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Dark Taste of Rapture

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New York Times bestselling author Gena Showalter captivates with a dark, tantalizing world of humans, otherworlders, and a powerful AIR agent consumed by his desire for a woman he can never have. . . . With one caress, he can give unforgettable pleasure . . . or unending pain. . . . Hector Dean is shaved, tattooed, and totally ripped—and he has a deadly secret. He is a walki New York Times bestselling author Gena Showalter captivates with a dark, tantalizing world of humans, otherworlders, and a powerful AIR agent consumed by his desire for a woman he can never have. . . . With one caress, he can give unforgettable pleasure . . . or unending pain. . . . Hector Dean is shaved, tattooed, and totally ripped—and he has a deadly secret. He is a walking weapon, capable of killing with a single brush of his fingertips. Little wonder he’s determined to remain on his own. But Noelle Tremain is a temptation like no other. She is beautiful and rich, with a party girl smile that hides a shocking vulnerability, and from the beginning his sizzling attraction to her is undeniable. For the first time, his stone-cold resistance is tested. But to be with her, he risks destroying her. When a wealthy businessman is murdered in New Chicago’s seediest district, the two are partnered, and there’s no escaping what they both want: each other. Yet neither Hector nor Noelle knows what to fear more—the killer case, or their own lethal desires. . . .


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New York Times bestselling author Gena Showalter captivates with a dark, tantalizing world of humans, otherworlders, and a powerful AIR agent consumed by his desire for a woman he can never have. . . . With one caress, he can give unforgettable pleasure . . . or unending pain. . . . Hector Dean is shaved, tattooed, and totally ripped—and he has a deadly secret. He is a walki New York Times bestselling author Gena Showalter captivates with a dark, tantalizing world of humans, otherworlders, and a powerful AIR agent consumed by his desire for a woman he can never have. . . . With one caress, he can give unforgettable pleasure . . . or unending pain. . . . Hector Dean is shaved, tattooed, and totally ripped—and he has a deadly secret. He is a walking weapon, capable of killing with a single brush of his fingertips. Little wonder he’s determined to remain on his own. But Noelle Tremain is a temptation like no other. She is beautiful and rich, with a party girl smile that hides a shocking vulnerability, and from the beginning his sizzling attraction to her is undeniable. For the first time, his stone-cold resistance is tested. But to be with her, he risks destroying her. When a wealthy businessman is murdered in New Chicago’s seediest district, the two are partnered, and there’s no escaping what they both want: each other. Yet neither Hector nor Noelle knows what to fear more—the killer case, or their own lethal desires. . . .

30 review for Dark Taste of Rapture

  1. 5 out of 5

    Leah

    Love having more of Dallas! Favorite Quote: His possibly-straddling-the-edge-of-gay guy-crush was reserved for Devyn, king of the Targons, best friend and egotistical shithead who once collected women like other men collected hats. (Dallas, page 7) Merged review: Gena Showalter is a goddess. Seriously. I don't know how the woman does it. She has at least three series in progress and manages to get out at least four books a year! And I think she's had more than that this year. She's fucking amazing. I Love having more of Dallas! Favorite Quote: His possibly-straddling-the-edge-of-gay guy-crush was reserved for Devyn, king of the Targons, best friend and egotistical shithead who once collected women like other men collected hats. (Dallas, page 7) Merged review: Gena Showalter is a goddess. Seriously. I don't know how the woman does it. She has at least three series in progress and manages to get out at least four books a year! And I think she's had more than that this year. She's fucking amazing. I am in awe and bow down to the altar of her Supreme Author Goddessness. I loved this book. As I'm sure you can already tell. I love it so much that my mind is completely blank right now. I don't know what I want to say. While I was reading the book, I kept thinking of all these witty things that I wanted to write right before mentally patting myself on the head for their brilliance. Now? Nothing! What the hell! All that keeps flashing through my mind is, "Holy hell. *grabs paper bag and hyperventilates* I can't believe I found a book where the hero and heroine were so freaking awesome that they didn't annoy me at all in the book! It's just not possible! This is a trick, damn it! *hyperventilates more*" It's very intense, trust me. Intense but oh so true. Why do you do this to me, Gena? You make uber, super duper, fan-freaking-tastic characters that make me lose my train of thought! Not cool! (*whispers* Dude, it's totally cool.) Despite this, I will now attempt to put into words how much I utterly love, adore, desire, want to have its babies this book. First: I absolutely loved the plot of this book. I love how it backtracks in the beginning to show Noelle and Hector meeting at the AIR Training Camp. I love that Noelle blows all Hector's original expectations to smithereens. The sexual tension that builds between the two as they are forced to work with each other day after day, priceless. It was pretty cool to see the continuation of the sex slave trade theme to the cases (not that I support the sex slave trade or anything). While it sucks that Noelle was constantly hurt, I loved that Hector kept changing his mind, for her own good, forcing her to chase him. Then, after all the shit goes down, he is forced to chase her unless he wants to face life alone and utterly miserable. Annnd, even though it's only going to make me batshit crazy with curiosity (which I'm sure was Gena's goal), I love that we don't find out yet if Dallas is saved or destroyed by the Hector-Noelle Vision coming true. It is just an all-around wonderful story. Second: I want to marry all the characters. I'm going to be honest and say that Noelle annoyed me a bit in the previous book, Ecstasy in Darkness. I'm really not even sure why, which is weird. It was just a thing. However, my opinion of her is now vastly different. She's so much more than she appears. Once I finally got to know her, how generous, caring, loving she is, how insecure, I couldn't help but love her. Plus, she's extremely snarky, sarcastic, and witty without being obnoxious about it. And she's totally badass. My kind of woman. Then there's Hector, deliciously tattooed, troubled Hector. He's possessive, fast to anger (and lust), protective, bluntly honest. While all those qualities may not be enough for some females, that's enough to make me weak in the knees. (Good thing I was sitting while I was reading.) And, I found it extremely sexy that he did the tattoos on his arms and hands all by himself. *swoons* Take me now, Hector! Finally, there's the other main player: Dallas. I have loved and adored Dallas since Awaken Me Darkly, the first book of this series. With each book he just gets sexier and sexier. I really hope that he gets a book soon. If for nothing else, we need an answer to the question: Salvation or destruction? Keep us posted, Gena. (And super duper thanks for the Devyn and McKell cameos! *moans* Love those two so much.) Third: Holy hell, plot twist! Oh my God, Dare is fucking back! I thought he was dead! Although, now that I think about it, I'm not really sure why I assumed that because, while we never get any kind of update on him once Mia's book is over, I'm pretty sure it's never confirmed he's dead. But now...Oh, now he's back. Damn. I cannot wait to see how that plays out. Maybe his book will be next? The plot thickens! So, if all that wasn't enough to get through to you how much I loved this book, that you should buy and read this series immediately, and that Gena Showalter is the bestest, super greatest author ever, you clearly have problems. Favorite Quote: This was the second time he'd called her sweetheart, and her heart skipped a treacherous beat. When other guys used cute little nicknames with her, she wanted to strangle them with their own intestines. When Hector did it, she wanted to swoon like a Victorian maiden. Weird. (Noelle, page 201-202)

  2. 5 out of 5

    Monty Cupcake ☠ Queen of Bloodshed ☠

    So...if this is the last book in the series, it doesn’t really address what happens to Dallas and other loose ends. Seems like there should be more books in the series to solve those things.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Jen Davis

    Gena Showalter is on her A-game with this latest installment in her Alien Huntress series. I wasn't sure how I'd feel about this one. I didn't exactly love Noelle in the last book. But here we get to see that there is much more to her than good looks, piles of money, and a perverse sense of humor. And Hector... (sigh)... he is my favorite kind of hero: broken, tortured, powerful and unsure. Not to mention: ripped, loyal and sexy. Yum. I expected the book to pick where Ecstasy in Darkness left off Gena Showalter is on her A-game with this latest installment in her Alien Huntress series. I wasn't sure how I'd feel about this one. I didn't exactly love Noelle in the last book. But here we get to see that there is much more to her than good looks, piles of money, and a perverse sense of humor. And Hector... (sigh)... he is my favorite kind of hero: broken, tortured, powerful and unsure. Not to mention: ripped, loyal and sexy. Yum. I expected the book to pick where Ecstasy in Darkness left off... but it actually started about a year before the events of the last book. Noelle and her best friend Ava were just beginning their training for the Alien Investigation Removal (AIR) agency. Hector is one of the instructors there, as are his best friend Dallas and Noelle's cousin Jaxon. Right away, Hector is taken by Noelle's beauty. But she projects the image of a spoiled debutante. It's a defense mechanism she uses to keep people from seeing the real her. And slowly, Hector begins to see past the facade. He is unbearably attracted to her, but fights his feelings tooth and nail. He can't be with any woman. When he gets angry or aroused, his hands and arms atomize, turning anything in his path to dust. The one time he tried to be intimate with someone, he killed her. And he isn't taking that chance again. At least, that's what he tells himself. Noelle has other ideas. She wants Hector and manages to get close to him once or twice. Just enough to excite them both... and send him running for the hills. Fast forward a year, and both Hector and Noelle are AIR agents. He's been trying to avoid her all this time, but they are forced together by a case. And if things aren't complicated enough with Hector's disability, we've got Dallas thrown in the mix. He's had a vision that he and Noelle are supposed to sleep together... and another vision that Hector and Noelle are supposed to be together. If the wrong chain of events is set in motion, it could be disastrous for him. But he has no idea which path is the right one. (This thread of the storyline confused me a little. I remember his visions in the last book, but I still don't get how an "unchangeable" vision can still be wrong.) Aside from my Dallas-induced head-scratching, I was completely besotted by this book. There was great action, as Hector and Noelle worked their case together. There was great sexual tension. And there was romance. Perhaps one of the things I liked most about the book was the fact that this was no flash in the pan, instant-love. The attraction happened right away, but the feelings developed over time. (By the way... There was no mention of the ongoing arc involving the evil-Queen-alien turning people into cannibals.) We do have appearances by the great cast of characters we have grown to love, including Mia, Devyn, Ava, and McKell. And we see someone introduced in Awaken Me Darkly, who I didn't expect to see again. Somehow, I think Mr. Surprise will end up with his own book. One can only hope. 5 stars. *ARC Provided by Simon & Schuster

