Friday, July 31, 2015

review || HEROES ARE MY WEAKNESS { blog tour } by Susan Elizabeth Phillips

Avon | September 28, 2015 | Contemporary Romance


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.

amazon | bn | bam

{ about susan elizabeth phillips } .

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.

{ excerpt } .

Annie hadn’t thought she’d ever be warm again, but she was sweating when a coughing fit awakened her sometime around two in the morning. Her ribs felt as if they’d been crushed, her head pounded, and her throat was raw. She also had to pee, another setback in a house with no water. When the coughing finally eased, she struggled out from under the blankets. Wrapped in the scarlet cloak, she turned on the flashlight and, grabbing the wall to support herself, made her way to the bathroom.

She kept the flashlight pointed down so she couldn’t see her reflection in the mirror that hung over the old-fashioned sink. She knew what she’d see. A long, pale face shadowed by illness; a sharply pointed chin; big, hazel eyes; and a runaway mane of light brown hair that kinked and curled wherever it wanted. She had a face children liked, but that most men found quirky instead of seductive. Her hair and face came from her unknown father.
“A married man. He wanted nothing to do with you. Dead now, thank God. Her shape came from Mariah: tall, thin, with knobby wrists and elbows, big feet, and long-fingered hands.

“To be a successful actress, you need to be either exceptionally beautiful or exceptionally talented,” Mariah had said. “You’re pretty enough, Antoinette, and you’re a talented mimic, but we have to be realistic…”

Your mother wasn’t exactly your cheerleader. Dilly stated the obvious.

I’ll be your cheerleader, Peter proclaimed. I’ll take care of you and love you forever.

Peter’s heroic proclamations usually made Annie smile, but tonight she could think only of the emotional chasm between the men she’d chosen to give her heart to and the fictional heroes she loved. And the other chasm--the one between the life she’d imagined for herself and the one she was living.

Despite Mariah’s objections, Annie had gotten her degree in theater arts and spent the next ten years plodding to auditions. She’d done showcases, community theater, and even landed a few character roles in off-off Broadway plays. Too few. Over the past summer, she’d finally faced the truth that Mariah was right. Annie was a better ventriloquist than she’d ever be an actress. Which left her absolutely nowhere.

{ review } .

There was a time that anything SEP was a must read for me. Those Chicago Stars... mmhm. Yes. I enjoyed them very much. Oh, and Bobby Tom? The name drove me crazy, but watching him fall for Miss Gracie, the frumpy girl who turned into quite the beauty? Or my absolute favorite, Mr. Python himself, Heath Champion and his little miss match-maker, Annabelle.

Oh, Match Me If You Can -- one of my few hardcover books that I love to pieces...

But if I want to go in the middle of those two... This Heart of Mine... My goodness, that was my go-to-book for a long time. In a slump? Let's read about Molly. Want a good love story? Yep, let's bring out Molly & her beau. Want a good dose of heart break? How about Molly, Kevin, and a terrifying car ride...

(& in my Goodreads search, I just saw that SEP is bringing out another Chicago Stars book!)

...1D and SEP don't mix, but this expression was totally me.
That said... I loved SEP's football world. I didn't always enjoy her other worlds, but her writing style has always been one I enjoyed. So when Lisa of Tasty Book Tours put out a notice for needing reviewers ASAP -- I jumped on that bandwagon.

What I like about SEP's females is that they can be quirky -- regardless if the lead is a wallflower, a children's book author, or a English headmistress who knows nothing of golf -- they all have their little quirks and are fun to read about.

Antoinette "Annie" Hewitt is a puppeteer -- think female Jeff Dunham (at least Annie and her puppets brought my mind there, again and again). Her puppets are always 'talking' to her, which in and of itself made the beginning a bit creepy and hard to follow until you realized that no, she wasn't really talking to herself (in that odd artistic, writer kind of way). She's going back 'home' to clear up a cabin and put her life behind her -- again. She hasn't stepped foot on the island in eleven years and there's nothing there that she wants. All she has are negative memories, including terrifying ones that a certain Theo Harp played villain.

Theo is your creepy man in the mansion type character. He was the terrifying kid growing up, yet his twin sister was his direct opposite. He writes creepy tales and lives in the dark mansion and keeps very much to himself -- even keeping away from both Theo and Annie's old friend, Jaycie, who helps with the upkeep of the house. He's now a widower and is even more drawn in on himself.

Annie was convinced that Theo was a psychopath -- she had negative memories of him and she was terrified of him upon meeting him again. Yet she modeled a puppet after him... Leo and his snarky, mean ways...

I truly enjoyed learning about Theo's past. I enjoyed watching Annie and Theo meld together and find that things aren't always what they seem; that sometimes the light to your dark is closer than you believe.

While the feel of the story was much different than a typical SEP book (much darker, to say the least), there are definite SEP themes throughout. My most favorite of which is the epilogue. Reminded me of a certain miss Pippi Tucker.

for more reviews & tour goodies,

{ giveaway } .


  1. Thank you for hosting HEROES ARE MY WEAKNESS!

  2. Another romance that sounds like good stuff. I haven't read this author yet and am adding her to my list. Thanks for the review!

    1. THIS HEART OF MINE is probably my favorite, followed by MATCH ME IF YOU CAN. :) I would start with those!