The purpose of Thrifty Thursday is to read a book which was free (at some point).
Kindle freebie on April 12, 2020 (currently $4.99 at Amazon and Barnes & Noble as of writing this post)
Overall rating 4.02 with 26,498 ratings and 2,052 reviews
A Hidden Fire by Elizabeth Hunter
Series: Elemental Mysteries #1
Published by Self-Published on October 18, 2011
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Amazon, Audible, Audiobook, Barnes & Noble
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.
I’ve read some compelling reviews for this author’s books and sampled a novella in an anthology so when I got the chance to pick up this first in series as a freebie, I grabbed it. Alas, it took me a couple of years to pull it down off the shelf and enjoy it for an exciting reading challenge buddy read.
A Hidden Fire introduces readers to a supernatural world through the eyes of an immortal being on the hunt for a literary artifact and an intrepid human library archive researcher. Her past and his hunt make their lives intersect and put them on a dangerous mission together to find her father and figure out what one of his past connections is up by teasing him with Italian Renaissance era letters.
Giovanni Vecchio is an old, powerful and well-established being who stays detached from much that modern life has to offer, but brushes with a lively and intelligent young human woman, Beatrice, brings his old soul back to life and makes him feel his isolation and problematic desire.
Beatrice ‘call me B’ De Novo has seen her fair share of loss and struggle in her young life and had the strength to end a downward destructive spiral of her teen self to now focus hard on her education and career goals. Her work at the university archives makes her curious about one of the visitors and learn there is a whole shadowy world of immortals in plain sight. And, that world now knows of her existence and one of it’s darker souls wants her to use as leverage against another in hiding. She is smart and aware while having the vulnerabilities of a young woman out of her depth.
A Hidden Fire took a bit to capture my interest. I liked it, but didn’t love it until about half way when it picked up the pace on the action and gave some good reveals. Up until that point, the romance was so-so and I was more interested in the hinted- at mysteries in the background. But then, it was full color and an exciting rush across all the elements. It ends in a good spot, but there is much more to be told in Gio and B’s story and many other threads in the plot.
This was one with a slow building description of the world that still has places that need further filling in and there was a fabulous cast of side characters who had solid development around the central figures. My favorite was Carwyn and the winter romance of B’s grandma and Gio’s human assistant. This is all what helps make up a good urban fantasy series for me and I can’t wait to pick up book two and see what comes next.
COYER Community Readathon/Buddy Read with Lenore of Celebrity Readers and Brandee of UnConventional Bookworm blog. We all gave it 4.5 stars.
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