  4. 5 out of 5

    Jo

    Noelle was done with that kind of thing. Done with trying to be something other than what she was. If a guy couldn’t see the treasure underneath the smart mouth, he didn’t deserve her. I fell in love with Noelle Tremain in the previous book and she didn’t disappoint in this book. I love how she acts like a ditzy, spoiled heiress, knowing that’s what everyone expects her to be and only revealing her true self to her best friend Ava. She’s tough, a smart-ass, a bit spoiled but not in a bad way Noelle was done with that kind of thing. Done with trying to be something other than what she was. If a guy couldn’t see the treasure underneath the smart mouth, he didn’t deserve her. I fell in love with Noelle Tremain in the previous book and she didn’t disappoint in this book. I love how she acts like a ditzy, spoiled heiress, knowing that’s what everyone expects her to be and only revealing her true self to her best friend Ava. She’s tough, a smart-ass, a bit spoiled but not in a bad way, and also vulnerable. Everyone has always tried to change her into something she wasn’t, everyone except Ava. I loved her friendship with Ava and how loyal they were to each other. “I don’t hate you, Noelle. I fucking crave you.” Hector Dean is tattooed, he shaves his head to prove his meanness and he has a body to die for. I loved this gruff hero with his deadly power. Because of his ability to kill with a mere touch, he’s learned to keep his distance from others, knowing that a relationship would never be in the cards for him. I loved how intense his attraction was to Noelle, how he continued to crave her even when he desperately tried to keep his distance from her. Normally a romance with a lot of pushing away drives me crazy, but the author made it work in this book. Hector had a valid reason for trying to keep his distance from Noelle, his fear of hurting her made me ache so badly for him and the fact that you could see how much he craved her, especially since he’s normally such a guarded person, just made me love their slow-burn romance even more. Also Noelle’s method of seducing and taunting Hector was a lot of fun ;-D I absolutely love this PNR series with its wonderful and loveable characters, gripping plot and sexy romance. I can’t recommend it enough.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Naomi

    I've said it before and I'll say it again, Gena Showalter is the freaking best! DARK TASTE OF RAPTURE was amazing, it was so good, guys. I couldn't stop reading it and I actually didn't. And, have you seen that cover?! I knew even before reading this book that I'd love Hector and I was not wrong! Before DARK TASTE OF RAPTURE, I only had one Hector in my life, THE Hector of all Hectors. You guessed it. Hector Chavez aka Hispanic Hottie aka Double H. Kristen Ashley brought him into my life and I ne I've said it before and I'll say it again, Gena Showalter is the freaking best! DARK TASTE OF RAPTURE was amazing, it was so good, guys. I couldn't stop reading it and I actually didn't. And, have you seen that cover?! I knew even before reading this book that I'd love Hector and I was not wrong! Before DARK TASTE OF RAPTURE, I only had one Hector in my life, THE Hector of all Hectors. You guessed it. Hector Chavez aka Hispanic Hottie aka Double H. Kristen Ashley brought him into my life and I never thought I would love another Hector as much as I love him but, for once, I was wrong. Gena-I-can-write-anything-I-m-so-good-at-my-job-Showalter happened and another Hector found his way into my heart. "He didn't tease, he snarled. He didn't flirt, he informed." Hector Dean is a badass character. Shaved, powerful, tattooed, sexy, strong, you know, everything important in a man. I loved him and well, just thinking about that cover had me lusting over him even more. What can I say, I'm a shallow woman. He also had some unimportant and quite useless qualities, he was loyal, smart, selfless, the kind of guy that everybody hates, right?! Calm down, people. I'm only half-joking! Of course I was lusting after him, of course I'm shallow but even if Hector had been ugly as hell, I'd have still loved him (maybe not as much but still). He was just the kind of guy that you can't not love. He was frustrating at times, yes, but he had his reasons. "I don't hate you, Noelle. I fucking crave you." Noelle was a super pleasant surprise for me. I was afraid of her character, I didn't like her that much in the previous book but I simply loved her in this one. We get to know her better, see past her bitchy attitude and we realized that all of it is an act. She's still the same Noelle as before, badass, not afraid to fight, maybe worse than Ava, but she has so much more to offer than just her fake girly facade. Noelle is vulnerable, Ava is the only constant in her life and besides Ava, no one knows the real her and she likes it that way. Noelle is a woman who was hurt too many times, who was never enough for her family and now she doesn't want to be disappointed and crushed by other people, so she keeps everyone at a distance. "There were so many facets to her personality, he thought. The playful little girl, the vicious revenge-hungry woman. The seductress, the innocent. The giver, the taker. The game-player. He wanted to fuck them all. What an explosive and sexy duo! I absolutely loved them together. Best.Couple.Ever! They were good for each other, just exactly what the other needed. Not gonna lie, they were frustrating as hell. Hector can't get close to a woman because when he gets too excited or angry his arms start to glow and he burns everything to ashes. He killed his one and only (view spoiler)[(YES, Hector is a freaking virgin and I loved it. He wasn't shy about sex or anything like that but he never had the chance to actually do it. WHAT A SHAME! (hide spoiler)] girlfriend and since then, he stays away from women. "He couldn't masturbate his sexual desires away because he'd fry off his cock." So, yeah, it was annoying to see them going at it and then Hector was all like: "We can never do it again!" - "I'll hurt you and I'll never forgive myself!" - "Noooooo!". But Noelle never gave up on him and I loved her for it, she was stubborn and ready to make him cave. You go Noelle! "Noelle was a lot of things--spoiled, sometimes cruel and clueless, always gorgeous--but never a coward." Loved the secondary characters, as usual with this series. I was so happy to see more of Ava and McKell, the wedding scene, when Noelle realized that, in a way, she was losing her best friend, made me cry like a newborn. "You and me, we'll be together for eternity. Probably not in heaven, but we'll still be together. You know that, right?" And more of beautiful Devyn. And Dallas, still hoping to have his story soon because that ending man...he needs his HEA and not with the crazy Schon queen! "I do not cackle. I bitch like a he-man." The storyline here wasn't connected to the previous books at all. It's an all new story and it was very interesting. Hector and Noelle's relationship was the focus of the book but it was still intriguing and with it came a character that I had forgotten but now I really wanna learn more about him. So, yes, Gena dearest, you need to write the next book as soon as you can. DARK TASTE OF RAPTURE was, once again, a big YES from me. I'm addicted to Gena Showalter, she's my new drug. If you haven't yet read that series or this book, do it now or fear my wrath! "Say you want me, damn it," he snarled. Arousal slid down her spine and pooled between her legs. This forceful side of him electrified her. "I want you, damn it." PS. This book had so many good lines/quotes, I highlighted too many on my Kindle and I wish I could post them all here. But here's another one that I loved: "In fact, he kept his head shaved to a glossy shine for just that reason. He was a man willing to do anything to discourage feminine attention. Because yeah, females could be vanity hounds and most preferred their dates to have hair. Black, blond, red, it didn't matter, as long as the locks were thick and lustrous. And here was a news flash for little Miss Giggles: when he allowed his to grow, it was dark brown, nearly jet, with hints of gold and worthy of a fucking lion. Not that he was feeling defensive or anything."

