Everyone Loves a Hero
The cover was cute and the premise was cuter. But the execution of Everyone Loves a Hero was so old-fashioned and backwards that I quickly developed a sense of déjà vu, and felt like I was reading one of those romances published in the 80s and 90s that had stilted, overblown dialogue and improbable situations.
First Officer Cole Langston is currently hailed as a national hero: On a recent flight, the captain had a heart attack, so Cole had to do an emergency landing. While the plane waited on the tarmac for help, he did CPR and saved the captain’s life. Now he’s a celebrity, and women are throwing their phone numbers (and themselves) at him. He’s sick and tired of it, and just wants to get back to his normal life. One day he’s waiting in line at a convenience stop in the airport when the guy in front of him gives the cashier a little attitude. He tells the guy to cool it, and seconds later he ends up on the floor, concussed, with a beautiful woman hovering anxiously over him. He’s whisked away to the hospital, but not before the vision of this woman is lodged in his brain and he is unable to stop thinking about her.
When he finally finds Olivia Robison, the sparks that flew between them at that fateful meeting are stronger than ever, and they immediately begin a relationship that is more serious than either of them has ever known. But Olivia has trouble trusting Cole, who is too handsome for comfort, and she is constantly second guessing his intentions.
Frankly, I don’t blame Olivia, because the plot is unbelievable. They go on two dates, and he begins declaring his undying love for her. She quickly follows his example. Cole spends the rest of the story reassuring Olivia that he loves her, while fending off hundreds (and I mean hundreds) of women who are propelling themselves at him. It’s pretty hilarious how every time he steps out into the open with Olivia, women immediately make beelines toward him and give him their best one-liners. It’s also equally ridiculous that Olivia suddenly makes huge life-changing decisions because of her “love” for Cole, and she keeps telling him that no matter what happens, she’ll always love him – all by the third date. There is also a Condom Incident, straight from the vaults of romance antiquity, which manages to stretch the thin story a few more chapters.
Cole’s character is, needless to say, a bit on the ridiculous side. As he’s declaring his True Love for Olivia and asking her to move in with him, he’s also secretly calling his 20 other hookups and telling them it’s all over. He also has a psycho ex who refuses to leave him alone and shows up naked in his apartment. It was hard for me to believe that he’d suddenly change his playboy ways for a girl he met 5 minutes ago, especially when she doesn’t seem to be particularly interesting or special. He is strangely pushy, and it was vaguely freaky how he prefaced a lot of his aggressive moves with: “I know this is fast, but…” – if he weren’t the designated Romantic Hero, I’d have pegged him as a stalker or something.
Olivia is the typical innocent sex kitten: virginal, sensuous, and incredibly suppressed in her current miserable life. There’s a subplot about her mother that had potential to be interesting, but it was pushed to the side and resolved so quickly towards the end that it lost most of its effect. Romantically, there is something incredibly blah about both her and Cole, and though I suppose the whirlwind aspect of their relationship is supposed to be romantic, it comes across as forced, weird, and very unconvincing. Strangely, the thought entered my mind that if these two silly people can believe that they’ve fallen in love, then maybe they actually deserve each other.
The dialogue is straight from another time. There are pages of dialogue without any accompanying description, and Cole says things like, “I know this sounds like another line, but you’re just so very beautiful.” He’s constantly telling her how beautiful she is, and she’s always making unknowingly sexy faces and giggling in return. The love scenes are also a bit of a snort-fest – they involve a lot of mating, thrusting tongues.
Everyone Loves a Hero was going to be a plain old C, but the plot became harder and harder to swallow as it progressed. The writing itself isn’t particularly horrendous, just boring and too explicit in the characters’ emotions and feelings in that too much telling and not enough showing kind of way. I wouldn’t recommend this to anyone, but I wouldn’t make it my mission to warn anyone away, either.