Thursday 19 September 2013

Review: Playing with Fire by Gena Showalter

Title: Playing with Fire

Series: Tales of an Extraordinary Girl, #1

Author: Gena Showalter

Published: 1st September 2006, Harlequin Books


Earth, Wind & Fire aren't just a band anymore . . .

Used to be my greatest achievement was holding a job more than three days. Now suddenly I can shoot fireballs, chill your drink, or blow-dry your hair at fifty paces with a blink of my eye!

It all started when this crazy scientist dropped something in my Grande Mocha Latte. Of course I got wicked sick. Next morning I'm waking up with this total hottie bending over me. He tells me 1)his name's Rome Masters, 2)he's a government agent and 3)I can control the four elements with a thought.

He seems even less pleased by my (apparently irreversible) transformation than I am . . . Because now he'll have to kill me.

Main  characters:

Belle Brooks

Rome Masters

Why I added the book:

I signed up for UTCs Gena Showalter challenge


The book has the feel of an X-men movie mixed up with some James Bond, it was good :D. Gena has created a seemingly ditzy heroine and has paired her with the strong, silent type hero, just imagine the sparks that fly.

The plot is well-executed and it keeps you on the edge of the seat: Belle has her coffee spiked by a crazy scientist with a formula that gives her power over the elements. Obviously she isn’t too happy about it and wants to find an antidote. I forgot to add that now, after she developed her powers every paranormal agency wants her a) working for them, b) available for testing or, unfortunately for her, c) dead so she doesn’t fall in the hands of others. An agent(Rome) from one of the “good guys”-agency finds her first and tries to take her in, but she manages to escape by jumping in Tanner’s(future sidekick) car. Everything goes even worse from there…

All the characters are interesting and well rounded, I never felt that I was reading about a cardboard cut-out, they all felt real with emotions, fears and dreams.

Favorite character:

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="280"] Reminds me of Tanner and Belle perfectly![/caption]

Tanner :D he has the “funny, crazy sidekick” down pat. He projects the whole I-am-a-hip-teenager-that-cares-about-nothing persona, but he’s actually a sweetheart.

My least favorite character:
I can’t say… I think the boss, John. He doesn’t appear till near the end, but he acts like an a-hole, I can’t stand him.

Favorite quotes:

“Is this your place?” I asked.


“Then whose is it? Does the owner know you’re a criminal and holding me against my will?”

“For the moment, this is our place.” He paused, his expression mocking. “I feel warm and fuzzy all of a sudden. I just realized it’s like we’re on a secret honeymoon.”

Honeymoon of horror. “Did you kill someone to get this dump?”

A grin tugged at his lips. “Do you think this poorly of everyone or am I just lucky?”


“Pyro Chica?” Tanner grabbed my arm to prevent me from chasing after Rome. “Is that your superhero name? No fair. I need a name, too.”

I whirled on him, needing an outlet for my frustration. “That is not my name, and if you dare call me Pyro Chica or Periodic Table Chick or Four Elements Girl I’ll singe the hairs right off your balls.” Once I learned how to do that without destroying the world, that is. “Got it?”

“Fine.” Backing away from me, he held up his hands, palms out. “I’ll just call you Homicidal Tendencies Wench.”

Rome, who had his back to us and was a good distance away in the living room, barked out a laugh. “That’s the first intelligent thing you’ve said, kid. It’s the perfect name for her, no doubt about it.”

Would I recommend the book:

If you’re a fan of humans with superpowers, like books with lots of action and a HFN(happy for now) ending this one is for you.

Final rating:rating4


  1. Oh I really like her books. Haven't tried this one yet though. Always up for humans with superpowers! Sounds great :)

  2. I like the humor she always has in her books, this one isn't deferent

  3. I am definitely putting this on my list of books to read for this challenge! ~ Francesca

  4. Francesca it's really good. I have the 2nd in the series as well, but I don't know when I'll start it.