45 Book Reviews submitted by our Members...sorted by voted most helpful
Julie N. reviewed Playing With Fire (Tales of an Extraordinary Girl, Bk 1) on
Helpful Score: 8
This is one of the most interesting and funny superhero genre books I have ever read. The characters are spunky and sizzling...This book could definatly become a series and I hope Gena Showalter writes more about these characters.
An OK book. Some cheesy comic book elements to it (secret formula, evil bad guys with many henchmen), and the characters needed more depth, but also some interesting ideas as well. The main character - Belle Jamison, has trouble keeping a job even though she needs to work to keep her father alive, because deep down she's bored and sabotauges them all. The power over the 4 elements is thrust upon Belle suddenly, and soon finds herself anything but bored in the company of Rome Masters whose agenda she can't figure out. I thought this was not a bad book, but could be more. It feels like the plot was alright but wasn't as well thought out as it could have been. Some amusing moments, but also some moments where the glib comments were annoying. Overall - light reading.
I've been wanting to read the Alien Huntress series by Gena Showalter forever. I picked this book up instead to get a flavor for her writing style without getting involved in another ongoing series. This was a cute book. If you like the Aisling Grey Guardian series or other similar funny paranormal romance books you would probably get a kick out of this one.
This book is about Belle. Belle is a girl who has a hard time getting and keeping jobs. She needs the money to help pay for care for her ailing dad. Then one day on break some guy in a mad scientist get-up runs out of an abandoned building into the coffee shop Belle is currently working at. Later she finds out he slipped something in her mocha latte. Suddenly Belle is like a Wonder Woman of the four elements and she can do things only super heroes can do. Fortunately this helps her meet up with another super hottie who has cool powers of his own. Unfortunately the bad guys want Belle for their own nefarious purposes.
This was a cute light read. There is a lot of imagining about sex and groping and a lot of talking about sex. So if that bothers you I would look the other way; I would say the sex talk is about the same level as the Aisling Grey books...maybe a bit lighter. There was a lot of action and suspense too and that really kept the book moving. The male lead Rome is sensitive, animalistic, and sexy. This book has a little of that alpha male thing going on but not that much.
Belle's powers were really cool; very X-men. I only wish that we had seen more of them. As with all of these paranormal romances I wish they had spent more time kicking butt and less time groping each other. But, what can you do? I knew what I was getting into.
All in all this book was fast-paced, a quick and light read, lots of fun, and just right for lifting your mood. I zoomed right through it. The story line wasn't the most original; and the characters somewhat stereotypical. This is another one of those books that if you know what you are getting into you'll have fun. If you abhor romance though, I would choose something different...maybe the Jaz Parks series would be more your style.
I am kind of glad this is a one book thing. It would be interesting to see Belle in a few more missions but I think the characters would get old in a few books.
Amy J. (djsfoxylady) - , reviewed Playing With Fire (Tales of an Extraordinary Girl, Bk 1) on
Helpful Score: 2
This was one of the first books I read by this author! She has such talent for incorporating humor with the suspense and paranormal. This is one book that I would love to have in my collection to read over and over again!
My Thoughts: I really loved Playing With Fire. We meet Belle who has had so many jobs she is basically used to getting fired even though she hates it. One day, out of the blue, someone rushes into the coffee place she works and all hell lets loose. A few days later she wakes up to a hot guy standing over her bed. His name is Rome. Come on, doesn't that name say it all? The guy is hot, gorgeous, dreamy! He was so darn sexy I spent most of the book melting. He is so witty and he definitely knows how to make a girl blush. Belle wakes up with superpowers such as fire from her eyes, fire from her fingers, she can create ice, etc. We also meet all the side characters who are out to get Belle and kidnap her to use her for their advantage. Don't get me wrong, there are also good guys, her sidekicks! This book was so action filled and so good. I wanted Belle and Rome to be together. There is so much more to her and him and the chemistry between them is hot! I just hope the second book is just as good! I love Gena's writing. I've read a few of her others and she has a great writing style. I suggest picking up this book now before the end of the month when the sequel comes out.
