Reviewed by Tori
Favorite Quote: “I know how to be Catalina Baylor, an ordinary person. I know what’s expected of me. I do not know how to be a Prime.”
Nevada Baylor and Connor Ander Rogen are getting married and both families are ready to lend a hand in helping this couple tie the knot with no problems.
That’s easier said than done.
Catalina Baylor is at a crossroads since her power was outed to the world when she was declared a prime. Choosing to focus on her sister’s upcoming nuptials rather than her slowly imploding life, Catalina finds herself forced to once again use her powers when it becomes obvious that certain someone(s) want to stop the wedding no matter the cost.
As Catalina digs deeper into her investigation, she learns that jealousy is a powerful magic all it’s own but she is a Baylor and her sister will marry her Prince Charming if Catalina has anything to say about it.
Diamond Fire is a novella that picks up right after book three. It focuses on Catalina, Nevada’s sister, and a very rare Siren, building a bridge for the next full novel that is her journey. Catalina has been struggling with accepting her magic and the consequences of it since birth. If you are a Kate Daniels fan, you will recognize a similar element in that storyline. According to Greek mythology, Sirens are creatures who used their voices to lure sailors into crashing their ships upon the rocks of their island. Catalina’s life has been somewhat unconventional as she was only allowed interaction with people who were immune to her gift. Now older and more in control, she is able to turn it on and off at will. That, however, doesn’t negate its impact or her own feelings towards it.
“I had practiced controlling my magic since the moment I understood it ruined lives.”
Fast pacing propels the full-bodied storyline along. Witty dialogue and lots of action adds to the story’s overall appeal. I had so much fun reading this novella. I adored getting Catalina’s pov. A sweet teenager who just wants to be ‘normal’ in a family that is anything but. Intelligent and quiet, she isn’t a roll with it kinda girl. She needs rules to feel safe and being a Prime means she needs to learn a whole new set. She has a little bit of all her family in her, though it only shows when she has hit her breaking point. A tight-knit family, the Baylor’s are always there for one another. Through the good…and bad. Co-opted into helping plan Nevada’s wedding, you can’t help but laugh as she and her younger sister, Arabella, attempt to maneuver and manipulate Nevada when she becomes a little to bridezilla for them.
“The queen has dismissed us, “ Arabella announced.
I dropped into a deep curtsey. “Your majesty.”
“I hate you guys.”
“We hate you back,” Arabella told her.
“We hated you before the wedding.”
“Before it was cool to hate you.”
“Get out!” Nevada growled.
A theft and manipulative relatives lead Catalina on a merry chase and forcing her to confront all her fears. But luckily for her, she has more than the Baylor’s on her side this time. She now has the Rogan’s and no one crosses that family and survives.
Now for the fun part!!
I have one copy of Diamond Fire to give away to one lucky winner. Comment below and tell me who your favorite Ilona Andrews character is. Winner will be chosen at random on Friday, 11/2, 2018.
**Open to US residents only.**
Nevada Frida Baylor & Connor Ander Rogan cordially invite you to join their wedding celebration. *Summoning, weather manipulation, and other magical activities are strictly forbidden.*
Catalina Baylor is looking forward to wearing her maid of honor dress and watching her older sister walk down the aisle. Then the wedding planner gets escorted off the premises, the bride’s priceless tiara disappears, and Rogan’s extensive family overruns his mother’s home. Someone is cheating, someone is lying, and someone is plotting murder.
To make this wedding happen, Catalina will have to do the thing she fears most: use her magic. But she’s a Baylor and there’s nothing she wouldn’t do for her sister’s happiness. Nevada will have her fairytale wedding, even if Catalina has to tear the mansion apart brick by brick to get it done.
EXCERPT (from Chapter One)
I fought my way through the hallway of Mountain Rose house trying to dodge the children. Everything I ever read about my future brother-in-law on Herald suggested that Connor Rogan was a loner with no immediate family besides his mother and his cousin, Kelly Waller, who didn’t count.
The gaggle of children was coming right for me.
I clutched my tablet to my chest and braced myself.
They ran around me in circles, giggling, and dashed down the hallway, leaving a little girl holding a stuffed unicorn in their wake. I let out a breath.
Rogan had oodles of relatives, scattered all over the Mediterranean, and all of them descended on his mother’s house to attend the wedding. I liked kids, but there were somewhere between twenty and thirty children under the age of twelve on the premises and they traveled in packs. The last time I ran across this gang of preteens, they knocked the tablet out of my hands. Nothing could happen to the tablet. All of the wedding files were on there.
The little girl and I looked at each other. She was probably five and supercute, with brown hair and big dark eyes. She wore a pretty lavender dress decorated with tiny silk flowers. If Mom had put me into that dress when I was her age, it would be covered with mud and engine grease in about five minutes. When I was five, I either played outside or in Grandma Frida’s garage, while she repaired tanks and field artillery.
“Hi,” I said. “I’m Catalina.”
“Mia Rosa García Ramírez Arroyo del Monte.”
I had seen her before, I realized. She always seemed to follow Mrs. Rogan around. She trailed her to the porch, to the study, to the media room. She even wanted to sit next to her in the dining room.
Mia Rosa thrust her unicorn up. It was almost as big as she was and decorated with blue and silver plastic jewels the size of grapes and way too many sparkles.
“This is Sapphire.”
“She is very pretty.”
“She lives in the midnight clouds and her horn glows with moonlight.”
Of course. Jewel Legends. It was a popular kid cartoon with mythical animals. I was too old for it, but Arabella, my younger sister, caught the very beginning of it. Everything had to be Jewel Legends for a while: notebooks, backpacks, phone cases … And then she went to high school and that was the end of that.
“I want a sparkly gun,” Mia Rosa announced in a slightly accented voice.
“There is a gun that lets you put more sparklies.”
“You want a bedazzler?”
Mia Rosa nodded several times. “Yes. My mommy said you were the go girl and I should ask you.”
Go girl. I hid a sigh. “I’ll see what I can do. What is your mommy’s name, so I know where to deliver the bedazzler?”
“Teresa Rosa Arroyo Roberto del Monte. Thank you. But don’t give it to mommy. Give it to me.”
Awww. She said thank you. “You’re welcome.”
She curtsied and ran after the kids, dragging her unicorn.
About Ilona Andrews
Ilona Andrews is the pseudonym for a husband-and-wife writing team. Ilona is a native-born Russian and Gordon is a former communications sergeant in the U.S. Army. Contrary to popular belief, Gordon was never an intelligence officer with a license to kill, and Ilona was never the mysterious Russian spy who seduced him. They met in college, in English Composition 101, where Ilona got a better grade. (Gordon is still sore about that.) They have co-authored two New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling series—the urban fantasy of Kate Daniels and the romantic urban fantasy of The Edge. They live in Texas with their two children and many dogs and cats.