine it will become a larger part of the story as the books continue. I read an advanced review copy of this book supplied by the publisher; the review opinions are mine.