5 star review

Review + Blog Tour – Wildfire by Ilona Andrews

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From Ilona Andrews, #1 New York Times bestselling author, the thrilling conclusion to her Hidden Legacy series, as Nevada and Rogan grapple with a power beyond even their imagination…

Nevada Baylor can’t decide which is more frustrating — harnessing her truthseeker abilities or dealing with Connor “Mad” Rogan and their evolving relationship. Yes, the billionaire Prime is helping her navigate the complex magical world in which she’s become a crucial player—and sometimes a pawn—but she also has to deal with his ex-fiancée, whose husband has disappeared, and whose damsel-in-distress act is wearing very, very thin.

Rogan faces his own challenges, too, as Nevada’s magical rank has made her a desirable match for other Primes. Controlling his immense powers is child’s play next to controlling his conflicting emotions. And now he and Nevada are confronted by a new threat within her own family. Can they face this together? Or is their world about to go up in smoke?

I received an ARC of this book from the publisher via Edelweiss and Tasty Book Tours, this does not affect my opinion of this book or the content of my review. And the usual Ilona Andrews disclaimer applies, I bought it anyway. +Giveaway!!!

I will admit, I have become a little obsessive over this series.

Wildfire Readings

Wildfire

I post that to show you that it is barely possible that I might not be entirely reasonable when it comes to this series. Seriously, I just want to squee and squee for days over this delightful confection. It has the best of both urban fantasy (clear and intricate world building and action and crazy sauce) and Paranormal Romance (magic and tightly plotted relationship with happily ever after).

This is however the third book in the series and it is definitely not a series you can read out of order. Think of this as one giant, epic fantasy book that just happens to have been released in three installments, and read accordingly. That being said, while I will attempt to not spoil THIS book, spoilers for previous books are highly likely. You have been warned.

The Hidden Legacy series is in a divergent world where in 1863 we discover a serum that unlocks untapped magic potential. Shenanigans ensue and the world decides this is much too dangerous to be let loose and so put a lock on the serum. Of course, there are all the people who have already had the serum, and these traits are passed down genetically to their offspring; so magic, and thus power, prestige, and money are concentrated into the hands of these families, known as Houses.

That is how it all starts, so seriously pick up this series and read it, I doubt you will be disappointed because there is a little something in it for most fiction readers.

On to the show. Those genetic connections however bring both pitfalls, and opportunities, and Nevada bears the brunt of both. She is riding the crest of a vast and catastrophic conspiracy hoping to untangle it before everything goes to hell. Meanwhile she has two sisters and two cousins, a mother and a grandmother who are also subject to the decisions she may make.

We’ve seen Nevada in hiding from the world of power, and Nevada making her initial hesitant entrance,  now we get to see Nevada stepping up to make her own place in this world, on her own terms. She rocks and is one of my favorite all time heroines. She doesn’t wander through the world as some sort of Mary Sue with the intrinsic knowledge that her basic (but humble) perfection will change the world to suit her, nor does she bust up the world order just because she can. She walks the balance.

Meanwhile in relationship land, Nevada and Rogan struggle to navigate their personal relationship in the midst of all this trauma and drama. Genetics, and boundaries, and competing relationships oh my! That sounds ridiculously cliched and soap-opera-esque, but it really isn’t.

But when you boil everything down, it all circles back to relationships and the people in ones life. Do you want something for someone in your life that current circumstances dictate they can’t have? Do you want something for yourself, and others are trying to stop you? It all really boils down to those desires and impediments and Ilona Andrews navigates through these competing desires in complex individuals to build a compelling tale. And that is what makes this so good and so much more intricate than your average romance novel, the rest of the people aren’t just stage dressing, they are as much real characters as the main protagonists. And they have real consequences and real effects on the story trajectory, whether the initiating event came from Nevada or themselves. It makes it, as I said before, compelling.

And while this arc is categorically concluded, there is a nice wide door to continuing further adventures in this world, which I sincerely hope happens. Leon, Bern, Cornelius, Catalina, Arabella, Victoria Tremaine, and a few others too spoilery to even speak of right now…all I could see could easily support more stories. Hell, I would even read some NA/YA in this world.

Buy Links: AMAZON | B & N | GOOGLE | ITUNES | KOBO

Author Links:   WEBSITE | FACEBOOK | TWITTER GOODREADS

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#FitReaders #StrutYourStuff- Weekly Check-In July 14, 2017

Another week, but not another Vitamix soup, becauseI failed to go shopping. Really hits home how much prepping is needed for diet and nutrition.

Strut

So a bit late on my June 5K, but I DID get my June and July 5Ks in, more or less (emphasis on the more). It was about a billion degrees outside so I did them indoors, so no GPS. But, I was doing a L4L competition (Team Grumpy Cats 6-we placed 9th) so I had personal bests to beat. I ended up beating my personal best on Saturday with over 50,000 steps. So I went for the marathon on Sunday. My usual 5Ks are shy of 6000 steps and around an hour, so you could say I did a bunch of 5Ks this weekend. Then the rest of the week was a really big week because my team of 5 (Team Grumpy Cats 3) was basically down 2 entire people and the other reliably high stepper had stuff going on which made it a struggle to even get her minimums in. Since I am competitive this helped me up my steps, and we managed to complete it!

June July 5K

Stats: Week July 8-14, 2017

Had an Overall Great week. Sleep stopped backsliding and maybe even bumped back up a bit….and I will keep plugging along.

