In DARK TASTE OF RAPTURE
Gena Showalter offers us a trip back through the looking glass, to Ava and Noelle's basic training as AIR agents. If this book is a love story, it is as much a testament to the relationship these two girls have with each other as any sizzling chemistry between Noelle and Hector. Some of the issues raised get resolved, some don't, and I'm on the fence trying to decide if all of these are intentional threads left dangling for the rest of the series, or if some of the story slipped away. Either way, in the end, this book was entertaining and fun, with enough one-liners and mayhem to keep me giggling through to the last page.
Laugh out loud lines aside, DARK TASTE OF RAPTURE
has enough psychological angst to fill a swimming pool. Noelle diagnosis (and treats) her own insecurities and codependency, with more or less success, and she manages to be Hector's saving grace on occasion. All in all, despite the heinous abuse Hector suffered as a child, I felt like the two main characters were able to move forward with a minimum of second guessing and miscommunications. Showalter manages this both with the passage of time in this novel (starting with basic training and then jumping past the events of ECSTASY IN DARKNESS to Ava's bachelorette party), and by writing to protagonists that truly want to trust each other. Hector's "skin condition" is a tough hurdle for any relationship, even when out in the open, though it added a little extra zing to every hands free encounter the two orchestrated. Showalter also threw in a roadblock in the form of a vision from Dallas, but this gambit never really gelled as anything substantial (nor was it resolved in any way). I can only hope that this means Dallas will be featured front and center in the next Alien Huntress
The tough love camaraderie of Ava and Noelle can be a little bit too much for me at times, as were the heavy handed descriptions of how much no one "gets" the real Noelle, but these blips on the radar were never enough to slow me down. While Hector and Noelle's romance is sweet, I enjoyed the backstory and supporting characters as much as anything. Showalter's Alien Huntress
world is well written, sexy, and just the right amount of silly to keep me coming back for more.
Full review at All Things Urban Fantasy
: Sex scenes, references to oral sex and masturbation, prostitution and human trafficking.