Series: Bigtime #1
Published by Berkley on 05-01-2007
Genres: Paranormal Romance
Pages: 360 pages
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Bigtime, New York, is not big enough for both Carmen Cole and the superheroes and ubervillains who stalk its streets. An intrepid reporter, Carmen's dedicated her life to unmasking the spandexwearers, all because her fiancé turned out to be a superhero, and a cheating one at that-sleeping with none other than his nubile nemesis.
Exposing the true identities of the nation's caped crusaders and their archenemies has catapulted Carmen from her sleepy southern hometown to the front pages of the country's biggest newspaper, The Exposé. Hobnobbing with millionaires and famished fashionistas is all in a day's work for a woman on the trail of the Fearless Five and Terrible Triad. But when Carmen gets the scoop of her career, her life comes crashing down around her. And even Bigtime's sexiest superhero, Striker, may not be able to save her.
After falling in love with Jennifer Estep’s Elemental Assassin series back in 2012 I grabbed books 1-3 in her Bigtime series when I ran across them at my local used bookstore. They’ve sat on my shelf waiting for me to get in the mood for a fun and light romance that involved superheroes. Well that mood hit me and here I am today talking about the 1st book, Karma Girl.
Now Estep has warned me that the Bigtime series is nothing like the Elemental Assassin series and that’s true. But it’s not a bad thing. The writing is still Estep (which is great) and there are fun characters that Estep known for delivering but there’s a touch more romance in Karma Girl. Yes, you get a few hot (detailed) smexy scenes. But hey, it’s a romance so that’s allowed.
Our heroine, Carmen Cole came to Bigtime (which I picture as a fictional New York) after she got her heart broke on her wedding day. She’s been going from town to town and newspaper to newspaper uncovering superheroes and ubervillains in the name of revenge. See her fiancé was a superhero and he cheated on her and kept his cape wearing hobby a secret. But after one superhero ends his life after being exposed by Carmen she hung up her cape busting ways.
But Carmen gets sucked back in by one of the ubervillains of Bigtime, Malefica, the leader of The Terrible Triad. Malefica wants Carmen to unmask the members of the Fearless Five, the main group of superheroes in Bigtime or Carmen will meet an untimely demise.
Carmen has a knack for puzzles and it really makes her good at unmasking the superheroes. They way her system works when she finds the real identity to the superhero it helps her uncover their villain counterpart. So Carmen decides to use her time figuring out who Striker, the leader of the Fearless Five is in order to find out who Malefica really is.
While Carmen is researching she gets to know Striker and she can’t help be feel an attraction to him. And that attraction is returned by Striker. While fire is not one of Striker’s powers, he still manages to turn up the heat with Carmen.
Karma Girl might be Estep’s first published book but it reads like she wrote it yesterday. There are no first time pains showing here. If you are an Estep fan and looking for something on the fun side with superheroes and a lovable noise reporter, I think you’ll have a grand adventure flying through the streets of Bigtime.
Wouldn’t be an Estep book without a food quote:
“Well, what did you have for lunch?” I snapped. “Surely that’s not top-secret superhero information.”
“Steak with mashed potatoes and a side salad,” Striker replied. “And a piece of chocolate cheesecake for dessert.”
I gave up on conversation after that. I was too jealous of the cheesecake to continue.”