Recommended Read, Series Review

Series Review: Hidden Legacy: Nevada Baylor Trilogy by Ilona Andrews (2014)

Hidden Legacy, Books 1-3

Heat Factor: It’s not particularly full of sex…but he has magic sex powers!!!

Character Chemistry: There’s nothing sexier than a heroine who sets boundaries and a hero who’s into it

Plot: Evil Magic Conspiracy

Overall: I can hardly contain myself. I want to read all the urban fantasy romance.

I inhaled these books. I don’t usually enjoy a romance that requires me to read three books for fulfillment, and probably if I couldn’t binge them I would throw a tantrum about it… And then read the next book immediately when it comes out. I might have that problem with Nevada’s sister’s trilogy. But for this trilogy I could binge them, and I did, and URBAN FANTASY ROMANCE WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN ALL MY LIFE?

I don’t even know where to start.

I’ll start with the plot summary. There is a plot arc that will run for the whole series with one Super Bad Guy (SBG) coordinating the conspiracy and pulling the strings of Evil Bad Guys (EBG) for the individual plots of each of the novels. We don’t necessarily even have the full picture of this at the close of Burn for Me, but we understand that the plot we’ve been resolving is bigger than we perceive. By the close of Wildfire, we have many pieces, but not the identity of SBG. 

In Burn for Me, the EBG is trying to burn down Houston because of Reasons. Nevada Baylor has some lame magic that allows her to detect lies, so she runs an investigation firm for her family. The parent company that purchased her family’s firm puts her in the impossible, death-extremely-likely position of having to capture the EBG. As she is trying to execute her mission, she crosses paths with Connor “Mad” Rogan, who is looking for his cousin because he is the head of his House and has extraordinary magic powers. He’s so extra. Because of course he is. 

I’ll tackle their relationship in the next section, so before we move on to book the second, I’ll simply conclude that they have to work through some stuff in order to form a sort of detente to win the story and defeat EBG one. 

White Hot opens two months after the end of Burn for Me, and Nevada hasn’t seen Connor for those two months, so she’s pissed at him for not following through with her. Her parent company refers her to a case that it’s unwilling to take because of House Politics. 

Let me just stop here and say I enjoy parent company boss Augustine Montgomery very much – House Politics or no. 

Moving on. It turns out that the murder Nevada is investigating also happens to involve Connor’s people, and the two join forces to figure out who is causing murder and mayhem all over Houston. Also, it turns out that Nevada’s magic isn’t lame because she is also extra. She’s incredibly powerful, but untrained, and only her family, Augustine, and Connor know it, so she has to figure out how to function in magic society (flying under the radar), which has its own set of rules and laws apart from non-magic people. It gets a little bit hairy, but she and Connor once again defeat the EBG and then take a vacation because they need a break. As you would, I’m sure, if you had to rescue Houston from out of control EBGs twice in three months.

Wildfire picks up a few days after the close of White Hot. They’re still dealing with the problem of the high-level conspiracy, but also Nevada’s psychopathic grandmother is trying to find her so she can preserve her own House. Magic Houses are kind of messed up. Ergo, Nevada’s family applies to be its own House to obtain emerging house protection for three years. So in this book, we’re dealing with an EBG in league with the SBG who kidnapped the head of a House–Connor’s ex-fiance’s husband, to be precise–and also an EBGranny who is willing to do pretty much anything to get to Nevada, including attacking her family, the vast majority of whom are teenagers. EEK!

Okay, now let’s get to the good stuff, which is, of course, the lurve story. 

Connor “Mad” Rogan is called “Mad” Rogan for a reason–primarily because he lives only according to the boundaries he sets himself. He doesn’t hesitate to kill threats to him or to the people he loves, he’s steeped in House Politics, and he’s willing to manipulate people (or, failing that, break them) in order to get what he wants. He and Nevada do not get off to a good start, so he has miles of ground to cover to make up to her and demonstrate that he’s not an amoral monster who drops buildings on people just because he feels like it. 
Nevada is smart and careful and she thinks Connor is smoking hot, but she has no interest in compromising her principles or being Connor’s plaything until he gets bored with her and moves on to another woman. They get off on the wrong foot because Connor kidnaps her and tries to force her to tell him something, and from that moment on she does not put up with any of his nonsense. So of course he’s like:

Then she breaks into his mind with all her power and he’s like:

The books are all written from Nevada’s perspective, so we have that delightful situation in which we are reading the hero but we don’t actually know what he’s thinking, and I ate it up with a spoon. 

At the end of Burn for Me, Connor took Nevada’s “no” and left her alone, but he still wants her–and she still wants him and doesn’t understand why he didn’t ask her on a date. It’s adorable. When they’re thrust back together in White Hot and she is able to see that he’s not a psychopath, he’s just damaged from his time in the military and he’s taking care of his House and his people as best he can given the House he grew up in, she’s like:

In terms of sexytimes, Connor gives Nevada a mind-blowing orgasm using only his magic (!!!!) in Burn for Me, but Nevada doesn’t decide to go for it with him until White Hot, at which point I can only say magic sex sounds awesome. He can tear off her clothing with his mind

In Wildfire, Nevada is doing her thing, thinking about the future, and Connor is thinking about Houses. So on the one hand he’s like, you need to think practically about the future of your House and I really want to support you and do what’s best for you, and on the other he’s like:

Unfortunately, because he’s been the head of his House for years and was raised in the world of magic, he sees Nevada’s rare magic and realizes that while they might want each other, with her power, she might ultimately want to choose to marry another man so they can have a powerful magical child. Magic can be diluted with incompatible magic strains, you see, and Connor and Nevada have very different powers. They might have only non-magical children, which could bring down both their Houses. He is so angsty and trying to be such a good guy and it’s hot. 

In short what I really enjoyed about this romance was that Connor had all these messed up alpha hero qualities that I love, but he genuinely treated Nevada as an equal pretty much all the time. He really, really, wanted to protect her from all the danger, but he listened to her and agreed to help her (or get out of her way) when she needed to go do her thing. He was insanely jealous when she was hit on by other men, but the only reason she could tell was because his magic crushed some things (it was awesome) while his expression and actions demonstrated that he recognized that he needed to respect her and her decisions. Best of all, he saw her power and encouraged her to embrace it fully and set her own limits rather than trying to limit her “for her own protection.” 

Also, it’s funny and there’s action and suspense and romance. Ungh. I hope there’s a satisfying backlist here because I neeeeed it.

Just beware, you can’t read only one.

Buy on Amazon: Burn for Me | White Hot | Wildfire | ALL THREE

Looking for similar books?

Heroines with magical abilities (plus other bad-ass ladies)

“We must uncover the secret plot or everyone is doooooooomed!”

Fantasy romance, some of the urban variety and some…not

Uh…why don’t you have a tag for sex magic? That seems like an oversight. (If you’d like to see one, let us know in the comments and Holly will get right on it.)

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