Source: publisher via Edelweiss
Formats available: paperback, ebook, audiobook
Genres: paranormal, urban fantasy
Series: Hidden Legacy #3.5
Published by Avon Impulse on November 6, 2018
Purchasing Info: Author's Website, Publisher's Website, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Book Depository
Nevada Frida Baylor and Connor Ander Rogan cordially invite you to join their wedding celebration. Summoning, weather manipulation, and other magical activities strictly forbidden.
Catalina Baylor is looking forward to wearing her maid of honor dress and watching her older sister walk down the aisle. Then the wedding planner gets escorted off the premises, the bride’s priceless tiara disappears, and Rogan's extensive family overruns his mother’s home. Someone is cheating, someone is lying, and someone is plotting murder.
To make this wedding happen, Catalina will have to do the thing she fears most: use her magic. But she’s a Baylor and there’s nothing she wouldn't do for her sister's happiness. Nevada will have her fairy tale wedding, even if Catalina has to tear the mansion apart brick by brick to get it done.
Although Nevada and Rogan’s wedding is the setting – or the excuse – for this story, this is definitely NOT Nevada’s story, unlike the rest of the Hidden Legacy series so far.
This is Nevada’s sister Catalina’s story, which makes this novella a kind of bridge book in the series, as the focus switches from Nevada, who has found her happy ever after with Connor Rogan. Future books need to feature other characters, and it looks like we’re going to be treated to watch every member of the Baylor family come into their own and find their HEA, starting with Catalina.
The setup of this variation on our world began in the awesome Burn for Me. Diamond Fire is not meant to be read as a standalone, it is an integral part of the series and I think that too much is left to previous knowledge. After all, why would you care about Nevada and Rogan if you hadn’t watched their struggle?
Also, the house rivalries, politics and downright internecine warfare probably only make sense if you start at the beginning. This series is so awesome that it is no hardship whatsoever.
But this is Catalina’s story through and through, and it is not a romance. I think there’s going to be one on the horizon for her, eventually, but Catalina has to learn to love herself and accept her gift before she can manage to love anyone else.
That’s more true for her than most, because Catalina’s gift is love. Not real love, but obsessive love. Love-potion-type-love along with stalker-level obsession. Their world doesn’t have a name for her gift, but we’d call her a siren. When she lets her gift loose, anyone she focuses on is compelled to love her to the exclusion of all else.
Which means that Catalina is never sure whether someone likes her for herself, or because she wanted them to. The only people who seem to be immune are her family – but then, they love her anyway.
The story in Diamond Fire is all about Catalina protecting her sister from too many distractions while she’s playing bridezilla (just a bit) and to keep Nevada from using her invasive gift, truthseeking, to break the minds of her in-laws in order to find out just who wants to sabotage her wedding.
Instead, it’s up to Catalina to not just follow the more mundane clues, but to convince whoever those clues lead to to tell her everything she needs to know – by whatever means necessary – and whether she wants to know or not.
Catalina’s afraid that she’ll end up with a trail of mindless love slaves following her around – and that she’ll like it that way. But she’ll do anything for Nevada – no matter what dark places it leads her to.
There might even be something shiny and sparkly at the end.
Escape Rating B+: This is short, and in the end sweet – but not without plenty of interesting angst in the middle.
It is not a starting point for this series – so start with Burn for Me. Or wait for the first book in the Catalina trilogy that’s coming out in 2019. Just don’t start here. The world of the Primes, while it bears a superficial resemblance to our 21st century, certainly has some hidden depths that are not explained in this novella.
Instead, this one falls much more on the urban fantasy side of the paranormal romance/urban fantasy divide. Catalina is the amateur detective, and she has a case to solve. Someone stole the heirloom tiara that Nevada is supposed to wear down the aisle at her wedding. The tiara isn’t worth much – relatively for this uber-rich family – but it is important. Also well-known, so it’s not an item that can be fenced.
It seems like the only people who would have any motive for the theft are Nevada’s in-laws. Because of their psychic powers, they are also the only people who could have done it. And they are all in attendance for the wedding – however resentfully or reluctantly.
So Catalina has to do what detectives do, sort through all of the possible suspects, suss out their possible motives, and eventually figure out whodunit – not that the result isn’t a complete surprise. And not that she doesn’t uncover a whole lot of other crap that the family wishes had remained unknown. But that’s what House Baylor Investigations has always done – discover the truth – even when it hurts.
But the point of the story is on Catalina coming out of Nevada’s very tall (metaphorically speaking) shadow. And it’s the making of her. She learns that she can trust herself, and that’s one of the hardest lessons of all.
I can’t wait to see what she does next!
~~~~~~ TOURWIDE GIVEAWAY ~~~~~~
To celebrate the release of DIAMOND FIRE by Ilona Andrews, we’re giving away one paperback set of the Hidden Legacy trilogy!
GIVEAWAY TERMS & CONDITIONS: Open to internationally. One winner will receive a paperback set of the Hidden Legacy trilogy by Ilona Andrews. This giveaway is administered by Pure Textuality PR on behalf of Avon Romance. Giveaway ends 11/12/2018 @ 11:59pm EST. Limit one entry per reader. Duplicates will be deleted.