Review: Temptation in Shadows by Gena Showalter

temptation in shadowsReviewed by Jen

I can’t say that I enjoyed this novella as much as I like Gena Showalter’s full length novels. It does have some good things going for it.  The world-building is intriguing and it has promise, though it’s shallow and needs more backstory.  There’s some pretty good action; the characters have good chemistry and the sex is satisfying.  But the story lacks depth and there is absolutely zero emotional resonance or believability in the relationship development.

This is a dual POV story told by both Sean and Gabrielle.  Both are gifted with special abilities, but as the story begins, Gabby has no idea that Sean is anything more than a sexy bouncer at the bar where she works.  She has been hiding her true self for years, but Sean not only knows her background, his job is to learn all of her secrets.  You see, Sean works for a secret organization for folks with powers, and they want to recruit Gabrielle. So he and his partner go undercover to cozy up to her.

It doesn’t take long for the secrets to come out, but the deception is only one of the issues in their path.  More importantly, there are killers on their trail. Someone seems to be trying to kidnap or eliminate Gabby.  And protecting her quickly becomes more than a job. The story follows their time on the run, all while trying to figure out who is after them, and dealing with the blazing sexual attraction between them.

Like I said, the sex part is a win.  Showalter knows how to write sexy times and she doesn’t hold back here.  Unfortunately, these two are in love in no time flat and are talking about a permanent future after knowing each other only a couple of weeks.  Why??  These are two people with a lifetime of trust issues.  Yeah, they connect sexually, but there is absolutely nothing to sustain their grand proclamations of love.  They simply aren’t together long enough.

Beyond that, neither character is sufficiently developed.  There is no nuance.  Gabby is an abused but tough chick who was mistreated in her childhood and now refuses to be a victim again.  Sean is a man of shadows.  He is physically strong but fears his dark gifts will infect anyone he gets close to, so he never gets close to anyone. Now you know as much about them as if you had read the entire story.

It’s not bad, but it’s not a romance you can sink your teeth into either.

Rating: C+

*ARC provided by publisher

Click to purchase: Amazon

Temptation in Shadows
by Gena Showalter
Release Date: June 17, 2014
Publisher: St. Martin’s Paperback

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