  6. 4 out of 5

    Lauren

    Dark Taste of Rapture 3 Stars AIR agent in training, Noelle Tremain has her libido and heart set on her instructor, Hector Dean. Unfortunately, Hector is determined to keep Noelle at arms length, literally, as he is unable to control his deadly ability to kill with touch. But when Noelle and Hector are partnered on a case, there will be no escaping the smoldering passion between them. Series note: This is the final book in Showalter's Alien Huntress series. However, the spin-off, Otherworld Assass Dark Taste of Rapture 3 Stars AIR agent in training, Noelle Tremain has her libido and heart set on her instructor, Hector Dean. Unfortunately, Hector is determined to keep Noelle at arms length, literally, as he is unable to control his deadly ability to kill with touch. But when Noelle and Hector are partnered on a case, there will be no escaping the smoldering passion between them. Series note: This is the final book in Showalter's Alien Huntress series. However, the spin-off, Otherworld Assassin, is set in the same world and apparently continue the storylines. To begin with, the exact nature and origin of Hector power is never explained. Moreover, his fear that his ability will harm or kill Noelle is understandable, but his repeated rejections, both physical and emotional, undermine the romance as Noelle's determination to have him makes her appear weak and spineless. This is exacerbated by her lack of self-confidence, which her snarky façade never manages to entirely mask. Speaking of the snark, it is excessive, overdone and ridiculous. It is difficult to take characters seriously when they speak and behave like overgrown teenagers at a frat party. The plot diverges from the Schön Queen storyline in the last few installments and returns to the alien sex trafficking arc from the first couple of books. This would be not be a problem if the investigation wasn't underdeveloped and slipshod. There is no real build up of suspense and the resolution is rushed and anti-climactic. In sum, this is a disappointing end to the series as the romance is lackluster and the ongoing story arcs remain unresolved. Hopefully, the first book in the spin-off will provide some closure.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Heather C

    This was a nice continuation of the Alien Huntress Series. What I did like: 1. I didn't have any trouble remembering the storylines from previous books. The author did a good job of refreshing my memory. 2. There was a lot of sexual tension 3. It was funny 4. Hector was actually a hottie 5. Hector was crazy possessive 6. Noelle was kick-ass 7. Favorite quote: (view spoiler)["Be with me, if only to convince everyone at AIR that I'm not gay. Did you know everyone thought that? The other day, Phoenix tried This was a nice continuation of the Alien Huntress Series. What I did like: 1. I didn't have any trouble remembering the storylines from previous books. The author did a good job of refreshing my memory. 2. There was a lot of sexual tension 3. It was funny 4. Hector was actually a hottie 5. Hector was crazy possessive 6. Noelle was kick-ass 7. Favorite quote: (view spoiler)["Be with me, if only to convince everyone at AIR that I'm not gay. Did you know everyone thought that? The other day, Phoenix tried to set me up with one of her boyfriend's friends. Also, you took my virginity. If you dump me, I'll have to tell everyone you're a skeevy user." (hide spoiler)] What I did not like: 1. It did not have any scenes from Dallas's POV 2. Noelle was annoying and acted like a teenager 3. I got bored with all the "we can't have sex or I might accidently kill you". Then they would have crazy sex and Hector would catch something on fire. Then it would be back to "we can't be together because I might kill you!" (ok, those are not actual quotes, but you get the idea) 4. There was no epilogue!!!! I want to know more about Dallas's vision. 5. The mystery was a bit lame Please tell me Dallas will finally get his book next!!

  8. 5 out of 5

    Francesca the Fierce (Under the Covers Book Blog)

    I.LOVE.DALLAS! That's pretty much all there is to it. He's funny, sexy, confident, and I can't wait for his book!!! Merged review: This review was posted at Under The Covers How do you like your heroes? Tall, muscled, strong, tortured, tattooed, oh-so-sexy, with golden eyes and . . .dimples! Is that close? Well then, meet Hector Dean. I mean, just take a look at the cover. He is edible!! And to make the cover justice, the man you will meet in the book is a fantasy come to life! This book backtracks i I.LOVE.DALLAS! That's pretty much all there is to it. He's funny, sexy, confident, and I can't wait for his book!!! Merged review: This review was posted at Under The Covers How do you like your heroes? Tall, muscled, strong, tortured, tattooed, oh-so-sexy, with golden eyes and . . .dimples! Is that close? Well then, meet Hector Dean. I mean, just take a look at the cover. He is edible!! And to make the cover justice, the man you will meet in the book is a fantasy come to life! This book backtracks in the storyline to when Noelle and Ava go into the AIR agent training. And really, how can they be expected to concentrate on training when you have Dallas and Hector as your instructors? The connection is instant between Hector and Noelle but there are so many layers to their relationship that need to be peeled back from there. And it’s a lot of fun to see it happen. Hectors past was very hard, and his present is a major thing to deal with. Although he is human, his arms heat up and can burn through even metal when he gets aroused, angry, or any strong emotion. Great in a fight, not so great around a girl. But he is intense!!! Hot in more ways than one!! I wouldn’t mind going up in flames with him. . . At all. . . He’s worth it! And then there’s Noelle. She is my favorite heroine in this series. She can be funny, snarky, a bit spoiled. But she hides behind a mask and inside there’s a girl who has never been good enough for anyone, not her family, not her boyfriends. The only constant in her life is her friendship with Ava. Their loyalty to each other is amazing! But now she is getting married. I loved seeing their friendly interactions, her sadness at losing her friend or so she thought. They are hilarious together, they get each other in all their quirkiness. But Hector sees through Noelle’s act as well. He knows there’s more to her than she lets on. And when Noelle really starts pushing the boundaries of their relationship, well I just love how he gives in to his desires and passions 100% and as much as he can. Even though he fights going further. We revisit the alien trafficking storyline in this book instead of the Schon queen. She was completely absent here and I just wonder what happened with her. We do get somewhat of an answer to Dallas vision but there is still an open question about it at the end. I think I just heard Dallas saying he is ready to have his book written. And since I’m on the Dallas subject. . . He is so cute, trying to put his "best moves" on Noelle. It was hysterical. I gotta admit I’m jealous though!! I want to be Dallas' pretzel! And just as we had best friends forever Ava and Noelle, we also see a small glimpse of my favorite bromance: Devyn and Dallas. I’m soooo on Brides side when Devyn mentioned that she wanted them to kiss like Noelle and Ava had done. *purrrrr* Pretty much the whole cast shows up in this book. We also see Jaxon and Mia as well as McKell obviously. Together, AIR solves a case of missing girls aaaaaaannnnmnnd in the process a blast from the past character reappears! No, can’t tell you who it is. You’ll have to read to find out. But I’m sure this will play a big role in future books. So what are you waiting for? Pick up this book, or if you haven’t yet, start this series!! You know you want to see Hector burn holes in brick walls, burn through gloves and burn down a house!!!! Favorite Quotes: Speaking of funny looks. "Did you see the way that Hector guy eyed me up and down, as if I belonged in a scientific studies magazine for newly discovered fungus?" "Yeah, but did you see his muscles?" "How could I miss them? His I've-tasted-human-heart-and-liked-it black T-shirt was strained to the point of lunacy." "Vocab lesson time. You mean lewdness. As in, indecent." "Graduate Camp Hellhole - check," Noelle muttered. "Hired by AIR - check. Complete my first mission successfully - check. Kick Hector's ass at a foot race - check. Lose my best friend - check, check, fucking check, and scribble and crumble the notepad and slam it into the trash." The T-shirt was a gift from Ava and read Good Girls Need Spankings Too. "Hey!" Dallas frowned at him. "When I tell you something's a secret, and you tell me that secret is locked in the vault, you aren't supposed to blab about it." Devyn blew him a kiss. "How was I supposed to know Hector would have the key to my vault."