Overall: AMAZING! So much fun! The characters are hot and smoldering!
Cover: Really like this cover, the colors are pretty, and its very appealing.
Crack me up! I love Belle's spirit and humor! At times, it is really unbelievable (even for a paranormal) to the point of being ridiculous (think "Paranormal Stephanie Plum") but I think that is what makes it even more fun! It is SUCH a change from her Lords of the Otherworld and Atlantis series but still totally fun!
Having read the Anita Blake series, werecat series(Prey, Stray, Rogue, etc), and Mercy Thompson, I LOVE strong, funny lead females. This won't disappoint if you enjoy those. I also LOVE JD Robb, and while this is TOTALLY different, I think you will enjoy the humor in this book if you like those.
I could not put this down, choosing take out over cooking, reading over cleaning... finished it in 5 hours... haven't have this much fun in awhile! :)
What a surprise this book turned out to be. I gave it a chance because i really like Gena Showalter's "Lords of the Underworld" series. It took a while to get into this book, but once it hooked me it was a fun read. The developing romance between Rome and Belle is funny and charming and i couldn't wait till they finally hooked up. They picked up a couple of interesting characters along the way and the team came together to kill the bad guys. It's a different kind of paranormal book than i usually read, but i really enjoyed it. This seems to be the beginning to a new series since Belle and Rome now work together for PSI. I can't wait to read the next one....
Good book...but not one of Showalters best. I liked the struggle that the heroine had with getting a grip on her powers...actually liked the whole concept of her having powers. But some of the plot seemed a little forced and there were a lot of loose ends left in the plot by the end. I'm not sure if she plans to wrap those up in the next book, but Showalter usually wraps up al the ends in each book, so I was a little surprised. I liked it enough to read the next one, but I wouldn't hold this up as her best work. There are some hilarious parts though...the inner voice of the heroine is very witty and I did laugh out loud in some spots.
I really enjoyed this book. It is a fantasy, there are evil, secret government agencies. An innocent who drinks a strange formula unknowingly. And love.
This was an enjoyable escapist read. I laughed out loud several times.
Katie S. reviewed Playing With Fire (Tales of an Extraordinary Girl, Bk 1) on
Helpful Score: 1
HATED this book. I was introduced to Showalter's work through an anthology and thought her short story was all right. Then saw this, read the back page and thought 'wow...kickass female + alpha-male = cool.' Actually started reading it and couldn't get through the first chapter.
Her writing's all over the place; new characters kept on being introduced then ignored. There was literally no character development and the main heroine was the stereotypical complaining rebel. She complained about her job, her life, her problems, etc. I couldn't feel sorry or relate to her. The alpha-male wasn't that much of a male and the action scenes were corny. The romance scenes weren't steamy and, all in all, I can not find one good thing to recommend this book.
Love, sex and paranormals is the basis of this story. The main character Belle Jamison is really annoying, she spends most of the book whining about her new super powers and trying to get Rome Masters in bed. What redeemed the story were the side characters and some great laugh out loud jokes.
Eh, it was ok. I thought the dialog was corny at times, and boring at others. It was also in first person, which isn't my favorite POV, but the heroine was supposed to be flighty which was even worse. It wasn't a bad book; I liked the plot.
Basically it's the first person tale of Belle, an ordinary girl with a boring life, who unsuspectingly drinks a formula that gives her powers over the four elements. She is pulled into a world of paranormal wonders she never knew existed right under her nose. Rome, an agent of a paranormal organization, first hunts her to neutralize her but finds himself attracted to her and driven to protect her. Because Belle is being hunted by many people who want to use her new found powers for their own gains.
The best best things about this book--very cute, very funny, without being too sugery sweet. Belle is clumsy and emotional in the beginning, seems like kind of a loser but with a good heart. She's so easy to relate to and that makes it all the more fun when she starts to grow both in the use of her powers and as a person. Rome was a very sexy counterpart, very likeable. There's also some interesting secondary characters introduced, such as Tanner the empath who becomes Belle's sidekick. Basically it's all the fun of a comic book but with a romance novel twist.
