Book Review – Charlie’s Hero by Nic Starr

Heroes: Book One

Schoolteacher Charlie Matthews returns to his hometown, looking to regain a sense of community, reconnect with friends, and settle down. It looks like his dreams have come true when paramedic Josh Campbell attends an accident at the school. It’s love at first sight, and a romance begins.

But Josh’s reluctance to come out to the brother who raised him, puts pressure on their fledgling relationship. While Charlie understands Josh’s concerns, he can’t help growing impatient. After all, Charlie came out years ago.

It’s not until Charlie confronts his own parents and realizes he hasn’t come to terms with their rejection that he fully understands what Josh has to lose. But Josh is Charlie’s hero, and Josh will do anything to prove to Charlie that to be part of a family, he doesn’t need his parents.

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Nic Starr is a new author to me, but this won’t be the last story I’ll be reading of hers. I got hooked into Charlie’s Hero very quickly, and read it in two sittings, staying up later than I should because I needed to find out what happened. After finishing it, I was very pleased to find out that it is the first of a series, and that the next book Andrew’s Promise is already out!

I love stories set in small towns, with friendships that are more like family. Charlie’s Hero ticked all the boxes in this regard, and by the time I’d finished the first chapter I was already invested in the characters. It wasn’t just Josh and Charlie I wanted to learn more about but their family and friends, especially Andrew, Simon and Patrick. I loved the banter between Josh and his fellow paramedics, and the way that, although Josh and Charlie’s coming out stories were very different, they each had their own issues to deal with. The town and its other inhabitants also played their part, and I especially enjoyed the feeling of community when everyone rallies around to help a neighbour in need.

This is a lovely sweet story of love at first sight that also takes the time to grow a deep friendship. Although it is Charlie and Josh’s story, the supporting cast also felt very real, and there were hints that they had their own stories to tell. I’m looking forward to reading them.

I’d highly recommend Charlie’s Hero to readers who enjoy a sweet romance, an interesting supporting cast of characters, and a story that stands alone but hints at being a part of a series. 4.5 out of 5.

About Anne Barwell

Anne Barwell lives in Wellington, New Zealand. She shares her home with a cat with “tortitude” who is convinced that the house is run to suit her; this is an ongoing “discussion,” and to date, it appears as though Kaylee may be winning. In 2008, Anne completed her conjoint BA in English Literature and Music/Bachelor of Teaching. She has worked as a music teacher, a primary school teacher, and now works in a library. She is a member of the Upper Hutt Science Fiction Club and plays violin for Hutt Valley Orchestra. She is an avid reader across a wide range of genres and a watcher of far too many TV series and movies, although it can be argued that there is no such thing as “too many.” These, of course, are best enjoyed with a decent cup of tea and further the continuing argument that the concept of “spare time” is really just a myth. She also hosts and reviews for other authors, and writes monthly blog posts for Love Bytes. She is the co-founder of the New Zealand Rainbow Romance writers, and a member of RWNZ. Anne’s books have received honorable mentions five times, reached the finals four times—one of which was for best gay book—and been a runner up in the Rainbow Awards. She has also been nominated twice in the Goodreads M/M Romance Reader’s Choice Awards—once for Best Fantasy and once for Best Historical. Anne can be found at
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2 Responses to Book Review – Charlie’s Hero by Nic Starr

  1. Nic Starr says:

    Thanks for the wonderful review, Anne. It makes me so happy that you enjoyed the story ❤


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