Review: Black and Blue by Gena Showalter

Review: Black and Blue by Gena ShowalterBlack and Blue by Gena Showalter

Genres: Sci-Fi Romance
Published by Pocket Books on October 22, 2013
Pages: 387
Format: eBook
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four-half-stars  

Black and Blue was definitely one of Gena’s finest in my humble opinion.  Scintillating repartee, sizzling hot characters and a compelling plot made me just want to slow down and savor this one even while I flew through it to see what was going to happen next.  After meeting the characters of Corbin Blue and Evangeline Black in earlier books and not particularly liking them, I was curious to see how they would be as the hero and heroine of their own book.  After a few pages, it didn’t matter how I felt about them before.

Their first real encounter was memorable that is for sure.

“I know who you are.” she finally said, her tone giving nothing away.  “You’re Corbin Blue breaker of spines and hearts.  A legend on and off the field.  And an absolute, total tool.” Evangeline Black, Black and Blue p. 8

“Apology accepted,” he said.  “For future reference, you made two critical errors tonight.  You didn’t work with your team- and the plan we already had in place- and you allowed arrogance to direct you.  That’s the best way to make worst decisions.  You won’t be the only one killed.”  Corbin Blue, Black and Blue p. 14

Evangeline Black is finally getting her first chance to do a mission for her father’s black ops organization and she is determined to prove herself.  He has put her on a team with his three best men.  Men she is jealous of because they are her father’s best.  She lashes out at the one that just rubs her wrong on sight because in spite of his manwhoring ways, she is well aware of why women fall hard for Corbin Blue.  She has no plans to be one of them and she will complete this mission on her own.

Corbin Blue, Arcadian, famous celebrity football star, breaker of female hearts and black ops man goes on his latest assignment to team with Michael’s daughter for her first mission only to find her the most gorgeous woman he has ever encountered- that is until she opens her mouth and pure acid drips out.

A few years later finds Evie out of black ops after a tragedy rips through her life and finds Blue getting the instructions for his next assignment.  An explosion rocks both their worlds and brings them together once more.  Michael Black’s office is compromised with a bomb blast and subsequent attack that leaves Corbin barely alive with no knowledge of what happened to the others.  He has only one person he can trust with Michael, Solo and John either gone or dead.  But would she help him?

Evie can’t get anyone to tell her about her dad, but then a very injured Blue arrives in her home.  She helps him heal and then they reluctantly team up to find out what happened and find the others if they survived.  The hostilities are fiercely high, but the volatile attraction between them is even more intense.  It gets even stronger when both peal back layers and start to find who the real people are underneath.

While they play tug o’ war with their attraction, the danger and feeling of time getting away from them to find their friends stays right in the forefront too.  They have a suspect and they hit hard when they go after him, but soon discover that he ruthlessly hits harder and seems to be holding all the cards.

The plot on this one is two-fold with the ‘enemies to- well lets just say less enemies’ style romance and that plot thread begun in the previous book that is actually running parallel from the point of the explosion and just tells the story from a different angle.  While Solo’s story pretty much took place away from it all, Blue’s story seems to be right in the middle of ground zero for the action.

The pace stayed pretty good though a few times it slowed up a bit for Corbin and Evie to do their insult swap and hot/cold thing that moved slowly and steadily toward a relationship that scares the bejesus out of them both.

Evie really has the furthest to go there because she has to fight against Blue’s reputation and her own personal demons although Blue has to fight against honoring her father’s wishes to stay away from Evie and trying to read her whether she really wants him for something long term and real.  They had no trouble with the sizzling passion.  That was there from the beginning.  I enjoyed how they had to work for what they wanted and that both were flawed characters who had to really look hard to appreciate the worthy person below the surface.  I also liked that even though both were talented in their own ways (Evie and her purses full of gadgets was a hoot), they still had a pretty tough set of worthy villains to fight and winning didn’t come easy.

Several characters from previous books make appearances including Dallas, Noelle, Solo and Vika.  I look forward to the little peek-ins to see how everyone is doing.  I’m really hoping that we get John’s story next.  It ought to be a real doozy if it covers what was happening to him during this book.

All in all, I found it a spectacular read that swept me up and didn’t put me down until the end.  Those who enjoy steamy sci-fi parallel earth-style romance with witty dialogue and an intensely engaging plot should give these a try.

