Ilona Andrews has written several of my favorite books, from her Innkeeper Chronicles to her current romantic fantasy series, Hidden Legacy. Wildfire, book three in the latter series, brings the trilogy to a nice close with the romance between leads Nevada Baylor and Connor “Mad” Rogan finally reaching its HEA. Each book builds off of the other, so you absolutely need to read them in order.
Connor and Nevada had been playing in the snow at his mountain hideaway when he was alerted that her evil grandmother, Head of House Tremain, knows where her family is. In a world where powerful magical families are essentially exempt from the law, this is very bad news for Nevada and those she loves since they will have no real protection aside from what they can provide for themselves against this formidable enemy. Nevada and Connor head back to Texas, determined to look for a way for her and hers to keep themselves from being enslaved by a woman who is typically referred to as an abomination.
However, the personal safety of Nevada et al winds up taking a back seat when she walks through the door of her home/detective agency. Sitting at her kitchen table is Connor’s gorgeous ex-fiancée Rynda Charles. Turns out Rynda’s husband has disappeared and since the police won’t help and all other detective agencies have blacklisted her due to the events of book two (White Hot) Rynda has been forced to seek out Nevada’s aid. This is where Nevada’s handy dandy magical ability to discern the truth comes in really useful. She determines that Rynda is being completely honest, absolutely does need her help and – being a sucker for sob story – agrees to take the job. Then she talks to her family about their impending doom.
Turns out there is one way to get the magical community to step up and provide the necessary protection. If the Baylors decide to form their own House, they will receive three years of immunity from any kind of attack, during which time they can build up their finances, magical power and military base. To do so they will need two Primes (highest level possible of magic user) and they have them. Nevada is an extremely powerful Truthseeker and her sister is a Prime Level Siren. The formation of House Baylor won’t be without problems but it’s the option that allows them a degree of independence while at the same time providing them with a shot at a real future.
Mayhem ensues as Nevada tries to stay one step ahead of nasty Grandma Tremain, prepare for the trials which will allow them to become a House, find Rynda’s husband who has apparently been kidnapped by a group of evil wizards determined to take over the world and deal with that pesky little thing called love. Good thing she and Connor know how to kick ass and take names between kisses.
This book has a great balance between fantasy and romance. The world building here is not so intense that it takes over the story but it provides an interesting, unique background for the tale taking place. Nevada and Connor fit perfectly into that universe, both strong people who are quick-witted, warm-hearted and action-oriented. Nevada’s family, made up of her mom, Grandma, two male cousins and two teenaged sisters are charming secondary characters who are entertaining and give some comedic relief to the narrative. The rest of the cast, from Rogan’s team to Rynda and her family and Nevada’s employee and his daughter, are all wonderful additions to the book. The plotting here is great, the writing solid and mystery intriguing. Sure, things veer into slightly cheesy territory every once in a while, but that’s part of the allure and not really a detriment to the enjoyable nature of the tale.
Wildfire is a fitting conclusion to this excellent series and I can only hope that the authors decide to give us lots more books in this world. I would recommend the series – starting with Burn for Me – to any fan of the sci-fi/romance fantasy genre.