I have always been a huge Gena Showalter fan, I love her. Love. She writes amazing snarky, badass heroines and her heroes are all so damaged, snarly and sexy. But the last couple of books I’ve read of hers weren’t ones I wanted to add to my favorites list, they almost seemed kind of off. Like she was taking a new direction with her writing and the things I find most addictive about her voice were missing. In fact the first book in this series, Last Kiss Goodnight, was a slow read for me. I can honestly say when I picked up Black and Blue I was a little tentative, not sure what to expect. Well, there was no need to be worried, I gobbled up this book in a matter of hours. Completely engrossed with Corbin Blue and Evangeline Black.
Corbin Blue is a black ops agent who uses his charm and incredible good looks to work his way into women’s beds in order to get the information he wants. He’s a bit of a man-slut, or as Evangeline calls him, Sir Sexalot. (She has a lot of names for him and each one made me laugh) He will do what ever it takes to get the job done. His cover as an other world football player only lends to his appeal and helps out with the ladies.
Evangeline Black is the daughter of the leader of Corbin’s black ops team. She has something to prove. She’s determined to be the best agent she can be and prove to her father she can do anything that his beloved trio of alien agents can do and do it better. She is smart-assed, ridiculously intelligent and just as blood thirsty as any man. When she and Corbin meet for the first time on the night of her first assignment the sparks fly, but not the good kind. Evie and Corbin are like oil and water. They argue and fight and call each other names. She has no desire to work with the notoriously promiscuous agent and he wants nothing to do with the spoiled, stuck up daughter of the man who he thinks of as a father. Who cares how attracted they are to each other.
When Corbin and his fellow agents are caught in an explosion at Evie’s father house there is only one place Corbin feels safe. He wakes up to find himself almost healed and at the mercy of his nemesis. Evie has left the agency after a major tragedy and is now a surgeon working at a hospital her father owns, but when she finds out her father is missing she is balls to the walls ready to go out and find the men who did it. Corbin isn’t too sure he wants her along for the ride, but soon realizes tt’s only with Evangeline’s help that he will find his friends and discover what happened.
To say I loved Corbin and Evie together would be an understatement. Their chemistry jumped off the page, I couldn’t get enough of their back and forth banter:
Uh, what now? “Counteroffer. You go back to the hospital and let the big boy do all the heavy lifting. I’ll report in at least once a day. You’ll never have to wonder what’s going on.”
She shook her head, ponytail dancing. “My counter to your counter. Go screw yourself.”
“I have. It’s not actually half-bad.”
Her eyes narrowed. “Pig.”
Seriously, their arguing and trying to one up each other was laugh out loud funny. They rate each other, give reviews on performances and basically try to get the better of each other in every situation. I almost didn’t want them to become all lovey, dovey because then the funny times would end.
As he read over her notes, she moved to his side to make sure she hadn’t left anything out.
Security system, parts and repairs: $8,000
New window: $2,000
New sheets: $1,000
Time and mental anguish: $3,000,000
No. Nothing left out.
He eyed her with a strange mix of amusement and exasperation. “Do you accept orgasm? Because that’s my preferred method of payment?”
But these two do fall for each other as they are finding the bad guys. The sexy times come fast and furious and each is hotter the last. They still rib each other, only now their ribbing is mixed with some heartfelt sweet times. Evangeline is such a strong, smart woman and at no time did she change to be with her man. Corbin never asks her to and only seems to be more into her as she sets out to save the day.
I love this world that Gena Showalter has slowly built in the Alien Huntress series and continued on with this one. It’s richly detailed and I think even people who don’t normally like any kind of science fiction story, but who love a good urban fantasy or paranormal romance will enjoy. The action scenes are high intensity and it’s easy root for these characters as they fight and battle their way to overcoming the odds and defeating their enemies. This is the classic Gena Showalter storytelling that I fell in love with years ago. It’s fast paced, equal parts funny and sexy with an interesting plotline that advances the story arc and leaves the reader desperate to get their hands on the next book in the series. Definitely recommend. Final Grade- B+
He ran his hands over the perfect lobes of her ass. “Don’t think I didn’t notice the fact that you failed to protest the spanking.”
“Sure, you can spank me… if I can spank you.”
His own smile was slow. “Deal.”
She arched a brow. “Not going to try one of your famous bargains?”
“Why would I? I’m getting what I want.”