Cover Image: Emerald Blaze

Emerald Blaze

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Member Reviews

House Baylor is under attack and it is up to Catalina to protect her family. Unfortunately, that is easier said than done. To add to her already full plate, Alessandro is back and eager to help. She is not sure if she can trust him with her heart. He does seem a changed man though so maybe she can make a relationship work...well, if they can stay alive long enough for a relationship to actually develop.

This is a fast pace, engaging book. The will the, won't they gets a little tired but that resolves after a bit. This book ends on a bit of a shock which only adds to my eagerness to read the next book.
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5 Hearts, Recommended Read!!!!!!
SJ, Romance Junkies

There's a reason Ilona Andrews has been a #1 New York Times bestselling author. This writing duo is at the top of their game with the next installment of the Hidden Legacy series. EMERALD BLAZE is a dynamite adventure filled with romance, ever-evolving characters, humor, and some incredible world-building that just keeps getting better. New readers should start with SAPPHIRE FLAMES (the first of Catalina's books,) or for a full read, go back to the very beginning with BURN FOR ME (Nevada's start.)

The last book left off with Catalina Baylor, the Prime of House Baylor and head of the Baylor Investigation Agency, dealing with assassins and her not-so-secret crush, Alessandro Sagredo, a powerful prime in his own right. This book takes off with a bang, as Catalina and her crew try to rescue a little girl's companion animal  (a monkey) and run into an otherworldly creature that nearly kills them.

Brought in to investigate on a new case, Catalina is forced to work with Alessandro again. It's been six months since she's last seen him, and in that time, they both have changed. Catalina is not so starry-eyed about him, and Alessandro has experienced some real trauma. 

But with the addition of the ever-entertaining Baylor family, some new relationships, a shadowy web wielded by Catalina's not-so-nice grandmother, still in prison, and a mysterious death that's so convoluted yet well-crafted, you really can't guess whodunnit until the end, EMERALD BLAZE makes for one incredible literary ride. 

I couldn't put the book down, reading it all in one adrenaline-fueled sitting. As a die-hard fan, I must ask for more Leon. Catalina's cousin is funny and mouthy, and the pages zing when he's on them. But then, that can be said for everyone Ilona Andrews writes about. The authors have a head for character, and those characters push the story into greatness. And I'm still dying to read about Arabella more, at some point. I could go on, but you should just know that the HIDDEN LEGACY series is a must for paranormal romance and urban fantasy fans. It's got the perfect blend of romance, mystery, adventure, and the paranormal.


Hidden Legacy Series

Burn for Me
White Hot
Diamond Fire (novella)
Sapphire Flames
Emerald Blaze
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There are some authors that even though I know how good they are, I always forget just how good they are until I read a book by them again. This author duo is one. This is the Hidden Legacy series book five and the Catalina Baylor Trilogy book 2, and I can’t tell you how much this book stunned me. First, I adore the characters who have changed since the first book in this trilogy, the plot was very interesting (very unique), and the end was like “Whoa!” There were quite a few secrets revealed with a couple being quite shocking. This is a great addition to the library of these authors, and I can’t wait until another in this series…or really any by this author duo. Highly recommend! I was provided a complimentary copy which I voluntarily reviewed.
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If you thought you could only love Nevada and Rogan, think again.  Catalina and Alessandro are quite the pair! Andrews weaves another deft story full of action and intrigue. There is growth in both characters as their familial ties bear down on each, respectively.  I do feel like the romance part was a bit rushed through but given all the action taking place ALL OVER, it might be impossible to slow it down.  All I know is I want more and more!
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Awesome! Fantastic! Riveting! Buy this book! That’s the review I want to write for Emerald Blaze. Since AAR requires that I write a slightly more detailed exposé, those interested in why they should make this purchase may find out more below.

This is book five of the Hidden Legacy series, and my review necessarily contains spoilers for the novels that come before it. I would not recommend starting here, since you will miss a lot of wonderful tales that provide the needed history for this story, and would recommend you at least read Diamond Fire and Sapphire Flames, the two previous works in the Catalina trilogy. Especially since an interesting character from one of those stories makes a thoroughly unexpected reappearance here.

