Cabin Fever

Father to Be

First Kiss

Getting Lucky

Heaven on Earth

The Horseman's Bride

Murphy's Law

Older, Wiser...Pregnant

The Princess & the Mercenary

Rogue's Reform

The Sheriff's Surrender

Some Enchanted Season

Somebodyís Hero
by Marilyn Pappano
(Silh. Int. Mom. #1427, $4.99, PG) ISBN 0-373-27497-1
Many times stories about second chances are full of angst from previous relationships and when all is said and done, the reason for the angst is rather mild. Not so here. In Somebodyís Hero, our hero really does have some major baggage to overcome and itís a testament to his courage and will. The heroine has just the right amount of sass for him and the heroineís daughter is a five year old that acts like a five year old. This is a story to enjoy.

Jayne Miller is a romance writer whose life does not read like one of her books. She met and married a man who was full of life. They had a lovely daughter named Lucy. Unfortunately, Greg didnít want any responsibility and they grew far apart, ending in divorce. Greg got everything but her personal investments from her writing and a house from his grandmother in Sweetwater, Tennessee. The house described by Greg was nothing like the one floor one room cottage that Jayne finds when she gets to Sweetwater. But she had packed up everything and moved from Chicago, so she has no choice but to stay.

Her only neighbor on the isolated mountain road is Tyler Lewis. Tyler owns most of the land around her house and he had even tried to buy the house just to keep out other neighbors. Tyler wants his privacy and has good reason for it. He was raised in an abusive home, watching his mother being beaten often. He suffered beatings himself. He did all he could to protect his mother and his younger siblings, but at just the age of 14, could not keep his father from hurting his mother. One night, after years of abuse, his mother killed his father. The kids, including Tyler, were shipped off to his motherís family in Sweetwater. It is here he has lived. When he broke up with a girlfriend because he feared he was like his father, Tyler decided he needed to live his life alone. He is lonely though. His true nature comes out as he is always willing to help someone in need. That someone now is Jayne and Lucy, who is starved for a manís affection, having gotten little from her self-centered father.

This story moves at a good pace and yet, the romance moves slowly. Both Jayne and Tyler are leery and take things the way one would expect. There are some starts and stops that seem natural given their circumstances. And there are some romantic scenes that fit with their personalities, which are both warm and caring. There is some humor, as Jayne finds herself in situations that her heroines might be in, yet with different results. Itís fun in watching Tyler try to maintain his distance while thriving on the love and attention given by Jayne and Lucy. And there is heartache as they both, but particularly Tyler, try to work past their previous pain and allow themselves to be open to love and a future.

This is not a perfect story. There are some things that you have to accept, like the fact that everyone knows about the history of the Lewis family, but that gossip doesnít run rampant and the town seems accepting of Tylerís mother, now that she is out of prison. Tylerís family seems normal despite the trauma. His sister Rebecca is the most warped and it feels as if she has a story of her own coming soon. Jayne goes from being a bit of a naÔve city girl to really getting into country living in a quick period of time. This is only a slight distraction.

Overall, Somebodyís Hero is a story with depth of characters and a winning story that keeps the reader feeling like this is a pair they want to have a happy ending. Often, that sense of camaraderie is the best kind of feeling for a romance reader.

--Shirley Lyons

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