Showalter really lets her funny side rip in this outrageous and hilarious romp. The characters are offbeat and the plot wild, making it all the more side-splitting. Here's hoping we have more adventures from this sort-of superhero bunch!

Talk about having an explosive temper! Poor Belle Jamison is the poster child for the importance of keeping a Zen-like attitude. Belle's offbeat sense of humor and temper have cost her more than one job. Then she drinks a spiked latte and is transformed into one of the X-men. An escaping scientist poured a formula into Belle's drink, and the sudden superheroine now has two paranormal agencies after her.

One group thinks she needs to be neutralized before she wreaks havoc, and the other one wants to do tests on her to create more like her. It's just Belle's luck that the dangerously sexy man in her apartment may be there to neutralize her. But despite orders from his para-agency, Rome decides that Belle may be useful, so he intends to help her gain control of her new powers over the four elements. But with the evil Vincent and Rome's own agency after them, time really is of the essence. (HQN, Sep., 384 pp., $6.99)
Reviewed by: 
Jill M. Smith