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Posted April 3, 2004
Smashing Rules, Smashing Success
A Real Hero A Review Like Forest Gump¿s momma, my mom always offered gems of wisdom herself. Her favorite, probably, was ¿You gotta know the rules before you can break them.¿ In A Real Hero, Jean Brashear smashes the rules with such success that one can only imagine she must know them by heart. A Real Hero continues her ¿Deep in the Heart¿ series, about families¿united families, and families torn apart. This is the story of Hollywood¿s hottest new star, Zane MacAllister. Zane¿s brothers¿curanderos, cops, adventure photographers¿all seem to be more worthy of recognition than he himself; his world is a plastic one, all money and image, and his opinion of himself is shattered when a private tragedy becomes public¿and inescapable. Still, Zane flees, thinking to hide incognito briefly in the Appalachians, seeking the shelter of those alien mountains before returning to the Davis Mountains in stark west Texas, where he knows he will find true love and refuge. Along the way, however, in a ramshackle roadside store, Zane bumps into Roan O¿Hara¿a gaunt, defeated rail of a woman, treated like a leper by the store¿s unfriendly clerk. When Roan faints in front of Zane¿s $60,000 luxury SUV, he realizes that he must offer help¿and quickly finds that Roan is unwilling to accept even a candy bar. Brashear¿s rule-smashing begins with her choice of characters; any perusal of writing guidelines for publishers such as Harlequin will say to avoid Hollywood types. Throw in a recovering addict as heroine, and you can see why only a devilishly skilled writer could pull off such a story. Romance is the domain of ¿happy ever after,¿ and sympathetic characters let those of us in busy, often harried lives escape. How to sympathize with ¿The Sexiest Man Alive¿ and a junkie? Writing with grit and compassion, Brashear does her usual stellar job, making characters compelling and real¿and avoiding the traps of easy solution to impossible problems. Each new ¿Deep in the Heart¿ series makes me wonder how the next can measure up, then has me rereading the other to see which truly is my favorite. The Real Hero settles that question¿at least until Jesse¿s story, Most Wanted, is released. Then I¿ll have to start deciding all over. Mom, she knows the rules. And just how to break them.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted March 30, 2004
An excellent read!
I'm always on the lookout for another good author. I believe I've found one in Ms. Brashear. 'A Real Hero' is a wonderful story that exhibits fine elements of romance and the human spirit. The characters exhibit depth and credibility in managing the harshness of their realities while re-learning the capacity to love. In the end, like so many really good stories, a valuable lesson is learned about the true nature of heros.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted March 11, 2004
A great book by a terrific writer
In A Real Hero, Jean Brashear creates complex, unforgettable characters. Roan O¿Hara is a woman who has been used by those who should have loved and cared for her--and by those who had no reason to. When the reader and hero Zane MacAllister meet her, she¿s weak, vulnerable and at the point of starvation. She has no money and no future, nothing but the pitiful cabin her grandmother left her. In spite of her appearance, Roan is not weak and doesn¿t want pity. With tremendous strength of will, she has decided to turn her life around, a tough job. A talented man from a loving family, everything has always come easily to Zane--fame, fortune and women. However, because of the one failure in his life, Roan is not the right woman for him. Even knowing that, he can¿t help but admire her and, finally, fall in love with her. This is not an easy story to resolve, but Ms. Brashear brings it together with great skill. Roan O¿Hara is a heroine you¿ll never forget; A Real Hero is a book you¿ll want to reread.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.