Author: Ilona Andrews

Review: Burn for Me by Ilona Andrews

Posted July 25, 2017 by Holly in Reviews | 2 Comments

Review: Burn for Me by Ilona AndrewsReviewer: Holly
Burn for Me (Hidden Legacy, #1) by Ilona Andrews
Series: Hidden Legacy #1
Published by Avon
Publication Date: October 28th 2014
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Pages: 382
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
four-stars

#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.

Burn for Me is the start of Ilona Andrews’ Hidden Legacy series. When Nevada Baylor’s father passed away, she stepped up and took over his failing P.I. business. Since then she and her family have been working hard to keep their heads above water. Recently another P.I. firm, one much larger, bought out their mortgage, which covers their home and business (the family converted a large warehouse into a business/family dwelling). Since then they’ve been sending business Nevada’s way, under the threat that if she doesn’t take the cases they’ll call the loan due. Which is how she ends up going after a Prime (someone with an extreme amount of magical power) fire-mage. She’s outclassed and outgunned and she knows it. Just when she thinks things can’t get any worse, she’s kidnapped by Connor “Mad” Rogan, a Prime telekinetic. Connor and Nevada are after the same thing – stopping the Fire Prime before things get any hotter – but their attraction is a complication neither could have foreseen.

Having read Andrews’ previous books, I expected to get a tight, well written novel with excellent world-building and multifaceted characters. I wasn’t disappointed. Burn for Me was a delight from page one. Nevada and her family really came to life. I was fully immersed in the world from page one. Connor was an enigma I couldn’t wait to unravel. Filled with action, suspense, romance and adventure, Burn for Me has it all.

The romance is light in this book (the thread is carried throughout all three books), but I enjoyed the tension between Connor and Nevada, and the promise of more had me completely hooked. If you’re in the mood to be swept away by a story, this is the book for you. Just be sure you have all 3 books handy. You’re going to want to dive right in to the next installment.

4.25 out of 5

Burn for Me is currently $2.99 for Kindle!

four-stars


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Review: Clean Sweep by Ilona Andrews

Posted July 24, 2017 by Holly in Reviews | 2 Comments

Review: Clean Sweep by Ilona AndrewsReviewer: Holly
Clean Sweep (Innkeeper Chronicles, #1) by Ilona Andrews
Series: Innkeeper Chronicles #1
Published by Self-Published
Publication Date: December 2nd 2013
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Pages: 235
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Goodreads
four-half-stars

On the outside, Dina Demille is the epitome of normal. She runs a quaint Victorian Bed and Breakfast in a small Texas town, owns a Shih Tzu named Beast, and is a perfect neighbor, whose biggest problem should be what to serve her guests for breakfast. But Dina is...different: Her broom is a deadly weapon; her Inn is magic and thinks for itself. Meant to be a lodging for otherworldly visitors, the only permanent guest is a retired Galactic aristocrat who can’t leave the grounds because she’s responsible for the deaths of millions and someone might shoot her on sight. Under the circumstances, "normal" is a bit of a stretch for Dina.

And now, something with wicked claws and deepwater teeth has begun to hunt at night....Feeling responsible for her neighbors, Dina decides to get involved. Before long, she has to juggle dealing with the annoyingly attractive, ex-military, new neighbor, Sean Evans—an alpha-strain werewolf—and the equally arresting cosmic vampire soldier, Arland, while trying to keep her inn and its guests safe. But the enemy she’s facing is unlike anything she’s ever encountered before. It’s smart, vicious, and lethal, and putting herself between this creature and her neighbors might just cost her everything.

Dina runs an Inn for otherworldly beings. In order to keep Earth safe from other races with superior technology, it was made a neutral stopover point and Inns were set up to house travelers. The first priority of Innkeepers is to keep their guests safe, while keeping their existence a secret from the outside world. Gertrude Hunt is Dina’s inn. It’s a fledgling Inn that was dormant for a long time and doesn’t have a lot of power.

She has one permanent guest and not a lot else going on. Caldenia is a fugitive who signed a treaty with Dina to remain a permanent guest of the Inn. Dina will keep her safe inside the sanctuary of the Inn, as long as Caldenia doesn’t kill another guest. As a living entity, the Inn needs guests to flourish and thrive. The Inn itself is where Dina gets her magic from. It’s capable of rearranging itself outside the laws of physics, and providing security when needed. Even Dina’s dog is more than she seems. She’s a Shih Tzu by day, but make her angry at your peril.

