Spoiler warning! This book finishes off a bunch of storylines that started six books and a novella earlier in Burn for Me. It’s technically the third book in a trilogy, but to fully get the emotional heft of the story, you should have read the whole series up until now. Besides, don’t you like fun? Ilona Andrews writes the best paranormal fantasy on the market. If for some reason you just want to read Catalina’s trilogy, the first book is Sapphire Flames.
The book opens with the House Baylor taking a tour of the large estate that will be their new home. Thanks to the eccentricities of the former owner, there’s a variety of places to stay, from impressive towers that appeal to Arabella and Leon, to small guest cottages where Bern and his girlfriend Runa, as well as Runa’s younger siblings, can stay. There’s ample room for their security forces, a space where grandma Frida can continue to work on her vehicles, and some lovely grounds, including a pool, not to mention a house where the head of House Baylor, Catalina, and her assassin fiancé can live away from the prying eyes of the rest of her family.
Six months later, Catalina and Alessandro find themselves with a very complicated situation on their hands. There’s a very expensive spider on the loose in the Baylor compound, which needs to be found and returned to her owners. That’s relatively simple compared to the fact that someone has very publically murdered the Speaker of the Texas assembly, which is likely to cause panic in the city. When trying to notify Catalina’s boss, the Warden of Texas about this, Catalina and Alessandro discover that he has been gravely poisoned and may not recover. This elevates Catalina to acting Warden, a position the young woman had been hoping she wouldn’t have to assume for years yet. As if that wasn’t enough to deal with, a handsome, yet arrogant prince from the Russian Emperium shows up and complicates things by using his shapeshifting abilities to make the assassin warlord Arkan (the man Alessandro has sworn to kill to avenge his murdered father) think Catalina and the Baylors have access to one of his’s closest allies, basically making it inevitable that the ruthless man will stop at nothing to kill Catalina, Alessandro, and the whole Baylor clan.
Full review on my blog.