I was looking for a light-hearted fantasy with a good helping of romance. Something fun, easy to read and not too heavy, and Burn for Me by Illona Andrews ticks all of those boxes.
I’ll start by saying that I pretty much hate the covers. It’s not that there’s anything wrong with half naked men…obviously there’s a lot right with them, but I just don’t like them on book covers. I mean, it’s less to do with what the image tells me about the books, and more to do with the fact that I wouldn’t want to take that book out and read it in a public place. It would make me uncomfortable, especially as it’s not like this book is only about their relationship, but I just don’t like to think of myself as the kind of girl who reads books with topless men on the covers. Although, judging by the number of reviews on Amazon, people seem to like the topless man thing, so maybe I should slap one on the front of my books and see what happens…! Anyway, enough of that; you get the point.
Burn for Me follows Nevada, who heads up her family’s private investigation business, as she is assigned (by their part owner) to a case that’s basically suicide. She meets Mad Rogan along the way (rich, magically powerful, good looking…I’m assuming the one on the cover) and they work together to try and bring in their target. Their relationship develops with all the angst you’d want as they get themselves into and out of a number of magical scrapes.
The world has lots of different types of magic, which are distributed unevenly through the population, with different categorisations depending upon the level of power and skills a person has. I really loved this concept, along with the powerful houses and breeding for advantage that came along with it. It felt really well thought through and there’s always something so exciting about a clash of the titans…
It didn’t make the five star mark for me because the plot is fairly linear. There is only one main story line, and there’s not much in the way of plot layers, with no real big reveals along the way. This isn’t a terrible thing, and was a refreshing and much needed change from other things I’ve been reading, but for me, I need a little more complexity for a five star read.
The only other thing that bugged me a bit was the emotional relationship stuff was fairly blunt; a little more nuance here would have been good, but it was written in a fun, almost tongue in cheek way that I appreciated. I like the mix of masculine and feminine that you get from Illona Andrews (who is actually a self-published husband and wife writing team), and the gritty, Jessica Jones type feel from their writing. Burn for Me is a fast paced romantic thriller with a bit of mystery as they try to discover what their target is up to and feels very consistent in style to Magic Bites, the only other Illona Andrews book I’ve read (for a review of that one, check out the videos on my insta feed), but is a bit more grown up and has more romance (which I like!).
All in all a fun, pacey read that doesn’t need too much brain power and I’ve already bought the next one!