Author: Gena Showalter

Guest Review: Can’t Let Go by Gena Showalter

Posted October 30, 2017 by Tracy in Reviews | 1 Comment

Guest Review: Can’t Let Go by Gena ShowalterReviewer: Tracy
Can't Let Go by Gena Showalter
Series: The Original Heartbreakers #5
Also in this series: The Closer You Come
Published by HQN Books
Publication Date: October 31st 2017
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble

With trust issues a mile long, Ryanne Wade has sworn off men.  Then Jude Laurent walks into her bar and all bets are off.  The former Army Ranger has suffered unimaginably, first being maimed in battle then losing his wife and daughters to a drunk driver. Making the brooding widower smile is priority one. Resisting him? Impossible.

To Jude, Ryanne is off limits. And yet the beautiful bartender who serves alcohol to potential motorists tempts him like no other. When a rival bar threatens her livelihood, and her life, he can’t turn away.  She triggers something in him he thought long buried, and he’s determined to protect her, whatever the cost.

As their already scorching attraction continues to heat, the damaged soldier knows he must let go of his past to hold on to his future...or risk losing the second chance he desperately needs.

Jude Laurent really doesn’t like Ryanne Wade because she runs a bar.  His wife and twin daughters were killed in a drunk driving accident and he despises anything to do with alcohol.  Sure, she has strict rules about how many drinks someone can have and she always has them sober up first, but he still doesn’t like her.  If they don’t sober up first she takes their keys and calls them a cab.  Despite his disdain for Ryanne he finds himself wanting her more and more.

Ryanne is hot for Jude but she knows that he’s been so hurt in the past that the chances of them hooking up is slim to none. Of course that doesn’t stop her from teasing him mercilessly and texting him to annoy him.  She doesn’t plan on feelings building up for the man but they come so naturally.  When Jude finally says that he ready to start a strictly sexual relationship with Ryanne she’s all for it but can she keep her feelings to just the bedroom?  Can he?

This was a great book.  I honestly couldn’t figure out how Showalter was going to manage to make me believe that Jude was ready for anything.  He was so devastated by the deaths of his family and it broke my heart to think of it.  She did, however, honestly get me to believe that their romance worked.  Despite all the obstacles in their way they did it and I was rooting for them.

There was a guy in the story that wanted to buy Ryanne’s bar and when she wouldn’t sell accidents started happening.  Of course she needed Jude’s security business to protect her business.  This was a great way to get the pair to work together but the whole issue with the rich bastard businessman seemed just so far fetched.  IDK, that part of the story seemed unrealistic and I didn’t really care for it.

Despite that one issue I really liked this book.  I liked Ryanne and Jude separately and together and they worked!  This was another Original Heartbreaker novel I definitely recommend.

Rating: 4 out of 5


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Review: The Darkest Promise by Gena Showalter

Posted July 31, 2017 by Casee in Reviews | 0 Comments

Review: The Darkest Promise by Gena ShowalterThe Darkest Promise (Lords of the Underworld, #13) by Gena Showalter
Series: Lords of the Underworld #13
Also in this series: The Darkest Torment
Published by Harlequin HQN
Publication Date: June 13th 2017
Genres: Paranormal Romance
Pages: 432
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New York Times
bestselling author Gena Showalter returns with a sizzling Lords of the Underworld story about an iron-willed sovereign and the somber beauty who melts him with a glance

Possessed by the demon of Misery, Cameo isn't allowed to experience joy. If she dares, her memory is wiped clean. With no other recourse, she sneaks into a land more fantastical than any fairy tale, determined to find the one man with the key to her redemption.

Lazarus the Cruel and Unusual rules his kingdom with a single unwavering focus: to build his army and annihilate his enemies. Nothing distracts him - until Cameo. He is relentless in his quest to make her smile and seduce her into his bed.

As dark forces conspire against them, threatening to destroy the fragile bond they've forged, the once-calm Lazarus grows crazed. Every heart-stopping kiss and wicked touch causes Cameo to teeter on the brink of happiness. But if she falls, she risks forgetting him forever

Cameo has longed for happiness, but knew it was out of her reach. She doesn’t remember details of her short time with Lazarus, but she knows it was special. Cameo is the keeper of the demon Misery and her demon doesn’t let her have a moment of happiness. Once she feels even a second of happiness, she forgets. Over the centuries, she hasn’t just forgotten the good things, she’s forgotten the bad. That devastates Cameo.

