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. 🙂
Narrator: Emily Rankin
Series: Hidden Legacy #5
Also in this series: Burn for Me (Hidden Legacy, #1), Wildfire, White Hot, White Hot (Hidden Legacy, #2), Burn for Me (Hidden Legacy, #1), White Hot (Hidden Legacy, #2), Wildfire (Hidden Legacy, #3), Burn for Me (Hidden Legacy, #1), Wildfire (Hidden Legacy, #3), Diamond Fire (Hidden Legacy, #3.5), Sapphire Flames, Diamond Fire, Wildfire, Emerald Blaze, Sapphire Flames
Publication Date: August 25, 2020
Point-of-View: First Person
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Length: 12 hours and 41 minutes
Add It: Goodreads
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Ilona Andrews, #1 New York Times bestselling author, continues her spellbinding series set in the Hidden Legacy world where magic controls everything…except the hearts of those who wield it.
As Prime magic users, Catalina Baylor and her sisters have extraordinary powers—powers their ruthless grandmother would love to control. Catalina can earn her family some protection working as deputy to the Warden of Texas, overseeing breaches of magic law in the state, but that has risks as well. When House Baylor is under attack and monsters haunt her every step, Catalina is forced to rely on handsome, dangerous Alessandro Sagredo, the Prime who crushed her heart.
The nightmare that Alessandro has fought since childhood has come roaring back to life, but now Catalina is under threat. Not even his lifelong quest for revenge will stop him from keeping her safe, even if every battle could be his last. Because Catalina won't rest until she stops the use of the illicit, power-granting serum that's tearing their world apart.
A dark-haired man walked through the doorway, gliding as if his joints were liquid. All the air went out of the room. I tried to take a breath but there was none to be had.
“My apologies,” Alessandro Sagredo said with a charming Italian accent. “So sorry to be late.”
Augustine Montgomery was a dead man. He just didn’t know it yet.
Alessandro looked straight at me. Our stares connected and for a split second my brain ground to a halt. I couldn’t think, I could only feel, and what I felt was intense, searing rage.
I couldn’t afford to react.
Tiny orange flames sparked in his irises and vanished. Nobody else saw it. His expression remained perfectly neutral.
He had an entire world at his disposal. He could have gone anywhere, but he came back here, to my city. It hurt to look at him. It hurt to remember him holding me, because when he wrapped his arms around me, he made me feel safe, and loved, and wanted. All that and he left, without apology, without explanation. He’d made it absolutely clear that I didn’t matter and now he was back, the son of a bitch, as if nothing had happened.
Alessandro walked to Lander’s left side and bent to him, an expression of utmost concern on his handsome face. “How are you feeling today, Zio?”
I had to snap out of it. There would be time to feel later. Right now, I had to think, because the equivalent of a hungry raptor just casually strolled into the room and nobody besides me, Morton, and possibly Augustine knew it. Alessandro called Lander his uncle. They weren’t related. I knew the genealogy of House Sagredo like the back of my hand. I could recite them down to fourth generation in my sleep.
Lander patted Alessandro’s hand with his, affectionately, as you would to a nephew.
“I didn’t know House Morton and House Sagredo were on such good terms,” Tatyana commented.
“Why would you know? When his father and I were friends, you were just a twitch in your daddy’s dick,” Lander said.
Lander Morton, the very soul of courtesy.
Marat rolled his eyes.
Alessandro straightened. Not a hint of magic. He’d pulled his power so deep inside himself, he felt inert. Harmless. Most of his targets kept on thinking he was harmless, right up until he killed them. That’s why they called him the Artisan. He’d elevated murder for hire to an art.
Why are you here? Was this work or really a family obligation?
He wore a pewter-colored suit, impeccably tailored, Neapolitan style, cut close to the body to accentuate his narrow waist. The suit shimmered slightly, probably a summer wool and silk blend. Spalla camicia, the “shirt shoulder,” without any padding and wide lapels with a convex curve that drew the eye, all of which minimized the shoulder line. Alessandro had shoulders like a gymnast; if you put any padding on him, he would resemble a linebacker. He was here to work, and he was trying to disguise his build to appear less of a threat.
It might work on the four Primes. It might even work on Augustine. They would look at his sun-tanned skin, his artfully disheveled brown hair, the expensive suit, the tailored trousers ending at a perfect shivering break – the hem meeting the shoes’ vamps as closely as was possible without rumpling – and they would see a young Italian Prime, the heir to an old family, indulged, confident, carefree, handling a bit of business as a favor.
It didn’t work on me. I’d seen him fight. Once you witnessed the way he moved, flawless, spare, each strike landing with unattainable precision, you never forgot it. Alessandro dedicated himself to killing. Under that shimmering suit, his body was corded with powerful flexible muscle. He was shockingly strong and abnormally fast. His face wasn’t just handsome, it was a face of a fighter, chiseled, masculine – strong jaw, full lips, straight Roman nose, carved cheek bones. His amber eyes scanned the room, and I watched him assess the threats and measure the distance to them in a split second. They saw a playboy. I saw a gladiator.
Alessandro unleashed a smile. The two women shifted slightly.
“I have arrived here on short notice and under painful circumstances.”
Usually he had almost no accent. Right now, he was layering it in. If he sounded any more Italian, the conference table might sprout grape vines and olive branches while the strains of lnno di Mameli spilled from the speakers.
“I am not familiar with this project, so I ask for your patience and guidance as I find my footing. Let us move forward through this time of grief and ensure the continued success and prosperity of our families.”
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