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A Hidden Fire: Elemental Mysteries, Book 1 | [Elizabeth Hunter]

A Hidden Fire: Elemental Mysteries, Book 1

No secret stays hidden forever. A phone call from an old friend sets mysterious book researcher Giovanni Vecchio back on the path of a mystery that has eluded him for centuries. Little does he suspect a young librarian holds the key to an ancient secret, nor could he expect the danger Beatrice De Novo would attract. Now both will follow a twisted maze leading from the archives of a university library, through the fires of Renaissance Florence, and toward a passion that could destroy them both.
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Publisher's Summary

Semi-finalist - The Kindle Book Review, Best Indie Books of 2012

"The first book in the best-selling Elemental Mysteries series by Elizabeth Hunter, Elemental Mysteries has turned into one of the best paranormal series I've read this year. It's sharp, elegant, clever, evenly paced without dragging its feet, and at the same time emotionally intense."
—Nocturnal Book Reviews

No secret stays hidden forever. A phone call from an old friend sets mysterious book researcher Giovanni Vecchio back on the path of a mystery that has eluded him for centuries. Little does he suspect a young librarian holds the key to an ancient secret, nor could he expect the danger Beatrice De Novo would attract. Now both will follow a twisted maze leading from the archives of a university library, through the fires of Renaissance Florence, and toward a passion that could destroy them both.

©2011 Elizabeth Hunter (P)2013 Audible, Inc.

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.7 (151 )
5 star
 (41)
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3 star
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3.8 (136 )
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Story
3.6 (141 )
5 star
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Performance
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  •  
    B. Greenville, SC, United States 07-22-13
    B. Greenville, SC, United States 07-22-13 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Fantastic story--far less than ideal narrator"

    Elizabeth Hunter's series is clever--much more clever than many series in this genre. I read all of these before I found them on Audible, and I had a hard time putting them down. I was so excited that they were going to be available in audio format. Pearlman is not the best narrator for this series, though. Her voice, while pleasant enough, also has grating nasal tones. The story requires a wide range of accents and nuance, and Pearlman's voice is not up to the challenge.

    I strongly recommend the story--and all the sequels. I do require a different narrator, though. Some people might not have trouble--listen to the samples before you buy.

    6 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Robin in Vermont Vermont 04-03-14
    Robin in Vermont Vermont 04-03-14 Member Since 2009

    I'll read anything good. I'm easy that way.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "What's happened to Dina Pearlman?"

    I loved this series when I read it on my Kindle and couldn't wait for it to come out on Audible.

    Then I bought it. What the heck has happened to Dina Pearlman? Her reading of this is so awful that it's un-listenable. Normally I enjoy her performances in series like Anna Strong and Vampire Moon, but in this one she flops spectacularly.

    Why make a character like Beatrice, a young, sheltered academic, sound like a coarse ranch hand with boundary issues? What reads as simple curiosity in the material, Pearlman turns into a suspicious interrogation in her interpretation. She usually doesn't have a tin ear for nuance, but her accents for a Welshman and an Italian are so horrific it sounds like she has square marbles in her mouth. Her voice also sounds overworked and aging. I almost wonder if she's been ill.

    What a bummer. I guess I'll clear the whole series off my iPod and reread it on my kindle.

    What a shame.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    BlueMtn La Grande, OR, United States 03-21-14
    BlueMtn La Grande, OR, United States 03-21-14 Member Since 2009

    Addicted to books, especially audiobooks. Read lots and prosper!

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A hidden gem"

    Loved the narration by Dina Pearlman. She was consistent and smooth and well defined and non-grating character voices. Excellent performance.

