Book Review: Burn for Me by Ilona Andrews

Nevada Baylor is faced with the most challenging case of her detective career—a suicide mission to bring in a suspect in a volatile case. Nevada isn’t sure she has the chops. Her quarry is a Prime, the highest rank of magic user, who can set anyone and anything on fire.

Then she’s kidnapped by Connor “Mad” Rogan—a darkly tempting billionaire with equally devastating powers. Torn between wanting to run or surrender to their overwhelming attraction, Nevada must join forces with Rogan to stay alive.

Rogan’s after the same target, so he needs Nevada. But she’s getting under his skin, making him care about someone other than himself for a change. And, as Rogan has learned, love can be as perilous as death, especially in the magic world.



Let’s talk about expectations, shall we? A few years ago, I went on a business trip to London. I was good friends with the co-workers I traveled with, and already had a fantastic rapport going with our British counterparts because I served as the liaison between our two companies.

The trip was a roaring success; everyone not only got along, but got along really well, and because of this dynamic, we accomplished everything we set out to early on in the week. That left us with a lot of free time to tour the city.

And by tour the city, I mean tour the pubs.

Each night after work, we would pour forth from the office doors in search of the nearest or loudest watering hole. One evening, already half-smashed thanks to the deceptively strong cider I’d been downing (seriously, what the hell is in that stuff?), I ordered pie off the menu, because apparently I fancied the idea of descending into a sugar-induced coma.

The “dessert” arrived a few minutes later, carrying with it the smell of golden pie crust and roasting meat. In my inebriated state, I brushed off the unexpected seared-flesh scent, thinking that it must have emanated from something else on the tray the bartender carried. I stabbed at the pie and lifted a steaming spoonful to my mouth.

Maybe, if I hadn’t been absorbed in the conversation taking place at my table, or if I hadn’t been such a goddamn lightweight, I would have noticed that something was off. I would have realized that my spoon hadn’t slid into the pie with the same ease I would expect from a fruit-filled delicacy. I would have caught sight of the chunks of carrots and peas that ascended to my lips. I would have seen the massive chunk of meat hanging off my spoon.

Alas, I didn’t.

Did I mention I’m a vegetarian? No? Ah, well, now you might understand why after biting into the carcass of a dead animal when I expected a dead fruit I tore out of the room and vomited spectacularly onto the sidewalk, narrowly missing a group of pedestrians.

It was all anyone talked about for the rest of the week. And when we briefed our boss on the success of the trip after arriving back home, one of my co-workers, who is sadistically quick on his feet, snuck a picture of my humiliation into the slide show.


I’m sure you’re wondering what the hell this story has to do withBurn for Me. Well, let me tell you. I went into this expecting a paranormal romance. I had recently finished reading a book that had made me think about a lot of things – too many things – and I wanted to turn my brain off for a few blissful hours. I wanted something light and fluffy and sexy.

And really, with a title as cheesy as Burn for Me, who could blame me for thinking that this would deliver? Also, have you seen this cover? It promises certain things. Let me demonstrate what went through my mind when I first saw it:

Imagine my surprise when instead of witty banter and half-veiled propositions I was met with nearly a hundred pages of (shoddy) world building. I spent the first thirty percent of this book regretting my decision to pick it up. I spent the next twenty percent trying to stifle my hope, lest I be disappointed. I spent the last fifty percent enjoying the hell out of myself. In short, the second half of the book did not make up for the first, just balanced my rating out.

This was not the fluff-filled dessert that I had expected. This was a goddamn meat pie.

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