Friday, 11 October 2013

Holding Out for a Hero, or Why Families Ground Chick Lit in Reality

When sensible schoolteacher Ella Lucas rides into her home town on a Harley and seduces the resident football hero, Jake Prince, she figures she can be forgiven and move on. After all, she’s just buried her mother.

Two years later, back in the city, their paths cross again but this time Jake is in the process of destroying her favourite dive bar. With her home facing a wrecker’s ball, her school being closed down and her 15-year-old brother hell bent on self-destruction, it’s the last straw. Throw in a dominatrix best friend who is dating a blue ribbon guy so straight he still lives at home with his mother, it’s no wonder the sanest person in Ella’s life is a dog.

With all this to contend with, the last thing Ella needs is Jake back in her life. But, as fate would have it, Jake is the only chance she has to save her school.

As the school football season heats up, old secrets threaten to surface and Ella takes on greedy developers, school boards and national tabloids. But can she save not just her home, her school and her brother, but also the reputation of the man she’s never been able to forget? And, more importantly, does she want to?

Amy Andrews is a Mills & Boon Modern Tempted stalwart, and writes utterly charming and delightful spicy romances – so when I was sent a review copy of her new Moonlight Momentum book, I was rather psyched.

HoldingOut for a Hero’s more edgy than her Mills & Boon fare and I like it all the more for that.  There’s Ella, a school teacher whose out-of-character night of passion comes back to haunt her; her best friend Rosie – whose on-off relationship with blue-collar boyfriend Simon is enchanting, hysterical and really fun – and Rosie’s two carnivalesque aunts Iris and Daisy who are beyond awesome. 

There are a couple of things that I really loved about this book.  First of all, the motorbike.  Ella heads back to the town she fled on a motorbike.  A motorbike.  I love motorbikes.  And the fact that this woman steps out of her comfort zones in oh so many ways – she sets up a football team to save her school; she faces up to her mother’s past could have a negative impact on her own career; and she heads back into town and demands the hottest sex with the steamiest of alpha males – Jake Prince.

Also, she gets landed with a teenage younger brother.  I think in some ways, the dichotomy of being an older sister and also having to be Cameron’s guardian, manages to capture the frustrations that are always present in sibling relationships.  I’m twelve years older than my younger brother who – despite his ability to drive me round the bend – I adore.  And I think this lies at the heart of this novel.

Andrews’ ability to capture the ups and downs of familial relationships has never been in doubt, but here it adds a depth to what is essentially a love story.  It’s about the triumphs and struggles of a relationship that seems very real – despite the large stage on which it plays out.

It’s released on Tuesday 15th October and y’all should go download it.  Now!  :P

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