Though she loves her family, she knows it’s time to go her own way. She decides to make her way to Lazarus to get answers. She gets them as soon as she seems him. They had something. Something good. Something that was even great.

Lazarus is shocked to find Cameo in his kingdom. He’s even more shocked that she doesn’t remember him. He also surprised to realize that Cameo is his mate. Which isn’t a good thing. When the men in his family find their mates, their veins start to crystalize rendering them, well, statues. As much as Lazarus wants Cameo, he is not willing to give up his revenge for her. And oh does he have plans for revenge.

Cameo has no idea the impact she is having on Lazarus. All he is trying to do is seduce her. She’s having a hard time saying no. The only thing that is holding her back is that he barely seems to like her. It would help his efforts if he showed some sort of affection for her. As it stands, he seems to hardly tolerate her, only wanting her physically.

I loved this book, I hated the ending. I was really disappointed because up until the end, I was really enjoying the book. It’s the first book I read since May and I really couldn’t put it down. I adored Lazarus. After two thousand years of wanting revenge, he gave up everything for Cameo. Even his life.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

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Review: The Darkest Torment by Gena Showalter

Posted June 17, 2016 by Casee in Reviews | 1 Comment

Review: The Darkest Torment by Gena ShowalterReviewer: Casee
The Darkest Torment by Gena Showalter
Series: Lords of the Underworld #12
Also in this series: The Darkest Promise (Lords of the Underworld, #13)
Published by HQN Books
Publication Date: June 1st 2016
Pages: 384
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble

New York Times bestselling author Gena Showalter returns with her most explosive Lords of the Underworld tale to date, about a fierce warrior on the brink of sanity who will stop at nothing to claim the exquisite human with the power to soothe the beast inside him…

Driven to his death by the demon of Distrust, Baden spent centuries in purgatory. Now he's back, but at what cost? Bound to the king of the underworld, an even darker force, he's unable to withstand the touch of another…and he's quickly devolving into a heartless assassin with an uncontrollable temper. Things only get worse when a mission goes awry and he finds himself saddled with a bride—just not his own.

Famed dog trainer Katarina Joelle is forced to marry a monster to protect her loved ones. When she's taken hostage by the ruthless, beautiful Baden immediately after the ceremony, she's plunged into a war between two evils—with a protector more dangerous than the monsters he hunts. They are meant to be enemies, but neither can resist the passion burning between them…and all too soon the biggest threat is to her heart.

But as Baden slips deeper into the abyss, she'll have to teach him to love…or lose him forever.

Baden has always been a tricky character for me. I never really understood where his place was in the series. I never understood how he came back to life after being beheaded. Really? Who survives that. Well, I’m here to tell you.

Baden was locked away in a spirit realm with Pandora (of Pandora’s Box) for something like four thousand years. They both got out but had to put these wreaths on their wrists compliments of Hades. Yeah, nothing good could come from that. I mean, it’s Hades. Admittedly, Hades is a different character in all books by all authors. Sometimes he’s a real ass, sometimes he’s just an evil s.o.b, and sometimes he’s an evil but kind of nice s.o.b. In this case, we’ll go with number three. He’s evil, but he has a good side (I won’t be telling that to my daughter, like, ever) so it was entertaining.

Now that Lucifer is at war with Hades for the Underworld, Hades needs all the help he can get. Which means “recruiting” Baden and Pandora. Oh, don’t kid yourselves, they’re forced to serve Hades because of those wreaths on their wrists that keep them in corporeal form. Hades starts his own reality show of “Who Can Bring Hades What He Wants The Fastest Or Die?”. That’s what I would call it anyway. That sets Baden and Pandora against each other yet again.

When Baden goes to get the first “prize” that Hades wants, he meets Katarina Joelle. Katarina does not want anything to do with her future husband and continues to pray for a miracle. She didn’t expect that her miracle would be someone like Baden. Half Jamie Fraser, half beast. Yes, Baden has a hard time keeping his beast in check. He decides to take Katarina to show her husband, Alex, that he means business. It has nothing to do with his attraction to her or how she calms his beast. Not at all.

