Review: White Hot, Ilona Andrews


The second book in the Hidden Legacy series, White Hot, not only ups the ante for Nevada Baylor, but it also keeps fans reading.

(Note: Ilona Andrews, technically speaking, is not a singular person. It’s the name for a writing team. However, in the interest of simplicity, the following review will refer to Andrews in the singular when talking about the authors’ choices in White Hot.)

White Hot has kind of a silly title, although it keeps in line with the earlier book in the Hidden Legacy trilogy, Burn for Me, and the third book, Wildfire, coming out this July. However, somewhat-silly titles aside, this book ends up as quite the surprise if you’re expecting a more standard paranormal romance as it says on the spine.

Now this isn’t to say that Connor “Mad” Rogan and Nevada Baylor do not have chemistry. They’re romance protagonists. If they didn’t, there would be a problem. As for the plot, Nevada’s job as an investigator again comes into play when a man estranged from his magical House comes looking for help in bringing whoever murdered his wife to justice. But things aren’t as simple as they seem.

Yours truly couldn’t put this one down, and the payoff is very, very worth it. White Hot gets a 4.5/5 stars.

The Good

Once again, Andrews excels at letting plots unfold and peeling back layer after layer when it comes to how and why Nari Harrison died. It’s not unusual for murders to show up in paranormal fiction, but it is impressive that the case doesn’t fall by the wayside as the romance continues to develop. Instead, the two progress together. That balance between paranormal, romance, and mystery is not always easy to find, but White Hot delivers. The result is that it’ll leave readers asking for more.

Speaking of said romance, I continue to enjoy how Andrews doesn’t make our protagonists smush their faces together and kiss all the time. This relationship, perhaps because it does have more time and more pages to develop, feels organic, and it doesn’t have our heroine forgetting that she is, in fact, a competent heroine. There’s really a lot to like about Nevada — and Connor, too, although he’s “Rogan” more often than not in the narration. Furthermore, it does make those moments when the romance comes into play so much more satisfying. (Of course we won’t say how or why that happens. It does, though.)

Additionally, and this is a pretty small point, it’s good that the characters actually have limits. Although both Nevada and Connor are special in some way even in a world where magic is commonplace, they do actually run out of juice and their powers aren’t completely infinite. Changes and developments feel justified. New introductions when it comes to powers also generally serve the story well and deepen a reader’s understanding of this world.

The Not-So-Good

Every so often, I felt a little out of place and not quite sure of the spaces described. White Hot takes place in Houston, and because I’m not familiar with the city, I did occasionally feel a little confused as to relative locations. It could very much be on me (this book is good; I wanted more of it) but Houston as a city isn’t as well-known as say, New York, so it’s a little harder to get a sense of where things are. It’s really quite the minor nitpick, but it’s enough to slightly bounce a reader out of the story.

The Recommendation

White Hot (and Burn for Me, a necessary read to fully enjoy) scratch a lot of itches: romance, modern urban fantasy, paranormal fiction, and a good mystery to boot. These are the kind of reads that you take to the beach and that make you end up forgetting to go in the water at all.

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You can pick up White Hot at bookstores now.