If you’re starting new to it all, I recommend that you start with the Alien Huntress series and read through all these in order so you can learn about the Alien Huntress world and the plot threads flowing through all these.

Review by Sophia Rose

About Gena Showalter

Gena Showalter is a New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author whose books have appeared in Cosmopolitan and Seventeen magazines, as well as Entertainment Weekly. Her novel Red Handed has been optioned by Sony Television. Critics have called her books “sizzling page-turners” and “utterly spellbinding stories,” while Showalter herself has been called “a star on the rise.” Her mix of humor, danger and wickedly hot sex provides wildly sensual page-turners sure to enthrall.

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I was born and raised near Sacramento, CA. I have read since I was four years old and developed tastes that run the gamut of literature. I went away to college and have a degree in education, a certificate in family history research, and a certificate in social work. I worked for a non-profit agency with low income families for 20 years which included being responsible for the children’s library and promoting/teaching adult literacy. I have lived in Southeast Michigan for the last 18 years and I am currently a book addicted homemaker with a cat and husband who keep me grounded. Recently, I made it a challenge to review each book that I have read as a favor to author friends who said reviews are important. I have done reviews for Good Reads, Amazon, eBay, and Smashwords, but mostly at Goodreads and Amazon.
  • another author i still haven’t tried but i was told book in this series can be read as stand alone so i have hope^^ to get a book ( christmas is soon after wards) and i won’t have to stress about which one

    • Sophia Rose

      Hi Miki!
      I’ve heard that this series- Otherworld Assassins- can be read separately from Alien Huntress too, but it really shouldn’t because its not really separate. The difference is that the Alien Huntress books focus on the police team that fights against bad guy aliens and this group are spies and assassins who fight against the bad aliens. Its still the same world and time frame with characters mentioned from the earlier series. Definitely an entertaining series either way. Gena’s humor makes them lighter even though the action is still hard hitting.

      • oh it’s a little like the cassandra palmer series by karen chance and her dorina basarab one separate but in fact really linked together….

        so in what order books should be read then ( if you can tell me)

        thank you

        • Sophia Rose

          Yes, very connected like Cassie and Dory series except these actually follow after chronologically. Start with Awaken Me Darkly the first book in the Alien Huntress series then its Enslave Me Sweetly, Savor Me Slowly, Seduce the Darkness, Tempt Me Eternally (novella), Ecstasy in Darkness, Dark Taste of Rapture, Last Kiss Goodnight, Black & Blue. There are two Young Adult Alien Huntress books too, but I don’t know where they fit in the order and I haven’t read them. Hope you like them.

          • thank you a lot, it will take me a lot longer before i can try this series then if i want to have them in order but i’m glad you told me it was better that way

            thank you a lot

            • Sophia Rose

              You’re very welcome.

  • I love G. Showalter. I still have to get to reading this series, but I do love the sound of it. Paranormal & black-ops? can’t go wrong with that.

    Great review Sophia!

    • Sophia Rose

      I love the combo too. Have you read her Alien Huntress books yet, Sharonda?

      • I haven’t yet, I have the first book in the series. I saw all the good reviews on it & wanted to try it out. Plus I just wanted to try a different type of read and that seemed it to me…lols.

        • Sophia Rose

          Well, my advice is to start with the first Alien Huntress b/c these are not really a new series just an extension of that one. Though if you’re in a rush, these Otherworld characters and the black ops stuff all stem from Eden’s story in the AH series so you could maybe get by with reading that one and moving into these.

          • thanks Sophia! I’m in no rush, so I do that 🙂

            • Sophia Rose

              Yeah, that’s me too. I prefer the fuller, richer experience. There have been several times when I got hold of a book thinking I was at the beginning when it wasn’t truly a new beginning. Wish books would be labeled ‘spin-off’ or something to warn a gal when they’re doing that.

  • I loved these two too Sophia! That first meet of theirs was priceless. So much fun seeing them zing each other 🙂

    • Sophia Rose

      The ‘zing’ is this author’s forte for certain. I laughed so many times and part of it was the quirkiness of these two bantering when its this huge black ops/assassins backdrop.

      • She really does. I did a lot of chuckling too. The nipple twisters got to me too and just for that reason. They’re such big bad fighters and a nipple twister is used. lol