July 17, 2011

Everyone loves a hero. That's the problem.

Hero pilot Cole Langston is learning to live with—and enjoy—his newfound fame and the rabid female attention that comes with it until a lucky punch knocks some sense into him and opens his eyes to true love.

When his copilot suffers a heart attack in flight, Cole lands the jetliner in a blizzard and revives the stricken captain. Catapulted to national hero status, Cole has more women vying for his attention than he knows what to do with. They all have one thing in common: they try without success to bring this happy-go-lucky pilot down to earth.

Then comes an airport altercation, a punch to the face, and the lovely Olivia—a shy, timid artist who does what no other woman has ever managed to do: steal Cole's well-protected heart. With women coming on to him everywhere they go, Olivia struggles to believe that Cole is ready for a committed relationship. His biggest problem is getting rid of all his extra ladies before the only one he wants figures out that she's one of many.

Author: Marie Force
Series: Standalone (to my knowledge this book is not part of a series)
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca
Year of release: 2011, February 1
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Source: won an ARC of this book in a Twitter contest held by the author

First line:
Cole opened the eye that still worked and struggled to figure out how he had ended up on the floor.

Memorable Scenes:
Sorry people, didn’t write down memorable scenes, though I know for sure that there were quite a few…I normally jot down these scenes on the Notes App on my iPhone but unfortunately I read this book during an iPhone-less stint and apparently don’t do hand-written memorable scenes notes. :)

Cole Langston is a pilot and a real life hero without making an effort to be one. He’s a sweet, confident nice guy who’s energetic, spontaneous, thoughtful and considerate. He’s also just cocky enough to pull it off without being annoying or arrogant. A ladies-man and commitment phobic until he meets Olivia and realizes she’s “the one.” However, his ladies-man reputation, despite his good and honorable intentions towards Olivia, keeps hunting their new and budding relationship. Throughout the book it comes back to bite him in the ass (almost literally in the form of a crazy ex-fling).

Cole was a character who was difficult for me to peg down. He’s not a hero I could easily fit into a labeled box. He has a dry, subtle sense of humor that made him very attractive and should have made him a hero after my own heart but his sometimes not so fine moments and actions prevent me from putting him on my favorite heroes lists. On one page I’d really like him and find him adorable. On other pages there would be glimpses of a man I had trouble connecting with and this had to do with his attitude towards the women in his past. It’s hard for me to not sound wishy-washy about this but it’s hard for me to explain what I mean. There was just some stuff that he did or didn’t do that I didn’t like/agree with. And then he’d say or do something that made me melt and go all “awww he’s actually really sweet.” I guess I will remain fickle where Cole’s concerned.

Olivia Robison is a neat freak, still living at home and still in college because of some interesting circumstances. She’s a very talented artist who works at an airport store as a clerk to put herself through business school. But business is not where her heart lies, it’s with art. She’s serious, easy-going, undemanding and appreciative of little things. She’s also a dreamer with hopes and dreams for the future despite also being practical and realistic.

Though she’s totally smitten with Cole, Olivia doesn’t understand what he, an adventurous, worldly man, sees in her, a student living with her parents and working in an airport shop.

The next note is literally copied from my review notes but I must use a disclaimer here stating that I honestly don’t remember what the heck I’m referring too. I would have to re-read the book to recall what it’s about and alas I have no time for re-reads so I’m still including it but please don’t ask me what I mean by it… *smile*
Marie Force totally surprised me with her heroine and something (which I won’t disclose due to spoiler-ish reasons) about her heroine. I definitely didn’t expect it and before reading EVERYONE LOVES A HERO I would have even said I didn’t like to read it in a contemporary romance but Force made it work perfectly with the story.

If someone has any idea of what I’m talking about here, please clue me in…LOL And I must remember that since I’m the only person who reads my review notes, it’s okay for me to disclose stuff that may be considered spoiling. *sigh*

The secondary cast contained some very interesting characters. For example, Olivia’s parents: Mary and Jerry. Mary is an agoraphobic hoarder and obsessive-compulsive shopper. Jerry is Olivia’s rock and anchor. Olivia’s other anchor and touchstone was Jenny, her best friend and cousin. There were also some interesting secondary characters surrounding Cole: I loved Tucker (and secretly hope that he’ll have his own book one day) and “Nutty” Natasha, a crazy, stalker-ish past fling of Cole’s I wanted to smack in the face. Finally there was the cute gay couple Victor and Paolo. Victor reminded me so much of a family friend of my parents I called my mom to ask about him and how he’s doing.

