Title: The Art of Hero Worship
Author: Mia Kerick
Publisher: NineStar Press
Release Date: October 29, 2018 (Second Edition)
Genre(s): Contemporary Romance, Gay for You
Page Count: 186
Reviewed by: CrabbyPatty
Heat Level: 3 flames out of 5
Rating: 2 stars out of 5
College junior Liam Norcross is a hero. He willingly, even eagerly, risks his life to save a stranger as a murderous, deranged shooter moves methodically through the darkened theater on the Batcheldor College campus, randomly killing innocent men, women, and children.
The stranger he saves is college freshman Jason Tripp. Jase loses everything in the shooting: his girlfriend, who dies on the floor beside him, and his grip on emotional security. He struggles to regain a sense of safety in the world, finally leaving college to seek refuge in his hometown.
An inexplicable bond forms between the two men in the chaos and horror of the theater, and Liam fights to bring Jase back to the world he ran away from. When Jase returns to school, they’re drawn together as soulmates, and soon Liam and Jase fall into a turbulent romantic relationship. However, the rocky path to love cannot be smoothed until Jase rescues his hero in return by delving into his shady past and solving the mystery of Liam’s compulsion to be everybody’s savior.
Oh, boy. I wanted to really like this story of Liam and Jason who bond together in the aftermath of a terrifying shooting at a college theater performance. The plot immediately grabs your attention from page one as Liam saves Jason’s life and drives him to safety.
But after escaping the horror with their lives, they do NOT call the police and let them know about the active shooter, and more importantly that they know his identity. Later on, a similar instance occurs … when Liam rushes into a smoke-filled building to save a little girl, but Jason doesn’t inform firefighters going into the building until much later that Liam has run into the building. Um, what the heck? Seriously?
Both men identify as straight, and it does take a while for both men to come to terms with their attraction to one another. But is it because Jason hero-worships Liam, while Liam desperately needs to be someone’s hero? There are so many things here that make me wonder if Liam and Jason are truly entering into a healthy relationship:
“And before I was touched by the hand and heart of a man who I simultaneously crave and abhor.”
“Isn’t being on the receiving end of penetrative sex the ultimate in hero worship?” (Me: Umm, no?)
“Both of us are doing the best we can to be the ‘man’ in the relationship, which makes no sense because we’re both men.” (Jason mentions quite often that he is surprised that Liam may have feelings for him because Liam is so “manly” or “masculine.”)
“Stay still … and take what I give you.”
“You’re mine … I saved you, and now it’s my job to take care of the big stuff and the small stuff – everything you need.” […] “Hands at your sides, please.”
“I need to know you’re always gonna be safe, and here for me … so I need you to let me look out for you however I see fit … and I need to be able to take you … in bed … the way I want … because then I’ll know you’re really mine.”
For this reason, “The Art of Hero Worship” just did not work for me. I frankly found the relationship somewhat disturbing. 2 stars and I cannot recommend.
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