Where There’s Smoke (Panopolis #1) by Cari Z. (4 Stars)

Very enjoyable story with super heroes, villains, corruption and an interesting narrator.

Edward Dinges moved to Panapolis to find purpose in his life. Until that happens, he works at the local bank and tries to make the most of his days. Raul Tremblay, aka “The Mad Bombardier”, has worked with explosives since he was a small child. Raul would have been killed while robbing the bank if Edward hadn’t helped him out. This is how they begin their relationship, but they have an uphill battle to keep it from coming to an early demise.

Edward was a sweet guy, and although he was bothered by Raul’s status as a villain, he also felt that Raul was a good guy deep down. Raul made sure nobody ever got hurt during his escapades. Raul spent his days robbing banks and hiring himself out to other villains to handle the explosives. Although I felt like I got to know the characters based on their actions, I would have liked more time with Edward and Raul actually talking to each other instead of just being told about it.

I really enjoyed the way every chapter opened with a broadcast by SuperTruther, the person who informed the city about the corruption taking place between the government and corporations.

A fun story and introduction into an interesting world with plenty of opportunity for a great series. I’m really looking forward to the next book, Where There’s Fire.


Originally reviewed for The Romance Reviews. Complimentary copy provided by author/publisher for an honest review.


Panopolis is a rough place to be an average Joe. I came here looking for adventure and excitement, but nobody cares about one more normal guy in a city filled with super-powered heroes. The closest I’ve come to glory is working in a bank that villains often rob.

But then I maybe accidentally-on-purpose helped a villain escape the hero who was trying to save the day. Imagine my shock when, a week later, that villain asked me out for coffee. One date turned into more, and now I’m head over heels in love with Raul.

Falling in love with the guy dubbed the Mad Bombardier isn’t without its downsides, though. I’ve had to deal with near-death encounters with other villains, awkwardly flirtatious heroes who won’t take no for an answer, and a lover I’m not sure I can trust. It’s getting to the point where I know I’ll have to make a choice: side with the heroes, or stand fast by my villain.

Either way, I think my days as a normal guy are over.

3 thoughts on “Where There’s Smoke (Panopolis #1) by Cari Z. (4 Stars)

  1. I think you recommended I try out Cari’s work. I’ve read one short novella by her and really liked it and since then added a few novellas to my list (for next month I think, or maybe two months from now? ) this one sounded a bit too confusing for me so I decided to wait and see first what I think about her other novellas. I still think it sounds too confusing or “all over the place” if it makes any sense..

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