Week July 14 AcriveWeek July 14 DistanceWeek July 14 StepsWeek July 14 Sleep

 

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#FitReaders- Weekly Check-In July 7, 2017

 

Another week, another Vitamix soup. The red bell pepper helped with color, but it was oddly sweeter than the carrots. Not sure if that was the pepper itself or something about the vegetables this week.

Here is my current recipe for what I am calling Sneaky Tomato Soup.

  • 1 box beef broth/4 cups (or chicken if you aren’t a freak like me who likes their tomato soup beefy)
  • 1 cup broccoli (roasted)
  • 1 cup spinach
  • 2 cans Basil, Garlic, Oregano diced tomatoes (=3.5 cups)
  • 1 cup fresh campari tomatoes roasted
  • 1 large red bell pepper (roasted)
  • 2 cups corn (roasted)
  • 2 cups celery
  • 2 cups onion (roasted)
  • 2 cloves garlic (roasted)

Roast any roasted vegetables in the oven at 425 for about 20-25 minutes. Put all ingredients into a pot then add enough water to equal 4 or so quarts (add bouillon cubes if you like yours beefy and salty and your diet can handle it-I added 4 but I am a Campbell’s plebe) and simmer down until you reach 3.5 quarts. Split into two batches and use Vitamix soup program or equivalent. Then pour back into pot and mix well. Then split into seven 2-cup mason jars (this time I then poured it all back in the Vitamix jar and it was easier to pour into the mason jars with them sitting in the sink than it was to ladle). Put about half in the fridge and the other half in the freezer.

So for Women 31-50 the USDA recommends the following vs what is in my soup:

Dark Green Vegetables: 1.5 Cups        vs       1.5 cups

Red/Orange Vegetables: 5.5 cups       vs       5.5 cups

Beans and Peas: 1.5 cups      vs            NONE

Starchy Vegetables: 5 cups      vs      2 cups

“Other” Vegetables: 4 cups      vs      4 cups

 

Stats: Week July 2-7, 2017

Doing well overall. Sleep backslid a bit but I will keep plugging along. And I plan to get my June and July 5Ks in on Saturday and Sunday July 8-9.

 

July 7 ActiveJuly 7 DistanceJuly 7 StepsJuly 7 Sleep

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#FitReaders- Weekly Check-In June 30, 2017

 

I made another Vitamix soup. This one is much more successful than the first one, and I ate it for lunch all week. I did decide to scale back on the vegetables and be more reasonable about my expectations for getting at least a serving of vegetables at dinner. I also went back to the actual USDA recommendations for vegetables.

Here is my current recipe for what I am calling Sneaky Tomato Soup.

  • 1 box beef broth/4 cups (or chicken if you aren’t a freak like me who likes their tomato soup beefy)
  • 1 cup broccoli (roasted)
  • 1 cup spinach
  • 2 cans Basil, Garlic, Oregano diced tomatoes (=3.5 cups)
  • 1 cup fresh campari tomatoes roasted
  • 1 cup carrots (roasted)
  • 2 cups corn (roasted)
  • 2 cups celery
  • 2 cups onion (roasted)
  • 2 cloves garlic (roasted)

Roast any roasted vegetables in the oven at 425 for about 20-25 minutes. Put all ingredients into a pot then add enough water to equal 4 or so quarts (add bouillon cubes if you like yours beefy and salty and your diet can handle it-I added 4 but I am a Campbell’s plebe) and simmer down until you reach 3.5 quarts. Split into two batches and use Vitamix soup program or equivalent. Then pour back into pot and mix well. Then split into seven 2-cup mason jars. Put about half in the fridge and the other half in the freezer.

So for Women 31-50 the USDA recommends the following vs what is in my soup:

Dark Green Vegetables: 1.5 Cups        vs       1.5 cups

Red/Orange Vegetables: 5.5 cups       vs       5.5 cups

Beans and Peas: 1.5 cups      vs            NONE

Starchy Vegetables: 5 cups      vs      2 cups

“Other” Vegetables: 4 cups      vs      4 cups

This leaves me to get 1.5 cups of beans/peas and 3 cups “starchy” vegetables. Beans are easy as I will easily eat refried beans, lentils, or even navy beans. I could even swap them in, in lieu of the nuts I am eating with the soup for lunch now. And of course once I get the rest of the recipe down I can add them to it either whole or mixed in. But since starchy vegetables are only listed as being  corn, green peas, or white potatoes…they are a little trickier than other vegetables to stick into soup. I can and will eat mashed potatoes, but somehow that seems like a cop out. And corn really isn’t the best choice for me, though I do better with it than I used to.

The big sub I am considering making for this week is to trade the carrots out for red bell pepper, which should increase the red color in the soup nicely. I suspect the orange I got was at least in part due to the carrots. But if anyone has any suggestions for what else might constitute a “starchy” vegetable, that would be good.

Stats: Week June 24- July 1, 2017

So another nice consistent week. I should probably adjust my goals since I am so consistently exceeding the set ones, but it makes me a little neurotic that it would make it look like I didn’t previously meet my goals. I am 0.5 lbs from my goal weight  and my actual sleep is still going well. I am very carefully trying to not rock the boat, though eating dinner so early is a struggle. FitBit’s sleep stages unfortunately is on the fritz again, so that is disappointing. But otherwise, a good week. I still need to get June’s 5K, so I will have to double up July, but the weather has been uncooperative. The rain isn’t the hugest issues, but lightening isn’t something to mess with.

Week June 30 ActiveWeek June 30 DistanceWeek June 30 Steps

Week June 30 Sleep

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