Heroes Are My Weakness (Signed Book)

( 23 )

Overview

Deepest winter.
An isolated island off the coast of Maine.
A man.
A woman.
Puppets. (Yes, puppets…)
And…
A mysterious house looming over the sea . . .

He's a reclusive writer whose imagination creates chilling horror novels. She's a ...

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Overview

Deepest winter.
An isolated island off the coast of Maine.
A man.
A woman.
Puppets. (Yes, puppets…)
And…
A mysterious house looming over the sea . . .

He's a reclusive writer whose 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 his characters with his bare hands. She knows a dozen ways to kill an audience with laughs. But she's not laughing now.

Annie Hewitt has arrived on Peregrine Island in the middle of a snowstorm and at the end of her resources. She's broke, dispirited, but not quite ready to give up. Her red suitcases hold the puppets she uses to make her living: sensible Dilly, spunky Scamp, and Leo, the baddest of bad guys. Her puppets, the romantic novels she loves, and a little bit of courage are all she has left.

Annie couldn't be more ill prepared for what she finds when she reaches Moonraker Cottage or for the man who dwells in Harp House, the mysterious mansion that hovers above the cottage from a windblown cliff. When she was a teenager, he betrayed her in a way she can never forget or forgive. Now they're trapped together on a frozen island along with a lonely widow, a mute little girl, and townspeople who don't know how to mind their own business.

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.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780062376763
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 8/26/2014
  • Pages: 384
  • Sales rank: 279
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.30 (d)

Meet the Author

Susan Elizabeth Phillips

Susan Elizabeth Phillips soared onto the New York Times bestseller list with Dream a Little Dream. She's the only four-time recipient of the Romance Writers of America's prestigious Favorite Book of the Year Award. A resident of the Chicago suburbs, she is also a hiker, gardener, reader, wife, and mother of two grown sons.

Biography

Susan Elizabeth Phillips believes if Jane Austen were writing today, novels like Pride and Prejudice would be sitting on the bookshelf alongside the love stories that she and her fellow romance novelists pen. "Oh, and one more thing," she said, wagging her finger at a Chicago Tribune reporter in 1999, "Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy should have kissed at the end of that story, and if I'd have written it, they would have -- and it would have been a good kiss, too."

Such sass is Phillips' calling card, and since her 1994 football romance It Had to Be You, she’s been stitching threads of humor into her romance novels.

"I'm not a particularly funny person in person. I can't tell jokes, but it just seems like it happened when I started to write," she told The Romance Reader in 1997. "It wasn't anything that was planned. I'm a very intuitive writer; I just sort of let the characters talk to me, and they started saying funny things, so I wrote them down."

A schoolteacher until her first son was born, Phillips began writing in the early 1980s with her best friend and neighbor. The two were both regular readers and decided to try their hand at a book of their own, plotting their story during nightly bike rides with their toddlers in tow. They got the name of a publisher at Dell who liked the book and published it under the pen name Justine Cole.

Her friend moved into a legal career, but Phillips continued writing and publishing, this time under her own name. She released what she calls her "big books," titles like Fancy Pants and Honey Moon featuring Hollywood starlets and jet-setting London socialites.

Her stories, she has said, moved outside of the mainstream after that. She gives her romantic characters emotional wounds and personal difficulties that often impede their inevitable happy endings. But without such obstacles, there would be no story.

"I've grown increasingly interested in writing about family dynamics and much less interested in sticking a psychopath with a gun in any of my books," she said in an interview with the web site iVillage. "Technically, I've simply learned how to capitalize on my own distinctive voice and how to be a better storyteller."

The healing process that the characters go through is what makes the novels work. "Creative plotting adds sparkle, and entertaining, well-drawn secondary characters round out the novel, but it is the growing, healing relationship between the protagonists and how they finally form a family that touches the heartstrings and makes this contemporary romance an unforgettable read," the Library Journal wrote in a review of Phillips' 2000 book First Lady.