  9. 5 out of 5

    Katy

    3 mostly meh stars Gena Showalter was my first introduction to PNR. I loved her LOTU series and most of her standalone books as well. I've tried re-reading a few of my old favorites of hers and unfortunately, they just don't work for me anymore. Most of them are just so incredibly juvenile and filled with unlikable MCs. Maybe it's age. Different taste. Higher standards. Whatever you want to call it. But thus far, almost every re-read of hers I've done has been a disappointment. So, not to be dete 3 mostly meh stars Gena Showalter was my first introduction to PNR. I loved her LOTU series and most of her standalone books as well. I've tried re-reading a few of my old favorites of hers and unfortunately, they just don't work for me anymore. Most of them are just so incredibly juvenile and filled with unlikable MCs. Maybe it's age. Different taste. Higher standards. Whatever you want to call it. But thus far, almost every re-read of hers I've done has been a disappointment. So, not to be deterred, I decided to go a new route. I would read a book of hers I haven't read yet. Well, that didn't really go well either. It was okay. Wasn't horrible, but I didn't love it. And I wanted to love it, damnit. Okay. On to the actual book. This book was just all over the place. There were time jumps, references to things that happened off page, and just a whole lot of confusing conversations. The book starts with everyone at AIR training, which is where Noelle and Hector meet. Hector immediately judges Noelle as a useless spoiled brat who is going to quit as soon as training gets tough. I would love to fault Hector for this, but Noelle purposefully projects this image of herself as a form of self-protection. Regardless of Hector's shitty opinion of Noelle, he's still in major lust with her but as his own form of self-protection, tells himself that she's just a hot, silly, ridiculous rich girl who would never slum it with a guy like him anyway. Because not only is he dangerous, he has a shaved head. Pffft. "Alright, then. Good. That's actually what he preferred because it saved him from having to deal with unwanted advances. In fact, he kept his head shaved to a glossy shine for just that reason. He was a man willing to do anything to discourage female attention." Because of course, women aren't attracted to men who are tall, crazy built and tattooed unless they have hair. OW! MY EYES! MUST...LOOK...AWAY...SO...REPULSIVE? Moving on. So Noelle and Hector do their AIR training stuff and battle their mutual attraction. Hector is determined to stay away because any kind of intense emotion causes a danger to anyone he touches. You know, like getting super turned on. Or angry. Or pissed. Noelle is used to being a disappointment to everyone she cares about (except her bestie Ava, of course) so Hector's emotional hand wringing gets old, quick. To her, it's easy. You want me. I want you. Let's make this happen. Hector continues to battle his lust and yank her around. In many ways, I get it. He is actually dangerous. But he constantly sends mixed signals. Noelle's main frustration comes from his inability to put on his big boy pants and just make a decision one way or another. Eventually, they finish AIR training and Noelle is an official agent. They work a case involving sex slavery together and drama and eventual shmexy times ensue. Honestly, this book wasn't bad. It really wasn't. I like spunky heroines. Noelle is certainly that. I like vulnerable spunky heroines even more. Noelle is certainly that. I love a vulnerable spunk heroine with a badass bestie even more. This book had that. It was just all a little over the top. Well, more so than usual. Noelle crossed the line from spunky to annoying really early in the book and never looked back. I mean come on, Noelle made out with Ava during the wedding ceremony as a gift to Ava's husband to be. Really? Add to that a side plot concerning one of Hector's fellow agents (Dallas, I think? I'm too lazy to look it up) and his visions of the future. I guess Dallas has a vision of being in bed with Noelle and he's never wrong. This is obviously a huge problem for Hector. Everyone's well aware of his feelings for Noelle. It was a really interesting twist to the plot but it was left unanswered and unexplored. I would have liked a little more than the book version Who knows, maybe we'll find out in another book. If I had to sum up this book in one sentence, it would probably be I've read better, I've read worse. And while that's certainly not terrible, I was just hoping for so much more from a former favorite author.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Laura

    Review posted on Got Fiction? 4.5 So much of this series is left unfinished! I want to see Dallas and the Schoen Queen plot get tied up. I was so confused by the visions he had. What's going on with Dare? The sex slave ring? It's been years but I truly hope Ms. Showalter comes back to this. Full Review: It was recently brought to my attention that I hadn't finished up the Alien Huntress series! One book short! Obviously I had to rectify that. This book isn't the last of the series though. I mean, it Review posted on Got Fiction? 4.5 So much of this series is left unfinished! I want to see Dallas and the Schoen Queen plot get tied up. I was so confused by the visions he had. What's going on with Dare? The sex slave ring? It's been years but I truly hope Ms. Showalter comes back to this. Full Review: It was recently brought to my attention that I hadn't finished up the Alien Huntress series! One book short! Obviously I had to rectify that. This book isn't the last of the series though. I mean, it doesn't end on a cliffhanger, but it feels as if certain plot threads aren't tied up. That being said, this is a fantastic series-one of my favorites, to be honest. Ms. Showalter has created a really cool world, without having to bury us with world-building. So this book starts before the last one, but picks up to run around the same time. In the last book, we had two new AIR agents join the team, and this one starts when they went into Basic Training. Hector is the agent in charge/drill sergeant, and Noelle is basically an heiress who plays to the stereotype. She acts the airhead, and spoiled brat, but really she's smart, interesting, and a wee bit vicious. The two of them are instantly attracted to each other, which just pisses Hector off, so he rides her harder. He has a secret. His arms actually atomize and can burn through anything. He doesn't know why, but he thinks he's a freak, and since his parents were awful excuses for human beings, he's on his own. After a horrible incident with a girl he was into once, he's since refused to touch anyone. Noelle has her own secrets. She was kidnapped as a child, and her father's solution after he got her back was to have her nerve endings fried so she couldn't feel pain. But it was more painful than any torture. And when Hector has her working and running harder, farther, and she's "interrogated" by another agent, her secret is that she can't feel it. But because Hector is so afraid of touching Noelle, he distances himself. And he isn't nice about it. After about a year, they end up working together, and Hector can't take being so close to Noelle but not having her. In the meantime, an old case is rising up again. When Noelle is finally able to make Hector see everything will be fine between them, things aren't fine anymore. They have more to get through than just the case, and it's a sexy, smokin' hot ride. The only thing about it that I had trouble with was the vision Dallas had. He had two, and if one came true he was fine, if the other came true, he was doomed. But I never understood why, and I never saw more of the Schon queen from the last book. If I recall, she's a big part of what's going on with Dallas. Also, Dare, and the sex slave ring, and a couple other things. It just felt unfinished. I wish Gena Showalter would write another book in this series. Finish Dallas' storyline! sigh. Maybe one day, right? But since this book lacks the Schon queen storyline, it actually can be read as a standalone. I highly recommend this series, even if you don't typically like aliens or futuristic stuff.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Princess under cover

    The cover is what made me buy the book - the PRINT version. Still have it. For the cover. I am such a cover whore... Anywho...(the chin needs some work but the rest of the cover is scrumptious)... OK, so the story itself. It was snappy, it was fast-paced. I like a strong, silent, brooding hero. Hector fits that mold. Noelle was badass enough, snarky, but honestly didn't stick in my mind all that deeply. Can't recall much of the other characters, but good quick gobble. Not something I'd re-read. But The cover is what made me buy the book - the PRINT version. Still have it. For the cover. I am such a cover whore... Anywho...(the chin needs some work but the rest of the cover is scrumptious)... OK, so the story itself. It was snappy, it was fast-paced. I like a strong, silent, brooding hero. Hector fits that mold. Noelle was badass enough, snarky, but honestly didn't stick in my mind all that deeply. Can't recall much of the other characters, but good quick gobble. Not something I'd re-read. But I will likely remember the cover for YEARS!

  12. 4 out of 5

    Catherine

    Boy, was I surprised to open this book and find that we were much earlier in the series timeline than we left off on in Ecstasy In Darkness. It was a good thing, though. Not only did we get to see an earlier glimpse of Ava and Noelle’s friendship, we also got to see the intriguing backstory between Noelle and Hector. I’ve got to say, even after reading this last book, I had no idea they had that kind of history together. I really enjoyed Ava and Noelle in Ecstasy In Darkness. They were violent, Boy, was I surprised to open this book and find that we were much earlier in the series timeline than we left off on in Ecstasy In Darkness. It was a good thing, though. Not only did we get to see an earlier glimpse of Ava and Noelle’s friendship, we also got to see the intriguing backstory between Noelle and Hector. I’ve got to say, even after reading this last book, I had no idea they had that kind of history together. I really enjoyed Ava and Noelle in Ecstasy In Darkness. They were violent, crazy, and hilarious. We get much less of them together in this one because Ava is on her honeymoon for a large chunk of it. It made me realize that I enjoy the Ava side of the pairing a lot more than the Noelle side. Ava’s more apt to get pissed and then kick some ass, while Noelle’s more apt to bitch and whine and then get violent. It’s okay in small doses, but I’d be lying if I didn’t admit that she grated on me after a while. I liked how sneaky and manipulative Noelle was. She always had a plan to improve her situation and didn’t hesitate to throw her money into the occasion to grease the wheels. The main thing that bugged me about her was how whiny she was about people thinking she was an airhead. She went out of her way to play stupid, knowing that it would give her the advantage if people didn’t know how smart and capable she was. If you do this deliberately and never break character when those people are around, then why are you mad when they buy your act and think you’re stupid? Do you want the plan to work or not? It’s as simple as that. So, needless to say, her pity party got old. There was quite a bit of heat in their relationship. They had a whole “forbidden lovers” thing going for them, which added an awesome layer of tension to the relationship. The back and forth got old, I’ll admit, but I could understand why it was so hard for Hector to attempt getting close to Noelle. It’s not like his experiences to date had inspired any confidence. He was a very tragic character—not just the nature of his power, but his past and what we learned about his brother. Very sad. Poor Hector didn’t even trust contact with himself, let alone contact with another person. His resistance did make it a bit sad to watch Noelle throw herself against that brick wall again and again, but this was slightly redeemed by the fact that the tables were turned and he had to pursue her in the end. That poor girl definitely deserved some effort by that point. I was very pleased to see that the Schon storyline was left out of this book. I’m a little tired of the skeezy queen and her army of STD-carrying men. I thought it would be easier to take Dallas now that we’re not so focused on the queen and his connection to her, but he actually ended up irritating me. His pursuit of Noelle and his ridiculous vision didn’t really serve a purpose that I could see, other than to lay the foundation for something in a future book. I wish he wouldn’t have been quite so grating. I know that he’s most people’s favorites, but I have a very love/hate relationship with him. He can be a good guy sometimes, but he can also be a real jerk. A past character in the series pops back up in this one. I’m curious to see where the author will go with that. This isn’t my favorite book in the series, but it carries the characters along nicely and paves the way for some new storylines. Despite finding Noelle a bit annoying, I still smiled when they got together in the end. It was a much deserved HEA. P.S. There's a virgin hero in there for all you fans of that trope. ;) Favorite Quote: "Are you trying to set me up?" he said, nearly choking on the words. "With someone else? While I'm laying my best moves on you?" "These are your best? Wait, never mind. Don't answer that. I'd just have to feel sorry for you."

