Book Review & Release Day Blitz – You Had Me At Hero by Michael P. Thomas

I’m reviewing You Had Me At Hero by Michael P. Thomas from JMS Books as part of his release day blitz with Eyes on Books. For more information about the book and the rafflecopter giveaway, check out my LJ post.


When seventeen-year-old Mark Potts fell from a balcony, he lost both the use of his legs and any faith in heroes. Now twenty-nine, he’s long-since come to terms with his injury. His job provides more opportunities for eye-rolling than for riding to anybody’s rescue, but with two kids to bring up, he barely has time for his husband, much less for heroics. Besides, Starr Bradford is a policeman — how many heroes does one family need?

Mark and Starr love each other madly, but stress management is a load-bearing pillar of their happiness. When Mark’s coping skills fail him at exactly the wrong moment, he’s left hanging by a thread of words he should’ve kept in his mouth. He has the power to repair their relationship, but when Starr’s workday suddenly goes south, will he get to wield it? Keeping it together long enough to find out is a job worthy of any superhero!

Review:
I got sucked into this story on the first page and stayed up late devouring the book in one sitting. The story is narrated in third person from Mark’s perspective, and I really liked him as a character. Despite an accident in his teens putting him in a wheelchair, he has moved forward and made a life for himself. Although in a wheelchair, that is not what defines him and nor does it stop him from living his life to the fullest.

His relationship with his husband, Starr, is very sweet, and it’s obvious that the two men are very much in love. I enjoyed their interactions, and their family life with their two boys Jory and Jarrett. It felt very realistic, and made me smile. The supporting cast of friends and family added to the storyline and gave the impression of the story being a slice of a complete world.

However, as with life, this story is not all sweetness and light. I really liked the way in which Mark—who is married to an African American and is raising African American sons—realises that being black brings with it bigotry that he hasn’t experienced before, despite being in a wheelchair and being gay. With his job as a 911 call centre operative, he listens to a lot of people at the other end of his phone, not all of whom share his perspective of the world. Heroes don’t all fight crime out in the field wearing a cape.

Mark and Starr also do fight on occasion, and like with most couples, the reason behind it is not always totally rational. This also added realism to the story, and when Starr is involved in a callout which goes quickly south I was on the edge of my seat needing to know that he would be okay.

The author’s writing style makes for a very easy read, and I’d been reading for some time, needing to see what happens next, without realising how late it was. It’s not the first novella I’ve read of Michael P. Thomas’s and hopefully it won’t be the last.

I’d recommend You Had Me At Hero to readers who enjoy a contemporary romance with interesting likeable characters which tackles some big issues but without shoving it in the reader’s face. 5 out of 5 stars.

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About Anne Barwell

Anne Barwell lives in Wellington, New Zealand. She shares her home with two cats who are convinced that the house is run to suit them; this is an ongoing “discussion,” and to date it appears as though the cats may be winning. In 2008 she completed her conjoint BA in English Literature and Music/Bachelor of Teaching. She has worked as a music teacher and 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 other authors, reviews for the GLBTQ Historical Site “Our Story” and Top2Bottom Reviews, and writes monthly blog posts for Authors Speak and Love Bytes. Anne’s books have received honorable mentions four times and reached the finals three times 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 https://annebarwell.wordpress.com
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