Humorous banter was one of the elements that contributed to the feel-good vibe this book oozes. The start was funny, sweet and endearing/touching. In other words, exactly what I expect from my favorite contemporary romance. The sex scenes are smokin’ HOT, making this book a very sexy contemporary, next to being cute and sweet.

With all the sweetness and cuteness and I wondered if the other shoe was ever going to drop. Just when I thought the book was getting too cute I started to hear that eerie JAWS theme in my head while I read how the sugary sweet romance was about to hit a rough patch. And I was glad for the conflicts and complicating factors (Cole’s women-filled past, his behavior and attitude towards them and Olivia’s doubts and insecurities) to the relationship/romance because without them the whole book just would have been too cute for my taste.

The big misunderstanding was completely in line with the development of the story and I even saw it coming. I didn’t understand Olivia’s first reaction as my first move would have been to confront Cole and ask for an explanation or at least give him an opportunity to explain. She didn’t however and this understandably led to the big resolution finale towards the HEA that belongs in romance novels. More importantly, it gave the book the emotional punch to counter the cute sweetness because those last 20-30 pages were heartbreakingly emotional.

Of course it goes without saying that all romance novels I read are romantic but it bears mentioning that EVERYONE LOVES A HERO is one of the most romantic books I’ve read in a long while. Following Cole and Olivia’s falling in love, reading about their first phone call, their first date and their first kiss gave me that warm fuzzy feeling and made me sigh and smile at the same time while reading.

I really loved my first encounter with Marie Force’s work. EVERYONE LOVES A HERO is a cute, sweet and butterflies-inducing contemporary romance written in an easy and agreeable writing style. I adore her voice and can’t wait to start her Fatal Series (romantic suspense series with Carina Press).

Favorite Quotes:
Never in her life had Olivia experienced a kiss quite like this –a kiss that made her want to tear off his clothes and have him. Right there. Right now. She whimpered under the weight of the need that blazed through her.

“Finally,” he sighed, turning his head ever so slightly, just enough to capture her lips. He pressed her to the wall and sent his tongue to find hers.

Breathing in his warm, masculine scent, Olivia couldn’t help but smile at the relief in his voice. In a thick Cockney accent, she said, “Am I permitted a quick trip to the loo, my lord?”
Cole cracked up. “Only if you hurry up. Your lord’s boner requires your immediate attention.”


Marie Force said...

Thanks, Pearl! So glad you enjoyed ELaH!

I know what your note refers to but it's a spoiler, so I'll keep it to myself. :-)

Aurian said...

Hmmm I'll have to give this one a try. Nice review Pearl. And perhaps I will tell you the spoiler ;)

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39, married to my real life romance hero, addicted to TV shows, reading romance novels and Twitter. I'm a chronic (e)book hoarder and my absolute favorite genres within romance fiction are contemporary romance and romantic suspense, but I don't shy away from historical, paranormal or erotic romance either. Even the occasional (urban) fantasy romance, futuristic and sci fi romance may make it to my Mount TBR. This is my corner of the world wide web where I let you know what books I'm hoarding, reading and reviewing.
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GR Reading Challenge

2011 Reading Challenge

Pearl has read 10 books toward her goal of 50 books.

On My TBR Shelf

  • Unforgivable - Laura Griffin
  • Snapped - Laura Griffin
  • Darkness at Dawn - Elizabeth Jennings
  • Sizzle and Burn - Alexis Grant
  • No Mercy - Lori Armstrong
  • Animal Magnetism - Jill Shalvis
  • Crazy for Love - Victoria Dahl
  • Kink - Saskia Walker/Sasha White
  • So Sensitive - Anne Rainey
  • Dark Taste of Rapture - Gena Showalter
  • The Darkest Secret - Gena Showalter
  • Vampire in Atlantis - Alyssa Day
  • Vampire Dragon - Annette Blair
  • Captive Spirit - Anna Windsor
  • Chosen by Blood - Virna DePaul
  • Rebel - Zoe Archer
  • Stranger - Zoe Archer
  • A Taste of Desire - Beverley Kendall
  • Mistress by Midnight - Maggie Robinson
  • To Desire a Devil - Elizabeth Hoyt
  • To Tame a Dangerous Lord - Nicole Jordan

Digital TBR Next

  • Driven - Jayne Rylon (reread)
  • Shifting Gears - Jayne Rylon
  • Beg Me - Shiloh Walker
  • Tempt Me - Shiloh Walker
  • Jazz Baby - Lorelie Brown
  • Playboy Prankster - Pamela Britton
  • Just Like That - Erin Nicholas
  • Sweet Inspiration - Penny Watson
  • Breathe - Donna Alward
  • My Gigolo - Molly Burkhart
  • Scent of Persuason - Nikki Duncan

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