White Hot by Ilona Andrews – Review

Book Jacket:

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…

You can read an excerpt here.


Just, ignore the cover. Because yes, it is cheestastic. Honestly, I always wonder why Romance titles feel the need to scream their allegiance in the form of painfully silly covers – because while I understand branding, and baked-in identifiers for your core audience, I also think it’s counter-productive in a way, because you end up turning away a lot of potential fans. Take me, for example – I always enjoyed fantasy and SF with a romantic bent (I mean, I grew up on Anne McCaffrey), but it took me a very, very long time to venture into the ‘Romance with a Capitol R’ world, just because it seemed sooo… Cheesy. (It literally took a friend shoving a Nalini Singh book in my face for me to do it.) So, to all the people who look at that cover and go, euurgh – fear not, people. This is an Ilona Andrews book. And whatever title, whatever imprint, whatever beefcake slab they plaster on the cover, it’s still very much an Ilona Andrews book – and as always, that makes for a whole lot of fun.

And so we find Nevada Baylor back in action, hip-deep in a new case that all too quickly lands her in dangerous waters, as she tangles once more with the conspiracy she first encountered in book one. And I have to say, I really just enjoy watching Nevada work – she’s smart, she’s competent, and her sarcastic inner commentary always makes me snicker. Plus, I really enjoyed how this story further explored Nevada’s magic, as her growing abilities force her to make hard choices, both personal and professional. And of course, Rogan is as handsome and overbearing as ever – and I also really enjoyed how this story explored his backstory, and laid out exactly what happened to make him who he is today. A lot about both these characters comes to light in this book, which made for a very satisfying set of reveals.

And of course the chemistry between Nevada and Rogan is as hot as ever – though I do have to say, much as I enjoy the romancy-pantsy, I did feel like the getting together happened just a tad fast. On the one hand, these two people are obviously crazy about each other, so why not, but on the other, I was having so much fun with their power struggles and butting of heads, that I kind of wished I could have watched them drive each other crazy a bit more before they crossed over into declarations of adoration. But admittedly, that might just be because I do so enjoy those sort of Lizzie/Darcy dynamics.

So in the end, White Hot is one highly enjoyable read, both a satisfying continuation of the series, and an affirmation that no matter what the cover looks like, Ilona Andrews always brings the goods. And I can’t wait to see what happens next.

Byrt Grade: A

As Levar Burton likes to say – you don’t have to take my word for it…

Kirkus Reviews (starred review) says:

Andrews…magical worldbuilding is brilliant and compelling. Her imaginative use of magical personalities and traits is spellbinding, and Nevada, Rogan, and the other characters jump off the page. Add breathtaking romance and sexual tension plus a complex, layered plot, and you have a book that’s hard to put down.

My Guilty Obsession says:

It truly is unbelievably hard to put down. There is a reason that this series as a whole, is rated as well as it is and talked about as much as it it. It is just so much darn fun.