The dialogue, she has said, is also important. The exchanges in romance novels are satisfying to women who love to communicate, she told USA Today. "Women really like to talk. That's one of our processes. We talk to gather information. Women love the connection that comes from conversation," she said. "My husband says we broadcast. He thinks through things before he talks, but he says women just kind of broadcast until they zero in on what they want to say."

Phillips has also disputed the notion that romance novels are nothing more than books about "throbbing thighs." They aren't about sex, she told the Chicago Tribune in 1992, but are instead complicated fictions about women taking charge of their lives and being the stories' heroes.

"The woman always wins the man," she said, "and he always gets tamed in the end."

Good To Know

Phillips wanted to publish her first novel under the pseudonym Chastity Savage, but her best friend and co-author nixed the idea.

Though two of her books -- It Had to Be You and This Heart of Mine -- have football plots, Phillips doesn't consider herself much of a sports fan. "In my mind, if you don't have to wear mascara to do it, it doesn't count as recreation," she told Book Page.

Her family helps her keep the details straight. Husband Bill was her technical adviser on describing Dallie Beaudine's golf game in Fancy Pants, and son Zach's interest in knives, guns, and dead insects surfaced in Teddy, the son of the novel's leading lady. He also wrote and recorded a companion CD to her title This Heart of Mine, which is available from her web site.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 23 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(8)

4 Star

(11)

3 Star

(2)

2 Star

(2)

1 Star

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 23 Customer Reviews
  • Posted August 26, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    3.5 stars I have been reading Susan Elizabeth Phillips's (SEP)

    3.5 stars

    I have been reading Susan Elizabeth Phillips's (SEP) books for a long time and I really liked the sound of Heroes Are My Weakness dark brooding author and quirky/funny heroine. While we did get the great story you come to expect from SEP it didn't capture my attention as much as her previous books did. I loved the feel of the book, the isolated Maine island, the Gothic novel feel, the mysterious happenings and the secondary characters. What I wasn't in love with was the chemistry.

    I really liked Annie's character. She was down on her luck, desperate even, funny, witty and had a great backbone (Didn't love the puppet dialogues in her mind, but the puppets do come in handy in the story). Theo's character just felt tragic and mysterious. It took a while for me to even want to get to know his character and when I did, I never really understood all the reasons behind his actions, but I did start finding myself wanting more time with him. When these two characters were fighting and immersed in pissing matches, it was great. The chemistry and then lack of spark with the heat/sexy times was unfortunate. I never really "got" why Annie would let Theo close, she spent a lot of the book terrified of him. My other issue was when they were together, there was no heat in there interactions. I might have felt more chemistry if we got to read a bit more of their "togetherness". (What can I say, this girl likes her sexy times in books).

    Heroes Are My Weakness was a good story. I liked getting stuck on a Maine island in winter and feeling like you were struggling along with Annie, while trying to solve the mysterious happens throughout the book. I enjoyed how the story rolled out (even though it was a bit long), but something kept throwing me off between Annie and Theo. I am glad I read this book, it was a great escape and I will continue to read SEP books in the future.

    If you are a fan of SEP you will enjoy this slightly darker Gothic feel to the story, and you know you are getting characters with depth, spunk and baggage. If you have never read a SEP book before this would be a good place to see if you like her writing style before diving into her enormous back list. Heroes Are My Weakness was a good read that makes you glad it is still summer time and not buried in snow up on a remote island in Maine.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 26, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    A modern day Gothic romance that's sure to make readers swoon.

    A modern day Gothic romance that's sure to make readers swoon.

    I've been on a Susan Elizabeth Phillips' binge lately, and was SO VERY EXCITED when a copy of Heroes Are My Weakness showed up on my doorstep!

    What I Loved: This cover fits perfectly with the story, and as a reader, I love when the bookish people involved make that connection.