Catalina Baylor has picked up the millions of pieces of her heart Alessandro Sagredo left her with and has moved on with her life. Not that it’s much of a life at this particular moment. Hot, sweaty, dirty and dehydrated she, her brother Leon and employee/friend Cornelius are in a park, in a face off with another group of investigators also seeking to recover a rare tamarin monkey named Rosebud. The frightened animal is hiding in a tree, well out of reach of the angry humans pursuing it. The folks from Montgomery Investigations believe it to be the property of a laboratory but Catalina knows it is the service animal of a twelve year old girl with a spinal injury and is determined that it will be returned to the young lady unharmed.

Thanks to help from animal mage Cornelius, she’s able to retrieve the monkey and thanks to her own awesome paperwork skills  she’s able to convince the Montgomery investigators that Rosebud belongs to her client - but as her team is leaving they are suddenly attacked by a weird group of creatures from the arcane realm. That’s successfully resolved too, but it leads Catalina on an all new quest, one in which she will have to tangle with a unique, horrifying villain, a team of lethal assassins, and once more have to partner with the sexy, mysterious Alessandro in order to save the world.

That’s all you’re going to get from me on the storyline. It’s complicated both because of the complex magical world in which it takes place, and the fact that the authors have had six other books in which to refine that world and fill it with interesting denizens, many of whom play a role here and have their own intricately detailed motivations and tangled relationships with our hero and heroine.

I assure all of the fans of the series that they will find this book a pleasure to read. The plotting is tight, the action enticing and exciting, and lots of favorite characters make appearances. I was especially pleased to see a bit more of Cornelius in this tale. His involvement in the previous installment was woefully small but here he plays a slightly larger, more meaningful role.

Also present are all the members of the beloved Baylor family. It was wonderful to see the marginally more mature manifestations of Arabella and Leon and read about the new roles they are playing in the family business. Leon is a personal favorite so I was delighted that he was the secondary character with the largest role in this story.  We learn some about how he deals with the recent materialization of his magical talent and what his life looks like now that he’s no longer a whiny teen. He’s become a more adult twenty-something but never fear, he is still the nosy, impetuous, and snarky, fearless warrior we fell in love with in the previous novels.

The romance between Catalina and Alessandro here works far more smoothly than it did in the last book. In Sapphire Flames, Catalina’s residual teenage-crush feelings and the fact that her magic gave her no opportunity to date had kept her from having any real agency in their relationship. She’s grown far more confident thanks to her successful running of the family business, the tutoring she is receiving in House strategy by her paternal grandmother, her growing control of her magic  and the fact that she has created a strong  network of friends and allies. This makes her more of an equal for Alessandro, who has been a globe-trotting assassin for years and has the world-weary jadedness that such a job would engender and require.

We learn what led Alessandro to that career choice and also about a recent confrontation which had an incredible impact on how he views life and love. The mellowing of his utter confidence has made him more open and given him a willingness to be vulnerable and emotionally accessible to Catalina. Now that he’s honest and willing to share his history and the problems in his life with her, they forge a true connection. I absolutely loved watching that happen. The great thing is that like Connor and Nevada, Alessandro and Catalina have complimentary magical talents. Alessandro fits perfectly into Catalina’s dangerous, action-filled lifestyle, which makes their HEA very believable and totally satisfying.

Readers of the series will remember that a romance for Bern was hinted at in the last story and I am pleased to announce the continuation of that thread here. I would have liked to see a bit more detail but it was satisfying to have my suspicions confirmed.

Emerald Blaze is a wonderful addition to the Hidden Legacy series. While it brings Catalina and Alessandro’s romance to an HEA, the authors leave us with lots of unresolved issues so that our appetite is whetted for the next installment in the series. I, for one, can hardly wait.

