Michael P. Thomas
Gay Romance, Contemporary, Interracial, Novella
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!
The 911 call center was tucked into a park in the middle of town. Mark and Starr lived in a neighborhood of post-World War II brick ranch houses east of the park, barely a five-minute drive at three in the morning. Even after being corralled by Coretta, Mark was out of his clothes, out of his chair, and into the bed by three-thirty, with his arms around his husband at three-thirty and about two seconds. Geeze but it felt good to cuddle up next to Starr. Any trace of a world that might exist outside their bed fizzled away as soon as they were in it together. Even if he tried, which he had long given up doing, he couldn’t focus on a worry, couldn’t retain the residue from even the most stressful call. With Starr in his arms, there was no room left for fear, no way to also hold on to doubt. With Starr in a patrol car and two sons careening through life in America while being black, these things were easy enough to find during the day, but in the quiet dark, Starr’s body throwing heat like rocks in a sauna, Mark’s defenses—which Starr assured him were more finely tuned than most people’s—melted away.
You Had Me At Hero is an enjoyable short read. The characters of Mark and Starr are well drawn, and I appreciated their interactions. You really got to know them despite the short word count. However, I spent the first half of this book wondering about the plot. The conflict mentioned in the synopsis doesn't arrive until fairly late in the tale, and then it's easily resolved and never had me worried. As such, this felt at times more like a simple snapshot of their lives. Still, with such great characters, I'd love the author to return to them in another, longer tale with a more complex plot. Considering their respective jobs, I should think there would be plenty of suitable scenarios!
I received this book as a free eBook ARC in exchange for an honest review.
About the Author
Michael P. Thomas is a flight attendant whose writing is continually inspired by his work with the flying public, who flatly refuse to be boring. The author of three novel-length gay romances and a number of romantic and erotic shorts, he writes gay fiction because when he was coming out he sure was glad to have it to read. After misspending his youth in San Francisco, he now lives in his native Colorado with his husband.