Wildfire (Hidden Legacy, #3)

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I was a little hesitant going into this book. I wasn’t sure if this was one of those series that is best enjoyed with breaks in-between or if there was a possibility of burning out on this series.. But let me reassure you, this series has proven to be absolutely captivating. Wildfire is a page turner that you don’t want to put down. I really hope the fourth book doesn’t take long to publish!


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Author: Ilona Andrews
Published: July 25, 2017
Pages: 391

Stars: 5 out of 5

Other books in the series:
Burn for Me (Hidden Legacy, #1)
White Hot (Hidden Legacy, #2)

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Synopsis:
Just when Nevada Baylor has finally come to accept the depths of her magical powers, she also realizes she’s fallen in love. Connor “Mad” Rogan is in many ways her equal when it comes to magic, but she’s completely out of her elements when it comes to her feelings for him. To make matters more complicated, an old flame comes back into Rogan’s life…

Rogan knows there’s nothing between him and his ex-fiance, Rynda Sherwood. But as Nevada begins to learn more about her past, her power, and her potential future, he knows she will be faced with choices she never dreamed of and the promise of a life spent without him.

As Nevada and Rogan race to discover the whereabouts of Rynda’s kidnapped husband and are forced to confront Nevada’s grandmother, who may or may not have evil motives, these two people must decide if they can trust in each other or allow everything to go up in smoke.

Review:
This book starts on a heavy note – Nevada has to inform her family that not only is her grandma trying to either kill her or use her, her family’s only hope is to expose themselves and form their own House. But before Nevada can even contemplate how to begin to have that conversation, Rynda Charles walks back into Nevada’s life. Not only is she Rogan’s ex-fiancée, she is also the daughter of Olivia Charles. In case you don’t remember from book two, Olivia Charles is the woman who killed Cornelius’s wife and later ended up being eaten alive by a swarm of rats. 

Rynda is a prime empath and keeping your emotions from her is impossible. She is also a dangerous woman, especially to Nevada. Not only is she beautiful and rich, but she plays a convincible damsel in distress, looking for someone to save her. And it doesn’t take her long to begin looking in Rogan’s direction. 

The dynamic between Rogan, Nevada, and Rynda is the perfect storm of jealousy and fear. On the one hand, there’s the uncertainty that is in every new relationship. That voice in the back of your mind always doubting the others feelings or if this relationship will last. Then throw in an attractive ex who is constantly throwing herself at your man. Perfect storm. I love how Nevada is always trying to take the high rode, trying not to read into things and truly trying to have faith that her and Rogan will make it through this hump. Andrews nailed this dynamic perfectly and I absolutely love it. 

One of my favorite passage:

She (Rynda) fell silent, then glanced at Bug. “Could you get me some coffee?”
“No” Bug said.
She blinked
“I’m a surveillance specialist, not a waiter,” Bugsaid, his dictation perfect, his voice flat. “The coffee is on the kitchen counter over there. Help yourself.”
She opened her mouth and closed it.
“Nevada?” Bug said.
Don’t do it, don’t do it…
“Would you like some coffee?”
“No thanks.” Ass
“Because I’ll totally get it for you.” 

Honestly the entire scene is amazing. This scene is just one example of Nevada taking the high road.

 I’ve read a few books by Andrews and all the heroines within her books have a similar yet unique voice. They are all strong, feisty, determined individuals. But they aren’t perfect, they make mistakes. They are all human and that’s the key. Andrews characters are easily relatable. You can see parts of yourself, your insecurities, in each of her books. Looking at Nevada’s character, she is everything listed above but she’s vulnerable, especially when it comes to Rogan. She tries hiding it but there’s no denying that it’s there. And I think this is part of what makes Andrews books so addicting. That and she’s a very gifted writer.

Here’s another quote I love:
“Come to dinner with me tonight and I’ll consider it.” Yes! “No, I don’t negotiate with terrorists.” “If you don’t go to dinner with me, I’ll have to do something drastic like stand by your window with a boom box blasting some idiotically sappy song.”

