Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Review of HEROES ARE MY WEAKNESS by Susan Elizabeth Phillips

"You are one gorgeous creature. Did any of those loser boyfriends ever tell you that?" - Theo

Heroes Are My Weakness
Author: Susan Elizabeth Phillips
Publisher: William Morrow
Release Date: August 26th, 2014
Source: Publisher for Review

Purchase Links: Amazon - B&N - Kobo - iTunes
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New York Times bestselling author Susan Elizabeth Phillips is back with a delightful novel filled with her sassy wit and dazzling charm.

The dead of winter.
An isolated island off the coast of Maine.
A man.
A woman.
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.

I was so torn about Heroes Are My Weakness. When I started the book, I hit a brick wall the first couple of chapters. Up until around chapter 9 or 10, I had a difficult time reading the book. I pushed through and by chapter 14, I started to enjoy the book a lot more. After that, it was smooth sailing and by the time I finished it, I could say that I enjoyed Heroes Are My Weakness.

One of the main reasons why the first couple of chapters were so difficult for me to read were the characters. This is where my thoughts will probably get a little weird... Fair warning...

We have Annie and Theo, former childhood sweethearts torn apart. Annie is a down on her luck actress turned ventriloquist. She is forced to temporarily relocate to the island from her darkest days for two reasons. One, she has no where else to go. And two, she must return each year to keep her claim on her inheritance. I loved young Annie. She was strong for her age. She went through a lot during her young romance with Theo and his actions towards her afterwards. Pushed to her breaking point, Annie finally stood up to her family and I commend her for that. As for adult Annie, I really could not relate to her for a good portion of the book. She was still very strong and courageous, but she also acted immature at times. She played pranks on Theo, hoping he'd think his family home was haunted. Towards the end of the book, she taunted him with pretty important information that she refused to tell him. I wanted to shake her so she'd wake up and see what was right in front of her. The Annie that I did like was generous and patient, especially towards little Livia. She's courageous and intelligent when figuring out who was behind the attacks. By the end of the book, Annie grew on me and I was able to relate to her more. 

Theo, on the other hand, is a successful horror author. He recently lost his wife and he moved back to the island that plagued his childhood to escape from everyone. He's thrown for a loop when the girl he loved comes back and begins to haunt him. I had the opposite reaction to Theo. I did not like young Theo. During the first portion of the book, we get Annie's take on his actions towards her as a teenager.  In her memories, he was cruel. He was weak and pulled away from the world at such a young age. I loved adult Theo. He's much stronger now and ready to face the world. He doesn't pause for a moment when someone needs help. He starts off the book as a brooding hero on horseback, riding wild in the dark. We learn so much about him through the genre in which he writes. In his books, he's able to face his demons in a way that had escaped him for most of his life. As his transformation begins, Theo becomes the lovable, kindhearted, and gentle soul that was lurking all along. He opens his eyes and his heart to Annie, finally able to let go of the past and hope for a happier future.

There were several elements of Heroes Are My Weakness that I loved. For example, I loved (but would probably never visit) the location and setting. The creep-tacular island mixed with the large castle like home. *shudders* The silence with only the crashing waves in the background. Shadows and questionable noises at every corner. It was the perfect setting for the darkest moments of the book. I also enjoyed the little bit of mystery we have surrounding the attacks on Annie. Who is behind them? Why? I'd have to say that the attacks gave me the willies. Especially the one involving Annie's puppet. I probably would have run screaming out the door. The twist at the end of the book! That, for me, took the book in a totally different direction. It was unexpected, but very much needed. 

What I truly loved about Heroes Are My Weakness was the romance. Once Annie and Theo came together, I was in love. I adored how Theo always felt the need to protect Annie, not only from those behind the attacks, but also from herself. She needed Theo to pull her out of hiding and by doing so, he's able to pull himself out as well. I loved the banter and verbal sparring between Annie and Theo. They often stood toe to toe as both of them refused to back down. The chemistry between them started off a bit rocky, but as they spent more and more time together, it got stronger until it ignited one night in the cabin. That wasn't their best "coming together" moment, but they were unable to resist each other from then on out. My favorite scene in the book was during one of their sexy time moments. All I'm going to say is that Theo and Annie have quite the imagination when it comes to sex. He really was the perfect hero for her.

I know I don't talk much about star ratings on my blog. I like to focus more on my thoughts rather than what I rated the book, but I think it is needed for this review. I really did enjoy Heroes Are My Weakness. The only portions I didn't like were the beginning and minor character flaws in two main leads. If you check on Goodreads or Amazon, you'll see that I rated Heroes Are My Weakness 4 stars. I'm very happy that I stuck with it because I thoroughly enjoyed the last two-thirds of the book.

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.
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  1. Interesting, I like the contrast between their respective abilities to kill people ;)

  2. I had a little trouble loving Theo at first, but as puzzle pieces started clicking into place for me, I warmed up to him and by the end of the story loved him!

  3. Nothing better than an honest and unscripted review to inspire reading a book. Brava, Crystal! :-)