  13. 5 out of 5

    Crystal ➳ Reading Between the Wines Book Club

    You know when you pick up a novel from Gena Showalter that you’re going to get the very best! Hector Dean is a hard bodied, tattooed and sexy as sin AIR agent with a tortured past and a dangerous secret. When his emotions get hot so do his hands, becoming deadly weapons, turning anything they touch into ash. Afraid to harm those around him, Hector keeps to himself. That is until he meets the beautiful and rich Noelle Tremain, AIR agent in training. For some reason he can’t get her out of his head You know when you pick up a novel from Gena Showalter that you’re going to get the very best! Hector Dean is a hard bodied, tattooed and sexy as sin AIR agent with a tortured past and a dangerous secret. When his emotions get hot so do his hands, becoming deadly weapons, turning anything they touch into ash. Afraid to harm those around him, Hector keeps to himself. That is until he meets the beautiful and rich Noelle Tremain, AIR agent in training. For some reason he can’t get her out of his head, despite the fact that she comes off as a spoiled air head in the beginning. She is pure temptation and it doesn’t help that she tries to seduce him at every turn. Scared of hurting her Hector tries everything to push Noelle away, fighting his uncontrollable desire for her, but Noelle is determined to get what she wants, and what she wants is Hector for herself. When a wealthy businessman from Noelle’s circles is murdered her and Hector must partner up to find the culprit, the same man who is behind a string of otherworlder kidnappings that Hector has been chasing for over a year now. Can these two make it through the investigation heart & body intact or will this new threat prove even deadlier then Hector’s abilities? And when Dallas has a vision foreseeing his end or his salvation if Hector and Noelle get into bed, can they take that chance? Dark Taste of Rapture shines by being pure and absolute perfection! This installment is by far, my favorite in the series to date. Dark, heart twisting and sexy, every page will leave you jonesing for more! Hector Dean will have you fantasizing about steamy nights tangled up between the sheets; strong, sexy and all alpha he was an easy character to fall in love with. With his tortured past of violence and death I couldn’t help my heart breaking for his struggles and then when he was trying to protect Noelle from himself *swoon* I just wanted to hug him. Even though he ended up hurting her worse by pushing her away for her own good his intentions were admirable. Dark Taste of Rapture pre-dates the last book, Ecstasy in Darkness, by a year taking you back to Ava and Noelle’s time in AIR training camp and when Noelle and Hector first meet. Noelle adds fun and humor to the dialogue with her sassy ways but her outwards confidence is a shield for the insecurity she hides thanks to her rotten family. This form of set-up really gave the reader some great insight into Hector and Noelle, adding depth and dimension, even to Ava and Dallas too. The plot quickly moves through that year without skipping important details and brings the reader to the present timeline in the series where Hector and Noelle must work together on a murder and slave trader case. The tension is thick between the two adding to the suspense already in abundance from the mysterious case. Some emotionally intense moments are balanced with uber sexy scenes that are literally burn-the-house-down-wet-your-panties HOT, and a seductive romance that progresses realistically and gradually; coupled with the non-stop action Gena Showalter delivers it all! The world building in this series, as always, is beyond brilliant and seems to build on itself with each new addition adding multiple layers to the already impressive series arc. An amazing addition to an already magnificent series, Dark Taste of Rapture is a must-read. Now, all I have to say is this….DALLAS! When will we get Dallas’s book Gena? I want sooooooo badly!!!! Best of 2011 pick!

  14. 4 out of 5

    Melindeeloo

    Taking just a little step back in time from the previous book, Dark Taste of Rapture starts with Ava and Noelle's arrival at the AIR academy, and the start of the attraction rejection polka that is the courtship between dark and intense Hector and bubbleheaded on the surface Noelle, as Noelle and Ava make it through the academy, Noelle loses her best bud to marriage to McKell, and Noelle and Hector become partners working on a case that involves the kidnapping of alien woman. This latest Alien H Taking just a little step back in time from the previous book, Dark Taste of Rapture starts with Ava and Noelle's arrival at the AIR academy, and the start of the attraction rejection polka that is the courtship between dark and intense Hector and bubbleheaded on the surface Noelle, as Noelle and Ava make it through the academy, Noelle loses her best bud to marriage to McKell, and Noelle and Hector become partners working on a case that involves the kidnapping of alien woman. This latest Alien Huntress offering was pretty darn steamy, since strong emotions (including arousal) effect Hector in a potential deadly way, that element of danger along Hector's determination to deny his shared attraction to Noelle helps to really build the tension between the pair to fever hot level. My only nit with the back and forth of Hector and Noelle's relationship was that there is just a bit too much repetition in the 'I am unworthy' and 'Rejected again' inner dialog for the pair. Of all Showalter's series, Alien Huntress is my current favorite, no nasty reality to get in the way of the zany fantasy - Noelle's method of using her rich girl skills to good advantage during her hunt for the kidnapper and her interactions with her family and her friend Ava are pretty funny. From a series arc prospective I was happy, as another reader mentioned, that Dark Taste of Rapture was a Schon-free zone, and I liked the fact that it looks like we may finally get Dallas' story.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Lisarenee

    "You're clearly upset about something." He did. He knew. But how did he know? "I'm not upset." "Bullshit." How dare he call her on her lie! "This is my best friend's most special day and I have never, ever been happier--" "--more miserable." "--than I am right now." "I can't believe you ever fooled me," he said, all kinds of self-disgust in his tone. "You're a terrible liar." How. Did. He. Know? Dallas hadn't. Ava suspected, but even she hadn't realized the depths of Noelle's misery. Have you ev "You're clearly upset about something." He did. He knew. But how did he know? "I'm not upset." "Bullshit." How dare he call her on her lie! "This is my best friend's most special day and I have never, ever been happier--" "--more miserable." "--than I am right now." "I can't believe you ever fooled me," he said, all kinds of self-disgust in his tone. "You're a terrible liar." How. Did. He. Know? Dallas hadn't. Ava suspected, but even she hadn't realized the depths of Noelle's misery. Have you ever met someone who just totally gets you? Someone you don't have to explain why you do certain things, they just instinctively know? Someone who can see beyond the facade you erect around yourself? A person you feel a deep connection to? That's the case of Hector with Noelle. Some would probably call that individual their soulmate, and while some couples seem fated for each other, sometimes timing is everything... Almost from the beginning Hector figured Noelle out. To most she'd appear to be a spoiled rich girl with more luck than brains. While Hector has feelings for Noelle, he feels he can't act on them for many reasons. One, she's Jaxon's cousin. Two, she's a new recruit. Three, he's got a power, or, as he'd put it, a curse that could kill the individual he loves if they were allowed to get too close. He'd have to get that power under control before he could even contemplate the possibility of a relationship. To complicate matters, Dallas has been having two recurrent visions. One of him and Noelle in bed and another of Hector and Noelle in bed. Only one vision can and will come true, and each vision offers up a different fate for Dallas. One could save him, while the other destroy him. In 'Ecstasy in Darkness', the dream is briefly mentioned, however, Dallas didn't know the significance at the time. Some dreams, however, can be interpreted in more than one way and what you may think you saw might be totally wrong. Case in point being what happened in 'Savor Me Slowly', when Dallas thought Mishka would shoot and betray Jaxon. The real question here is which vision will lead to which destiny? I'm wondering if this will be a teaser that leads into Dallas' book. *crosses fingers* For anyone wondering, 'Dark Taste of Rapture' starts before 'Ecstasy in Darkness', then fast forwards to just after 'Ecstasy of Darkness' ends. So it starts off when Noelle and Ava are new recruits and then fast forwards to just before Ava's and McKell's wedding. The agents are working on a case that stretches out over a year, beginning when Noelle and Ava were still newbies at the training facility. Women of different alien races are being kidnapped and left in abandoned warehouses. Other than being denied food, they appear to have not been abused. Where the woman are being taken and why they've been kidnapped is unknown. A.I.R. has been tipped off by an anonymous caller about the women. All that is known is that the women are all abducted from their homes and are there one moment and somewhere else the next. Also, the prologue describes a murder. It's not until late in the second half of the book that the significance of that scene is revealed. So keep that thought in the back of your mind so you can make the connection. I absolutely loved this book. I loved finding out about both Hector's and Noelle's past. Each having endured their own little peace of hell on earth. I liked seeing what went on in each one's mind and getting to know each. I loved the witty banter and hilarious scenes. The chemistry between Noelle and Hector was scorching hot and incinerating. While each book of the series can be read without reading any of the previous books, I highly recommend reading them in order. At the very least, I'd read 'Ecstasy in Darkness' before reading 'Dark Taste of Rapture'. The two stories are intertwined and you might lose something if you don't read the previous book first. Song the book inspired to dance through my head? Hot N Cold by Katy Perry. "(You) You don't really want to stay, no. (You) But you don't really want to go. You're hot then you're cold. You're yes then you're no. You're in and you're out. You're up and you're down..." On the Lisarenee Romance Rating Scale, this one gets a SHOWER rating - a cold shower may be necessary after reading this book. Need I say more? I believe some books should come with a warning - make sure your significant other is handy or your shower is in working order. I felt this was an extremely appropriate rating, as the book contains a very hot and steamy shower scene. Overall, I gave this one 5 out of 5 roses. Order to read series: 1)Awaken Me Darkly 2)Enslave Me Sweetly 3)Savor Me Slowly 3.5)Deep Kiss of Winter 4)Seduce the Darkness 5)Ecstasy in Darkness 6)Dark Taste of Rapture If you'd like to see more of my reviews, please check out my blog at www.seducedbyabook.com

