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A Hidden Fire: Elemental Mysteries Book One

A Hidden Fire  - Elizabeth  Hunter This is actually a ★★★¾☆☆I read this novel as part of Katie's Kick'n It Free-Style at Gotta Have Paranormal with a Kick. The challenge consisted of four groups of readers, each one with a randomly assigned book (that had been previously suggested). The books has to be free eBook downloads from the major book selling sites (mostly Amazon and B&N). My team, Feisty Femme Fatales, was assigned A Hidden Fire.I enjoyed the story, the author managed to refresh a concept that has, lately, become a bit overdone; I tip my hat to her for achieving this. It has many memorable characters in its roaster. Beatrice (or B, as she prefers to be called) is a strong female character and a great lead to the story. Gio is, well, he is complicated... Gio begins as a strong character, but there is one particular moment after which my perspective of him changed 180°. Among the rest of the characters we have Carwyn, one of Gio's best vampire friend, -and in my honest opinion- one of the best characters of the series. Did I mention he is a priest? Yup, he is both a priest and a vampire with a particular taste for Hawaiian shirts. Other great characters include Isadora (Beatrice's grandmother) and Caspar (Gio's butler/son/human best friend/ehh... you get the picture).It's a solid story, with great characters and a very interesting story line. I completely love the vivid description of the various places, especially Cochamó, Chile; it makes you want to go there and go off the grid for a while. However, I had two small (or maybe not so small) problems with the book. The first three chapters as well as a good part after 60% mark, were kind of slow; to the point that it felt like it was dragging. But the rest of the story picks up rather quickly and the story ended up hooking me.There was one particular story plot that drove me insane, and still, after finishing the book and began the second, I find it that I wish it had gone down differently. There is one common theme that is exploited in every vampire novel and There is just no way that a vampire will let anyone, regardless of who, take away the one they truly love and simply do nothing; especially when that love one is crying her heart out, begging for you to help her. No. Way. In. Hell! Vampire territorialism is an instinctive reaction..After the event that shall not be named occur, my trust to the character was shattered, chances are that on another moment I would have put the book down. But since this was for a challenge I kept reading; I'm glad I did. The bottom line is that this is a good story that has enough intrigue and mystery to keep you entertained. By the end of the book I was back to being hooked, although to a lesser degree. On recommendation from the amazing ladies at Gotta Have Paranormal with a Kick I'll continue the series; it looks like it only gets better.A Few Quotes:Gio to Beatrice: “No, I don’t have to ‘drain’ a blood donor, Beatrice. I don’t have to kill to survive.” She paused, a small smile ghosting her lips. “Unlike us, who kill animals all the time.” (p. 103).“Should I be concerned that one of your first questions is how to kill me?” (p. 103).“So it is important to learn that which helps us to cope with the cruel vagaries of life and the persistent ebb and rise of the human situation.” (p. 180). Beatrice to herself: “Stupid vampires with their stupid preternatural senses,” she muttered, but she knew Carwyn could hear her because he his shoulders began shaking with silent laughter. (p. 167).Carwyn to Beatrice: “There’s such a delicious joke there, but I’m going to be good and hold back. With the amount of sexual tension permeating these grounds, even a bad ‘rock your world’ line is liable to ignite something.” (p. 223). Beatrice to an unconscious Gio: “It’s probably really evil that I want to draw something on your face right now, isn’t it?” (p. 400).Gio quoting Aristotle: “ ‘Love,’ ” he whispered in Italian, “ ‘is a single soul inhabiting two bodies.’ ” (p. 409). This review first appeared in my blog, Journey with Words.