Avon, $7.99, ISBN 978-0-06-228925-4
White Hot, book two in the Hidden Legacy series, bewilders me. I don’t know what its purpose is. Usually, when we have a urban fantasy story, it is about the main character(s) overcoming some kind of adversity. Here, however, the entire story would be much shorter if the heroine Nevada Baylor would just call up Connor “Mad” Rogan the moment she receives the case. “Yes, dear, come over and do all the work. Yes, honey, I’ll let you wiggle over me if you do that. Sure, we can do that too. Okay, that too. And that. And that. Just come over here so that this whole story will end and we can all move on with our lives!”
You see, Mad Rogan is god in this story. He is not only a Prime of all Primes – which means, he’d char you to ashes with just an ugly look at your face – he is also feared by every other Prime in this setting. He is also so wealthy that he has practically an army at his disposal, and all he has to do to retrieve any clue is to basically just give the instructions. Rogan can do anything and everything. He trivializes everything else about the story. Therefore, have him appear early in the story and the rest of the story becomes an action hero worship hour. I know, I know, this is supposed to be a more “romantic” series from Ilona Andrews, but reading this, I can only wonder what the author and the publisher think romance readers really want from urban fantasy stories. If this story and the whole “Curran is the best!” vibes of the recent Kate Daniels books are anything to go by, romance readers are supposed to care only about a hero who is dripping in superlatives. Story, plot, suspense? Who cares, we just want to see the hero do all the awesome things for the heroine before penetrating her manfully and giving her all the superpowered orgasms only a superhero can give!
It’s quite depressing, really, how this need to worship the hero and give us romance readers more fuel for our onanistic fantasies ends up sabotaging this story to the point of it being totally unnecessary.
Does the plot even matter? Nevada is asked by Cornelius Harrison to help locate the murderers of his wife. Meanwhile, there is a dead senator in town. But does the plot matter? Nevada and Cornelius are stymied by their lack of influence in cracking open the House folks’ recalcitrance to talk to them – if you are confused by all this fancy terms like Primes and Houses, check out my review of the first book Burn for Me for more information on the setting – until here comes… da-da-dum, Rogan! Need footage from security tapes? He’ll get some. No one wants to talk to Nevada and Cornelius? He’ll growl and scowl and they will talk. The Primes need to be intimidated by an even more badass Prime? Here’s Rogan whipping out his salami from his pants to slap them in the face with it – figuratively speaking, of course. Oh no, they are going to hurt Nevada! Whatever, Rogan only has to release gas from his ass and the bad guy’s ass is grass.
It’s actually amusing how pointless this story is because it’s just Rogan flexing and posing for the ecstatic gasps of delight of the romance reader. This book is the equivalent of ladies’ night at the local strip joint; all that is missing is this book somehow wearing a thong for readers to push their dollar bills into. As for Nevada, she fulfills the feisty and sassy romance heroine archetype perfectly: her ability is clerical in nature (she can tell whether someone is lying, perfect for a job behind the desk where she will never, ever overshadow the hero in any way) and she’s all sass and quip while being so by the book, when she’s not flooding her underpants at the thought of having sex with Rogan. But, at the end of the day, this story doesn’t need her. Or anyone else. Just add in Rogan and we can all call it day when he has easily pulverized everyone and everything in his path.
White Hot is a big fat not where I am concerned.