    Whoooo. This was a new author for me. Yawn, another vampire book? Yes, but thank goodness there was no sparkles, leather or tats. No hype and snark. Instead a beautiful quiet building of world, relationships and mystery. A touch of romance, but again slow, as in 2 or more books to fully be realized slow I think. The characterizations were deep and fun and the language was fluid. I thoroughly enjoyed it. It seemed like a vacation from so many UF that are trying for over the top flash and bang. This was subtle flavoring but lots of body and fulfilling in the end. We have our centuries old vampire Gio and our young heroine Beatrice. It was awesome that they had dialog and there was no instant mate claiming or clothes ripping. They actually took time getting to know each other, their friends and family and then their clashing at trying to discover the mysteries that surrounded each of them and finding out how those circumstances became intertwined. How cool we have a vampire on a book hunt with a librarian to aid him? I found it refreshing and enjoyable. My only point is that I felt Beatrice was almost a little too stubborn and young at times, but it was only annoying for brief moments. I loved Carwynn. I will be following the rest of this authors series.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Denise saint helens, oregon, United States 12-11-13
    Denise saint helens, oregon, United States 12-11-13 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Bad Voice"

    I really love these books, so when I heard they were coming out in audio I couldn't wait to get them. Unfortunately the narrator is really bad. I mean really really bad. I had a hard time telling the difference between Gio and Carwyn by their voices. I also thought that Bea needed to sound more female and less like the actual narrator. The book isn't worth returning since I got it with the ebook and it was fairly cheap, but I don't recommend anyone spend any time or money listening. Buy the book instead. You'll be glad you did.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sergey Brooklyn, NY, United States 11-17-13
    Sergey Brooklyn, NY, United States 11-17-13 Member Since 2005
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Returned after about an hour"
    What disappointed you about A Hidden Fire?

    This is a boring Vampire story. The authors talent was sufficient for about an hour of listening from expected 11 hours. Then the story dissipated into weak words. Sort of Harlequin romance but without sexy details. Terrible tease.


    Would you ever listen to anything by Elizabeth Hunter again?

    No


    What did you like about the performance? What did you dislike?

    Performance cannot be a substitute for a story.


    What character would you cut from A Hidden Fire?

    I am not sure that this is a reasonable question.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Angelika Browning, Montana, United States 11-14-13
    Angelika Browning, Montana, United States 11-14-13 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "What a unsatisfying love story!"
    Would you be willing to try another book from Elizabeth Hunter? Why or why not?

    No, I would not try another book, because the romantic relationship described is unsatisfying, and I don't like to wait until the last chapter of the last book until they finally become lovers. NO, THANK YOU!
    The expressed victorian attitude towards sexuality is disturbing. It divides sexuality between "pornography, which is not worth fighting a war over" and a little lustful bloodsucking, which needs excusing. That is annoying!


    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    The reader is very distracting speaking speaking with a hispanic accent.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Donna Athol, MA, USA 10-20-13
    Donna Athol, MA, USA 10-20-13 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "I'm hooked!"
    What other book might you compare A Hidden Fire to and why?

    A Discovery of Witches. Stories and characters are quite similar and just as enjoyable.


    Which character – as performed by Dina Pearlman – was your favorite?

    Beatrice. Love her sarcasm!


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    Made me laugh out loud a few times.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Taylor Seabrook, TX, United States 07-17-14
    Taylor Seabrook, TX, United States 07-17-14 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Enjoyable"

    First of all, I have to say hats off to Diana Pearlman. I tend to be overly picky about narrators but even I was impressed when this naturally American accented narrator managed to pull off impersonating someone with an Italian accent doing a bad impression of an American accent... That takes some skill. It's clear by all the negative reviews this narrator receives that everyone has their own pet peeves but personally I was impressed with the narration of this book.

    The story was a little slow for my tastes but I did really enjoy it. All in all, I thought it was well worth the $1.99 I payed for the book with professional narration.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Curls 05-18-14
    Curls 05-18-14 Member Since 2013
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    "Love this series"
    What made the experience of listening to A Hidden Fire the most enjoyable?

    I was elated to know that this series was available via audio. The world that Ms. Hunter has built is captivating and intriguing.


    Have you listened to any of Dina Pearlman’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    This is the first book I've listened to performed by Ms. Pearlman. She did a fabulous job!


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Fraoch Wisconsin 05-08-14
    Fraoch Wisconsin 05-08-14

    Fraoch

    ratings
    REVIEWS
    5
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    Story
    "Decent story, kind of bad narration"
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    I enjoyed the story and went on to listen to the others.