  16. 4 out of 5

    Lynsey A

    Man, I did not want this book to end. After the previous book I wasn't sure what to expect in this one. It was kind of relief not dealing with the evil Queen in this one. I wasn't too sure of Noelle, as a heroine, but as usual, I never should have doubted Gena. She did a great job of making Noelle a heroine to be admired and respected. She was such a great and sassy character. I loved her! The engagement ring that Hector got for her was spot on and her response to it was quite laughable. I reall Man, I did not want this book to end. After the previous book I wasn't sure what to expect in this one. It was kind of relief not dealing with the evil Queen in this one. I wasn't too sure of Noelle, as a heroine, but as usual, I never should have doubted Gena. She did a great job of making Noelle a heroine to be admired and respected. She was such a great and sassy character. I loved her! The engagement ring that Hector got for her was spot on and her response to it was quite laughable. I really ended up liking Noelle. I hurt for her and laughed and smiled with her. Hector is a great hero and I look forward to seeing more of him and Noelle. They are probably one of my favorite couples. The question of what is going to happen to Dallas is still up in the air and makes me very anxious to read his story. (view spoiler)[Oh, and the reappearance of Dare is another added bonus. It seems we will get a book about him as well. (hide spoiler)] Can't wait! :)

  17. 5 out of 5

    Vanessa theJeepDiva

    This adds some insight into the visions Dallas had concerning Noelle and who she would sleep with. It also explains some of the attitude coming from Dallas. I can understand why this was deleted, Dallas was not the books hero. However, this scene sheds some light on what the visions could possibly mean and the repercussions that readers may see in the next book. Merged review: Gena Showalter is in the top five of my most favorite authors. I can’t pick one, so I have a top five. I’ve read the major This adds some insight into the visions Dallas had concerning Noelle and who she would sleep with. It also explains some of the attitude coming from Dallas. I can understand why this was deleted, Dallas was not the books hero. However, this scene sheds some light on what the visions could possibly mean and the repercussions that readers may see in the next book. Merged review: Gena Showalter is in the top five of my most favorite authors. I can’t pick one, so I have a top five. I’ve read the majority of her books from her various series. I really like her Alien Huntress series. The previous book in the series Ecstasy in Darkness introduced readers to Ava and Noelle. They are certifiably insane and incredibly fun to read. Their sisterly torturous banter had me constantly wondering not only how they had made it into adulthood, but how they made it through Alien Investigation and Removal (AIR) training. The training question is answered here. Dark Taste of Rapture begins about a year before the previous book, with Ava and Noelle’s first day at AIR training. This is where Noelle first meets Hector and Dallas. Noelle is totally in her character of airhead heiress when she comes off the bus that has hauled her to training. She arouses groaning from both Hector and Dallas immediatly. Dallas because he has very naughty thoughts, Hector because he knows then and there that this woman will be the death of him. All Hector wants is to get what he sees as the failure out of the training program as quickly as possible. The teacher student relationship does not keep hands, mouths and tongues from roaming when Hector and Noelle are alone long enough to acknowledge the mutual attraction. Hector tries (and fails) repeatedly to stay away from Noelle. His emotions have a very negative affect on his arms and what he sees as their curse. He has no idea where the ability came from all he knows are the horrible consequences. Hector has not only harmed people, he has killed them with just a touch. So even though he wants Noelle and she wants him he tries to keep her away from him. Once Noelle decides that Hector is it for her, it’s on. She pursues him to the point of stalking. Reading the pursuit of this relationship was extremely entertaining. Hector’s constant flip flopping of I want you, stay away from me, I crave you, we can’t be together, I want you in my life, I can’t be responsible for harming you should have been gotten frustrating. It never got old. To read what would happen after each of his dismissals with Noelle’s chase of him was priceless. To add to the tension they are of course working a case together. There is a deleted scene. It adds some insight into the visions Dallas had concerning Noelle and who she would sleep with. It also explains some of the attitude coming from Dallas. I can understand why this was deleted, Dallas was not the books hero. However, this scene sheds some light on what the visions could possibly mean and the repercussions that readers may see in the next book. One of the biggest ongoing conflicts involved in this series has been Trinity, Queen of the Schon’s. In the previous books she has been spreading her virus/disease. She has also had a major villainous role in the previous books. The readers do not get any new information on what is going on with that struggle. She is not mentioned in any way. She had nothing to do with Noelle and Hector or the case they were working on, so I guess she was viewed as irrelevant for this installment in the Alien Huntress series. A character from the first book is brought back with a minor role in this book. I have a feeling he will get a book before Dallas. I desperately want to read his story. I have loved Dallas from the very beginning and he appears to be that character in the series that will keep getting tortured and passed over for love until the last possible moment. I am curious about where reintro guy’s character will go.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Wendy *Sebella Blue* Mitchell

    Hector Dean, bad ass of the AIR, has some BIG secrets he’s been keeping from his co-workers. He doesn’t keep them from his friends, well because he doesn’t have any. He has co-workers he’s friendly with, but other than that, un- unh. He’s been getting under Noelle Tremaine’s skin since he was her instructor at AIR boot camp. Noelle is used to being overlooked and thought to be not good enough. Doesn’t bother her at all……really. When she starts getting mixed signals, Noelle decides maybe Hector i Hector Dean, bad ass of the AIR, has some BIG secrets he’s been keeping from his co-workers. He doesn’t keep them from his friends, well because he doesn’t have any. He has co-workers he’s friendly with, but other than that, un- unh. He’s been getting under Noelle Tremaine’s skin since he was her instructor at AIR boot camp. Noelle is used to being overlooked and thought to be not good enough. Doesn’t bother her at all……really. When she starts getting mixed signals, Noelle decides maybe Hector is worth the work, but he needs to decide once and for all. This is my favorite series from Ms. Showalter. I just love the characters she has created in this alternate world, and I loved, loved, LOVED this book. Noelle is one of the best heroines ever created, and I am very hard on heroines. She has the perfect amount of snark, class, and utter viciousness that moves her into a very elite few. She also has a well hidden vulnerability that Hector picks up on. Noelle and her BFF Ava have been two of my faves since their introduction to the series. They live to put people in the hospital……and they’re the good guys. Hector was a little harder to get a handle on in the previous books. You knew he was hiding something, but he flew under the radar. His character is fleshed out brilliantly in this book, and just as a personal caveat to the author “ I’m soooo glad you let Hector grow his hair out! Thank you!”. We find out all the horrific details of Hector’s childhood and the secret of why he never touches anyone without his special gloves. We also find out that a lot his co-workers thought he was gay. *Spoiler* He’s not. We also get to read about Ava and McKell’s wedding! I was personally thrilled about this. In addition to just touching base with some of my favorite characters of all time, we actually get a really good story to bring them all together. No mention of the nasty Schon queen, but there are some nasty Arcadians running around. This is one of the few successful series that gets better with each book and that is an amazing feat. I can not emphasize enough how deprived you are if you have not indulged in these wonderfully sexy books. This is a book I will have in my home forever and reread hundreds of times. They are treasured members of my household now and I really hope you take the plunge.