    Heroes Are My Weakness has all of the elements I've come to expect (and enjoy) from a Susan Elizabeth Phillip's story; witty humor, quirky characters and steamy romance. However, this one is a little darker, right down to the horror writing novelist and the creepy house he lives in that may or may not be haunted.

    And then there are the puppets...

    I really liked Theo and Annie! She has her fair share of quirks, a somewhat cutting sense of humor but she manages to see the good in people even when they don't deserve it. Theo is tall, dark and broodishly handsome, the epitome of Gothic romance hero. Their shared history and their occupations provided for some thoroughly entertaining situations. The mystery element was intriguing and I enjoyed watching Annie and Theo try puzzle out what was really going on on the island as well as what was happening between the two of them.

    It's always fun to read a story where the characters start out as frenemies only to discover things (and people) are not always what they seem. Susan Elizabeth Phillips' fans will not be disappointed!

    What Left Me Wanting More: Nothing.

    Favorite Quote(s):

    "I'd be glad to, except I have trouble cutting up dead bodies. All that bone."

    "He gave a long sigh. "And with those chilling words, the raging fire in his loins vanished."

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 3, 2014

    One of my favorites. The characters were extremely well develope

    One of my favorites. The characters were extremely well developed and evolved throughout the story. It had a bit of everything: Romance, fear, caring, friendship, healing, suffering...the works. The puppets were hilarious and completely appropriate. All in all, a thoroughly good read.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 1, 2014

    Good book

    A beautifully written and layered story. My only complaint is the ending feels a bit abrupt.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 28, 2014

    Not my favorite

    Sep make me laugh and that is why I love her books but this one missed the mark. I didn't laugh much at all - too dark. Theo isn't even a little bit appealing until late in the book and in light of the story the title is confusing to me. Still I love her books and have confidence I will love the next one.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 27, 2014

    A little dissappointed ....

    Halfway thru the book and i keep thinking, when is this story going to pick up. Where is this story going ? There isnt anything about the two main characters that is interesting as of yet. Came to the reviews to see if anyone else feels this way. Someone please tell me that it gets better because as of right now page 120 its boring. Sorry sep i love your books but this one is soso

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 26, 2014

    I Also Recommend:

           Antoinette, ¿Annie¿ to her friends, is at the end of her

           Antoinette, “Annie” to her friends, is at the end of her rope, ending up on a solitary road in the middle of a blizzard on an island she only knew as a child. Her mother has died, leaving behind a small cabin filled with bad memories but quickly becomes the only refuge Annie has. When she returns to her former childhood home, she is assaulted by the memories of her mother and the presence of her former crush, Theo Harp, only creates a more tense situation. 
          Theo has overcome a very sinister childhood to become an accomplished horror author. He lives a truly solitary life and is still dealing with the death of his twin sister and the suicide of his wife. Unused to any disruptions in his lonely existence, he is disturbed by Annie’s return to her childhood home that coincidentally is just down the hill from his very own mansion. Theo and Annie come together in an explosion of murderous intentions, revealed secrets, a little laughter and a whole lotta love.
         From the very beginning, you can tell this isn’t your usual Susan Elizabeth Phillips book. There is a very dark tone even in the first few pages that isn’t readily apparent in Phillips’ other novels. While it was very different for me, and at times I couldn’t believe my “go to” author was the actual author of what I was reading, the book worked for me.
           There is a lot going on in this one, so bear with me a moment. Crazy siblings, homicidal wives, mistaken identities, greed, lies, crucial family dynamics, hidden fortunes, unknown fathers, and a whole lot more make up Heroes Are My Weakness. Theo and Annie’s relationship takes a backseat sometimes, but it builds slowly and surely. Not as sexy as some of her other books, I found myself enjoying the mysteries as they unfolded and was satisfied with the outcome of the story.    
          A different tone from other Phillips books, Heroes Are My Weakness takes on a whole new world where no one is safe from the machinations of others. Theo and Annie have led fairly disastrous lives but through no fault of their own, but lets face it, without their pasts they wouldn’t have ended up together. Different than her own novels, but no less special, Seppie fans will find her newest one no less intriguing than her famed Stars series. 

