Wicked Burn by Rebecca Zanetti
Series: Realm Enforcers #3
Also in this series: Wicked Edge
Published by Lyrical Press on June 7, 2016
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Includes the brand new Dark Protectors novella, 'Talen'!
Simone Brightston knows she can beat the rap her enemies are pinning on her. An Irish witch is nobody's fool, and she didn't get to her position on the high council without serious power. But her cousins want her to hide out—and they somehow convinced her arch nemesis to play getaway driver.
Of all the men she's known, Nikolaj Veis is the hardest to intimidate. With his demon-dark eyes and his inscrutable beauty, he's as desirable as he is dangerous. And he knows better than to underestimate Simone. So when he pulls up on a roaring bike and tells her to climb on or fight it out, she grabs a handful of jacket and holds on tight. Running from the law may not be the smartest plan. But when it comes to Nick, hot pursuit and a blazing fast ride are exactly what Simone's looking for . . .
I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book.
Straight up, I’ll admit it was the cover and all the talk surrounding this book that lured me in. Somewhere it suggested this book could be read as a standalone, so I went out on a limb and decided to read it. I have a golden rule regarding reading a series in their intended order…I should have stuck to my rule because there were a few details that made me feel like an outsider looking in!
The story was heavy on detail and as such it was a focused rather than relaxing book to read. Surprisingly, I noticed missing out on the world building essential for paranormal stories that I gather would have occurred within the first book in this series. What did occur was a layered telling of the story, providing new twists and direction for the characters and the story in general. Not unlike a platform game, new levels of the plot continued right up until the end.
Nick Veis handled a Ducati like he did everything else in life…using control edged with a hint of violence.
Nick was in a precarious position from the start. He was a demon who was in a relationship with Simone ready to solidify what they had when an unexpected messenger arrives with details of a vision. He needs to make a choice, keep Simone and her people safe or follow his heart.
Simone has never forgiven Nick for being another man in her life that has let her down. Moving forward, she focuses on helping others doing proactive work as a member of the witch’s Coven Nine. When Nick comes back into her life, she wants nothing to do with him but the memory of how good they had been together messes with Simone’s resolve to put a barrier between them.
He’d always respected her for the gift and for never trying to be anything but who she was…a stunning, brilliant, vain, independent, sarcastic, loyal witch.
There were a couple of anomalies that bothered me. I have read a number of paranormal romances over the years, with some I would include within my all-time favourite series, but I don’t recall reading a lot about demons that are caring and loving. Don’t get me wrong, Nick was badass but when it came to Simone he was doting and protective. This made it hard to place him in my head as a paranormal character. Needing to rely on mobile phones to communicate seemed a human trait rather than an immortal shortcoming.
For a couple who were on the run for most of the book, they managed to squeeze in a fair bit of smexy action. Simone dismissing it as a platonic mutually beneficial exchange whereas Nick saw it as their connection progressing. It worked, but there was so much else going on my mind was set on them coming out of their situation in one piece…a relationship would be a bonus!
The story ends with a ‘happy for now’ but in their realm, that could mean anything. The numerous twists and turns were such a big feature of their story, I can’t imagine reading about them living the quiet life anytime soon. My rating is potentially aligned to not having read any of the Realm Enforcer books before and I imagine if you are a fan of this series some of my struggles may very well be a non-issue.
What I struggled with:
- The traits associated with each species
- Limitations of power
- Simone’s heritage only showing through occasionally, when she’d use the term ‘aye’
- Being overwhelmed with detail, (I had the infomercial voice in my head saying “Wait, but there’s more!”
- The nickname ‘Little Bunny” I get why she was called it, but it clashed with my perception of her strength
What I loved:
- Bear – he was a caring guy that impressed me!
- Zane’s and Nick’s friendship
Lily’s Rating: 3 Stars
I gotta say, I have no idea how Lily made it through Wicked Burn without the benefit of having read the first two in the series. I have read them and I struggled. I usually do a refresher reread before starting a new one for series like this but time was against me so I just dove in. This was a mistake since the book just pretty much jumped from the starting gate and never really gave you a chance to get your bearings on who everyone is, and what was going on, and believe you me there was a lot going on.
What really threw me was the fact that even with so much going on, I still kept putting the book down and finding other stuff to do. Usually, when a book is full of twists and turns I’m all in but this just wasn’t the case for Wicked Burn. It took me awhile to figure out what my issue was– I didn’t really get the relationship between Nick and Simone. We are told that Nick and Simone were an item years before and then he broke it off because he was given a choice, save the world by making sure the demon nation ended up with the foretold right leader, or eventually lose Simone and all the other witches. What we didn’t get was the connection between them. How they came to be, what they overcame to get there, how invested they were and how heartbroken they were when Nick ended them. Since there is so much other stuff going on, we also aren’t given any time for Nick and Simone to really work on a new connection. Nick just decides they aren’t over and proceeds to make it so no matter how much Simone protests.
I liked Nick. He was a strong alpha, driven, but also caring and extremely loyal. Simone was harder for me to form an attachment to. I didn’t understand her need to stick around for a trial she knew she couldn’t win. She was unbelievably stubborn and at times made poor decisions that caused more problems than they solved.
I really enjoyed getting to know Bear better and the revelations that came from that were interesting. The new addition of Flynn could make for some interesting story fodder in the future. He kept me off base since I was never sure if I wanted to hug him or kick him.
There was lots of action, politics, mystery and gobs of plot twists to move the overarching series story line forward. Unfortunately, I’m not sure if I will continue on. Although I generally like Ms. Zanetti’s books, of the three books in the series, I’ve struggled through two of them. They were decent books, they just didn’t grab hold like I expected.
Spice’s Rating: 3 I NEED my MC’s To Connect Stars
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