Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Book Review: A Hidden Fire

A Hidden Fire (Elemental Mysteries #1)
Elizabeth Hunter

Release Date: October 18, 2011

Book Review:
"No secret stays hidden forever."

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.

Amazon US | Goodreads


"Tell the truth, Giovanni Vecchio." A mischievous look came to her eye. "You have a butler, a cool car, and I've only ever 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?"

His mouth dropped open in surprise before the grin overtook his face. She smiled back at him, chuckling until he joined in. Soon, they were both laughing.

"You looked so serious for a second! What did you think I was going to
say? A spy? Vampire? Hired killer?"

He shook his head in amusement. "You're confounding. No, I was just surprised you guessed. I am, in fact, Batman. I would appreciate your discretion."

She nodded with a smirk, and took another sip of the coffee he'd brought her. It had just a touch of cream, exactly the way she liked it. "Sure you are. I'm a skeptic until I see the rubber suit. You're not fooling me."

He looked at her, smiling mischievously. "You really want to see me in a rubber suit?"

This novel follows a complicated and interesting relation between Beatrice, a young woman and 500 year old vampire, Dr. Giovanni Vecchio as they set out to discover the secrets of the past and, perhaps, some love along the way. From the University library halls in Texas, to Greek islands, and South American retreat, Beatrice and Gio find themselves on a quest that will test them in many ways…

It was a wonderful first foray into Elizabeth Hunter’s writing for me and I’ve been hooked ever since. Creative and well-written, it is an easy and enjoyable read. I picked this book based on a friend’s recommendation, and I would recommend it to others, especially since Book One is available free for Kindle. And for those who are too anxious to start an unfinished series this series is now complete at 4 books total. The novel is part mystery, part paranormal romance, and the dialogue is often filled with fun and sarcastic lines that make the book that more enjoyable.

Beatrice is strong, independent heroine. I really enjoyed her character, and loved her often “spicy” comments, especially towards Giovanni. She certainly held her own, against many male characters, who were often older and more powerful than her. The only downfall of hers, that probably was more of a necessary plot device, was her sudden mid-book reliance on Gio, which eventually led to a rift in their relation.

Giovanni, on the other hand, was a classic male hero – often found in the modern PNR novels. A handsome professor type, rare books dealer, with money to spend; he hides many secrets, but when Beatrice comes along he slowly starts to peel off his layers for her. He certainly had all the “required” qualities of the literary hero, and he played well against Beatrice, but there was something about him that just didn’t click for me – perhaps, I don’t go for the Italian “perfect male specimens” – too much perfection for my taste.

Other supporting characters were interesting and added wonderful charm to the novel and world of Elemental Mysteries. From Caspar – Gio’s butler, and Isadora – B’s grandmother, who form a cute relation of their own, to Carwyn and Tenzin – the two vampire friends of Gio’s. Carwyn, by far was my most favorite character – he was lovable, funny, and his nights at the library with B, passing notes to each other – were simply hilarious. I wished there were more of Carwyn in future books – he certainly deserved a story of his own. (And Carwyn certainly gets one! Read all about it here).

At the end, the story was interesting and captivating. I felt involved in Beatrice and Gio’s story and was eager to learn more of their adventures. Without giving anything further away, I would recommend this novel to those looking for a great PNR story. Happy reading!

Elemental Mysteries/World:

A Hidden Fire (Elemental Mysteries Book One)
This Same Earth  (Elemental Mysteries Book Two)
The Force of Wind  (Elemental Mysteries Book Three)
A Fall of Water  (Elemental Mysteries Book Four)
Now available...
Building From Ashes  (Elemental World Book One)
Waterlocked  (An Elemental World Novella)
And coming MAY 28 2013: Blood and Sand  (Elemental World Book Two)

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