Dina crosses paths with her neighbor, Sean Evans, an alpha-strain werewolf, when something starts killing the neighborhood dogs. She asks him to take care of it and he blows her off. She decides to handle it herself, but she and Sean keep butting heads.

When a group of vampires show up and it turns out they’re connected to the thing killing the neighborhood dogs, Dina and Sean must work together, along with Arland, the vampire Lord Marshall, to figure out what’s going on, keep the neighborhood safe and protect the humans from finding out what’s happening.

The world is amazing. It’s like watching a movie unfold. Needless to say, this book – and the entire series – is fantastic. A must read it. Really.

4.75 out of 5

four-half-stars


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Sunday Spotlight: Wildfire by Ilona Andrews

Posted July 9, 2017 by Holly in Features, Giveaways | 7 Comments

Sunday Spotlight is a feature we began in 2016. This year we’re spotlighting our favorite books, old and new. We’ll be  raving about the books we love and being total fangirls. You’ve been warned. 🙂

Sunday Spotlight

I am so ridiculously excited about today’s Sunday Spotlight book. I’ve been waiting years for Wildfire to come out. Burn for Me, book 1, was published in 2014. Three years we’ve had to wait for the sequels. Thankfully, White Hot, book 2 and Wildfire are both being released this year. My head might explode if I had to wait another three years between them. This is not a series I recommend reading out of order. The story arcs over all three books and you’ll definitely miss out on a lot if you skip books 1 or 2.

Sunday Spotlight: Wildfire by Ilona AndrewsWildfire (Hidden Legacy, #3) by Ilona Andrews
Series: Hidden Legacy #3
Also in this series: Burn for Me (Hidden Legacy, #1)
Published by Avon
Publication Date: July 25th 2017
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Pages: 384
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads

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.

Order the Book:

AMAZON || BARNES AND NOBLE || KOBO || Google Play Books || iBooks
One of the things that sets Andrews apart from other UF authors is their world-building skills. The stories and characters come to life in such a way the reader is transported. Today’s excerpt is a perfect example. Tell me you can’t picture this exactly.

Excerpt

When life hits you in the gut, it’s always a sucker punch. You never see it coming. One moment you’re
walking along, worrying your little worries and making quiet plans, and the next you’re rolled into a ball, trying to hug yourself against the pain, frantic and reeling, your mind a jumble of scared thoughts.

A Christmas wreath hung on our door. I paused with my hand above the lock’s keypad. That’s right. Today was December 24th. This morning I was at a mountain lodge playing in the snow with the most dangerous man in Houston. Then Rogan’s surveillance expert texted him, and now here I stood, six hours later, my hair a mess, my clothes rumpled from being under the heavy jacket, in front of the warehouse that served as my family’s home. I would have to go inside and break the ugly news, and nobody would like what was going to happen next. With everything that happened, we had agreed to not exchange gifts this year, as nobody had time to shop, but I was about to deliver one hell of a terrible present.

The main thing was not to panic. If I panicked, my sisters and my cousins would panic too. And my mother would do her best to talk me out of the only logical solution to our crisis. I’d managed to keep a lid on my emotions all the way from the lodge to the airport, during the flight on the private jet, and through the helicopter ride from the plane to the landing pad four blocks away. But now all my fears and stress were boiling over.

I took a deep breath. Around me the street was busy. Not as busy as it had been a few days ago, when I was helping Cornelius Harrison, an animal mage and now an employee of the Baylor Investigative Agency, find out who murdered his wife, Nari, but still busy. Rogan’s views on security were rather draconian. He was in love with me, he decided that my home wasn’t assault-proof, and so he’d bought two square miles of industrial real estate around our warehouse and turned it into his own private military base.

Everyone wore civilian clothes, but they weren’t fooling anyone. Rogan’s people had all gone through armed forces in one way or another, and they didn’t wander or stroll. They moved from point A to point B with a definite goal in mind. They kept their clothes clean, their hair short, and they called Rogan Major. When we made love, I called him Connor.