One of the things Ilona Andrews does best is character development. She doesn’t just create a surface character. No, she creates a character with such depth that there is no doubt you will either love or hate them with everything you’ve got. One of my favorite side characters is Grandma Frida. She is so feisty and protective of her family. I can’t help but think that everyone needs at least one person like Grandma Friday in their lives. 

Victoria, Nevada’s paternal grandmother, is savage and cruel. She can easily break anyone’s mind and leave them in pieces. She is feared and known as a monster. But things aren’t as cut and dry with Victoria. And honestly, I’m not sure how I feel about her. Yes, she is scary but I think she did what she thought she had to do. Was it right, no. But I think there is another side of her that we will see in the next book. Or at least I hope so.. 

One of the complicated issues that came up in this book is the sacrifice one makes when choosing love over the possibility of genetic incapability. When marring for love, you run the high risk that your genetics will create a child with sub-par to no abilities. Having a child with sub-par magical ability is devastating to any House. But having a child who doesn’t manifest any magical ability can destroy any house’s future. Rogan continues to bring this concern up with Nevada, insisting she will care if their children are less than Primes. This is just one of the many ways Rogan continues to try and protect Nevada. It takes a strong man to say and the very thing that will (in his mind) inevitably make the person he loves walk away from him.  

“He (Rogan) viewed this as the beginning of our end, but he came anyway.”

I just love Rogan’s character! The end of the book is, as expected, action packed and marvelous! And I’m pretty sure I know who Caesar is. Ilona Andrews didn’t spell it out for you but if you’re paying attention, I think it’s easy to connect the dots. Don’t worry, I’m not going to ruin anything by giving away spoilers.  

Overall, I really enjoyed the book. I can’t wait for the next one to come out!

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White Hot (Hidden Legacy, #2)

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As you can imagine, after reading book one in the Hidden Legacy series, I couldn’t help but pick up the next book in the series. And I was not disappointed!! This series is quickly becoming one of my new favorites 🙂


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Author: Ilona Andrews
Published: May 30, 2017
Pages: 389

Stars: 4 out of 5

Other books in the series:
Burn for Me (Hidden Legacy, #1)

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Synopsis:
Nevada Baylor has a unique and secret skill—she knows when people are lying—and she’s used that magic (along with plain, hard work) to keep her colorful and close-knit family’s detective agency afloat. But her new case pits her against the shadowy forces that almost destroyed the city of Houston once before, bringing Nevada back into contact with Connor “Mad” Rogan.

Rogan is a billionaire Prime—the highest rank of magic user—and as unreadable as ever, despite Nevada’s “talent.” But there’s no hiding the sparks between them. Now that the stakes are even higher, both professionally and personally, and their foes are unimaginably powerful, Rogan and Nevada will find that nothing burns like ice …


Review:
Nevada has one rule that no matter what, she has to follow- At the end of the day, you have to be able to live with yourself, your choices. So when Cornelius comes asking for help in finding his wife’s murderer, Nevada couldn’t say no. Soon she finds herself once again working with Connor (aka Mad Rogan) and discovering a surprising new ally, Augustine. I enjoyed Augustine’s character more in this book, especially the bickering between him and Rogan. Although he still had his moments of greed, I no longer hate him. 

Nevada’s character continues to grown throughout the book. She’s still the strong independent woman we all fell in love with, but now she’s taking taking responsibility over mastering her powers. But does she go too far? When using her power, what’s the line between becoming a monster and getting the information she needs? 

Ilone shows us the side of Rogan we only saw small glimpses of last time. He’s still the dangerous dragon, but like Nevada said, we get to see his more human side. In the first book, we saw Connor’s form of courting Nevada. It doesn’t take long to realize Conner is done with the passive romantic gestures and ready to take control. Except his need of control is a far cry from normal.

As the sexual tension between Rogan and Nevada builds, the quick stolen moments between them are intense, hot,and leaves you starving for more. Just as Nevada is allowing herself to be open to love, the monstrous side of Rogan shows itself. Is this side of him enough to destroy everything between them?

