One of my great book buddies has been on me for ages to read this series. I don’t know what took me so long to take her advice. It’s so easy these days for vampire romance novels to be campy, silly, or unbelievable on an emotional level. But this book was none of those things. I cared about the main characters. I was interested in the supporting cast. And I was invested in what happened.
Beatrice is a college senior who works at the university library. That is where she meets the handsome and mysterious Giovanni. He comes in every Wednesday night to transcribe an ancient book. He is a reserved man and it takes a little while for the spark of interest between them to go anywhere. But somehow, a friendship develops between them, and he eventually trusts her with his big secret, that he is a vampire.
Of course, there is more to the story than girl meets vampire. It turns out that B’s father may be the key to finding Gio’s missing library, stolen from him centuries ago. So he tries to tell himself that his relationship with B is all about that. It’s not. There’s also a bad guy with his own agenda and B in the crosshairs.
I don’t want to spoil too many of the particulars, so let’s take a minute to talk about the bigger picture. I thought the world building was interesting. Obviously, no one is reinventing the wheel with vampires, but the author does have an interesting twist that ties the vampires here to certain elements. I liked that and the historical thread that’s woven into Gio’s backstory. It was not so much that I felt like I was getting a history lesson, but it did add something to the story for me.
I thought Gio was a solid hero. Kind of emotionally unavailable, but that is why it was so enjoyable to watch Beatrice break down some of his walls. I also really liked the reveal of his origins, which gave me a little more sympathy for his broodiness. As for B, I felt like she took an awful lot in stride. She is a smart young woman who knows her own mind and heart.
The romance is very much a slow burn. And I’m down with that. I liked that it was not an insta-love situation. But don’t go into this looking for too much steam. Nobody’s getting past second base here. I don’t know if that is because we are trying to get to that destination for our characters or if the entire series is clean.
I’m not sure where the series is going next. Whether it will focus on one of the many fascinating secondary characters or if it will be a next step for our main couple here. While I am intrigued to learn more about some of Gio’s buddies, this is definitely an unfinished story. I would be very disappointed if this is truly the ending for these two characters. But this book was well done enough that I will take it on faith that the author won’t leave me hanging.
So bottom line, I’m glad I finally picked this one up. I will be continuing with the series. I think UF or PNR fans will enjoy this one too.
Click to purchase: Amazon
A Hidden Fire
by Elizabeth Hunter
Release Date: October 18, 2011