THE HERO’S HOMECOMING
Owen Loughman is a highly-decorated Navy SEAL who has a thirst for action. But there’s one thing he hasn’t been able to forget – his high school sweetheart, Natalie. After over a decade away, Owen is returned home to the ranch in Texas for a dangerous new mission that puts him face-to-face with Natalie and an outside menace that threatens everything he holds dear. He’ll risk it all to keep Natalie safe – and win her heart. . . .
Natalie Dixon has had a lifetime of heartache since Owen was deployed. Fourteen years and one bad marriage later, she finds herself mixed up with the Loughman’s again. With her life on the line against an enemy she can’t fight alone, it’s Owen’s strong shoulders, smouldering eyes, and sensuous smile that she turns to. When danger closes in, she holds close to the only man she’s ever loved…
I WANTED to like this book. However, it fell victim both to some glaring research errors and the bane of the romantic suspense genre: mental lusting and sex at the most inappropriate times.
When I saw The Hero was about Russia and espionage, I got excited and wary in equal parts, because that’s a subject I know far too much about, and far too often Kremlin politics and aggression are glossed over and romanticised. I became a bit more hopeful when I realised that wasn’t the way the story was going (a nice surprise seeing how a Putin apologist just won the election!), but the mistakes drove me to distraction.
In the world, a country’s government is in the national capital city. Also located in national capitals are the embassies.
So why in the world was this book’s heroine working at “the Russian embassy in Dallas”? This was as wrong as putting the White House in Dallas. Yes, some bigger countries also have consulates (not embassies) in other cities, but even the Russian consulate in Texas is located in Houston.
The problem is that – and no matter how obsessed authors and publishers are with setting books in Texas – international espionage just doesn’t work when it’s taking place on a Texan ranch. I’m tired of the Texan cowboy trope anyway, but when political intrigue starts happening in such a location, it’s time for the romance genre to get a shake-up.
This was not my only problem, however. The thing that turns people off the romantic suspense subgenre the most is when characters start lusting after each other and having sex in terrible situations. And that is the case here from start to finish.
The book begins with hero and heroine walking into the house of family members/surrogate family members. The family has been murdered, and there’s blood everywhere.
Their reaction? An erection on his part and hard nipples on hers upon seeing each other again, followed by lots of thoughts about sex and relationships.
This sort of inappropriate behaviour continues throughout the whole book. I can’t like people whose reaction to death and violence is to fall straight into bed and worry about whether or not they might get back together.
In the end, I was disappointed with a book I really wanted to like. There was potential to deal with some real-world issues here, and going in I didn’t realise the entire story was going to be set on a farm. Political intrigue does not belong there.
Review copy provided by NetGalley.