Friday, 13 January 2017

Snippets from Wildfire (Hidden Legacy #3) by Ilona Andrews

WILDFIRE (Hidden Legacy #3) by Ilona Andrews 

Release date: 07/25/2017

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 knows there’s nothing between him and his ex-fiance, Rynda Sherwood. Mad 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 made myself look in the direction of the sound. An ex-soldier was coming my way, in his forties, with a scarred face, leading an enormous Kodiak bear on a very thin leash. The bear wore a harness that said Sgt. Teddy.

The ex-soldier stretched his left arm and twisted, as if trying to slide the bones back in place. Another dry crunch, sending a fresh jolt of alarm through me. Probably an old injury.

The bear stopped and looked at me.

“Be polite,” the soldier told him. “Don’t worry. He just wants to say hi.”
“I don’t mind.” I stepped closer to the bear. The massive beast leaned over to me and smelled my hair.
“Can I pet him?”
The soldier looked at Sgt. Teddy. The bear made a low short noise.
“He says you can.”
I reached over and carefully petted the big shaggy neck.
“What’s his story?”
“Someone thought it would be a good idea to make very smart magic bears and use them in combat,” the ex-soldier said. “Problem is, once you make someone smart, they become self-aware and call you on your bullshit. Sgt. Teddy is a pacifist. The leash is just for show so people don’t freak out. Major is of the opinion that fighting in a war shouldn’t be forced on those who are morally opposed to it, human or bear.”
“But you’re still here,” I told the bear.
He snorted and looked at me with chocolate-brown eyes.
“We offered him a very nice private property up in Alaska,” the ex-soldier said. “But he doesn’t like it. He says he gets bored. He mostly hangs out with us, eats cereal that’s bad for him, and watches cartoons on Saturdays. And movies. He loves the Jungle Book.”
I waited for the familiar buzz of my magic that told me he was pulling my leg, but none came.
Sgt. Teddy rose on his hind legs, blocking out the sun, and put his shaggy front paws around me. My face pressed into the fur. I hugged him back. We stood for a moment, then the Kodiak dropped down and went back on his walk.
I looked at the ex-soldier.
“He must’ve felt you needed a hug,” he said. “He stays in the HQ most of the time, so you can come and visit him.”
“I will,” I told him.
The ex-soldier nodded and followed the bear.
I punched my code into the lock. I had been hugged by a giant super-intelligent pacifist bear. I could do this. I could do anything.

My mother sat near Bug, Grandma Frida’s "knitting" on her lap. As I approached, she picked at it with a crochet hook and unraveled another tangled row.
I paused by Grandma Frida and nodded at the metal carnage.
“He was watching your date, and the walls started buckling. I needed some old frames scrapped, so I gave him something to do.”
“What’s Mom doing?”
Grandma Frida gave me the evil eye. “That yarn cost $38 a skein. I want her to salvage it. I tried doing it myself, except I have frayed nerves today. I was going to set it on fire for closure, but your mother took away my blow torch.

Zeus stood six inches from me.  His massive head was level with my chest.  Turquoise eyes regarded me with mild curiosity.  He took up the entire width of the hallway.  An enormous tiger-hound from another world with teeth the size of steak knives and a fringe of tentacles at his neck.
It occurred to me that I was covered in dried blood.
I held very still. I could jump back and slam the door shut behind me, but it would cost me a second to open it.  A second would be more than enough for Zeus.
“He’s friendly,” Cornelius called out from the conference room.  “He just wants to say hello.”
“Just treat him as a poodle.”
What was wrong with my life and how did I get to this place?

Three minutes later, we were in the gas station. One of their security cameras did point toward that stretch of the street to cover the exit from their parking lot, and all recordings were uploaded to a server and kept for ninety days. The manager and I bargained. He asked for ten thousand dollars. I asked him if he really wanted me to come back with a cop and a warrant, which would result in him getting no money at all. He told me warrants took time. I told him to google my name. Then he and his clerk watched the footage of Mad Rogan tear down Downtown like he was a demon from hell. We settled on two hundred bucks plus the $19.99 USB stick. Which was highway robbery for 8GB, but I decided to pick my battles.

“Thank you, Grandma, but I’ve got it.”
Grandma Frida threw her hands up in disgust. “When your heart breaks, don’t come crying to me.”
“I will anyway.” I hugged her.
“Egh…” She made a show of trying to knock me off, then hugged me back.

SNIPPETS from the second or the third book in the Hidden Legacy Series 

Flander’s Steakhouse sat at the top of a twenty-story building on Louisiana Street, just south-west of the Theater District, and it took full advantage of the view.  Floor-to-ceiling windows presented the spectacular expanse of the night sky, below which Houston spread, glowing with warm yellow and orange against the darkness.  Freeways curved among the towers, channeling the current of cars seemingly through mid-air.  The floor, ceiling, and walls offered soothing browns, and the delicate chandeliers, wrought iron supporting upturned triangles of pale glass, softened the décor even further.  I’d gone out on a few business dinners, and most Houston steakhouses catered to male executives with business accounts.  They ran either straight into rustic Texas, with longhorn skulls and pelts on the walls, or they resembled gentlemen clubs, where one had to be a card-carrying member.  This was nice.

“Wine?” Rogan asked me. Why not. “Yes.” “What do you like?” I liked Asti Spumante. It was sweet and bubbly and it cost $5 per bottle.