This is one of those books I wish I could talk about every detail. But giving away that many secrets would ruin the book for you. My leaving thought is that this book was a delight to read! The epilogue definitely leaves you wanting more! I can’t wait to read the next book in this series.

Burn for Me (Hidden Legacy, #1)

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First off, Ilona Andrews is a very gifted writer and once again she has written a magnificent book! If this is the first you have heard of this author, then you have a lot of catching up to do.  This is actually the second time reading this book. After the first time reading this book, I looked down at my notes and realized I didn’t have any.


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Author: Ilona Andrews
Published: October 28, 2014
Pages: 400

Stars: 5 out of 5

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Synopsis:
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.


Review:
Rogan, aka Mad Rogan, is exceptionally powerful. His power is dangerous because in one moment he can make if feel as though he’s slowly caressing your skin, bringing you seconds away from one of the best orgasms you have ever felt. And then the next moment you are dead; all the while Rogan hasn’t moved a muscle. Talk about bad boy attraction. 

As Andrews was describing Connor, I was melting over every detail. The combination of sexy and danger is mouthwatering delicious! I loved Connors character! And his entrance in the book, not talking about the prologue, was fantastic. 

Nevada is a private investigator who has been working for the family business since she was a teenager. She also has the unique power to tell when someone is lying but shh, it’s a secret. I loved Nevada’s character!! She is strong, devoted to her family, and so completely lost. She has no idea how amazing she is or just how absent her life has been. One of the things I loved about Navada was even though she would be scared out of her mind, her hands/voice would be trembling, she would still stand strong. Definitely something to admire.  

Augustine is a prime (highest ranking) illusionist and owns the mortgage to Nevada’s family business. For the first time in five years he has an assignment for Nevada, apprehend Adam Pierce. Who is he? Adam Pierce is another bad boy type full of brooding sexuality. He is also a prime pyrokinetic, which makes him just as dangerous as Connor. Adam in many ways resembles both a sociopath and a spoiled brat who never matured past his moody teen years. Either way, he is the hot crazy type that you might admire from afar but get close and it’ll be the last thing you do.  

Nevada and Connors relationship is complicated. In the beginning, Nevada struggles between fighting her attraction and butting heads with Connor. That is until Adam makes a move that is unforgivable in Nevada’s eyes and she is pushed into partnering with Connor. Although Connor is the sexiest thing Nevada has ever seen, she realizes he is also the most dangerous and scariest person she knows. Throughout the book, she is fighting her attraction with every realization of what Conner is capable of.

I love the scene of Nevada and Connor stuck under the building. The twist and turns in this book keep these two in a perpetual state of a love-hate relationship. And when Connor has breakfast with Nevada and her family, I was chuckling and couldn’t get enough. It was the perfect combination of normal and bizarre. And I can’t even begin to describe the carnation scene. Let’s leave it as Conner is both complex and surprising. 

This is one of those books you don’t want to put down. Although the world building wasn’t as detailed as you normally get from Ilona Andrews, the plot is beyond captivating. This book has the right amount of action, flirtatious banter, and a realistic slightly flawed heroine. Perfect combination! 

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First Year (The Black Mage, #1)

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I won’t say this book is going to be a favorite of mine but I did enjoy the book enough that I want to read the next book in the series. Just maybe not right away… 3 


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Author: Rachel Carter
Published: January 26, 2017
Pages: 320

Stars: 3 out of 5

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Synopsis:
Before the age of seventeen, the young men and women of Jerar are given a choice —pursue a trade or enroll in a trial year in one of the realm’s three war schools to study as a soldier, knight, or mage…

For fifteen-year-old Ryiah, the choice has always been easy. Become a mage and train in Combat, the most prestigious faction of magic.

Yet when she arrives, Ry finds herself competing against friend and foe for one of the exalted apprenticeships. Everyone is rooting for her to fail—first and foremost among them is Prince Darren, the school prodigy who has done nothing but make life miserable since she arrived.