A dry popping sound came from the street. The memory of snapping David Howling’s neck gripped me. I heard the crunch his bones made as I twisted his head to the side. In my mind, I saw him fall as I let go, and panic drowned me. I let it wash over me and waited for it to recede. Finding Nari’s killer had been an ugly and brutal mess, and at the end I watched Olivia Charles, the woman who had murdered her, be eaten alive by a swarm of rats as Cornelius sang, mourning his wife. I relived her death in my dreams almost every night.

I didn’t want to walk back into the world. I just . . . I just wanted a little bit more time.

I made myself look in the direction of the sound. An ex-soldier was coming my way, in his forties, with a scarred face, leading an enormous Kodiak bear on a very thin leash. The bear wore a harness that said Sergeant Teddy.
The ex-soldier stretched his left arm and twisted, as if trying to slide the bones back in place. Another dry crunch, sending a fresh jolt of alarm through me. Probably an old injury.

The bear stopped and looked at me.

“Be polite,” the soldier told him. “Don’t worry. He just wants to say hi.”

“I don’t mind.” I stepped closer to the bear. The massive beast leaned over to me and smelled my hair.

“Can I pet him?”

The soldier looked at Sergeant Teddy. The bear made a low short noise.

“He says you can.”

I reached over and carefully petted the big shaggy neck.

“What’s his story?”

“Someone thought it would be a good idea to make very smart magic bears and use them in combat,” the ex-soldier said. “Problem is, once you make someone smart, they become self-aware and call you on your bullshit. Sergeant Teddy is a pacifist. The leash is just for show so people don’t freak out. Major bought him a couple of years ago. Major is of the opinion that fighting in a war shouldn’t be forced on those who are morally opposed to it, human or bear.”

“But you’re still here,” I told the bear.

He snorted and looked at me with chocolate-brown eyes.

“We offered him a very nice private property up in Alaska,” the ex-soldier said. “But he doesn’t like it. He says he gets bored. He mostly hangs out with us, eats cereal that’s bad for him, and watches cartoons on Saturdays. And movies. He loves The Jungle Book.”

I waited for the familiar buzz of my magic that told me he was pulling my leg, but none came.

Sergeant Teddy rose on his hind legs, blocking out the sun, and put his shaggy front paws around me. My face pressed into the fur. I hugged him back. We stood for a moment, then the Kodiak dropped down and proceeded on his walk, his leash dangling on the ground.

I looked at the ex-soldier.

“He must’ve felt you needed a hug,” he said. “He stays in the HQ most of the time, so you can come and visit him.”

“I will,” I told him.

The ex-soldier nodded and followed the bear.

I punched my code into the lock. I had been hugged by a giant, superintelligent, pacifist bear. I could do this. I could do anything. I just had to walk in and call for a family meeting. It was almost dinnertime anyway. On a Sunday, everyone would be home.

I opened the door and walked into the small office space that housed Baylor Investigative Agency. A short hallway, three offices on the left, and a break room and conference room on the right. The temptation to hide in my office almost made me stop, but I kept going, through the hallway, to the other door that opened into the roughly three-thousand- square- foot space that served as our home. When we sold our house trying to raise money for my father’s hospital bills, we moved our family into the warehouse to cut costs. We’d split the floor space into three distinct sections: the office, the living space, and beyond it, past a very tall wall, Grandma Frida’s motor pool, where she worked on armored vehicles and mobile artillery for Houston’s magical elite.

I took off my shoes and marched through the maze of rooms. Garlands hung on the walls. My sisters had been busy decorating.

Faint voices came from the kitchen. Mom . . . Grandma. Good. This would save me time.

I walked past a big Christmas tree set up in the hang-out room, stepped into the kitchen, and froze.
My mother and grandmother sat at our table. A young woman sat next to my grandmother. She was willowy and beautiful, with a heart-shaped face framed in waves of gorgeous red hair and eyes so grey, they looked silver.
Ice gripped my spine.

Rynda Charles. Rogan’s ex-fiancée. Olivia’s daughter.

“Do you remember me?” she asked. Her voice was breaking. Her eyes were bloodshot, her face so pale, her lips seemed almost white. “You killed my mother.”

Somehow my mouth made words. “What are you doing here?”

