Disguised as the mild-mannered Christine Woodward, my wife, Nina de Gramont, has written a page-turner of a love story starring the X-Men heroine, Rogue. This is Rogue, pre-X-Men, as a teenager, and I’ve got to tell you that books about teenage girls are not usually high on my reading list. But I loved this book–gobbled it up and even cried at the end.
But don’t listen to me….the reviews are pouring in for Rogue Touch and they are great:
Discovering she can’t touch anyone without potentially killing them, a young woman goes on the run and meets a mysterious man who harbors a few life-changing secrets of his own.
Anna Marie has left the only home she’s ever known, settling into a lonely existence with minimal human interaction since leaving her high school boyfriend in a coma after kissing him. One night, on her way to her job as a night baker, she notices a man watching her, and she is both frightened and intrigued by his odd, otherworldly manner. When circumstances occur that force her to flee the city, the enigmatic stranger rescues her with a car and the means to get her out of town. The two travel across the country, discovering each other’s secrets and a soul-deep connection that takes them both by surprise. Dodging the law, as well as some seemingly interplanetary pursuers that he evades explaining, the couple finds refuge in a series of locations that allow them to grow stronger in their individual powers, newfound convictions and commitment to each other. Settling into new identities and new names—Rogue for her, Touch for him—the two race toward a future that can hold them both and allow them to truly hold on to one another, literally and figuratively. Woodward uses popular Marvel superhero Rogue as a launching point for a complex and conflicted romance set against a class war in a technologically advanced yet socially unstable society and Rogue’s well-documented gift and affliction that bars her from human contact.
The author delivers a romantic, action-packed plot that is imaginative and emotionally textured.
Anna Marie has had a tough life. She gets by living in Section Eight housing in Jackson, Mississippi, and relying on food stamps because whenever she finds a job, something bad always happens. It doesn’t help that she has white streaks in her hair and that she wears long sleeves, gloves, and leather no matter how hot it gets and won’t touch anyone, not even a handshake. One night she meets James, a guy who is probably the only other person in sultry Mississippi who dresses like her. The two end up on the run in a stolen car. James calls her Rogue, and she calls him Touch. It turns out that he is from another world: Arcadia, an imperiled utopia. It takes a lot of creativity to write a love story with a heroine who can’t touch her lover, not to mention bridging a 10,000-year age difference and two vastly different home planets. Amazingly enough, Woodward succeeds, putting a fresh spin on Rogue, a Marvel Comics X-Men regular, in this entertaining and thoroughly original romance.
In the first of two new stand-alone novels produced in a partnership between Hyperion and Marvel Comics that aims to release novels about Marvel’s biggest female superheroes, Acosta has written a Bridget Jones’ Diary–like version of the life of Jennifer Walters, aka She-Hulk. Her diary chronicles her quest to find balance as a human attorney, battling villains at night and creating time for a love life. Unpopular with the other superhumans at the Avengers mansion because she has a predilection for partying a little too hard and destroying property, She-Hulk, or Shulky, is only called out to help the police with minor infractions. When her human alter ego joins a new law firm, she runs into her first love, rock star Ellis Tesla. Unfortunately for Jennifer, Ellis is now engaged to the most ambitious young lawyer in the firm. But the somewhat bumbling Jessica is balanced by the bodacious Shulky. Between the two of them, they will save the world once more!
Before Rogue became one of the X-Men team of mutant superheros, she was Anna Marie, a young Mississippi girl grappling with her strange power. Her touch can be deadly; a kiss put her first boyfriend into a coma. Now she’s on the run from her past and meets a mysterious stranger, James, who also has unique abilities. Together, they flee the police as well as James’s dangerous family, heading across the United States, learning about each other’s secrets, and falling in love. The action comes to a head when Rogue has to make some hard choices.
Verdict Acosta (“Casa Dracula” series) offers a fresh and lively take on a comic book heroine in The She-Hulk Diaries. Jennifer /Shulky is lovable and funny. With a sizable dash of adventure and romance to spice things up, this is a good choice for the comic-book nerd as well as the light romance reader. Woodward’s Rogue Touch feels more serious than The She-Hulk Diaries but is equally entertaining. Fans of the X-Men and any reader who enjoys a strong female lead will want this volume. It will have some cross-over appeal for older teen readers as well.