Publication Date: October 28, 2014
Series or Standalone: Hidden Legacy #1
Links: Amazon – Barnes & Noble – Goodreads
CW: Murder; violence; fire/fire injury; gun violence; cancer; death of a parent
No one does urban fantasy romance quite like Ilona Andrews. When I first read Burn for Me back in 2019, I was immediately hooked. I’ve since reread the series multiple times, so pardon me if I get a bit gushy.
The Hidden Legacy series is one of my absolute favorites series and does not get talked about enough. The cover of this book does not do the story justice. Not only does this book have a swoon-worthy romance, but you also get fantastic world-building, a unique magic system, an action-packed plot and unforgettable secondary characters all in one book.
Nevada Baylor is in way over her head with her latest case. As the head of a small private investigation firm, she’s forced to take on what is essentially a suicide mission to bring in Adam Pierce, the highest rank of magic user, who can and will set anything and everything on fire. Her search for Pierce forces her to have a run-in with Connor “Mad” Rogan – another billionaire Prime with a deadly reputation and incredibly strong telekinetic powers. They strike an uneasy bargain to work together for the duration of the case. While he thinks he can use Nevada to help reel in Pierce, it seems like he’d much rather protect her than put her in danger in the end as they fight a strong attraction. However, when the city of Houston and the lives of thousands are people are on the line, Nevada and Mad Rogan have to put themselves in harm’s way to save the city.
I love Nevada Baylor and Mad Rogan so much. These two characters. Ugh, they own a special piece of my heart. Nevada is such a strong female protagonist, and I love how she’ll do anything to protect her family. She’s driven by a strong moral compass – she has to be able to look herself in the mirror at the end of the day – and when she gets thrust into the world of Primes, she’s challenged beyond belief to stay true to herself. I love watching the journey she goes on as this book really sets her on a different course than she planned for her life. She’s sarcastic, funny, loyal and doesn’t back down from a challenge.
And then we have Mad Rogan. My love for him grows on each reread. He should not be a character I find loveable – he’s a bit of an antihero as he has no qualms about killing others if they’re in his way and sometimes takes issue with the word ” no. ” However, there is so much more to him than meets the eye. He’s a by-product of the world he grew up in and shaped by his experiences in the military. He’s not always the good guy, but I love him so much as he’s such a complex character, and we just start to scratch the surface of who he is in this book. He’s also deeply loyal to those on his team and his own set of values he lives by – you do not mess with those he cares about without suffering the consequences. On this read, I also noticed how freaking funny and sarcastic he is! He’s got a dry humor and a sharp wit that I truly adore.
Mad Rogan and Nevada are the perfect match for each other. While the romance does take a little bit of a backseat in this book, the chemistry between these two is burning hot. There is an electric current that runs between every interaction. As much as Nevada insists she does not like Mad Rogan and would never be with him for a multitude of reasons, she cannot help but be attracted to him. I also have to say, these two have one of the BEST first meetings between a romantic couple – it really sets the tone for their relationship. Even though the romance isn’t always center stage, Andrews teases you with it and gives you enough of a feel for where Nevada and Rogan’s story will be going.
Ilona Andrews knocks it out of the park when it comes to world-building and the plot. There is no info-dumping in this book as they perfectly weave in the relevant information about this alternative version of Houston when you need to know it. And the magic system is perfect. It’s pretty complicated, what with the various House, Primes and different types of abilities, yet they somehow make it so easy to understand, and you get to know as it you get immersed in the action of the story. When it comes to the plot of this book, Ilona Andrews perfectly balances the action with the exposition and romance. There are so many layers to the main story of this book that then also play into the broader series plot, and I loved watching all the pieces unfold. Despite having read this book multiple times, I still found myself on the edge of my seat, wondering what would come next as Nevada and Rogan work to apprehend Adam Pierce, even though I knew how it would get resolved. That takes some talent!
Rounding out my list of favorite things about this book is the secondary characters. The Baylor family plays such a massive role in this book. Nevada is incredibly close with her family, and they play such an important role in her life that it makes sense that they’re stand-out characters. From Grandma Frida with her love of tanks, to Nevada’s mom a former sniper, to Bern and his Hut of Evil, to Leon and her sister Catalina and Arabella’s teenage angst, I adore each and every one of them. We also get a fantastic villain with Adam Pierce, a cocky, entitled, and deranged pyrokinetic who wants to see the world burn. All the secondary characters feel three-dimensional and so well-written that you end up getting to know them.
Honestly, I could keep going on and on about this book as it’s truly one of my favorites. You cannot go wrong if you pick up the entire Hidden Legacy series. If you like action-packed romances with an engaging plot and fantastic characters, look no further than these books. Also, can I just say I’m always amazed that Ilona Andrews is a husband and wife writing duo? They truly are the gold standard for modern urban fantasy romances. Definitely pick this one up if you haven’t already – you won’t be disappointed.