Wicked Burn (Realm Enforcers #3) by Rebecca Zanetti #BookReview
*** This review is SPOILER-FREE! Read on with confidence! ***
Every time I open a new Rebecca Zanetti story I’m reminded why I keep coming back with such enthusiasm. Blazing intensity—carried by either lust or action-fueled adrenaline (sometimes both at the same time)—lights up her stories, fills the pages with excitement and anticipation in the best possible way.
“What exactly do you want from me Nicholai?”
His deep chuckle echoed off the buildings bracketing them. “I want everything, Simone. And this time, I’m going to keep it.”
I finished Wicked Burn several days—and books—ago, and there are still moments from the story that haunt or warm me. Seeing Nick’s transformation, both as a younger demon and in his current quest for Simone, really made me appreciate Ms. Zanetti’s ability to create complex, multi-faceted characters that stand out even in a crowd of other equally memorable characters. Simone is far more than the bitch she’s come off as up til this point, and her background is a doozy! I had SO much fun with this book!
Nick Veis handled a Ducati like he did everything else in life…using control edged with a hint of violence.
Ms. Zanetti’s work is so thorough, so atmospheric. She paints her canvas with more than just descriptions. Adjectives and adverbs, those may be effective tools for an author, but they’re also cheap and easy. Ms. Zanetti threads her scenes with little situational cues, keeping the reader in the moment in the best way possible—without devaluing her prose.
“What upset you so when you spoke with your mother?”
“You sound like a spoiled teenager. Stop pouting and tell me the truth.” He was rapidly losing his hold on both his good intentions and his temper.
“My life is none of your business.” Her breath blew bubbles away.
A hurt, surprising in its sharpness, bladed through his chest. “Do you really mean that?”
She didn’t answer.
Wicked Burn brings some interesting changes to the Dark Protectors story universe. Actually, less “changes”, more holy-cow-I-didn’t-see-that-coming “reveals”. One aspect of the shifter lore in this story world has always bugged me; ever since I read my first Dark Protector book, this one thing felt ill conceived or under developed. Without giving any spoilers, there is one particular moment in this book where I felt my eyes pop with a whispered “Holy shit!”, followed right up by a YESSSSSS! fist pump. I’d like to believe Ms. Zanetti had this planned all along, and now I want to go back and read from the very start of the origin series. When Kellach’s book released (side note: I somehow missed Daire’s book, Wicked Edge, and went back to read it after I finished Wicked Burn), I remember thinking it didn’t have the punch I’d so enjoyed from the DP books and wasn’t quite as original as I’d hoped. Well, Wicked Burn breathes brand new life into the Realm Enforcers series and I am SO stoked.
Speaking of the Realm, Nick and Simone reminded me a lot of Conn and Moira, my favorite couple from both series. This story is rich with AMAZING moments, so many more than I could mention without spoiling the ridiculous amount of fun that fans of the two series are going to have with Nick and Simone’s adventure. All the work Ms. Zanetti put into building up her Dark Protector story world is paying off big-time in this newest installment. This book is packed with action and romance, camaraderie & solidarity, and an all around feel-good that kept me glued to the pages long after I should have been asleep or at work.
Simone and Nick fit right into Ms. Zanetti’s established cadre of sassy, smart, strong heroines and powerful, over-the-top alpha males, and their adventure rivals any told in this story world to date for sheer enjoyment. It’s a hell of a ride! I absolutely loved having a full-bred demon as the hero of the romance, and boy is he a badass. Nick rounds out all the most appealing traits from Conn, Talen, and Zane, and brings his own proud elegance and dirty determination into the mix.
And Simone…well, we already knew she is no witch to be trifled with, and her bossy, bitchy exterior is a perfect compliment to Nick’s take-no-shit, strategical brand of patience and incredible strength. I loved that many of Simone’s personality quirks are neatly justified as her history unfolds and that both she and Nick allow themselves to be completely vulnerable to each other…after a few pulse-pounding, blood-heating fights, of course. *wink*
And the addon short story with Talen and Cara… mmm! While Talen and Cara are probably my least favorite couple in the entire series (he’s just too caveman for me), this short was beautifully executed, and fans who do love Talen will be delighted with how their check-in plays out. Lots of tension, heat, and action—totally Talen style, with a healthy heaping of independence from the newly healthy Cara!
“I freely admit I love not aging. Never understood those old movies where the vampires were all sad and full of self-hatred.”
Janie chuckled. “Maybe they were alone and didn’t have immortal family all around.”
My list of auto-buy authors is very small, and Rebecca Zanetti is right at the top! Her stories just keep getting better and better, and I can’t wait for the next… book, series, whatever!… to release each and every time! Fans of the Dark Protectors story world are going to LOVE Wicked Burn, and new readers will find themselves swept into one of the most intriguing, creative, and enjoyable paranormal romance worlds ever written.
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