Buy it at: Amazon, Audible, or your local independent bookstore
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Loved it. Another great addition to Ilona Andrews' Hidden Legacy series! Best enjoyed if you've read at the very least the previous book, if not the entire series. While it's not typically a genre I read a lot, this series just works so well for me and is so much fun! I've inhaled all the previous books and Emerald Blaze was no exception. I didn't think I could like another couple as much as Nevada and Rogan , but Catalina and Alessandro seem up to the task. This was an action packed murder mystery with a twisty-turny complicated plot, kick-ass powerful female characters, a couple with great chemistry, and fun family dynamics. Can't wait for the next book!
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4.5 stars - This series keeps getting better and better. Love how Catalina has matured and taking on a role in the family she isn't comfortable with. Great world created by the authors and plot that gets more intriguing with every book.
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When I got the email saying I’d won an ARC of Emerald Blaze, I screamed. I then proceeded to be so swamped with library books that I had to set it aside. Three, or so, weeks later, I was finally able to read, and it was definitely worth the wait.
At this point, it should be clear Ilona Andrews is my favorite author.
Catalina is very different from Nevada, her older sister and the star of the first three books. They’re both smart, but Catalina is more analytical. She’s also an overachiever. If a teacher mentions a book in passing, she is the type of student who would go out and read the book, then probably the author’s entire catalog. She is thorough.
She has the weight of taking care of her entire House on her shoulders, and Catalina does everything she can to protect them. It’s a trait that she shares with the rest of her family. She keeps things closer to her chest than Nevada did and plans years in advance like a chess player. She’s a woman after my own heart.
Alessandro is not as cocky as he was in the previous book. Things have happened to him that has made him reassess his life and goals. He’s still a badass, he’s still gorgeous, and he’s still into Catalina. But he’s matured, and it looks great on him.
The story in Emerald Blaze might be the biggest in the series in terms of threat. However, since the family is so overpowered, you never doubt that they’ll succeed. I like that in my books, but I can see why others wouldn’t. The entertaining part is discovering how they’re going to save the day, not in wondering if they will.
There is a decent amount of development with the entire Baylor family in Emerald Blaze. Unlike the last book Nevada and Catalina talk in this one several times. It was nice to see Nevada again. Everyone in the family has their moment, and all the characters I liked from previous books were here as well. That’s one of the difficult things with later books, the cast of characters is larger. It never felt like people were being forced into the story, though.
If you haven’t read the previous books, you would be able to follow the story, but you’d miss out on so much that I wouldn’t recommend jumping in here. Emerald Blaze was a great addition to the series and more than lives up to what I’ve come to expect from Ilona Andrews. I’m incredibly excited to see what happens next.
Review will be posted on on August 24th, 2020
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A wonderful next installment to the series! The world building, romantic tension, and strong female characters are always a delight.
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The second of probably three Catalina Baylor books, a series which is not as good as the ones about her sister, Nevada. This book tries to fix some of the issues of the first Catalina book, including the main premise which is that Catalina is left in charge of the family after three books of Nevada doing everything in her power to fund, protect and lead them. It is somewhat successful but really the character of Catalina is kind of a black hole where characterization and charisma go to die. Not to mention her kitchen sink love interest, Alessandro, who is all things to all people - devastatingly handsome, obsessed with Catalina (for no seeming reason), the most powerful, a perfect assassin, a very sad backstory, not really a bad guy, etc etc etc. Overall, kind of a miss but the Ilona Andrews team are good writers so I finished it and will probably read the last in the series when it comes out.
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Why, why oh why is the 2nd book in the series (Catalina and Alessandro's arc). Now, I can't wait for the third! Like Nevada and Rogan, there is a slow buildup but a BANG right in the middle. I loved this book and, knowing it's an ARC, now have to wait for the 3rd. Catalina is so smart and Alessandro has finally opened up to her. Their story is lovely, the action is amazing, the world building is fantastic, and the anticipation for book 3 is killing me. But, I wouldn't have it any other way!
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Loved this!!! No surprise, as I’ve loved every book in the series so far- this was no different!

Catalina is tasked with solving a mystery that threatens the survival of humankind, all while managing the layers of secrecy, house affairs, and conversations with Victoria Tremaine that have become her life. Alessandro is back... and mysteriously different. 

I adore these books. I love the creativity of the world building, the fierce love of the Baylor family, and all the quirks of the wide cast of characters. I am continually impressed at how seamlessly the adventure of these books is woven into the romance, and I never find myself wishing either aspect was given less space. I already can’t wait for the next one.
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"Burn it, drown it in acid, nuke it.  Do whatever you have to do, or it will end life as we know it."

