The Book Worm: Review: Heart of a Hero by Debra Webb

Friday, May 22, 2015

Review: Heart of a Hero by Debra Webb


Genre: romantic suspense
Offensive content: some violence, including people getting shot, falling off cliffs, one weird "burial" and weapons galore. One sex scene, pretty mild.  

If you remember my post last Wednesday, I was precisely reading this book. I finished it this morning on my way to work (I love reading on the train) and I decided to share my views on it while it's still fresh in my mind.  

Heart of a Hero came highly recommended, with a 4.5 starts rating on Amazon. I'm wondering if the other reviewers read the same book I did, because in my opinion it deserves only two stars and it's already stretching it.

First let me give you the storyline. Will Chase is working undercover in the small town of Durango, Colorado. An ex-SEAL, he's posing as a mailman and has just begun dating Charly Binali. Charly runs Binali Backcountry, a company offering guided tours of the nearby mountains. She's a bit of a tomboy and while she thinks the new mailman is extremely hot, she never believes their dating will turn into something permanent. Basically because he's hot and she's plain (don't get me started there, but that's exactly her reasoning. It really lifts the morale of all of us who come in the not-magazine-cover-model variety).

Enter the bad guys. Reed Lancaster is a software engineer (though throughout the book he looks more like a mercenary). He's looking for the Black Key, some digital gizmo he developed and that he believes was "stolen" from him. There is scant information as to what this Black Key really is, but it can wipe out security protocols, steal passwords, etc. He hires Binali Backcountry for a specific tour with his team members (which we later find out are really mercenaries) but his ultimate intention is to discover the site of a plane crash. The plane that crashed into the mountains carried the Black Key he's so intent on recovering. (though why an unescorted plane with a single pilot is carrying such a national security device is beyond my undertanding)

Charly and another of her guides, Clint, start the tour without suspecting any foul play, even if Lancaster's attitude is not exactly common place, but soon things start to go wrong. Will follows them from a distance, but only reveals himself to Charly after Clint is shot and killed. Together they decide to outrun Lancaster and reach the Black Key first. 

Told like this, it seems harmless enough. But I have so many rants I don't even know where to begin. So I'll start with the few things I did like, to pave the way. I liked that Charly and Will were dating before at the beginning of the story. Although it's true she believed he was just a mailman, it adds a bit of credibility versus those romances where the characters meet and five minutes later are having sex and falling in love. And there's a part, in the middle of the book, where the action scenes actually kept me interested. That was it. Everything else is boring, not believable or just doesn't make sense. 

Let me start at the beginning. Will is sent by his boss to work undercover in Durango. There is no explanation as to why this city is relevant. Everyone ends up looking for a plane that crashed with the Black Key in it weeks after Will is there in place. I don't see how a plane crash could have been anticipated that way. And there's no hint that it wasn't anything other than an accident. Except for the crash and Lancaster's appearance, there is no other connection between the infamous Black Key and Durango. 

This kind of ruined the setting of the book for me, but I decided to give it another chance. Forget it. The characters are not consistent. Lancaster is the only one that remains a lunatic from the beginning to the end. Will is an ex-SEAL that uses the cell phone to call his boss just a few yards behind the guys he's just chasing. Charly is the strong woman who suddenly caves in when it's convenient for Will to rush to her side and comfort, and then they have sex. And Lancaster's mercenaries? Please, they are armed to the teeth but one of them in the middle of a fight manages to ram into a tree and knock himself unconscious. And after Lancaster is caught they don't attempt to run although they have to walk with Charly, Lancaster and Will for one hour until the rendez-vous with the authorities. Instead they start discussing out loud what they will tell the police to get them off with lighter charges. Really? You expect me to believe that? 

What else? The writing seems rushed and some phrases I couldn't even begin to understand. English is not my native language but I've been reading books in English for over 25 years, so I know its not me. 

Can you tell I'm not very happy right now? I feel like I've just wasted almost a week reading over 200 pages of a book I had totally different expectations of. I have three more books by Ms. Webb on my Kindle app but I think I'm going to make a pause, read something else and return to them once my mood improves. 

Have a great weekend!

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