Nightingale by Jennifer Estep
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
A cross between The Incredibles and My Super Ex-Girlfriend, the Bigtime series is a must read. It is filled with humour and sensitivity. Ms. Estep is a master at creating lovely and realistic characters.
In NIGHTINGALE, Abby Appleby is the party planner extraordinaire. No one is better at putting out fires, calming hysterical brides and pulling off amazing parties everyone talks about. One night after a successful party, she comes across a hurt superhero, Talon. In the heat of the moment, she saves him. As they say, no good deed goes unpunished.
This world Ms. Estep created is fabulous. It's rich with different types of superheroes. In a sense, she's taken a page out of DC comics with how superheroes come to be. There are some who are gifted with natural powers like Superman and Wonder Woman. Then there are ones who use technology to help them fight like Batman. Which one is the better superhero? It's difficult to say and Ms. Estep doesn't favour one over the other.
Abby is not a superhero, but does have super hearing and senses. Talon, on the other hand, is one with numerous techno gadgets to help him fight crime. He's even similar to Batman in the sense he is a rich businessman.
This story is a fast read and pulls a reader in because the characters are so endearing. Learning about Abby and her neurosis is moving. Her lack of self-esteem based on her looks is so contradictory to her aggressive self-confidence in her abilities. This makes her more relatable. Her desire to be with Talon yet wanting to keep her secret identity off the grid is a difficult quandary.
The plot of this story is fast-paced and reminiscent of Ms. Estep's Elemental series. It's also interesting and causes a reader to constantly try to guess the identity of the villains while hoping for a romance to bloom in full. The characters in this book are larger than life at times. The book could come off campy but instead, exudes witty playfulness in a tongue-in-cheek manner. I love Ms. Estep's writing voice in this story - smooth and silky.
This paranormal romance book is highly recommended to readers who have a touch of comic book geekiness.
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