I've yet to read a book by the Andrews doesn't leave me smiling when it's over (or horrified...there've been a couple cliffhangers...).  Another consistency is how well-developed (and flawed) their characters are.  Seriously, I could just gush.

Let's talk about THIS book, though.  We're on Catalina's second book and boy, what a ride!  The whole Baylor clan is back: Leon is still trigger-happy and practical, Bern is still dependable, Arabella is still...Arabella.  Mom is still in charge of the clan in the house and Grandma Frida continues to be one of the best characters of all time.

This is really all about Catalina and Alessandro and you know what?  You get some answers in this one, along with a terrifying murder mystery.  If you haven't read this series, you are missing out!
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Book 5 in the Hidden Legacy series reunited Catalina Baylor and Alessandro Sagredo on a mission to solve a murder mystery and save the world.  Catalina and Alessandro both have a lot of secrets they keep from each other and others.  Will they be able to trust each other? Overall, I think this book is a stronger addition to this series than the previous book. Catalina has grown as a character and rocks the lead role in this book.  The chemistry between Catalina and Alessandro felt more authentic than in book 4.  As always, it's great to be reunited with the Baylor family and their associates.  Their interactions, along with the incredible world building the authors have done, completely make this series.  This is still one of the best in progress urban fantasy series. I'm looking forward to the next book already!
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Another amazing addition to the Hidden Legacy series with non-stop action, romance (!), magic, and powerful women. I couldn't put it down, and you won't be able to either.

I'm the biggest fan of Ilona Andrews, and their Hidden Legacy series never disappoints. Emerald Blaze was just as wonderful as I was anticipating.

Do you like your heroes and heroines trapped in deadly confrontations where they need to use every scrap of wit and power to figure their way out, and even then, when they are out of immediate danger, they are still caught in a deadly game of cat and mouse with enemies and allies alike? Do you like female leads so smart and so powerful that they can untangle themselves from sticky situations without breaking a sweat, but show their fragile vulnerability and humanity just pages later? If you like to be excited and challenged but with a side of swoon-worthy romance, then you will love Emerald Blaze.

Once again, I found Catalina Baylor to be an electrifying main character. Though the book is a romance with intense chemistry between Catalina and Alessandro, Catalina truly stands on her own and caries the book with her forethought and talent. I adored all that Catalina brought to the table, and the truly memorizing Baylor family was just icing on top of the cake. Every single one of them, including both grandmas, could have their own off-shoot story, that's how complex and interesting they all are. Excellent character development, as expected.

I would highly recommend that people read this series in order as it would be pretty confusing to jump in at this point in the series. So much builds on the previous books, especially on Sapphire Flames. However, if you are a little rusty on the plot-points of the previous books, never fear as Ilona Andrews does a seamless job at recapping and refreshing your memory, as always.

The plot is too complex to even begin to explain, but if you've read the previous books, you know what you are in for. In summary: Everyone will die and the world will collapse if this strong, female MC doesn't save the day! . But never fear, you know that everything will come together at the end, and the reunion with Alessandro will make it that much sweeter.

Another excellent book, which just let me wanting more. When does book 6 come out again??

*Copy provided in exchange for an honest review*
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Oh Alessandro.
I didn't realize I would like him as much as I do. He comes back basically groveling because let me tell you, he royally screwed up in the last book and left Catalina behind when he should have stayed but Catalina isn't willing to just throw her heart back on the line for pretty words and a pretty face.
She makes him work for it and I absolutely love her for that.
Ilona Andrews never disappoints and Emerald Blaze is no exception. We have a complex plot full of twists and turns, just enough romance to keep things tension packed and interesting, and action for days. The ending was heart warming and everything I needed and that last bit with Grandma...oy! I am eagerly awaiting the next installment in this series but boy are things going to get interesting!
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I honestly think that Ilona Andrews can do no wrong. I know, I know, they are normal people who make mistakes just like everyone else. But let's face it, their books are the kind that get you out of a slump, make you invested from page 1, and keep you talking and thinking for days.

