Growing up poor on New Chicago’s meanest streets, Ava Sans had two options: be the predator, or be the prey. No contest. Now, working for Alien Investigation and Removal, she’s been ordered to capture the biggest, baddest warrior of all—a vampire too beautiful to be real, with the ability to manipulate time. Once the leader of the entire vampire army, McKell has been deemed savage and unstable, spurned even by his own kind.
To McKell, humans should be nothing more than sustenance. Yet the petite, golden-skinned Ava is a fascinating contradiction—vicious yet witty, strong yet vulnerable, lethal but fiercely loyal. Against his better judgment, McKell craves that loyalty, and much more. When the chase leads to seduction, McKell and Ava will race to discover the truth about his past. But the answers will come at a price, even for a woman who thought she had nothing left to lose. . .
Title: ECSTASY IN DARKNESS
Author: Gena Showalter
Series: Alien Huntress, book 5
Genre: Futuristic Romance, Paranormal Romance
Publisher: Pocket Books, Simon and Schuster
Year of release: 2010, October 26
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Source: Bought via The BookDepository
“And I thought you were rough. Those girls are…” Dallas Gutierrez shuddered.
-McKell stopping time to punch Johnny in the face repeatedly > hilariously funny
-scene in the car while going to Noelle’s house with their captives > McKell and Ava set that car on fire!
-the bargaining and rule-setting when McKell decides to move in with Ava > typical Gena vibe and humor
Ava Sans is young, stubborn, fearless and witty. She’s an AIR (Alien Investigation and Removal) trainee. She’s also tough, crude, grew up on the streets and not the damsel in distress type. She can handle anything thrown at her. But she also has a loyalty and vulnerability that prevent her from being a harsh bitch of a heroine.
Victor McKell is a ruthless and proud vampire warrior. He’s possessive, unstable and psychotic. He has the ability to stop time and freeze people in time, in short bursts. He’s as tough and rough as Ava and they’re perfectly matched for each other.. He too, has this thin veil of vulnerability that endears him and makes him a hero I utterly enjoyed reading.
There were a few moments in the book where I feared the secondary cast would take over the focus of the book. For example I found it weird that the book started in a POV that was neither Ava’s or McKell’s but Mia Snow’s, now head of AIR. Also, the stuff surrounding secondary character Dallas Gutierrez seemed to hold my attention more than the main characters at a certain point. Then again, this might be me.
And there was a scene in the story where McKell’s time-stopping ability confused me as I didn’t understand the logic behind it that time and I couldn’t explain how the time had elapsed for the characters other than McKell. This puzzled me and took me out of the story for a minute. Fortunately these moments didn’t linger and I enjoyed the interactions and chemistry between McKell and Ava that were excellent.
It had been a while since I read the last Alien Huntress book, SEDUCE THE DARKNESS, and though the details of the overall ongoing plotline had turned a bit fuzzy in my memory, I very quickly caught on again after the first few chapters of ECSTACY IN DARKNESS. Although I absolutely enjoyed this installment of Gena Showalter’s Alien Huntress series the end had me frowning a bit. IMHO it was too much of an easy and quick way out. The resolution to the part of the ongoing plot featured in this installment was just not what I would have liked to see, it was too convenient.
However, my faith in Gena is firm as a rock and I know she’ll come back with a vengeance and make up for it in the next installment, which I am definitely looking forward to. I know the last word hasn’t been said and the last unexpected twist hasn’t played out yet in this ongoing overall plot.
Gena Showalter writes make-out scenes like few other authors do. They’re sizzling hot, unintrusive to the plot and a joy to read, and one of the reasons she’s in the league of my favorite authors, on the auto-buy list from the moment I read my first book written by her. She also has the ability to infuse heat into her books without having actual sexy scenes. I was almost at page 400 (of a total of 502) when Ava and McKell finally did the deed but strangely this didn’t bother me at all whereas in other romance novels the lack of …let’s call it consummation detracts from the romance and occasionally frustrates me. And the consummation scene itself was awesome and sizzling hot and worth every page read waiting for it. McKell outdid himself :)
Though a little lacking in the execution of the ongoing plot in this installment, I must say the main couple, the sizzling sensuality and the secondary characters all contributed to my utter enjoyment of yet another entertaining book in this series. The Alien Huntress series is another example of Gena’s talent to write great individual romance within an ongoing plot that gets more intriguing with every new installment. I’m so ready for the next one!
He had pale skin and a face that proved God had an A game. And why the good Lord would have chosen to deviate from that formula and create other faces, she would never know. If everyone looked like this man –like fevered whispers in the dark, forbidden chocolate, and sin it its most tempting incarnation –crime would have ceased long ago. Or maybe never even started.
Her voice…as close to sex as a man could get without actually removing his clothing. Sure he’d considered it “sweet” before. After lying in his cave all day, replaying their interaction through his head over and over again, however, he’d realized that sweet obviously equaled dirty to his body.
He let their tongues continue to play, to duel, to roll and thrust, sipping, feeding, driving them closer and closer to a ledge they might later wish they’d never built. For it was a ledge of their own making, one that promised a torturous fall, a fatal landing.
“Where’s Sans?” the handsome brother asked with a leering grin. “At home in bed?
The ugly one punched him in the back of the head.
Noelle offered the speaker a deadly grin. “One day, Dear John, you’re gonna wake up, and your penis is gonna be resting on the pillow next to you. Not that you’ll notice its absence, small as it is.”
(Ava to McKell) “Thank you,” she said, fighting those stupid tears again. “Even though I understand where you’re coming from, I’m still asking you to heal him. Not because he deserves it, but because it’s the right thing to do. And because, if he gets better, we can take turns kicking him in his man junk without any feelings of guilt.”