Rynda wiped the tears from her eyes and stared at me, her face desperate. “I need your help.”


I want a giant, superintelligent bear to give me a hug. <3

Hidden Legacy

Giveaway

We’re giving one lucky winner their choice of one of our Sunday Spotlight books. Use the Rafflecopter widget below to enter for one of this month’s features.

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Are you as excited for this release as we are? Let us know how excited you are and what other books you’re looking forward to this year!

About the Author


WEBSITE | TWITTER | FACEBOOK | INSTAGRAM | PINTEREST | TUMBLR | GOODREADS

“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.)

Gordon and Ilona currently reside in Texas with their two children and many dogs and cats.

They have co-authored four NYT and USAT bestselling series, the urban fantasy of Kate Daniels, rustic fantasy of the Edge, paranormal romance of Hidden Legacy, and Innkeeper Chronicles, which they post as a free weekly serial. For complete list of their books, fun extras, and Innkeeper installments, please visit their website at Ilona-andrews.com.


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Review: Magic Bites by Ilona Andrews

Posted May 1, 2017 by Holly in Reviews | 4 Comments

Review: Magic Bites by Ilona AndrewsReviewer: Holly
Magic Bites (Kate Daniels, #1) by Ilona Andrews
Series: Kate Daniels #1
Also in this series: Magic Shifts, Magic Shifts, Magic Binds (Kate Daniels, #9)
Published by Ace
Publication Date: April 1st 2007
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Pages: 260
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
three-stars

Atlanta would be a nice place to live, if it weren’t for the magic…
When the magic is up, rogue mages cast their spells and monsters appear, while guns refuse to fire and cars fail to start. But then technology returns, and the magic recedes as unpredictably as it arose, leaving all kinds of paranormal problems in its wake.
Kate Daniels is a down-on-her-luck mercenary who makes her living cleaning up these magical problems. But when Kate’s guardian is murdered, her quest for justice draws her into a power struggle between two strong factions within Atlanta’s magic circles.
The Masters of the Dead, necromancers who can control vampires, and the Pack, a paramilitary clan of shapechangers, blame each other for a series of bizarre killings—and the death of Kate’s guardian may be part of the same mystery. Pressured by both sides to find the killer, Kate realizes she’s way out of her league—but she wouldn’t have it any other way…

People have been recommending the Kate Daniels series for years. Several times it was suggested I skip Magic Bites and start with book two, Magic Burns, because this wasn’t an accurate representation of the series or the author. Recently a friend read the series and pushed me to try it. She said I should read in order because most of the world-building is done in this book. Let me just say..she lied. Ha! I should have taken the advice of others and started with book two.

The story moved very slowly. I had a hard time slogging through all the descriptions and, to be perfectly honest, I didn’t really care for Kate. I didn’t dislike her necessarily, but I didn’t connect with her and her monologues were frustrating and, often, boring. I found the world to be a bit chaotic and kind of confusing.

I didn’t dislike the story so much as I just didn’t fall into it. Had I not had book two already waiting (and all those friends encouraging me to continue) I probably wouldn’t have moved on with the series.

The good news is, I did move on and really ended up enjoying book 2.

For those who are on the fence about the series after this book, I encourage you to continue. The series only gets better as the books go on.

3 out of 5

three-stars


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Sunday Spotlight: Magic Burns by Ilona Andrews

Posted April 16, 2017 by Holly in Features | 1 Comment

Sunday Spotlight is a feature we began in 2016. This year we’re spotlighting our favorite books, old and new. We’ll be  raving about the books we love and being total fangirls. You’ve been warned. 🙂

Sunday Spotlight

I came late to the Kate Daniels series. Though it had been recommended to me for years, I didn’t read much urban fantasy and skipped it. I’m so sorry I waited so long to start it. A friend suggested I reserve judgement until book two, Magic Burns, as Magic Bites (book 1) wasn’t nearly as good. Having now read the series, I agree. This week I’m spotlighting Magic Burns. While I think it’s necessary for the world-building to read book one, I highly suggest reserving judgement until book two.

