A book that made me write a raving review is this week’s suggestion. Heroes are my weakness, by Susan Elizabeth Phillips is an amazing suspenseful romance with fully-fleshed characters, a wonderful wintry setting and enough suspense to keep you turning those pages. Keep reading for my raving review, to find out how to win a surprise romance pack by Susan Elizabeth Phillips, courtesy of Avon Books, plus a wonderful excerpt. This tour was brought to you by Tasty Book Tours.
Heroes Are My Weakness
By: Susan Elizabeth Phillips
Paperback Release Date: Sept 28th, 2015
The dead of winter.
An isolated island off the coast of Maine.
A sinister house looming over the sea …
He’s a reclusive writer whose macabre imagination creates chilling horror novels. She’s a down-on-her-luck actress reduced to staging kids’ puppet shows. He knows a dozen ways to kill with his bare hands. She knows a dozen ways to kill with laughs.
But she’s not laughing now. When she was a teenager, he terrified her. Now they’re trapped together on a snowy island off the coast of Maine. Is he the villain she remembers or has he changed? Her head says no. Her heart says yes.
It’s going to be a long, hot winter.
My Review (5 stars)
She: Annie, 32, a failed actress turned ventriloquist-puppeteer, tall with a “quirky amusement park of a face” packs her puppers (that have a tendency to speak their mind in her head) and heads off to Peregrine Island, ten miles off the New England coast. In the dead of winter. A New Yorker to the bone, she has run out of options.
He: Theo, 33, a hermit horror writer who reigned terror on Annie’s life in their teens–when they weren’t fumbling at making out. A psychotic personality or a tragic hero?
The conflict: Their tormented past. Rife with terror and grief, there are deeply ingrained perceptions that need to be flipped over.
The chemistry: Dormant at first, explosive when inhibitions are cast aside. Sex is mostly glossed over, but there’s plenty of heat in dialogue and foreplay.
The setting: An isolated gothic manor with turrets, residence of a horror writer? Rainy-day, hot-cocoa, pillow-cuddling worthy.
The good stuff: Everything about this book is good. The writing is excellent. Goes deep without becoming tedious and brings the setting to life. The characters are fully developed and multi-dimensional. Annie’s troubled relationship with her mother, Theo’s unending struggles are gradually revealed in the most effective way. Annie is a telaneted ventriloquist, and her continuous efforts to help a mute child through her puppet is nothing less than heart-rending. Actually, the puppets, each with her own distinct personality, steal the show at times, showing the reader the various sides of Annie’s personality even the repressed ones. The secondary characters, residents of the island are authentic, adding to the story rather than halting it (a big issue for me in community-driven stories). The mystery element is fantastic. With twists and turns when you least expect them, there is a villain that wants to drive Annie away. In that wintry setting, it’s absolutely delicious. The dialog is stellar. Annie’s wit is amazing. The banter between her and Theo brings laughter and tears.When will this book be made into a movie?!
The other stuff: Minor things. I would have preferred the actual sex not to be glossed over, but there is so much going on, it works fine as it is. Also, I’m not sure about the cover. The story is dark, and that cover channels chick-lit.
Bottom-line: A story rich in everything: mystery, love, pain, wit, there’s no way you won’t absolutely love it. One of the best books I’ve read so far this year.
About the Author
Susan Elizabeth Phillips soars onto the New York Times bestseller list with every new publication. She’s the only four-time recipient of the Romance Writers of America’s prestigious Favorite Book of the Year Award. Susan delights fans by touching hearts as well as funny bones with her wonderfully whimsical and modern fairy tales. A resident of the Chicago suburbs, she is also a wife, and mother of two grown sons.
Connect with the Author
Instead of kitchen cabinets, rough shelves held stoneware bowls and crocks. Tall, freestanding dark wood cupboards rose on each side of a dull black industrial-size AGA stove. A stone farmhouse sink held a messy stack of dirty dishes. Copper stockpots and saucepans¾not shiny and polished, but dented and worn¾hung above a long, scarred wooden prep table designed to chop off chicken heads, butcher mutton chops, or whip up a syllabub for his lordship’s dinner.
The kitchen had to be a renovation, but what kind of renovation regressed two centuries. And why?
Run! Crumpet shrieked. Something’s very wrong here!
Whenever Crumpet got hysterical, Annie counted on Dilly’s no-nonsense manner to provide perspective, but Dilly remained silent, and not even Scamp could come up with a wisecrack.
“Mr. Shaw?” Annie’s voice lacked its normal powers of projection.
When there was no reply, she moved deeper into the kitchen, leaving wet tracks on the stone floor. But no way was she taking off her boots. If she had to run, she wasn’t doing it in socks. “Will?”
Not a sound.
She passed the pantry, crossed a narrow back hallway, detoured around the dining room, and stepped through the arched entry into the foyer. Only the dimmest gray light penetrated the six square panes above the front door. The heavy mahogany staircase still led to a landing with a murky stained-glass window, but the staircase carpet was now a depressing maroon instead of the multicolored floral from the past. The furniture bore a dusty film, and a cobweb hung in the corner. The walls had been paneled over in heavy, dark wood, and the seascape paintings had been replaced with gloomy oil portraits of prosperous men and women in nineteenth-century dress, none of whom could possibly have been Elliott Harp’s Irish peasant ancestors. All that was missing to make the entryway even more depressing was a suit of armor and a stuffed raven.
She heard footsteps above her and moved closer to the staircase. “Mr. Shaw? It’s Annie Hewitt. The door was open, so I let myself in.” She looked up. “I’m going to need¾” The words died on her tongue.
The master of the house stood at the top of the stairs.