When I was able to read an ARC of Emerald Blaze I literally almost started crying, called my sister, called my cousin, yelped outloud to my husband and raised the roof. I don't think you all realize how much of a stan I am: I spent YEARS trying to find all 10 Kate Daniels books at used bookstores (funny enough I found most of them in Maine, which now I am like "what the heck Mainers?! Why are you giving up your Kate Daniels books?!). I met them in real life in October wearing my custom Kate Daniels shirt and tried really hard not to fanperson and cry. I am obsessed. And I was SO READY for Catalina's second full length book.

You can read the blurb, you know what Emerald Blaze is about, I don't need to repeat it. What I will say is that this book DELIVERS. There is no "second book slump", even tho this is technically Hidden Legacy 5. It is perfect IA: fast paced, great friendships, even better familial relationships, witty dialogue and sarcastic banter, and twist and turns that will leave you breathless. The last 1/3 of the book I scoffed, screamed, laughed, cried, and gasped so much my husband was like "literally, can you stop" (RUDE). There were call backs to earlier books in the series, especially Sapphire Flames, perfect Nevada/Conner moments, and Catalina again proved herself an utter and absolute badass. I loved seeing Catalina's power, her utter confidence while also being vulnerable and self-conscious, her over-thinking, her sensitivity, her protectiveness over her family. And then there's Alessandro, who could come across one-dimensional but gains an edge that Catalina slowly breaks apart. Add in super villains, magic, hilariously snarky Arabella, mysterious Linus who is so much more than he seems, and the evilest of all evil, Victoria Tremaine, and you've got a book that will keep you up at night so you can finish reading.

Please read this book. If you haven't read an Ilona Andrews before, go grab Magic Bites (Kate Daniels #1), get to book 3, be prepared to be blown away to lose the next month of your life reading all 10+ KD, 4 The Edge, 5 Innkeeper and 5 Hidden Legacy. These books are THAT good. Enjoy the next month of your life living in the amazing worlds that Ilona Andrews create.
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I pledge my undying loyalty to House Baylor! This series just keeps getting better and better and I love the entire Baylor family, the world they live in, and even the minor characters.
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Catalina Baylor grew up fast after becoming the head Prime of House Baylor. Having a powerful ally in “uncle” Linus, the Warden of Texas, comes at a cost as she is his deputy and must follow all his orders. Catalina has several things to juggle including a deadly dance of strength and wills with her wicked and unbalanced mentor of a grandmother as well as an attack on their House from an unknown enemy. Added to the mix, there is much anticipation of Nevada’s nearly term pregnancy which has its own trepidation with political and social implications about whether their son will or will not be magically gifted.

The last thing Catalina needed was for the man who broke her heart in a million pieces to show up, but Prime Alessandro Sagredo, aka the Artisan, is back determined to right some wrongs and maybe, win her back. Catalina has spent the last six months trying to move forward out of a major depression brought on after his abandonment while strengthening her House against all intruders and those who wish them destroyed. Her evil grandmother, who wields plenty of power from prison and has Catalina in a choke hold, has sicced an heir from another House as marriage material on Catalina which is the last thing she needs or wants with all her irons in the fire.

Forced to work with Alessandro by Linus no matter how painful his presence is for Catalina, they investigate a suspicious death coming under assault from a new kind of mutant nasty developed by someone from a consortium trying to reclaim the Pit, the dark and dank swamp area of misfit toys, for commercial use. Alessandro eventually explains his reasons for cruelly leaving Catalina that include some unfinished business with a man who destroyed his childhood; now, Alessandro’s past is putting House Baylor in the cross hairs of that enemy. Alessandro vows to protect Catalina with his life whether she wants him to not; he certainly has several opportunities to prove his dedication using very deadly talents.

While I always enjoy the very creative tales from the writing team of Ilona Andrews, this story was particularly good incorporating all the features readers have come expect and relish. Catalina’s maturity and developing powers as well her partnering with Alessandro make for a rollicking good time of monsters, magical mayhem, and major battles with some pleasantly anticipated romance along the way to spice things up. Fans of these stories will be well pleased with book number five in the Hidden Legacy series and the promise of more fun to come.
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LOVED Emerald Blaze! Illona Andrews' Hidden Legacy series is just so much fun. The characters are so well rounded and I love following them through the series. I love Catalina so much! You need to read these in order to really get the characters and plot. I cannot wait to see what happens next!
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