Book Review: White Hot

“White Hot,” the second in Ilona Andrews’s “Hidden Legacy” series should be called “Mad Rogan is so hot I think several important undergarments melted.” Although that’s a bit long for a title, so I guess “White Hot” is acceptable.

I was first introduced to Ilona Andrews in their (Ilona Andrews is a husband & wife writing team) Kate Daniels series, which is in the top three of my all-time favorite urban fantasy series. (Serieses? No, series.)

When the first Hidden Legacy book came out, I ordered and devoured. This one ratcheted up my satisfaction a couple more notches. Heh.

The Cover

The Blurb

Nevada Baylor has a unique and secret skill—she knows when people are lying—and she’s used that magic (along with plain, hard work) to keep her colorful and close-knit family’s detective agency afloat. But her new case pits her against the shadowy forces that almost destroyed the city of Houston once before, bringing Nevada back into contact with Connor “Mad” Rogan.

Rogan is a billionaire Prime—the highest rank of magic user—and as unreadable as ever, despite Nevada’s “talent.” But there’s no hiding the sparks between them. Now that the stakes are even higher, both professionally and personally, and their foes are unimaginably powerful, Rogan and Nevada will find that nothing burns like ice . . .

The Review

I want Mad Rogan in my life. Like whoa, you guys. And by “in my life,” I mean “in the part of my life where the bedroom is.” (Sorry, baby…but sometimes I’m very attracted to fictional characters. It’s probably time you knew, anyway.)

In the parts of my life where I’m not having unrequited lust for a fictional mage, I’m also rereading Ilona Andrews’s Kate Daniels series and I am blown away by how much their writing style has developed and matured over the years. Not that Kate Daniels isn’t very well done – it absolutely is – but this is masterful.

The world-building is fantastic. It’s easy to believe in a world where “primes” (mages of extraordinary talent) basically run things and local law enforcement back down when it’s a magical dispute.

The development of Nevada’s and Connor’s relationship is really fantastic. There’s not much of the fantasy/romance trope of lying to each other for the other’s own good (although there’s a bit of that), and the way Connor’s PTSD is written is fantastically heart-breaking and brilliantly crafted.

The sex? Ummm…yeah. This was steamy. Also, I’m kinda hoping that, in lieu of luring Mad Rogan into my bed, maybe there are classes on sensual telekinesis out there for the budding mage/live-in boyfriend to invest in? What?! Not only is my new boyfriend fictional, so is telekineses?

Dammit. What are you even doing out there scientists? Forget all that “curing cancer” and “improving technology to lessen the effects of climate change.” Make me some magic to enhance my sexy times!

AHEM. Sorry. I’m cool.

Narrator: She is not cool.

The story development is fast-moving without running away and the details (I don’t care what my PSM says, I am not getting ferrets no matter how useful they’d be if I could psychically communicate with them) are seamlessly incorporated in a way that not only lends strength to the overall structure of the story but doesn’t detract from it by triggering a failure of my suspension of disbelief.

The supporting cast – Nevada’s family, mostly – makes me long to live in a big warehouse with family! (Not mine, though. I’d choose hers, even if they do have some annoying qualities.) Her grandmother is the best and the sisters and cousins are a perfect representation of teenagers who are blessed with extraordinary powers and are coming into their own with the extraordinary sense of responsibility.

The Quote

“Rogan, I snapped a man’s neck with my bare hands. I don’t even know how I did it.”
“Well,” he said. “You did it well. Too well even.”
I stared at him.
“It was quick,” he said. “He didn’t suffer nearly enough.”

Grandma Frida tore into the motor pool from the street…[wearing] her “talk to the hand” face. She also carried a can of spray paint in her hand.
“She marked all of the ATVs with her initials!” Hahn declared.
“Because they’re mine,” grandma Frida growled.”
“She doesn’t get all the ATVs.”
“Yes, I do. I tagged them, they’re mine.”

I love Grandma Frida, y’all. Love. Her. She named her tank (because of course she has a tank) Romeo.

The Verdict

If you enjoy urban fantasy with a bit of hot, hot Mad Rogan and some pretty sexy sex, you’ll enjoy this. I know I did. A lot. *wipes sweat from brow* Solid 4.25 stars.

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