Playing with Fire by Gena Showalter
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
This book definitely lands somewhere between a 3 and a 4 star read, so erring on the side of how I felt at the end. That being said, I was a little worried at the beginning.
Belle is flakey, though she persists that she is definitely not. She ends up getting fired from most jobs because, even though she is the sole provider for her dad’s assisted living bills, she can’t seem to be a good employee. She shows up late, is rude, and doesn’t appear to take anything seriously (even with her dad’s chronic condition). When a scientist runs across the street into her coffee shop, all hells breaks loose. There’s a mysterious shadowy government agency trying to find him after he disappears, and the cops never actually show up after the chaos. That doesn’t stop Belle from drinking her unattended beverage and that was one too many bad decisions for the universe to take.
Rome shows up in her apartment after she passes out for a few days. He’s also part of a shadowy agency and hiding (badly) his own magical powers. Belle is developing a set of her own that threatens to light all the things on fire and blow all the things away. I guess we are supposed to feel the attraction between these two, but it starts out pretty icky with him changing her while she (a stranger) is unconscious. Bonus points for him not killing her? Weird. Oh, and we very quickly meet Belle’s new sidekick, a young boy who became an orphan but has enough money to proposition her on the street. A match made in heaven!
Throw all of these characters into a life-or-death situation for the family Belle unknowingly (or knowingly?) endangered, plus a psychic ex girlfriend of Rome’s who is oddly OK with them making out in her living room, and you’ve got a big showdown at the end. As we round towards the finish, we meet another interesting electricity powered dude I’d like to know more about, but there’s so many other loose ends to tie up! We get to a HEA, but man I need more! I also need more explanation for the new job, the very hasty bonus romance, and where everyone else goes from here.
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