Title: Unlikely Hero
Author: Sean Michael
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: (2009) Re-release November 20, 2017
Genre(s): Contemporary Romancw
Page Count: 210 pages
Reviewed by: NeRdyWYRM
Heat Level: 3 flames out of 5
Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5
Eric doesn’t know where else to turn when his daughter is kidnapped, so he calls on his powerful ex-lover, Brock. Brock never expected to hear from Eric again, but he never got over the man, either. When Eric comes to him to help find the three-year-old Josie, there’s no way Brock can turn him down. He has the money and the contacts Eric needs, and he can’t let Eric walk out of his life again. Not after all these years.
Brock has no idea what he’s letting himself in for. Together, Eric and Josie turn Brock’s world upside down while they work with police and private security to find the people who took Josie, and to keep Eric and Josie safe while they do. Even as they get to know each other again, Brock has to fight the feelings he still has for Eric, at least for time being, which just makes it all that much harder. Can Eric and Brock find out who wants to hurt them before it’s too late, or will Brock fall off his pedestal as Eric’s hero?
Well Whaddya Know?
I’ve read some of this author’s more recent works and always came away with the thought, “One-trick pony.” The things I’ve read by Sean Michael lately have basically been PWP. Imagine my surprise when I discovered this re-release of a 2009 publication was not that. Was it spectacular? No. Was it a compulsive page-turner? No. Was it an improvement on everything else I’ve read by this author? Yes. It begs the question: What happened? But really, that’s academic and not really the point of this review.
The writing here was still a little drama-llama OTT, I must admit, but by the gods, there was a PLOT! Call the presses. And as plots go, it wasn’t bad. I really don’t have too much to say on this one except don’t rule it out based on more recent books by Sean Michael. If PWP isn’t your thing, that’s a plus in this case. I dinged this one for too-frequent use of sappy endearments and an oddly easy slide into a second-chance theme with one of the MCs being oddly on the fence for some very, very shallow reasons which I didn’t appreciate.
I’m a firm believer that a child or children should not be the thread that binds or the glue that holds a relationship together. It seemed that was the case with this book, at least to a point. If nothing else, Eric’s little girl was a catalyst for the MCs reconciliation. That’s a lot of weight for a 4-year old recent kidnap victim to carry even if the burden was only hers alone for a finite period of time. Little Lily was like a magical love magnet drawing supposedly latent potential for change out of our Unlikely Hero.
Things just don’t work that way as far as my experience goes, not with high-powered, self-centered types anyway. Stranger things have happened I guess, and if nothing else, I did believe that the MCs really loved each other and circumstances or personalities or differing values were what tore them apart before. All in all, the resolution and subsequent 180 on the part of Brock in terms of his beliefs about hearth and home and family weren’t completely outside of the realms of possibility, just … well, unlikely.
That said, this was a cutesy, fluffy read with some angsty external influences but (thankfully) there was very little back-and-forth or miscommunication and misunderstanding within the actual relationship. Undeserved hero complexes aren’t really my thing and Brock had that in spades. He was also a little Richard Gere, throwing money at every-damned-thing just because he could. I couldn’t fault him for helping with ransom money and keeping Eric and Lily, etc. safe, but everything else? Sigh.
I liked watching Brock’s turnaround and found his terror of all things small human both humorous and endearing even though his personality overall wasn’t exactly my cup of tea. Same thing goes for Eric’s overly … homemakerish, crybaby crapola. He was a little too needy for my tastes and came across as weak sometimes. I guess it was a good foil for Brocks assertiveness, but I felt those personality characteristics could have been conveyed more effectively and believably without emasculating Eric and turning Brock into kind of an overtly assholish closet softy. It was … a little perplexing and slightly contradictory.
Overall, I enjoyed this book mainly because it was nice to see that Sean Michael is capable of more than erotica masquerading as romance. I’d like to see an evolution back in that direction in the future, but who knows why that hasn’t already been the case in recent years. I wouldn’t read this title again, but I would recommend it as a relatively stress-free read with a decent plot, okay characters, and some steamy bedroom scenes.
If you need a break from higher-octane reads, this one would be a good, pressure-free choice. No pressure to keep track for a sequel, no pressure to expect more than what the blurb implies, and no pressure to be overly invested after you turn the last page. I don’t know about you, but sometimes I need that kind of read and this one certainly fits the bill.
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