Review: Nightingale by Jennifer Estep

Nightingale by Jennifer Estep (Bigtime #4)
Released: July 12, 2012
Superhero Romance
Self Published

Reviewed by May

Abby Alexandra Appleby was nothing if not persistent.

The premier party planner in Big Time, Abby is a woman who has super senses (hearing, sight, etc) – but she’s no hero. She spends her time pulling off amazing events and is known for being prepared for anything. The one thing she couldn’t prepare herself for is running into superhero Talon, who is shot by a villain in a dark snowy alley late at night and in need of her help.

Talon wasn’t really handsome, not like Debonair or one of the other suave superheroes, but he had a rugged look that appealed to me.

He was Talon. A superhero. A larger-than-life G-man who went around making things right.

This is a book set in Estep’s Big Time world – where superheroes roam and love and action have a way of mixing together. While this is the fourth full length novel in this world, it reads well as a stand-alone. If you want a contemporary superhero romance – one where things can be a bit silly, never really dark, and a lot of fun then I’d recommend this one to you.

Back at her apartment, Abby takes care of Talon and helps the temporarily blinded and shot super hero get cleaned up, and lets him stay with her to recover as well.

“Look, you’re naked. In my apartment. I don’t usually have strange, naked men in my apartment, especially not superheroes. You’re not going to tell me your real name. Why should I tell you mine? It will probably be easier for both of us if we stick to anonymous names. That way, I won’t wonder whether my mailman is thinking about the night I took off his clothes whenever he delivers my packages.”

Abby soon finds herself a person of interest to some villains she really doesn’t want noticing her, and once recovered and out of her home, Talon is searching the city trying to figure out who Nightingale is. It will take some help from characters that series fans will recognize and enjoy seeing again, as well as all of Talon’s gadgets and Abby’s ability to be prepared and adjust in most any situation to get themselves out of trouble – and find their happily ever after.

Much as I enjoyed this book, I didn’t enjoy Abby’s yelling and being so rude to her vendors and caterers. I don’t see how it is necessary to treat people like idiots as she often does. I mean – if these professionals don’t get it done, why would she repeatedly use them for her events? This annoyed me throughout the book, and while I got that she is a perfectionist and very detail oriented it was an aspect of her personality I didn’t like.

I also didn’t really get why she decided to keep her identity a secret from Talon once they got to know each other. She seemed like a strong independent woman, so why did she think ‘Nightingale’, the name Talon calls her while in her care, is so different and so much better than the real her? Reasons are given, I just didn’t quite find them convincing enough for me. The good news? That was really my only complaint about this book – that she didn’t reveal herself sooner.

I still found the party planner fairly likeable when she wasn’t going off on vendors and the like, and I loved her crazy vest she almost always wears with everything from Tylenol to garbage bags to anything else you might ever need within the pockets.  I also appreciated that while super organized and generally prepared she wasn’t in fact perfect. She didn’t always know what to do and wasn’t always ready for anything. Now I won’t share Talon’s real name (because finding out that is part of the fun!) but I will tell you that I was a big fan. He relies on his own gadgets and technology to help him fight the evil lurking in Big Time. He’s also a romantic at heart.

Talon hesitated. “Maybe I’m a romantic, but I want the whole story, the fairy tale.”

“The fairy tale?”

He shifted on the bed. “You know, the lightning, the magic, the fireworks. The desire to be with someone no matter what. To know this woman is the one for me. That’s what I want. I just haven’t found it yet.”

What I love most about this series, and this book, is the balance that Estep finds between action, drama, comedy, and romance. She lovingly pokes fun at the superhero genre and her writing keeps things moving right along while we come to love this unlikely couple.

From the cameos by my favorite superheroes from past novels to seeing glimpses of characters I hope to see Estep write about in the future novels, I really enjoyed this trip back to Big Time. Nobody writes superhero romance that is as much fun or satisfying, and this was a delightful read.

Grade: B

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