"Funny story of superheros and shapeshifters!"
When Belle Jamison's mother died, her father did everything
he could to raise Belle right, including working way longer
than he should have with his heart condition. Now that
she's an adult, Belle is determined to do the same for him,
especially since her father now lives in an assisted-
living community. Of course, it's up to Belle to foot the
bill for her father's expenses, which is why she's working
as many jobs as she possibly can. And after being the
bartender at that party last night, she's about to be late
for her job at Utopia Café, where she sells different types
of coffee. Once again, Belle manages to sweet talk her boss
into not firing her, but then, again, her "girls" did their
part. Finally taking a break and sitting at a table with
her Mocha Latte when the morning rush is over, Belle is
once again wondering what type of business is in that place
across the street. The next thing you know, a man in a lab
coat leaves said establishment and runs right into the
Utopia Café. Somehow, the man manages to get away before
the suits come in and start questioning everyone. Once all
the excitement is over, Belle quickly forgets the incident
and finishes her latte. After all, she's got a job
interview to rush to. Not feeling well, Belle totally blows
the interview and just manages to crawl home and into bed.
For a long time, Belle slips in and out of sleep. When she
finally comes to, she finds a man leaning over her and not
just any man, but the handsomest one she's seen. Imagine
Belle's shock when she discovers the man in the lab coat
slipped a formula into her latte and she can now control
the four elements. Not only that, but the total babe is
planning on neutralizing Belle. Naturally, Belle has a
slight problem with this, but when she gets good and mad
and fire shoots out of her eyes, she begins to believe it.
It also turns out Belle is the only one who was given the
formula who managed to survive it. And that's not all, one
of Rome's—Belle's hottie—rivals is also after Belle and
won't let anything stop from capturing her and
experimenting on her.
Will Belle be able to stay out of the rival's clutches?
Will she ever learn to control her powers? Exactly what
does Rome intend to do with her? Will he really neutralize
her? Is there any chance for Belle with such a total babe?
PLAYING WITH FIRE is one of the funniest books I've read in
a long time. Gena Showalter has done a marvelous job of
turning a woman barely able to hold a job into a superhero.
I really loved the character, Tanner, a horny young empath
who befriends Belle. Tanner definitely adds something to
the story and makes a wonderful sidekick for Belle. And
even with all the danger Rome, Tanner and Belle end up
facing, the humor never lets up. I found myself laughing
out loud several times while reading. And yes, there's lots
of danger as they try and find the doctor who came up with
the formula, stay away from the bad guys and Rome's boss.
The action starts with the very first page and doesn't let
up. If you're in the mood for a super good romantic comedy,
don't miss this one!
Reviewed by Chere Gruver
Posted November 7, 2006
**2006 PEARL NOMINEE - BEST OVERALL PARANORMAL ROMANCE**
Earth, Wind & Fire aren't just a band anymore . . .
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 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's 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 irreversible) transformation than I am . . . Because now he'll have to kill me.