As the contest between Baden and Pandora continues, the relationship between Katarina and Baden evolves. Baden has known nothing but betrayal from women. Katarina has known nothing but lying and cheating from men. She doesn’t want to have anything to do with him. Especially since she knows that he’s only keeping her until he gets what he wants from Alek. She soon decides that Baden is the lesser of two evils. As for Baden, Katarina is the only living soul that can calm the beast. When the beast wants to come out and play by being a violent, destructive bastard, Katarina is the only one that can tame him. Except Baden doesn’t want to be tamed. And we have a catch 22.

There are several misunderstandings that are cleared up, Pandora and Baden kind of like each other once they realize what the bands from Hades really do (I’m not telling), and Katarina gets some dogs that aren’t dogs (I’m not telling, but it’s really cool). Also, Ginny is dying and William is going crazy trying to save her. I love seeing William go crazy because he’s usually making everyone else go crazy including those that read the series!

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Reading Order

The Darkest Fire (prequel)
The Darkest Night
The Darkest Kiss
The Darkest Pleasure
The Darkest Prison
The Darkest Whisper
The Darkest Angel
Into the Dark
The Darkest Passion
The Darkest Lie
The Darkest Secret
The Darkest Surrender
The Darkest Seduction
The Darkest Craving
The Darkest Touch


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Guest Review: The Closer You Come by Gena Showalter

Posted August 20, 2015 by Tracy in Reviews | 0 Comments

Guest Review: The Closer You Come by Gena ShowalterReviewer: Tracy
The Closer You Come by Gena Showalter
Series: The Original Heartbreakers #1
Also in this series: Can't Let Go
Published by HQN Books
Publication Date: March 31, 2015
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Tortured by a violent past, ex-con Jase Hollister is looking to start over in a small town. The rugged bachelor suffering from PTSD longs for peace and quiet, always keeping his women at a distance—and his heart encased in stone.

Brook Lynn Dillon is a down on her luck waitress determined to avoid the man every woman in town wants—including her sister. The last thing she needs is his kind of trouble. But his every glance makes her burn…and her resistance is melting fast.

The two agree to a one-time fling, not expecting to be forever branded. Now, no matter how hard they try, they can't keep their hands off each other. But when a secret from Jase's past comes to light, they'll have to face a cold, hard truth: it's more than Jase's freedom on the line, it's their hearts.

Tracy’s review of The Closer You Come (The Original Heartbreakers #1) by Gena Showalter

Brook Lynn is a hard worker. She holds down two jobs and even manages to work double time at her waitressing job when her sister, Jessie Kay, doesn’t bother showing up for her own shift. Her other job is making and selling jewelry at the Rhinestone Cowgirl which she’s hoping to earn enough money to buy sometime soon. That kind of gets thrown down the toilet when Brook Lynn’s sleep deprivation and her sister no-showing at the restaurant work against her and they both get fired.  Then she gets fired from her sales position for being in the hospital.  Yes, her boss was a complete bitch.

Jase and his foster brothers, West and Beck, have moved to town recently and every girl around wants to be with one or the other of them. Jase pretty much keeps to himself but he still manages to find his hook-ups. One of those hook-ups is Jessie Kay during a party that the boys are having and Brook Lynn walks into Jase’s bedroom right after the deed is done. Brook Lynn is not happy at all with having to chase after her sister but is almost just as unhappy about the attraction she feels for the guy who just slept with her sister.

Jase is attracted to Brook Lynn as well and eventually ends up hiring her as his “assistant” which in this case meant maid and cook. Brook Lynn feels like she’s taking advantage of Jase but isn’t going to balk at the money he’s paying her. Jase just wants to make sure that Brook Lynn is taken care of and not working herself to death.

The pair play a bit of cat and mouse but Brook Lynn isn’t seriously thinking of getting with Jase because Jessie Kay is certain he’s the man for her. It’s an odd dynamic and not one I was expecting in this book. Eventually Jase and Brook Lynn get together with Jessie Kay’s blessing but Jase neglects to tell Brook Lynn that he’d been in prison for the past 9 years – something she doesn’t take well and almost tears the relationship apart.

