Willow’s Review of A Hidden Fire by Elizabeth Hunter
“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.
This book kept me up the entire night. Not because it was scary, but because once I started reading I didn’t want to put it down! Hunter has created a world that is full of rich characters, non-stop mystery, and holds just the right amount of romance. This is a book that will leave you dying to know what will happen next. 🐱
I really enjoyed the characters in this story. Each one, whether they are a main character or a secondary character, plays a vital role in the overall plot. Hunter does do a wonderful job giving each of these characters a life of their own. Beatrice is a strong, intelligent woman who’s sarcasm made me laugh at several points while I was reading. Giovanni is dark, brooding, and mysterious. Yet at the same time, he genuinely has a good heart and protective nature. Both characters balance and compliment each other perfectly. The secondary characters, Carwyn, Tenzin, Caspar, & Isadora, not only provide support in the form of background information on Giovanni and Beatrice, but also much need comic relief when things get intense. Meanwhile Lorenzo is oily, arrogant, and completely power-hungry. He’s the villain you just love to hate.
As far as mystery is concerned, the story is full of it! Just when I thought I had things figured out, Hunter would twist things ever so slightly to create an entirely new puzzle that needed solving or leave me guessing as to what was going to happen next. This especially holds true within regards to the mystery surrounding Giovanni. There’s so much more to him then Hunter initially let’s you see. I will admit to being surprised at the end when his story finally comes to light. It wasn’t what I expected at all, which made it even more enjoyable because it was so unexpected. I’m not joking when I say that there is much more to Giovanni than meets the eye.
Now of course this book is more than just a paranormal mystery novel. There’s romance in it as well. But it’s not the sudden in your face type of romance that happens the moment the two main characters meet. No, this one is subtle, and it develops and builds as the characters and the story develops. I sort of feel that the title of the book, A Hidden Fire, works well to describe the romance between Giovanni and Beatrice. It starts off small and almost non-existence, but then it starts to burn just a little brighter, until suddenly it’s blazing. At least for a short while. Actually, that was the one problem that I had with this book…just like in real life, our character’s burning romance has some issues that need sorting out. And unfortunately those issues are not resolved in this novel. Curious as to what happens? Read the book! You won’t get any major spoilers from me. Heeheehee
I’d like to thank both Elizabeth Hunter and the folks at A Tale of Many Reviews for letting me participate in this blog tour! I really enjoyed A Hidden Fire and am now anxious to get my paws on the next two books in the series. If you’d like to see what other folks have to say on this book, and others in the series, check out the tour schedule HERE. And be sure to enter any of the giveaways that are being done as well!