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 19, 2014

    I have read all of Susan Elizabeth Phillips' books. This is now

    I have read all of Susan Elizabeth Phillips' books. This is now one of my favorites. I must say that is took a while to get the feel of Theo but it kept me guessing. I agree it not as funny as her other books but I did not put it down until I finished it. I loved it!

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  • Posted September 19, 2014

    Check out the full review at Kritters Ramblings Annie is return

    Check out the full review at Kritters Ramblings

    Annie is returning home to lay claim on a home from her past that she must inhabit for 60 days per an agreement between her mother and step father.  She must return to this house in the dead of winter on an island off of Maine and tough it out while having memories of her childhood haunt her.  Theo is a part of these childhood memories that are haunting and he is living in his family's home trying to work on his next novel.  

    Their love story was great.  I loved the ups and the downs and the realizations they each had to make to get to where they ended up.  My favorite secondary character was a young, sweet girl named Livia who had been through a lot, but actually helped the other characters learn more about themselves through her.  She wins a prize for top secondary character in my book.

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  • Posted September 12, 2014

    NUMBER OF HEARTS:  4 1/4 REVIEW:   How Annie Hewitt got her groo

    NUMBER OF HEARTS:  4 1/4
    REVIEW:  
    How Annie Hewitt got her groove back.  
    It started with the death of her mother and a required trip to Peregrine Island.  A trip she is making under duress, not only fulfill the terms of her mothers agreement with Mr. Harp but also to find what her mother called “her legacy”.  To say that Annie is thrilled would be an understatement.  But a girl has to do what she has to do to survive.   And that means facing the demons of her past. 

    Blood and gore are Theo Harps lime light. 
    Theo is back on Peregrine Island to write a follow up book to his wildly popular horror novel.  But nothing is going right for him.  Exceptionally now that Annie Hewitt is back on the island.  But as hard as he tries Theo can’t stay away from her. 

    I am ashamed to say that this was my first Susan Elizabeth Phillips book and the first book that I listened to that was narrated by Erin Bennett.   I was fortunate enough to get a copy of Hero’s are my Weakness from the publisher and started reading.  Then I found it on audible. Since I had a long drive in front of me I picked up the audio version too.  So I got to read and listen to this book.  I will say that on the audio version the puppets were just a tad bit freaky in the beginning.  But I grow to love them just as much as I loved Theo & Annie.  But I think at times the puppets took over a little too much.  But it worked.   I am very happy that I read/listened to this book.  I look forward to more of Susan’s books and I will be watching for more books narrated by Erin. 

    Disclaimer: 
    I received a complimentary copy of the book from Harbor Collins along with the audio version I purchased from Audible in exchange for an honest review. This review is my own opinion and not a paid review. 

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 10, 2014

    Great!

    I've always loved SEP and she didn't disappoint with this book. :)

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  • Posted September 4, 2014

    Annie is back in Maine for two months. She has no where to go an

    Annie is back in Maine for two months. She has no where to go and she is looking for the legacy her mother left behind for her. She has to stay on the island for two months or lose her mother's cottage. In the hardest part of winter staying is hard enough but someone doesn't want her there. She believes it is Theo. He tried to kill her years ago and she doesn't trust him not to try again. Theo is on the island to get away from the loss of his wife and to write. He doesn't want to be around anyone and doesn't want to be bothered. He has a past he will never live down as a troubled teen on the island. Annie and he have a past but he wants a future with her. Annie begins to see he may have changed and they heat things up. However someone wants her gone and she has to look deep inside to see if she believes it is Theo or if he truly is a changed man.