Sunday Spotlight: Magic Burns by Ilona AndrewsMagic Burns (Kate Daniels, #2) by Ilona Andrews
Series: Kate Daniels #2
Also in this series: Magic Shifts, Magic Shifts, Magic Binds (Kate Daniels, #9), Magic Bites (Kate Daniels, #1)
Published by Penguin
Publication Date: April 1 2008
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Pages: 260
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads

Down in Atlanta, tempers – and temperatures – are about to flare…
As a mercenary who cleans up after magic gone wrong, Kate Daniels has seen her share of occupational hazards. Normally, waves of paranormal energy ebb and flow across Atlanta like a tide. But once every seven years, a flare comes, a time when magic runs rampant. Now Kate’s going to have to deal with problems on a much bigger scale: a divine one.
When Kate sets out to retrieve a set of stolen maps for the Pack, Atlanta’s paramilitary clan of shapeshifters, she quickly realizes much more at stake. During a flare, gods and goddesses can manifest – and battle for power. The stolen maps are only the opening gambit in an epic tug-of-war between two gods hoping for rebirth. And if Kate can’t stop the cataclysmic showdown, the city may not survive…

Order the Book:

AMAZON || BARNES AND NOBLE || KOBO || iTUNES || GOOGLE PLAY BOOKS
Some series are made by the hero, or the heroine, or the world. This series is a combination of all of that, and then some. Kate Daniels is an amazing, kick-ass heroine. Curran is an excellent hero, and the perfect counterpart for her. The world – where magic comes in waves and knocks out tech – is fabulously drawn. The secondary characters are engaging and interesting. There is no part of this series that doesn’t work, and work well. If you haven’t, you really must read it.

Excerpt

Kate is a serious badass. She kicks asses and takes names all day long.

Jim raised his hand and touched his fingers to his thumb a few times, imitating an opening and closing beak. Negotiate. He wanted me to engage a lunatic who had already turned four people into smoking meat. Okay. I could do that. “Alright, Jeremy!” I yelled into the night. “Give me the salamander and I won’t cut your head off!

They kept coming, enclosing me in a tight ring of flesh. I killed without comprehension, not knowing whom I had dispatched to the cauldron’s depths. They were shapes, obstacles in my way to Morfran, and like a well-tuned machine, I mowed them down, unthinking, unrepentant. Every maneuver I tried worked. Every cut found its victim. A curious elation came over me—they were so many and I hoped they wouldn’t end. This was what I was born for. I could go on killing forever.

Her romance with Curran, the Beast Lord, develops slowly over several books, but it’s extremely satisfying.

“He handed me a bowl of soup, that’s as far as we got.”

“He fed you?” Raphael stopped rubbing Andrea.

“How did this happen?” Aunt B stared at me. “Be very precise, this is important.”

“He didn’t actually feed me. I was injured and he handed me a bowl of chicken soup. Actually I think he handed me two or three. And he called me an idiot.”

“Did you accept?” Aunt B asked.

“Yes. I was starving. Why are the three of you looking at me like that?”

“For crying out loud.” Andrea set her cup down, spilling some tea.

“The Beast Lord’s feeding you soup. Think about that for a second.”

I moved to shake his hand and he reversed it and kissed my fingers instead, singeing me with a look that was pure smolder.

I took my hand back. “That woke me up.”

He smiled a picture-perfect smile. “Been a while?”

For some reason, I felt like answering. “Two years. And if you could tone down that smile, I’d appreciate it. Getting weak in the knees.”

Is Curran serious?” Aunt B asked. She wanted to know if she now had to walk on eggshells around me. For once, I was happy to disappoint.

“No, he’s just being an asshole. Apparently every time he calls me ‘baby,’ I look like a red-hot poker is stuck up my butt. Causes him no end of fun.”


Seriously. Read the series.

Kate Daniels

Giveaway: We’re giving one lucky winner their choice of one of our Sunday Spotlight books. Use the Rafflecopter widget below to enter for one of this month’s features.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Are you as excited for this release as we are? Let us know how excited you are and what other books you’re looking forward to this year!

About the Author


WEBSITE | TWITTER | FACEBOOK | INSTAGRAM | PINTEREST | TUMBLR | GOODREADS

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.)

Gordon and Ilona currently reside in Texas with their two children, and many dogs and cats. They have co-authored two series, the bestselling urban fantasy of Kate Daniels and romantic urban fantasy of The Edge.


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