Emerald Blaze

(Hidden Legacy #5)

by Ilona Andrews

Jumping back into the Hidden Legacy modern world of powerful houses organized around money, power, and a talent (such as controlling elements or talking to animals or truthseeking) with the small, newly minted Baylor House is such, such fun. It’s non-stop action as we emotionally switch from oldest sister, Nevada and her hero Mad Rogan to the younger sister now in charge of the house (and with her own secrets she keeps from her family in order to protect them) Catalina.

And the one man who can resist her talent but who broke her heart.

Only just as things begin to go crazy and folks start attacking the Baylors again, that man, Alessandro Sagredo, shows back up with his Italian endearments and cold-blooded assassin focus, and Catalina is suddenly unable to keep up her defenses because he keeps answering questions like he never did before.

And wow, what an amazing, layered plot there is this time within Houston’s Houses. We get lots of info on multiple houses and their history, introduction to new folks, a mysterious pit of creatures and slime, and Catalina NOT being an idiot (which I totally appreciated) whilst she navigates the bad guys plus her machiavellian grandmother.

There’s also, near the end, some steamy times between Catalina and Alessandro. And there’s lots of Catalina’s awesome Baylor family teasing each other and Alessandro and basically being supportive and awesome (especially important is a long-overdue conversation between Nevada and Catalina that wiped away my “if you would just tell each other WHY you seem to be acting like a jerk everyone would understand” frustration).

So sometimes the non stop action and gun/armored car descriptions got a little much, and the steamy times were kind of vanilla and not as hooked into Catalina’s emotional heart as I wished, but this is a fun, escapist book with the added bonus of having one of the best families in the world for Catalina to go back to. Love this series. And it fully passes the Bechdel test in soooo many ways with powerful mother, grandmother, and sisters and some evil women for Catalina to fight as well.