Genres: Urban Fantasy
Published by Avon
Released on August 25, 2020
He broke her heart and now they have to work together once again. A gruesome murder, an assassin after Catalina and her family, and creatures rising out of the Pit give an edge to this page-turner in a Don’t-Miss series.
Emerald Blaze is the fifth of the Hidden Legacy series and the second of the Catalina books. The series is amazing when read in order.
It has been several months since Catalina picked her heart of the ground where it lay crushed after Alessandro walked away and went on with his assassin work. The first love thing didn’t crush her and she feels she is a wiser woman as a result. Not that it could have gone anywhere since her cold, calculating Grandmother Victoria gave her an ultimatum about remaining head of House Baylor and not leaving for love like Nevada. Catalina has thrown herself into her work as Deputy Warden seeing cases that left her with nightmares even as she keeps up with the family detective business and leading her House as best she can.
Then a Prime is murdered in the Pit. Both the father of the victim and her Warden boss want her to investigate. She finds herself paired once again when Alessandro is back stating that someone has put one of the best killers in the business on her and her family to block the investigation and that someone might very well be a Prime magic user from one of the dead man’s four partners working to drain the Pit, a primordial slimy dumping ground for magic, in the low marsh area of Houston. And, if the suspects and the assassin weren’t enough, there is a creature intelligence deep in the Pit prepared to do what it takes to stay alive.
One would think that any thoughts of attraction and love wouldn’t be an issue under the circumstances, but if Catalina thought she was well and over the handsome enigmatic Alessandro, she was wrong. He says and does the unexpected always and continues to keep her off balance even while he well-partners her on the job. But, he can’t be for her, she knows.
Emerald Blaze picks up after a short gap in time from the events of Sapphire Flame. The dust has settled in some ways and the reader has to get up to speed on the Baylor family, Catalina’s activities, and Alessandro’s. The catching up occurs as the intense fast-paced action scenes happen showcasing just how good Catalina and her family crew really are.
I love seeing how far Catalina has come. She has stepped up amazingly as she makes some pretty tough decisions when presented with complicated choices. She has learned to match Victoria’s cunning, go head to head with other Prime magics, get up after getting knocked down, and still keep her giving heart that wants to protect and help those she can.
After Nevada’s absence in the earlier book, she is present in this one and there are some wonderful sister moments as well as the fun of Nevada as an expectant mother. But, this is very much Catalina’s book.
As the romance, I was appreciative of how the authors wrote that part. Catalina was hurt by Alessandro’s choice to take off and he knew he had hurt her. There is a natural progression from hurt and mistrust to understanding and more. I liked that he felt the effect of his choice and even had a not so easy time of it, but she was mature about it and understood that the situation had been more complicated once he opened up about it. I loved this pair together proving they were good for each other even before they got things ironed out.
The action side of the plot really drove this story at a clipping pace and kept the threat level high. The villains and the monsters were formidable and I loved seeing how Catalina and her team were going to prevail especially when things got pretty dire there during the big climax scene.
The missing Osiris serum is wrecking havoc wherever it crops up and the trouble is escalating in the background especially with Victoria trying to control things from prison. That last tantalizing scene with the old couple and the baby at the end has me oh-so curious and ripe for the next book.
All in all, I thought it was fabulous how Emerald Blaze not only met the level of the book before it, but took things up a notch or two. Some incredible action, suspense, relationships, worldbuilding and romance all in one fire-cracker of a series that I can highly recommend.
COYER Seasons #20
Mt. TBR #44
Can You Read a Series in a Month #2
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