Will Ry survive, or will her dream go down in flames?

Review:
This book is a quick read. I think I finished this book in a couple days. So why did it take me so long to write my review?? In all honesty, the synopsis of the book gives away most of what the book is about. I honestly didn’t know what more I could say…

Because of this, I’m not going to go into too many details. I don’t want to ruin what little surprises are left in the book. With that said, I will say I was highly entertained with Ryiah and Prince Darren’s interactions. There is just something about love/hate relationships that I just can’t get enough of. 

Although Ryiah develops her skills in magic and knowledge, I don’t really see her character grow. By the end of the book she is still the same fierce, slightly emotional, girl who isn’t always confident. At least those are the characteristics I enjoy and her character isn’t exactly boring.  

Prince Daren’s character was sometimes confusing and I don’t think his character was as well developed as Ryiah. But I still enjoyed the slight hidden smiles and the relationship he had with Ryiah.

Overall, the book was enjoyable. The writing wasn’t perfect but it worked. The plot had some gaps, which is always irritating. And some of the conclusions Prince Daren came to, I have no idea how he came to them. It didn’t really make sense. 

Wild Hunger (Heirs of Chicagoland, #1)

As of today, there are 102 days before this book is released. And I know, it’s not fair but I promise the wait is well worth it! You are going to love this series!

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I was surprised, albeit happily surprised, with how often Ethan and Merits characters showed up in this book. It was a little weird having Ethan and Merit be side characters, being able to hear their words without their thoughts. I almost felt left out, like I was missing something. But I guess that’s how it is with all spinoffs. It’s a good thing I loved Elisa’s character! Otherwise, I think it would be difficult to stick with the series.


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Author: Chloe Neill
Published: August 14, 2018
Pages: 352

Stars: 5 out of 5

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Series: Heirs of Chicagoland

Where to Pre-Order:
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Synopsis:
As the only vampire child ever born, some believed Elisa Sullivan had all the luck. But the magic that helped bring her into the world left her with a dark secret. Shifter Connor Keene, the only son of North American Central Pack Apex Gabriel Keene, is the only one she trusts with it. But she’s a vampire and the daughter of a Master and a Sentinel, and he’s prince of the Pack and its future king.

When the assassination of a diplomat brings old feuds to the fore again, Elisa and Connor must choose between love and family, between honor and obligation, before Chicago disappears forever.


Review:
First off, do not go into this book expecting a miniature Merit. Although Elisa has aspects of her parents, she is no Merit. She is more and so different. And as a side note, I love the parents Ethan and Merit turned out to be.

“My smart and kind and beautiful girl. He (Ethan) liked to say that, had been saying that for years, and had always put ‘beautiful’ last. Whether it was true or not, he’d tell me it was the least important of the three. “You are smart,” he’d say. “You should be kind. And if you are, you’ll always be beautiful.” 

I love this quote because it says so much about their character and values. And again, it shows what kind of parents Ethan and Merit are. I do wish Elisa would have felt like she could have told them her secret. I can’t imagine the weight of having to carry that around with you, not being able to talk to anyone about it.

The prologue was really fun to read. Chloe Neill did a great job at capturing the innocents of a child and the love/hate relationship between two young kids. If you haven’t read Chicagoland Vampire series, then I don’t think you would fully be able to picture the scene described here. Neill doesn’t go into too much description with the characters. For example, you don’t really get the sense of just how big/dominating Gabriel and Ethan presence would be, especially to two young kids. I do love how Elisa refers to Connor as ‘Connor Stupid Keene’.

Elisa’s character is complex. She is 23 and although she is a vampire, she continues to age. Elisa is heroic but at times can become reckless. And although she thinks she has discovered herself in Paris, she still has no idea who she is in Chicago. But no matter where she is, she is unbelievably brave.  Knowing she has to do something, even if it means hurting the ones she loves most because it’s to save the innocent, doesn’t hurt any less. I love the innocence of Elisa’s character. Although She is able to step up to a fight, she is still affected by the loss of death.