  19. 4 out of 5

    ~V~

    I think this has become my new favorite Alien Huntress book! I loved it!! Hector was SO yummilicious!!! Bad boy to the core! I really really liked the sexual tension and build up to Hector and Noelle's eventual hook up..made it all the better when they finally got there!...and i have to say..in the last book Ava and Noelle kind of annoyed me...their bantering was a little bit over the top but in this book they were HILARIOUS!! I loved when they were at camp in the beginning...they were so funny I think this has become my new favorite Alien Huntress book! I loved it!! Hector was SO yummilicious!!! Bad boy to the core! I really really liked the sexual tension and build up to Hector and Noelle's eventual hook up..made it all the better when they finally got there!...and i have to say..in the last book Ava and Noelle kind of annoyed me...their bantering was a little bit over the top but in this book they were HILARIOUS!! I loved when they were at camp in the beginning...they were so funny i couldn't stop laughing!! With the way things were set up and ended...it's looking like maybe Dallas' book may be next?...if so...i can't wait!! He's been a favorite character of mine since book one and i think he's waited long enough for his HEA! :) I haven't heard what Gena Showalter's long term plans are for this series but i'm hoping that it continues on for sometime..i'm not quite ready for this one to end! If you enjoy her other series, Lords of the Underworld, i would highly recommend these...if you haven't but are a fan of paranormal romances...again...HIGHLY recommend them...they really are fun and unique (in a genre that is saturated with vampires, wolves and demons...not that i'm complaining...i love them all...but i know some people get sick of the same old same old...if that's the case...definitely give these a shot!)

  20. 5 out of 5

    PepperP0t

    Color me surprised that I was completely engrossed in Hector Dean and Noelle Tremain's romance from AIR Boot Camp to impacting the alien slaver ring. I didn't expect to like it as well as I did given I wasn't overly impressed with the last installment. I also expected Ava & Noelle's stories to overlap and cover material already discussed from a different POV. But they completely didn't. I've never been so happy to have my expectations derailed. It was also good to see the projected personas for Color me surprised that I was completely engrossed in Hector Dean and Noelle Tremain's romance from AIR Boot Camp to impacting the alien slaver ring. I didn't expect to like it as well as I did given I wasn't overly impressed with the last installment. I also expected Ava & Noelle's stories to overlap and cover material already discussed from a different POV. But they completely didn't. I've never been so happy to have my expectations derailed. It was also good to see the projected personas for both Hector and Noelle shattered as they made their way to each other. Linear plotting (instead of incessant flashbacks) worked very well for me here as did the turn-about for who's chasing whom. This story flowed smoothly and at a great pace, it was hard for me to put down once I started reading. Although there didn't seem to be a lot of movement in the overall arc things didn't stay stagnant and cameos from some series favorites and an after action update from the last installment brought clarity to some interactions that seemed random at the time.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Ronda

    I have to say, when I started this book I was utterly disappointed... I so wanted it to be Dallas and Noelle, not Hector, not boring, stiff Hector... and then I was confused... The last book finished and this one just didn't follow suit, it seemed to go back in time - because it had!!! Around 30% in my penny dropped and the book caught up with what was going on and boy oh boy did it flip me upside down... I LOVE Dallas but Hector slowly grew on me... then I kind of fell for him somewhere along th I have to say, when I started this book I was utterly disappointed... I so wanted it to be Dallas and Noelle, not Hector, not boring, stiff Hector... and then I was confused... The last book finished and this one just didn't follow suit, it seemed to go back in time - because it had!!! Around 30% in my penny dropped and the book caught up with what was going on and boy oh boy did it flip me upside down... I LOVE Dallas but Hector slowly grew on me... then I kind of fell for him somewhere along the line and I loved his past, his feelings, the way his mind worked and his ability! Noelle and Ava were still best friends and still made me laugh, Ava and her delicious husband McKell... boy oh boy are these characters simply the best... Dallas - I still love him but the cliff hanger to this book has me shrieking for more, WTF is happening? Mia's brother??? Dallas' life??? OMG the vision??? Here I was thinking this was the last book - OH HELL NO! There has to be another!!! BLOODY FANTASTIC!!!

  22. 4 out of 5

    Jacqueline J

    How did I miss this series? Although I think I may have read Jaxon's book when it first came out and just didn't realize it was part of a series. That was before GRs so I wasn't as aware. Anyhoo, I really enjoyed this book. I liked the world building although if you think about it too much it doesn't make a whole lot of sense. Why do all these other types of aliens want to live on Earth? But I liked the love story enough not to think about that too much. It did't have any dopey futuristic gag tr How did I miss this series? Although I think I may have read Jaxon's book when it first came out and just didn't realize it was part of a series. That was before GRs so I wasn't as aware. Anyhoo, I really enjoyed this book. I liked the world building although if you think about it too much it doesn't make a whole lot of sense. Why do all these other types of aliens want to live on Earth? But I liked the love story enough not to think about that too much. It did't have any dopey futuristic gag triggers for me so it gets a pass. The heroine was strong but not without her insecurities which were very well written. The hero was also well written as a tormented man who couldn't touch people because of his power. Their relationship development was believable and not hurried. I'm going to try to find the rest of the series. I would really like to see Dallas' story but it seems it hasn't been written yet.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Netanella

    Sarcasm, badass-ery, and misunderstood alpha tendencies for both H and h have typified Showalter's Alien Huntress series, and "Dark Taste of Rapture" is no exception to this winning combination. Both agents for A.I.R., trainer Hector Dean is the poor boy from the slums and a human torch, haunted by his inability to control his powers, while Noelle Tremaine is the poor little rich girl, deliberately creating a fake persona to hide her sadness from the world. Together, they work perfectly as a co Sarcasm, badass-ery, and misunderstood alpha tendencies for both H and h have typified Showalter's Alien Huntress series, and "Dark Taste of Rapture" is no exception to this winning combination. Both agents for A.I.R., trainer Hector Dean is the poor boy from the slums and a human torch, haunted by his inability to control his powers, while Noelle Tremaine is the poor little rich girl, deliberately creating a fake persona to hide her sadness from the world. Together, they work perfectly as a couple. This is a great futuristic romance series, and I'm very glad I found it.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Stormie

    Well bummer. That was kind of a bummer way to end this series. I didn't not care for Hector or Noelle. There were so many things that irritated me about them I'm not even going to start. Those things overshadowed the storyline and there were holes in the story and unanswered questions. Just didn't enjoy this one which is a bummer when I really enjoyed the previous ones. Well bummer. That was kind of a bummer way to end this series. I didn't not care for Hector or Noelle. There were so many things that irritated me about them I'm not even going to start. Those things overshadowed the storyline and there were holes in the story and unanswered questions. Just didn't enjoy this one which is a bummer when I really enjoyed the previous ones.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Keri

    Knew Noelle and Hector's story was going to be special and for realz and it was! Loved it! I read on her website though that she currently isn't contracted for Dallas's book!!! boohoooo I want Dallas's HEA and so does he! Knew Noelle and Hector's story was going to be special and for realz and it was! Loved it! I read on her website though that she currently isn't contracted for Dallas's book!!! boohoooo I want Dallas's HEA and so does he!

  26. 4 out of 5

    R.L. Mathewson

    One of my new favorite books. Well written, entertaining and sweet. Loved it.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Lesley T

    Wow! I can't believe how much I loved this book! My first Alien / human book! Now I'm going back to read them from Beginning! Wow! I can't believe how much I loved this book! My first Alien / human book! Now I'm going back to read them from Beginning!

