Series: Men in Uniform, #3
Published by Avon Impulse on November 8th 2016
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He wasn’t looking for love...
Two years after the death of his wife, Sergeant Blake Kline is still hurting. He isn’t ready to date, but whenever he stops by his local diner and sees the friendly smile of his favorite waitress, he feels a spark of true happiness again. And when her life is unexpectedly threatened, Blake discovers his feelings for her might not be as platonic as he thought.
She was holding out for the hero of her dreams...
Bookworm Hannah York has always been a hopeless romantic—preferring book boyfriends to blind dates—and she’s been day-dreaming about Blake since the moment he came into her diner. She’s convinced they’ll never be more than friends... until Blake kisses her and “weak in the knees” becomes more than just a line from her favorite romance novel. The closer Blake and Hannah get, however, the harder he fights to keep her at a distance.
But forever has a way of sneaking up on you...
When their blossoming relationship takes a complicated turn, Blake will have to face his past… or risk losing Hannah forever.
‘Holding out for a hero’ seems a bit of a misnomer for a book that’s centred around a widower trying to live and love again and a shy, head-in-the-clouds woman who is insistent on seeing him as the hero he isn’t quite.
But if I could appreciate the fact that Blake and Hannah are neither players nor people who flit from a partner to another, I did find myself struggling with their characterisation—more the latter than the former—that made them hard to connect with. As much as I could sympathise with Blake’s inability to move on from his wife’s death, his blowing hot and cold along with Hannah’s passive-aggressive behaviour frustrated me as both walked into this relationship that always seemed to take a step forward and two steps back. Much of the story followed this trend from the start, as Blake finds himself wanting Hannah but unwilling to put himself out there again as Hannah gets annoyed over the slightest thing and retaliates by giving him the cold shoulder.
For most of it, I was wondering if she was ever going to adjust her own unrealistic expectations as she held Blake to her own impossible standards, but that never really happened. Instead, she did the same thing—running away and not facing up to the problem at hand—that she’d constantly accused Blake of doing. Irrational and annoying, too self-indulgently emotional and cowardly when it mattered most, I found Hannah difficult to like as a heroine way more than I could connect with Blake and his own issues. More importantly however, I found myself uncomfortable with the implication that grieving and mourning should happen within a fixed period of time as seen by the amount of insistent cajoling and pushing everyone did to get Blake out of his funk and right into his own HEA, even if it seemed Blake couldn’t face his own reality after 2 years.
With a rushed reconciliation and an even quicker fast-forward to their big family HEA, ‘Holding out for a hero’ might be for those who stand firmly in Hannah’s shoes (in essence, those who firmly need that HEA that spares no expense); unfortunately, it isn’t quite for me.