    Annie has many problems. She has been put down all her life by her mother and others. She only has her puppets for company and uses them to be different personalities she wishes she had. She doesn't give up and is stronger than she thinks. Once she cares for someone she does all she can to help them. Theo has a dark past and that past never seems to leave him. He is a broody man and seems like a dangerous jerk for a while. I liked when he started showing the real him. The one who could joke and have fun. He is a great guy who helps others most people just don't give him a chance.


    I really enjoyed this book. It wasn't a light romance and as really a darker book. The author did a fantastic job with the setting and pace of the book. I seems it is a mystery in many ways as to who wants Annie gone. I liked the dark, creepy feel I got reading it. I could easily picture how hard life could be on the island in the winter. There is love as Annie and Theo can't seem to stay away from each other even when they have their past between them. Those lighter moments add the perfect touch to the rest of the book. I can say I saw some of what was going to happen but as far as who was trying to get her to leave I was surprised by. I ended up really loving Theo and Annie and kept hoping for the best for them. f your looking for something a little darker but is still a great read with love try this one.

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  • Posted September 3, 2014

    There's a lot going on in, Heroes Are My Weakness but in a great

    There's a lot going on in, Heroes Are My Weakness but in a great way only S.E.P can write.
    There is Annie the optimist, Theo the dark, Gothic good looking, all the puppets, the adorable little Livia and the towns people.
    S.E.P keeps you guessing with all the shocking plot twists, which I just loved.
    Always have been a fan of Susan Elizabeth Phillips and always will.

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  • Posted September 2, 2014

    Annie and her puppets were the highlight of this story. Some wou

    Annie and her puppets were the highlight of this story. Some would say otherwise and I could see that argument. But the puppets were a necessity for this story just as much as Theo was, just with a different purpose.

    It was amazing to see the transformation happen in Annie. She went from a suspicious, deeply hurt, down on her luck woman to a strong, confident, very happy woman who finally got the guy she wanted in her youth. I loved her internal dialogue with her puppets. The conversations they had in her head were amusing and sometimes sobering. Her puppets might seem childish, but they helped her and others in so many ways.

    Theo bore a tremendous weight on his shoulders through the majority of this story. His sister's death, the truth behind all those "accidents" that happened to Annie when they were kids, and his wife's suicide. With so much already on his plate, it was little wonder he was anything but surly and frowning. He felt he had little reason to smile, to laugh, to enjoy the life he had. Until Annie returned to the island and brought his past into the present and made him think about the future.

    This was, overall, an interesting story. It's definitely a second chance romance story, but the added mystery and suspense gave it a flair I wasn't expecting to enjoy. Normally, I just want the hero and heroine to hash out their pasts, admit their feelings then and now, and grab the happy ever after they'd waited so long to experience. While this story had that, I can honestly say I probably wouldn't have enjoyed it as much as I did if it weren't the mystery aspect of it. Those twists didn't just make Annie's return to the island more interesting, it also helped Theo and Annie's relationship develop.

    ***Received from Edelweiss via Tasty Book Tours in exchange for an honest review***

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 1, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    Good story with several shocking plot twists!  The only thing I

    Good story with several shocking plot twists!  The only thing I have to complain about is the puppet voices that kept talking to Annie throughout the book.  Creepy!  I almost did not read this book because of it.  I'm glad I chose to read it.  I love what Annie ultimately decided to do with her talent as a ventriloquist.  Very inspiring!  I'm also a little in love with Theo, who turned out to be one of those plot twists I mentioned earlier.  Livia is so adorable.  There's too much going on in this story to write a short paragraph about the events on the island, so you'll have to read it yourself.  It's a very complete story with a weird beginning (due to the puppet conversations) that just kept getting better as I read further into the story.  Any questions you have while reading are answered by the end.  This is one of those books that you feel satisfied with by the time it's over.  You just "sigh" because all is right in the world again.

    Received a copy in exchange for an honest review.

