Rating: 5 stars

So I’m not going to sugar coat this, the Elemental Mysteries series are my favorite books so it should be no surprise that I give them all 5 stars. This book (and series) has a little bit of every genre: paranormal/fantasy, romance, thriller, history. I stumbled upon this book after I finished reading The Discovery of Witches, which is a similar type of book, and I cannot praise it enough.

The book begins in 2003 when Dr. Giovanni Vecchio, a rare book collector with a mysterious presence, starts doing research in Houston and meets a young student/librarian-to-be Beatrice De Novo who is about to finish her undergraduate degree. Gio and Beatrice’s fascination with one another grows the more time they spend with one another, until one day Gio reveals the truth about himself to Beatrice. By coincidence, or perhaps fate, they learn that Beatrice is the key to unraveling a mystery that has plagued Gio for years.

“Tell the truth, Giovanni Vecchio.” A mischievous look came to her eye. “You have a butler, a cool car, and I’ve only ever seen you at night…”

He froze, tension suddenly evident in the set of his shoulders. Beatrice leaned closer and whispered, “You’re Batman, aren’t you?”

His mouth dropped open in surprise before the grin overtook his face. She smiled back at him, chuckling until he joined in. Soon, they were both laughing.

“You looked so serious for a second! What did you think I was going to say? A spy? Vampire? Hired killer?”

He shook his head in amusement. “You’re confounding. No, I was just surprised you guessed. I am, in fact, Batman. I would appreciate your discretion.”

She nodded with a smirk, and took another sip of the coffee he’d brought her. It had just a touch of cream, exactly the way she liked it. Sure you are. I’m a skeptic until I see the rubber suit. You’re not fooling me.”

He looked at her, smiling mischievously. “You really want to see me in a rubber suit?”

Are you hooked yet? This book was written so well and the progression of the character development was so natural. Nothing happened too fast – nothing was rushed. Ms. Hunter gave you just enough of everything in this first book to hook you onto the series. So where should I start…Giovanni. The name just exudes sexiness and when described with a body of a Greek god and an Italian accent, you have the makings of a very smoking hot man – and I mean literally smoking hot! Gio is so intelligent and controlled that sometimes you want to shake him to get him to react, but other times you are grateful that he is so strategic and careful because he always seems to have a plan. Gio is not perfect – he’s arrogant, even condescending at times, and believes he knows what’s best for everyone – but he is sure damn near close.

Then there is Beatrice, who at 22, is young, impressionable, stubborn and naive to Gio’s world. She’s had her fair share of heartache, loss and depression and is no innocent flower waiting for a knight to come save her. Although her stubbornness and naivity to Gio’s world was annoying at times, it just proved a point that Gio made throughout the book – that she was still just a girl that needed to develop and mature on her own.

The Elemental Mysteries world is filled with fascinating people that you grow to love. From Carwyn, the Welsh priest who wears Hawaiian shirts, to Tenzin, the young Asian girl who has a sense of premonition, to Lorenzo, Gio’s enemy who is determined to take what he feels belongs to him. This first book is a great introduction, but the story seems to just begin with “A Hidden Fire.”

Click to Purchase “A Hidden Fire (Book 1 Elemental Mysteries)” on Amazon<<< CURRENTLY FREE ON AMAZON