The phrase ‘I’m an immortal’ has come from Elisa throughout the entire book. I’m not sure why it sticks out to me, but it does. I can’t help but wonder how and if this might come into play later.

Connor is just as gorgeous as he is cocky. The naked scene was far too short and such a tease. God I loved it!! I love the dominant side of him and I like how he’s honest with Elisa. Even when it’s hard, he tells her not what she wants but what she needs to hear. I like Connor’s take on Elisa’s ‘monster’. I don’t think I would have looked at it that way, but it makes sense.

Connor and Elisa have a very complicated relationship. On the one hand there’s old childhood resentment, then there is their life’s dream – for Elisa it’s being anonymous, earning her way. For Connor it’s being leader of the pack. – and finally, it’s the connection between them, discovering who they have grown to be. But even as the sparks fly between them, the rules are clear and choices will eventually have to be made.

The banter between Connor and Elisa is fantastic but there is definitely a love/hate, are we friends or more, kind of thing going on here.  Some of the scenes between Connor and Elisa are not only intense but they are seductive! Who would have thought having someone grab your hand to prevent you from turning could be so sensual?!?! Chloe Neill does such an amazing job with building sexual tension between the two characters!! She is such a gifted writer and Wild Hunger is no exception.

The side characters are fun to read. I love LuLu’s hidden hobby of running. Finally, a girl that speaks my heart! I love the little details Chloe Neill adds into her books. They make her characters, no matter how minor, seem more real and relatable. Even the side characters are written in such a  personal way, it’s easy to connect with them.

The plot is fun, exciting, and similar to Chicagoland Vampires series yet much more. Elisa has been away from Chicago, developing control, and is returning to support the houses in hosting peace talks amongst the other supernaturals in the world. And as you can imagine, those talks don’t exactly go as expected. One of the things I found interesting is how Cadogan house struck a deal with the mayor to not get involved in supernatural crimes. And part of me gets it – when supernaturals get involved, the city tends to get destroyed. But another part of me recognizes the injustice that is put upon a single race. I can’t help but make a comparison with today’s world and how we look, respond, and treat those of different races.  I’m not sure if that was Neill’s intention or not and it wasn’t like it was an overwhelming theme. Just something I noticed.

Okay, I promise I won’t say more about the plot and characters, don’t want to give too much away 🙂

The end of the book is fantastic! I’m surprised with how much Connor and Elisa’s relationship changes. Connor is going to have his hands full with her! And that darn prophecy! Ah, I love it. This is a book you will want to read. I’ve had it on pre-order from the very beginning and even though I was given an advanced copy, I can’t wait for the book to come. This will be a book I will read again and a new series I am looking forward to starting.


I would love to hear your thoughts about the review and if you are planning on reading this book. Until next time, Happy Reading 🙂

Throwback Thursday- Zeke (Breaking the Declan Brothers, #3)

throwback

Todays Throwback is a book out of one of Kelly Gendron series, Zeke (Breaking the Declan Brothers, #3). This book is such a fun read and perfect for those times you need a little extra romance.

zeke

Synopsis:
Every girl in Galveston County knows about Zeke Declan’s rules and has agreed to them or is considering them.
Rule #1 Don’t call him. He’ll call you.
Rule #2 He doesn’t date.
Rule #3 No sleepovers.
Rule #4 Absolutely, no virgins.