  28. 4 out of 5

    Nikki

    If I were to say one word about Dark Taste Of Rapture it would be, LOVED. LOVED LOVED LOVED! This book was so awesomely awesome it simply knocked my socks clean off. I had not read a full length novel by Gena Showalter and now I’m wondering what the heck I was waiting for? Dark Taste Of Rapture takes us to a world where humans know of alien existence. In fact they plainly walk around among humans. In true to human form, some are prejudiced against them and some embrace their differences. In this If I were to say one word about Dark Taste Of Rapture it would be, LOVED. LOVED LOVED LOVED! This book was so awesomely awesome it simply knocked my socks clean off. I had not read a full length novel by Gena Showalter and now I’m wondering what the heck I was waiting for? Dark Taste Of Rapture takes us to a world where humans know of alien existence. In fact they plainly walk around among humans. In true to human form, some are prejudiced against them and some embrace their differences. In this time a police force of sorts has been formed. One specially trained to deal with the alien race. Hector Dean is one of those specially trained. Now he does training of his own at a school built to weed out the potential new hires. Noelle is one of the prettiest new cadets he’s seen yet. She’s also infuriatingly stubborn, sassy and manipulative. For someone he pegged as a sure fire drop out, she’s giving him a run he never expected. Hector has a dark side though, one that he doesn’t reveal to anyone. One that is particularly deadly and Noelle is quickly lighting his fire. Noelle doesn’t care what anyone thinks of her. She’d much rather they think she’s a dumb bimbo when she strikes her blows. Hector though, he sees right through her act to her very soul. He keeps giving her the hot and cold act which leaves her completely confused. Men usually love her….if not for her money then for her supermodel looks. The man is getting her way more hot then she thought possible. He isn’t even her type! His all consuming fire is about to broach the one thing Noelle fears most…her heart. *Le Sigh* Hector is so hot…literally…no really his arms become fire when he gets emotional. So no sexy sexy for him. Or at least that’s what he has told himself. I found his use of hookers sad…and his thoughts about masturbating (you know, hand of fire would kinda hurt) funny. I mean, it’s a completely valid concern. His one sexual experience ended with his girlfriend dead because his firearm went straight through her. I can see how touching himself might be a bit scary to try. You only have one appendage and it doesn’t grow back. Wouldn’t want to incinerate that right off now would we? Since sexual release seemed to calm him down the hookers came in handy. Hands off approach worked for him until he met Noelle. He immediately connected with her. He wanted her and spent a good chunk of the book convincing himself he didn’t. There is a TON of..I want her…no I don’t….yes I do….. Hector is super “on my god” sexy. At the beginning he had a bald head (which I love) and by the end its glorious dark locks I wanted to grip and hold onto for dear life. Covered in tattoos (drool) and with attitude to spare (sigh). HOT! I totally loved Noelle too. She had this raw edge to her that just spoke to me. I loved her snarky attitude and her codependent relationship with her best friend. Those two were hilarious together. The underlying love though was very emotional. Since Noelle didn’t really have a stellar family life, Ava was it. They had developed this connection with each other that was unbreakable. Together they were willing to take on the world. Noelle hadn’t even wanted to join the force but since Ava did, she was making it happen. If along the way she found what had always been looking for…well that’s just icing. Have I said that I loved this book? Heh. I never once got bored reading it. The interactions between the characters was well thought out and it set up the next book in the series. Since the world building was pretty much done in this book (since it’s book 6) I can honestly say it felt complete. I didn’t have a hard time understanding anything and Gena does an excellent job of getting the basics out to the readers that haven’t experienced the series before now. Not once did it feel like an information dump to get readers caught up. The only thing that I found odd in Dark Taste Of Rapture was the time jump halfway through the book. There is a span of a year where everything seems to happen. Ave and Noelle go through some changes and then the readers are plunked back down in the middle of things. I thought this was a strange thing to do. I understood the meaning but thought it could have easily been reworked so that instead of jumping ahead a year, things could have been sped up when Noelle was in training. There was a ton of time spent on that when there didn’t necessarily have to be. Dark Taste of Rapture is a book that won’t disappoint. Action, snarkiness and hard bodied men…hmmmmmm Nikki likey! GIVE ME MORE GENA, GIVE ME MORE! I give Dark Taste Of Rapture by Gena Showalter 5 stars!

  29. 5 out of 5

    Jan

    First things first. It is entirely possible that my judgment and appreciation of this book is clouded by my adoration of the gorgeous cover. If I could I would make wallpaper of the cover-art, it's that delicious. I'm not rational about it, but I decided a while ago to just embrace my horniness and go with it. (In the same vein I used the original artwork of this for my computer background. If you embrace something, embrace it well.) Anyway, I didn't want to jump in the end of a series (or near t First things first. It is entirely possible that my judgment and appreciation of this book is clouded by my adoration of the gorgeous cover. If I could I would make wallpaper of the cover-art, it's that delicious. I'm not rational about it, but I decided a while ago to just embrace my horniness and go with it. (In the same vein I used the original artwork of this for my computer background. If you embrace something, embrace it well.) Anyway, I didn't want to jump in the end of a series (or near the end), so I started at book 3, and to my surprise I really like this series. Also the books get better and better, so I'm really glad the cover tempted me over my notions against Showalter. This book was my favorite in the series so far. It actually made me cry, and since I read these books mostly for fun, and not for the angst, that was quite a surprise. But both Noelle and Hector have a very sad backstory, and Showalter actually used their backstories this time. Hector combined so many tropes I love that he almost seemed written for me. Tall and dangerous, tattoed, superpower that is a burden, virgin hero, wrong side of the track and traumatized by his past. The man had issues and I loved to finally see him work through them. (Even though it took him a bit too long, and maybe a tad too much of self-pity). Noelle was as awesome as in Ava's book (I was so glad this book starts out a year before those events, so we got to see more of their relationship), and her backstory was quite horrid as well, even though she grew up so very priviliged. I know it's a bit of a cliché, the spoiled rich kid with an unhappy upbringing, but I think it worked because Noelle came out so very original a character. And I liked that her whole upbringing caused so much issues still in the grown Noelle. That was surprisingly realistic. And oh how I felt for her during Ava's wedding, I totally could relate, and definitely one of the more heartbreaking moments of the book. Plotwise I liked that we got a new storyline and that the Schön queen is out of the picture for now. It was nice to see the agents do some actual work on a case instead of the more event to event plots we had in previous books. I really liked that we got to see so much of the backstory of Noelle and Hector while Noelle was still in training, I always prefer romances when they don't take place in a couple of days. I do think that Hector took a little too long to take a chance on this thing with Noelle, and I think Noelle was totally right for not jumping in his arms again at the end. The man needed to do some serious groveling. The only thing that was really annoying was Dallas' double vision. It wasn't explained well, it totally felt like an artificial thing to keep Noelle and Hector apart, and it didn't feel important. Then I saw that there is a deleted scene available for free on Showalter's website (and on GR: Dallas Deleted Scene from Dark Taste of Rapture) and everything made sooooo much more sense. Seriously this is a case of very bad editing. Whoever decided to leave that scene out ruined 1/3d of the romance plotline. Ruined might be a tad too strong a word, but it's close. Anyway, I recommend reading that scene after chapter 19, because it will totally be a better story with it. All that aside, I still really liked the story, loved Hector and Noelle and how they finally found common ground, and I adored Noelle and Ava (even though I'm a bit sad that the Gruesome Twosome won't be together forever). When you have high expectations for a book there's two ways it can go. Either you're totally disappointed that you like it less than you would've if you didn't had any expectations, or you like it more because you weren't disappointed. I think this book falls in the latter category. This series gets better and better (although I have to be fair and say that I'll probably lower my rating for Savor Me Slowly - Jaxon was a bit of an ass in this one, but I also liked it way less than the other books in this series, so there needs to be some logic there) and I have to admit I wish there was more. It's candy reading, but boy was it delicious candy :)

  30. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer

    Originally posted at The Book Nympho       First Thought Dark Taste of Rapture left me wanting more of this world! the romance Noelle and Hector is a great couple. Both are strong and  vulnerable. Noelle is cocky and keeps people at arm's length with her snark and dumb, rich girl act. But Hector sees right through it. The two can't stay away from each other at first until Hector shuts their attraction down by telling Noelle not to ever speak to him again. Hector, like Noelle, keeps people from Originally posted at The Book Nympho       First Thought Dark Taste of Rapture left me wanting more of this world! the romance Noelle and Hector is a great couple. Both are strong and  vulnerable. Noelle is cocky and keeps people at arm's length with her snark and dumb, rich girl act. But Hector sees right through it. The two can't stay away from each other at first until Hector shuts their attraction down by telling Noelle not to ever speak to him again. Hector, like Noelle, keeps people from getting close to him. But for a different reason. He can kill with just one touch if his emotions are out of control. Hector doesn't touch anyone and all he wants to do is touch Noelle, all over. Noelle and Hector dance around each other until they can't stay away. They share their fears and secrets and try to make a relationship work but of course it's a bumpy ride. Neither of them know what they're doing. For all of Noelle's flirting and big talk, she's only been with two other guys and one didn't really count. Hector has never been with a woman, well other than the hookers he used to get him off but he's a virgin where it counts because of his dangerous arms. In the end Noelle and Hector get their HEA and it was a wild ride to the end. the narration With Dark Taste of Rapture seeming to be the last book in the Alien Huntress series there was a narrator change.  All the other books were narrated by one of my favorite narrators, Justin Eyre. She did a great job with the series. When I saw that Sebastian York was the narrator for Dark Taste of Rapture I was surprised and happy. Sebastian has a smooth and sensual voice and because of that he doesn't deliver Noelle's voice well but only because he has so much bass in his voice. He does pull off her snark very well. Sebastian is prefect for snarky and assholish (is that a word?) characters (Drew Evans of Emma Chase's Tangled series) Honestly I've never listened to a narrator that has so much swagger in their voice that Sebastian convenes.  I picture him recording audio books in a candlelit room wearing a robe with a glass of a expensive whisky in hand and smoking a cigar with beautiful women feeding him grapes. Yeah in my mind Sebastian York is the Hugh Hefner of narrators. LOL final thought The ride is over, for now I hope. Come on Showalter, Dallas needs a book!!  But there is the spin off series, Otherworld Assassin. Which I will be listening to soon.  

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