The negative part--it's a bit predictable. Like all first books in a series, it's preoccupied with setting up the world and doesn't have the best stand alone plot. The book is still enjoyable, but it could have used less exposition. Overall though, a really great read.
Not bad, a little bit of girly girl for my taste. Definitely had lots of humor amongst the running for their lives and with romancing all thrown into the mix. Was entertaining. If you like Katie MacAlister you would like this book.
this was a god story like most of Genas books but not quite as exciting and good as her Aisling Grey series IMO but still worth the read.. read it in 2 days.. its a quick read and I do hope she writes more on this subject.. She left it so many of the people in the book could be written about in their won story or this could be a good series in itself... worth the read
This book was a fun read! Lots of danger and sexy passion, adventure and humor! Belle Jamision is a modern day, kick-butt heroine!
From the back of the book cover:
Earth, Wind and Fire aren't just a band any more...Used to be my greatest achievement was holding a job more than three days. Now suddenly I can shoot fireballs, chill your drink, or blow dry your hair at fifty paces with the blink of my eye!
It all started when this crazy scientist dropped something in my Grande Mocha Latte. Of course I got wicked sick. Next morning I'm waking up with this total hottie bending over me. He tells me 1) his name is Rome Masters, 2) he's a government agent and 3) I can control the four elements with a thought. He seems even less pleased by my apparently irreverible transformation than I am...Because now he'll have to kill me!
Imagine a pill dropped into your Mocha Latte that suddenly gives you control over all four elements with a thought. The gorgoeus federal male agent that appears with them seems like a great bonus until he explains he now he is supposed to kill her... Bummer!
Another home run for this author! Suspense, magic, and romance keep you on the edge of your seat. Imagine a pill dropped into your Mocha Latte that suddenly gives you control over all four elements with a thought. The gorgoeus federal male agent that appears with them seems like a great bonus until he explains he now he is supposed to kill her... Bummer!
Great book - Belle Jamison has a had run of bad luck (or bad attitude) with jobs but she needs to support her father so this would be a bad time to be unemployed. Then a guy in a white lab coat shows up in the coffee shop where she is still employed (just barely) and slips something into her mocha latte when she is trying to help him. Nothing is ever the same again - she wakes up to find a strange guy in her bedroom . . . a bedroom that she set on fire in her sleep.
This is a very entertaining story - a world with superheroes and super powers. I enjoyed it immensely.
Used to be, my greatest achievement was holding a job more than three days. Now, suddenly I can shoot fireballs, chill your drink, or blow-dry your hair at fifty paces with a blink of my eye! It all started when a crazy scientist dropped something in my Grande Mocha Latte. Of course I got wicked sick. Next morning, I'm waking up with a major hottie bending over me. He tells me 1) his name's Rome Matthews, 2) he's a government agent, and 3) I can control the four elements with a thought. He seems even less pleased by my (apparently irreversible) transformation than I am because now he'll have to kill me. Still. I didn't make this bed of trouble, but Rome sure wants me to lie in it. . . with him.
From the back: Used to be my greatest achievement was holding a job more than three days. Now suddenly I can shot fireballs, chill your drink or blow-dry your hair at fifty paces with a blink of my eyes.
Belle Jamison has been a waitress, maid, odometer tweaker, assembly line worker, professional clown, and towel girl. Now a self-proclaimed "coffee wench" at Utopia Cafe, she is again on the verge of unemployment. Just as she sits down for her long-overdue break, a man in a white lab coat rushes through the cafe with what appear to be government agents on his heels. The substance he sneaks into Belle's grand mocha latte changes her life forever: the new Super Belle can control the four elements--earth, wind, fire, and water. Hunky Rome Masters is an agent from PSI (Paranormal Studies and Investigations) sent to "neutralize" (read kill) Belle. Instead, Rome, who has a secret of his own, falls for the feisty waitress, and soon both of them are on the run.