“No secret stays hidden forever.”
The explosive international bestseller were history, romance, and the paranormal collide.
A phone call from an old friend sets immortal book dealer Giovanni Vecchio back on the path of a mysterious manuscript he's hunted for over five hundred years. He never expected a young student librarian could be the key to unlock its secrets, nor could he have predicted the danger she would attract. Now he and Beatrice De Novo follow a twisted maze that leads from the archives of a university library, though the fires of Renaissance Florence, and toward a confrontation hundreds of years in the making.
A HIDDEN FIRE is the first book by USA Today and international bestseller, Elizabeth Hunter, author of the Elemental Mysteries, the Irin Chronicles, the Cambio Springs Mysteries, and the Glimmer Lake series.
It took the second read through to get me hooked.
Excellent world building. Characters you care about. A sweet ending. First in a series.
Librarians & Vampires
I’ve seen a few of these combo stories on offer lately. Bemusing concept, and while I’m not a vampire addict, I approve. I am much more interested in elemental stories, and guess what? For a certain value of elemental, it’s here as well.
I suppose if Ms Hunter, for whom this book is my introduction to her work, feels the need for a fifth book in the series, it could feature something of Spirit, which many Pagani know as the fifth element—yes, the movie got that summoning correct.
Here we have a proto-librarian, off to UCLA the August after she graduates college, to get an MLIS. Working evening hours in the rare book/research area of the University (Rice?) Library introduces her to a fire-affiliated vampire, who has charm up the wazoo, even without special vampire powers.
These vampires can see themselves in mirrors, but I’m not sure about photos. They do *not* sparkle, nor stay awake/active/outdoors during daylight hours. Otherwise they are vampires of legend, but nicer and not broody for the most part.
Every time I see Beatrice’s name, I hear the Italian pronunciation: bay-ah-tree-chay. She thinks her name is too “old woman”, and goes by B. Her family name, De Novo, I have to remember that it’s *not* di Nozzo. The vampire’s name is Giovanni Vecchio: John Old in English.
Unknown to her growing up, her father, a Dante scholar on a research trip to Italy when B was ten, was not killed in an auto accident, but killed and then turned. Not sure when her mother disappeared, but she’s never mentioned save for that. B went to live with her father’s parents.
She was messed up as a teen, had no deep interest in Dante, but a research librarian feels very right to her.
She feels interesting to Gio, who wants to find her father, who may know the fate of the library of his early years, before Savonarola’s “bonfire of vanities” in the late 15th century. Gio alternately scares and fascinates her.
Gio needs Internet research, but his ties to fire make most electronics break. B can do it for him, and he hires her as a part time assistant.
Her preferred style of dress is black and Doc Martin boots. She’s very good at her job in the rare book area, generally bright and perceptive, and a whiz researcher on the Net. She’s very good at managing the investment of her father’s estate. This talent comes up later in the book.
I prefer a character-focal novel, and MsHunter’s character development is excellent, but so is the plot. Nothing was telegraphed to me, and given the ending, I look forward to the more of their stories throughout the rest of the series.
What are you waiting for? Get this book in any format, by purchase or library checkout, and start reading.