Review – Dark Taste of Rapture by Gena Showalter

Publisher: Pocket
Publish Date: Out Now!
How I got this book: ARC from publisher

With one caress, he can give unforgettable pleasure . . . or unending pain. . . .
Hector Dean is shaved, tattooed, and totally ripped—and he has a deadly secret. He is a walking weapon, capable of killing with a single brush of his fingertips. Little wonder he’s determined to remain on his own. But Noelle Tremain is a temptation like no other. She is beautiful and rich, with a party girl smile that hides a shocking vulnerability, and from the beginning his sizzling attraction to her is undeniable. For the first time, his stone-cold resistance is tested. But to be with her, he risks destroying her.

When a wealthy businessman is murdered in New Chicago’s seediest district, the two are partnered, and there’s no escaping what they both want: each other. Yet neither Hector nor Noelle knows what to fear more—the killer case, or their own lethal desires. . . .
*Blurb from Goodreads*

When I first saw this cover, I had to wipe the drool off my desk… holy hotness!!! Add to that my love of Gena Showalter and I knew I was in for a treat. I hadn’t read any of the Alien Huntress stories. (wait – I lied – I did read the one she did with Kresley Cole in the Deep Kiss of Winter Duology) After reading this, I am for sure going to go back and read the series in its entirety!

Hector is sexy, broody and the keeper of a deep, dark secret. Once his emotions get the best of him, the skin on his arm goes wild and he has the power to kill with just one touch. He’s never met anyone who has tempted him before – until Noelle walks into his training class. Noelle is a free spirit, wild and a little crazy. She wants Hector more than anything, but after he rebuffs her time and again, she knows it time to move on.

A year later they are partners on a case and things heat up on the streets and in the bedroom. They both are having problems fighting their attraction, but don’t know how to handle Hector’s small “problem.” When they are faced with their worst nightmare, will they be able to come out on top – together? Or fall victim to a deadly crime ring?

Showalter is – in my opinion – one of the best at world building; such imaginative and unique worlds. The Alien Huntress is no exception, I love the concept of aliens here on earth, some good some bad, and the elite men and women who police them. Although this book is sixth in the series, I never felt lost or out of touch. In fact, I felt immersed into the world from the first page, and wanted nothing more than to stay in it, even once the book was finished.

Poor Hector was such a tortured character. His past was rough and harsh and nasty in every possible way. Yet despite it all he was able to come out on top and make himself into something. Then, add in the small issue of killing people with just a touch and he finds himself separating from society. The only thing he has going for him is his job and love of it. He was portrayed as such a strong character. Always wanting to do the right thing, take care of others, be the better man, but never knowing how to do so. I feel in love with him right away.

Noelle came across as flighty and even ditsy at first. I wasn’t sure I would be able to enjoy her, but she quickly showed her depth. I loved that she was one hundred percent dedicated to her bestie Ava, but how she came to realize that becoming an agent was the best thing to do for herself as well. I loved all her moments with Ava, the two together are hilarious, and can’t wait to go back and read Ava’s story for even more of the two of them together. But I liked her serious side as well (although those moments are few and far between). Noelle cared so much for Hector, wanted to be his everything, it was super sweet.

Their romance didn’t move as quickly as is typical with Showalter. They danced around each other for the majority of the book, and even once they did get together, they had to learn how to BE together without setting off Hector’s power. But I loved it. The tension was thick and steamy and so angsty. VERY well done!

Although the case moved quickly and kept me engaged, it wasn’t the big focal point of the story for me. Even now, a week or so later as I’m writing this, the case itself doesn’t resonate with me. It just was… To me the humor and romance stood out so much more than anything else, and because of that I found yet another Showalter book for my keeper shelves.

All in all I was so glad I picked up the Alien Huntress Series. I loved the quirky and sarcastic characters, the humor throughout and the smokin’ hot romance. Showalter proved yet again why she is a powerhouse in the paranormal romance genre!

I give Dark Taste of Rapture a B+


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