Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Review Time! ~ A Hidden Fire

A Hidden Fire (Elemental Mysteries #1)

By Elizabeth Hunter 

Rating: 5 for 5 STARS

A phone call from an old friend sets Dr. Giovanni Vecchio back on the path of a mystery he'd abandoned years before. He never expected a young librarian could hold the key to the search, nor could he have expected the danger she would attract. Now he and Beatrice De Novo will follow a twisted maze that leads from the archives of a university library, through the fires of Renaissance Florence, and toward a confrontation they never could have predicted.
 A Hidden Fire is a paranormal mystery/romance for adult readers. It is the first book in the Elemental Mysteries Series    
(via Goodreads)

"Tell the truth, Giovanni Vecchio." A mischievous look came to her eye. "You have a butler, a cool car, and I've only seen you at night..." 
He froze, tension suddenly evident in the set of his shoulders. Beatrice leaned closer and whispered, "You're Batman, aren't you?"

This debut novel by Elizabeth and the first in the Elemental Mysteries series was published last October. Luckily for you readers who decide to give it a try, This Same Earth (book 2) and The Force of Wind (book 3) are now available.

But back to A Hidden Fire... This is quite a refreshing addition to the paranormal romance genre that has, for me, become kind of stagnant. Elizabeth adds a new twist to the paranormal by what she has created that I find highly entertaining. I won't say what the twist is, you just have to read it for yourself to find out but it’s not something I’ve read before.

The cast of characters she has created are all very likable and I find myself wanting to know more about them. *Ahem Carwyn ahem*

Meet Beatrice De Novo AKA B:
According to Gio ~ Despite her rather common accent, the girl’s voice held a faint quality which told him at least one of her parents was a native Spanish speaker. Her thick, black hair was pulled into a low ponytail at the nape of her neck, and she was dressed in a black button-down shirt and slim skirt. He smiled when he saw the tops of her tall Doc Marten boots almost touching her knees.

Beatrice lives with her grandmother Isadora in Houston while attending college for Library Sciences at Houston University. She has worked part time at the campus library for close to three years when her schedule changes altering the course of her life as she knows it. Hmmm, lucky girl gets switched to Wednesday nights and meets the tall, dark and handsome Dr. Vecchio who just happens to be there on those nights to research a Tibetan manuscript for his colleague Tenzin.

Their first encounter is promising:
He could feel the smile crawl across his face. “I meant no disrespect…I’m sorry, what was your name?”  
“Just call me B,” she said, glancing down at some handwritten notes.  
From where he was standing, Giovanni could see the familiar scrawl of Mrs. Martin’s handwriting.  
“B? As in the second letter of the Latin alphabet?” he asked, walking closer to the desk.  
“No, the Etruscan. I’m wild like that,” she muttered and glanced up. 

Carwyn is one of Gio’s few trusted friends and I adore him completely. Where else do you read about a vampire Priest who has a penchant for wearing Hawaiian shirts?

“I’m coming for a visit,” the priest had informed him. “A proper one.”  
“Out of whiskey or deer?”  
“Neither, Sparky. You’re getting in one of your moods again, I can tell.” Carwyn’s Welsh accent tripped across the phone line.  
“Oh, you can tell from across an ocean? You must be old,” Giovanni quipped in the library as he spoke on the old rotary phone. “I don’t need last rites yet, Father.”  
“No, but you do need a bit of fun. That’s why I’m interrupting my very busy drinking and eating regimen to come for a visit.”

There are parts in this story that involve professional wrestling and B and Carwyn passing notes back and forth in the library that has me cracking up...

Do you like Gio? Check yes or no. He had sketched two small boxes underneath the question with a large arrow pointing to the “yes” box. 
She rolled her eyes and wrote back. How can you be this childish after a thousand years?  
He raised his eyebrows and jotted down. That’s not a yes or no.

Seriously one of my favorite side characters ever and I hope he eventually gets his own story.

Honorable mentions go out to Caspar, Isadora and Tenzin. Other great side characters that are just as involved as the main characters.

Gio and B are working together to track down a mysterious book that once belonged to Gio. If only it was that easy. Who knew tracking down a book could be such a dangerous adventure? From shared whiskey samplers at pubs to private islands in Greece and the valleys of Chile, the plot is paced perfectly. Non-stop mystery that is intriguing, a growing attraction between B and Gio and a satisfying ending. Never once did it drag or make me want to take a break. It's one of those books I just couldn't put down. Though the ending wasn't a major cliffhanger, the story of Gio and B is not finished. I love that Elizabeth is taking her time for personal character development as well as any relationship developments. It’s so much more believable this way, or at least as believable as the paranormal can get! ;)

Carwyn rolled his eyes. “Silly B, love is friendship…just with less clothes, which makes it far more brilliant.”

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~Emmy @ Sinfully Delicious Book Reviews