    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    The narrator was...I feel like she just didn't have an idea who these characters were. Her voice for Beatrice was just baaaad. She sounded very trashy, and ill-bred. It was horribly jarring. Some of the accents were ok, and others were strange. The Italian was pretty overdone I thought, to the point of being distracting. The villain's voice was goofy rather than menacing and when I went to the kindle copy to read it, the voices in my head made the characters and even the story so much more appealing that even though I love the convenience of the audiobook, I kind of think the narrator wrecked the story a little for me.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 1-10 of 15 results PREVIOUS12NEXT
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  • sharon
    Falmouth, United Kingdom
    9/28/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Refreshing..."

    I was skeptical at first, I thought I was over the vampire paranormal genre, I am a sucker for a good PNR,and shame on me I missed it, a guilty pleasure I wanted assuaged.

    Not holding out much hope this book pleasantly surprised me. One it has a great story line and individual characters and two there's no instantaneous love at first sight , there's drama, a very delicious vampire with an unusual power, who actually does not dare scratch that itch, I understand why. Though when he does fall foul of his feelings or has to put up a front, sparks fly.

    The story and relationship unfolds slowly without losing any pace, glad this independent author decided to publish, EH has put my faith back into the genre. Mystery, romance and drama I found this PNR refreshing and will definitely read more.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • CHRISIE
    BRISTOL, United Kingdom
    9/26/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "My series of this year year"
    Where does A Hidden Fire rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    top five and i've heard many


    What was one of the most memorable moments of A Hidden Fire?

    Well they say "absence makes the heart grow fonder" !! and only when you read you will understand what i mean Besides the the mystery around gio and the humour between B & G I loved the way Elizabeth set out the history.


    What does Dina Pearlman bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

    Dinas character voice changes were excellent. Her voice for Beatrice and Gio were just as I imagined when i read the books earlier in the year .


    If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    If life were this exciting you would want to live forever


    Any additional comments?

    This isn't a teenage " Vampire Diarie"s or Twighlight. this is an adult story (not as in rudeness more in terms of maturity) I actually didn't know it was based on human and vampire world until a few chapters in. Beatrice (or B in early parts) found out stuff the same time as we did, very clever how that was writing in a slow reveal of information. I probably wouldn't have read it otherwise thinking it was going to be a teen goth book lolIt is worth joining

    Elizabeth Hunters facebook page.she is a newish author with a building fan bass and answers most posts. its amazing the research Elizabeth goes into while preparing for her books. in the summer she was blogging to us all from istanbul where she was researching for another book series.

    The whole series needs to be heard/read not just this book.

    There are 4 elemental mysteries books followed by a onward series called elemental world that explores the characters more and uncovers more of the mystery of vampire politics crime and drug situation as well as further character development. This series is still expanding I believe.

    A Hidden Fire (Elemental Mysteries Book One)This Same Earth (Elemental Mysteries Book Two)The Force of Wind (Elemental Mysteries Book Three)

    A Fall of Water (Elemental Mysteries Book Four)Building From Ashes (Elemental World Book One) Waterlocked (An Elemental World Novella)Blood and Sand (Elemental World Book Two)

    Blood and Sand (Elemental World 3) was my favorite in the second series and explored the character of Boajia

    Extract: From BLOOD AND SAND...

    Natalie was trying to take her first tai chi lesson seriously. Really. She was. But the feel of Baojia moving her arms and legs into various positions, then standing really close to move her from form to form was more than a little distracting. "You should really put on a shirt if you want me to concentrate." He moved in front of her and tilted her chin up as she stood with arms stretched out and legs half-bent. "I don't have many clothes here, and I'm not going to ruin my nice shirts practicing. Now focus." She muttered, "Kind of hard to do after that thing you did an hour ago." A lift at the corner of his mouth was the only reaction she got.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Colette
    Gorebridge, United Kingdom
    11/29/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Predictable and disappointing"
    If this book wasn’t for you, who do you think might enjoy it more?

    I think this is more aimed at teenage girls...very Twilighty.


    Would you ever listen to anything by Elizabeth Hunter again?

    No, it has put me off completely.


    Have you listened to any of Dina Pearlman’s other performances? How does this one compare?

    This was my first and she did a good job. It was the story that couldn't hold my interest, not her performance.


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    Disappointment. From the reviews it sounded like it bucked the trend but I waswrong.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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