When a couple friends talk me into going back to their hometown in the Bayou for the summer and challenge me to break “the best damn lay in Galveston County” along with every single one of his ridiculous rules, I’m confident that I can get the job done. I’m no stranger to men. I have five older brothers. I’m a teacher and I’m used to being around rebellious teenagers. However, Zeke Declan is definitely not someone that I could have prepared for. He’s not a testosterone-fueled, immature boy. He’s a confident, arousing, playful, and mind-melting man. But, behind that sexy charming smile, I know he’s hiding a secret. And, in order to break him, I’m going to need to find out what it is…

Zeke1

Review:
As the first chapter opens up, you meet Lurlene who is spending the summer with her two best friends in Texas. But what catches the readers attention, or at least mine, is the intellectual and flirtatious conversation she has with the mysterious jogger. Although the encounter was brief, you couldn’t help but smile and get reeled into the book. I will admit, I went into this book thinking the opening idea to this plot was eye rolling ridiculous. In reality, you can never ‘break’ the bad boy and all of a sudden turn him into marriage material. Most books that try this usually fail and end up with a non realistic book that is more irritating than romantic. What Kelly Gendron did was almost make the concept of breaking the other character a side note within the story. What the reader discovers is this book is more about pain, guilt, heartache, finding courage and accepting love.

Even though the focus was on Zeke and Lurlene, I appreciated how the author took the time to develop strong minor characters. Zeke is a MMA fighter whose sexual confidence is gush worthy. Then again, the English major in me is in love with his literary mind. I never knew quoting Picasso or Dr. Suisse could be used as foreplay. Zeke’s past is heartbreaking. Although some of the things he does to Lurlene to push her away is cruel and started to irritate me, the author does a fantastic job of showing the reader the underlining intentions behind each action. I’m not saying that it makes them ok, but it helps you understand Zeke’s character better.

I loved Lurlene’s character. She is an English teacher with confidence and definitely knows her self worth. Her character is strong, feisty, and she doesn’t let Zeke get away with much. I will say I absolutely love the cat and mouse game Lurlene and Zeke play. What’s great is sometimes you never quite know whose the cat and whose the mouse. Their flirtatious banter and games had me smiling like an idiot throughout the book. Usually I don’t like it when characters play games with each other, trying to manipulate the other person. But the way it was done in this book, neither Lurlene or Zeke where the victim. The tension that built between the two characters was addicting but nothing compared to when the two of them collided and gave in. The sexual tension and scenes were hot and definitely fun to read.

Overall, I really enjoyed this book. It’s an easy and quick read. I was able to finish the book in less than a day. I’m a little disappointed that this is book three in the series and I didn’t read book one and two. I’m definitely going to go back and read the first two books.

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Quote:
“Man, she’s beautiful. Not the kind of beautiful your eyes alone admire. She’s the kind of beautiful that seeps deep inside your body. Her beauty seizes you, empowers you, and then it possess you, takes a hold of your heart, and hangs on tight.”


Let me know if you’ve read this book and what you thought, Happy Reading 🙂

Throwback Thursday- Entranced (Guardian Academy #1)

throwback

This weeks book, Entranced, is one I read a long time ago. Published October 19, 2015, this book is full of sassy dialogue banter, humor, strong heroines, romance, and a bunch of fun paranormal characters.

Entranced

Synopsis:
Alana Avery’s life is far from normal. Most of her family are Keepers, warriors chosen to protect the human race, and for as long as she can remember, she has been training to become a Keeper herself. So when she’s chosen to be a Guardian, investigators who solve paranormal crimes and murders, her life changes in an instant.

Alana has to attend Guardian Academy to train for her new role as a Guardian investigator. There, she meets Luca Gray, her new partner who happens to be a werewolf. Luca is smart, cocky, sexy, and drives Alana absolutely crazy.

Despite Alana’s confliction with Luca, her training and new life seem to be going well. That is until her grandfather is murdered.

Alana is determined to track down who killed her grandfather, even if it means getting help from Luca. But as she digs deeper into the case, she discovers there might be more to her family and the academy than meets the eye.

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What others thought:
Overall, people seem impressed with this book/series. Back when I read this book, I wasn’t writing reviews. But I was able to find a couple sentences about what I thought of the book- I’m not really sure what to say about this book. It was good and a fun read. But it was also short. Although a lot happened in the book, it kind of felt like not much actually happened. I enjoyed the sassy lead character. She’s feisty and strong, but also vulnerable. I’m looking forward to the second book, but I hope more happens.

I never ended up reading anything else in this series…