Monday, January 25, 2010

REVIEW: Twice as Hot by Gena Showalter

So last Friday I picked up Gena Showalter's Twice as Hot, the long-awaited second book in the Tales of an (extra)ordinary girl that tells the story of Belle Jamison, a young twenty-something who, after a host of other small-time jobs like maid and coffee house girl, ends up a government agent when a mad scientist spikes her latte and she ends up being able to control the four elements with her emotions. While the first book followed her adapting to her abilities, defeating a bad guy and falling in love with Special Agent Rome Masters. In the second book...well, here's the blurb:

Set the world on fire? With Belle Jamison, it’s always a possibility. Literally.

Planning a wedding is tough. Especially when the bride can shoot fireballs from her eyes and accidentally torches her dress, the groom returns from a dangerous mission with selective memory loss and the man responsible now desires Belle for his own.

Any other time, Belle would turn to her ultra sexy fiancé Rome Masters for comfort. But the only thing he can’t remember is her – and now his ex is determined to win him back. With the help of her trusty empath sidekick, an optimistic Belle continues to plan her wedding, fight a new band of supervillans, and tries not to accidentally on purpose start too many fires. . . except when she gets Rome into bed. . .

Covers of first book: on left, the reissue which came out in Nov. '09

You've got to admit - while it sucks having your fiancé get hurt in and of itself, and having him wake up with no memory of you is pretty bad too, having the love of your life who doesn't remember you tell you he's not marrying you because he plans on remarrying his ex has got to be freaking unbearable. And as one by one (and, ok, once by twos) her friends leave her, Belle is left alone to deal with the mess her life as become. The growth and maturing Belle undergoes is bloody impressive as events conspire to show her that (1) she can handle anything the world cares to throw at her and (2) sometimes you ARE strong enough to handle things on your own. And considering that her fiancé is behaving like a total ass, the lessons could not have come at a better time.

The book is laced through with hilarity, new characters and a boat-load emotion. The only thing I wasn't thrilled about was Rome's treatment of Belle. Yes, he's got memory loss - but some of the things he does/says to her are just plain cruel (i.e. asking her if because of her powers there is some addictive agent to her saliva - because, you know, god forbid he likes kissing her because of her - there has to be some other reason). The scenes with Sunny, Rome's daughter with his treacherous, back-stabbing bitch of an ex-wife (who, FYI, was actually almost-likeable before she pulled this) are adorable - and to see how different Belle and Sunny's relationship is compared to the first book is heart-warming.

Ultimately, by the time that last page has been read, I was wishing for the third book (which I don't believe is planned for at the moment - Ms. Showalter mentioned on her blog that it depended on the success of this book).

Check out Gena online at her site here and be on the look out for titles in her two other big series, Lords of the Underworld and Alien Huntress.

1 comment:

Karen said...

I am dying to read this. I just read Playing With Fire a few months ago & I loved the humor in that book. I am worried about the Rome/ex wife relationship. I tend to get really pissed off when my couple is derailed by a third person! But I'm guessing it turns out ok so I'll be reading it.