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  • Posted August 31, 2014

    Susan Elizabeth Philips, can tell me a story every day.   Her st

    Susan Elizabeth Philips, can tell me a story every day.   Her stories have a way of making a so so  day good.  This book is different from all her others 
    others. I had to stop and start over because, it wasn't what I expected, but  I am really glad I did, it is a keeper.

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  • Posted August 28, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    A must-read, modern day gothic page turner! I've really enjoyed

    A must-read, modern day gothic page turner!
    I've really enjoyed Susan Elizabeth Phillips' novels for a long time. My favorite of her books are in her Chicago Stars series (also the first series of hers that I read). To be absolutely honest, I haven't *loved* every book she's written, but most of them. She's one of those writers that even if I find some of the storyline hard going, that I'll continue reading the title.

    To say I was intrigued by her most recent book, Heroes Are My Weakness, is an understatement. My first glance at the cover, a jean clad, red parka wearing view of a woman, I thought it would be another humorous contemporary. Instead, I found myself swept away by this updated gothic romance set on a remote island off the Maine Coast, that harkens back to my favorite authors growing up - Mary Stewart, Victoria Holt, Phyllis Whitney, Daphne DuMaurier, and Charlotte Bronte. I can be that specific, because Phillips dedicated this novel to them. 

    Believe me when I say that she nailed this novel, using their stories as inspiration, and these authors would only be proud and honored by her work. It's a keep-you-up-all-night, page turner, complete with brooding villain or hero (quite hard to tell), and a heroine who's a bit too curious sometimes for her own health.

    If you didn't grow up scouring book sales and used books stores for these gothic authors' titles as I did, you might not understand what a successful tribute Heroes Are My Weakness is. The isolated location, the dark scary mansion, the threatening son of the owner - who may either ride you down or shoot you with pistol in hand. I felt like I was twelve again discovering the world of brooding romantic heroes, mysteries, and romance. This is a book I look forward to passing along to friends' daughters to introduce them to the genre - much like my neighbors' big sister did with me.

    I admit from the moment Phillips revealed that her heroine Annie was a ventriloquist, I was totally creeped out. I'm ashamed to admit it, but those ventriloquist dummy puppets scare me. I've never felt comfortable around them and used to cry when my parents would take me to shows that included ventriloquist acts. When I read William Goldman's Magic, I never looked at a dummy again without shivering. That said, Phillips made me enjoy Annie's dummies. I loved the differing personalities, voices, and humor and no longer saw them as threatening or something from my nightmares, but as entertainment. Kudos for helping me overcome a lifetime phobia!

    While Theo, the son of the house, would in most stories automatically be the default hero, it's clear that his history with Annie - and possible attempts on her life - have him clearly in the villain category. But is that fair? What about the housekeeper with the mute daughter who was the tag along friend to Theo, his twin, and Annie? Is she threatening Annie because of her long-time crush on Theo?

    Yes, who's threatening Annie? From shots fired, to dummies hanging in a noose, to graffitied walls who wants Annie to move from the cottage her mother left her - really her only discernible legacy? Is it Theo? Does he really need his writerly solitude so much or is he really the psychopath that Annie fears from long ago? And what of their feelings and attraction for one another? Oh my goodness, this is a page turner for sure!

    What I most enjoyed about Heroes Are My Weakness is how in saluting the gothic novel style, Phillips also turned it on its head. I'm not going to give out any spoilers, but the surprising answer to the who and why is a fabulously different solution than the traditional one. 

    If I could change only one thing, it would be the cover. I'd love to see one of the brooding gothic style homes on a sea cliff with the heroine in a red cloak and an iPad or laptop in hand (yes, just as she was described in the book). Apart from that it's a fabulous read and it's going on the forever shelf along with my copies of books by its inspirations - Stewart, duMaurier, Whitney, Holt, Bronte.

    Susan Elizabeth Phillips Heroes Are My Weakness is a must-read, cannot-put-it-down, modern day gothic for romance lovers of every age.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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    Posted September 10, 2014

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    Posted August 31, 2014

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    Posted August 26, 2014

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