This is the first contemporary romance that I’ve read of Showalter’s and it was a good one. I liked the development of the characters and felt that both of the MC’s grew some during the course of the story.

I didn’t care for the fact that Brook Lynn was hot for a guy that her sister slept with. I totally could have done without that aspect of the story. If it was a friend that would be different – but sister? Kind of EW. lol I did manage to get over that part though and moved on. I didn’t care for the way that Brook Lynn handled the prison revelation from Jase but understood why the author dealt with it the way she did.

For the most part the story was a bit on the heavier side but definitely had its lighter, humorous and romantic moments.

I’m anxious to see what happens with both Beck and West in future books as they were both interesting characters, to say the least. Overall a good read and one I enjoyed.

Rating: 3.75 out of 5

This title is available from HQN Books. You can buy it here or here in e-format. This book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.


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Review: Playing with Fire by Gena Showalter

Posted July 9, 2008 by Holly in Reviews | 5 Comments

Review: Playing with Fire by Gena ShowalterReviewer: Holly
Playing with Fire by Gena Showalter
Series: Tales of an Extraordinary Girl #1
Published by Harlequin
Publication Date: June 15th 2012
Pages: 384
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Twenty-four-year-old barista Belle Jamison dreams of a better job and a decent love life. Until a crazy scientist spikes her mocha latte! Suddenly Belle can wield the four elements—earth, wind, fire and water—with only a thought. Coffee too hot? No problem. Hair in need of a blow-dry? Done.
Gorgeous government agent Rome Masters has been sent to neutralize Belle. But he's not the only one after her. Together they must outrun the rogue agents on their trail and find a way to control her powers. There's just one problem: the sparks Belle and Rome generate are even hotter than the ones flying from her eyes—and with her future on the line, now is the worst possible time to fall in love….

I’ve had this book in my TBR pile for close to two years (I bought it about a week after it came out) but I hadn’t bothered to read it because I wasn’t in the mood for some dark, paranormal tale. Now I’m kicking myself, because not only was it not dark, it was fun, fresh and thoroughly enjoyable.

Belle Jamison is your average, ordinary, everyday girl. She works at a coffee house (a job she hates) to support her dad who needs to live in an assisted living facility because he has heart disease. She has a bad temper and can’t seem to control her emotions, which is why it’s a complete disaster when a mad scientist rushes into the shop and pours a formula into her Mocha Latte that gives her the ability to control the elements w/ her emotion. Fire for anger, Water for sadness, Ice for fear, Wind for a combination of them all. For a girl who’s overly emotional and can’t seem to control herself at all, this is not a good thing..

After drinking the formula (without her knowledge) she falls desperately ill, and when she wakes up in a strange place, it’s with a fallen angel standing guard. Rome Masters has been sent to “neutralize” her before she destroys the world with her powers. But dying seems to be the least of her worries. There’s a super bad guy after her who wants nothing more than to experiment on her, a horny teenager who can sense her emotions, Rome’s gorgeous ex-wife (a psychic bitch no less) and her huge attraction to Rome – the man who’s supposed to take her out. Not to mention the way she’s constantly catching things on fire or freezing them in place. What’s a girl to do when she’s falling for a guy who wants to kill her and can’t control the emotions that could potentially set the world on fire?

I truly enjoyed this story. It was laced with humor, action and enough sexual tension to singe the pages. Belle was an awesome character, full of sarcasm, inner strength and just enough vulnerability to make her likable. I love that she didn’t just accept her newfound powers or immediately embrace them. She really just wanted to go back to her ordinary life.

Rome was an excellent character as well. Too often when an author chooses to write in first her other characters suffer for it, but I didn’t feel that was the case here. It was easy to see Rome battle his attraction for Belle, and his struggle to decide if he should turn her in or not. And seeing the way he was with his daughter gave us an entirely new perspective.

The secondary characters were also well drawn and richly enhanced the overall story arc. I was really sorry to see this story come to an end. If I’m reading her website correctly, it looks like Showalter has plans to release a second book in this series. Unfortunately, not until September 2009. I plan on hunting it down upon it’s release, though. That’s for sure.

4.5 out of 5

This book is available from HQN. You can buy it here or here in e-format.


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