Real Hero (Harlequin Super Romance #1190)

Real Hero (Harlequin Super Romance #1190)

3.6 6
by Jean Brashear

Product Details

Publication date:
Harlequin Super Romance Series, #1190
Edition description:
Product dimensions:
4.10(w) x 6.60(h) x 0.81(d)

Read an Excerpt

A Real Hero

By Jean Brashear

Harlequin Enterprises, Ltd.

Copyright © 2004 Harlequin Enterprises, Ltd.
All right reserved.

ISBN: 0-373-71190-5

Chapter One


"ZANE, IS IT TRUE that you and Gisella had a secret wedding last weekend in Cancu'n?" the blond reporter from the Star shouted. The noise level rocketed as camera crews and microphones crowded the hotel ballroom at the press conference for Zane MacAllister's latest film.

Zane resisted a groan. He'd known that the snapshot of him with the supermodel would be fresh meat for the tabloids. "Thanks for the vote of confidence, Heather, but I just met the woman a week ago when we attended the same preview party." He winked. "I'm sure a famous beauty like her can do better than some ole small-town Texas boy."

The assembled reporters hooted. The blonde named Heather batted her eyelashes at him. Fresh off an Oscar nomination and just named "Sexiest Man Alive" by People magazine, Zane MacAllister was the hottest star in Hollywood at the moment. Life was sweet. He was enjoying the heck out of it, but the man who'd been a skinny, brainy runt of the litter was only too aware of what life could be like on the flip side of good looks and fame. And if he forgot, his older brothers, Diego, Jesse and Cade, would gladly bring him back to earth.

He missed them, missed his mother and father, his pesky younger sister, Jenna. Two more stops on this publicity tour for his new release, then he had six weeks off before his next film. He couldn't wait to head home to Texas and hibernate for a while.

As the director fielded questions, Zane listened with half an ear, scanning the crowd without really seeing. He was so tired. His ex-girlfriend Kelly's middle-of-the-night call had kept him tossing in his bed. They hadn't been an item in months, not since he'd finally realized that she didn't want to kick her cocaine habit, that no matter what help he offered, she wasn't ready to accept. It frustrated the hell out of him. The waste of it sickened him. He'd seen too many people in his business dragged down by the fast life. Kelly was well on her way to being another casualty, no matter how hard Zane had fought to save her.

"Zane has no comment on that."

The tension in his publicist Annie Schaefer's voice alerted Zane that he'd missed a question.

That the room had fallen unnaturally silent.

"So she's just another disposable girlfriend?" jeered a voice from the back.

"What?" Zane turned to Annie. "What's he talking about?"

"Get up and leave - now," she whispered, hand over Zane's microphone. "I'll handle this."

Zane almost obeyed - he'd had plenty of experience with the landmines the press could plant - but something in the gathering buzz of the audience, something about the shock in Annie's eyes, kept him in place. "Tell me what's going on," he demanded.

A reporter spoke up first. "Her brother says it's your fault, Zane. That Kelly Mason killed herself because you abandoned her when she told you she was pregnant. Not exactly what we've come to expect from All-American Zane MacAllister, is it?"

Dead? Zane couldn't speak. Kelly ... pregnant? His mind went white. How could - Last night she'd cried on the phone but refused to tell him why. She'd begged him to come back, but she'd been high and hysterical and -

He jerked the mike toward him. "When she called, she never mentioned -"

The buzz leaped to a roar.

"You mean she called you before she did it?"

"What did you say to make her kill herself?"

"You didn't want the baby?"

How could it be his? They hadn't made love in -

Annie grabbed the mike back. "This news comes as a terrible shock to all of us. Mr. MacAllister will have a statement later." She flipped off the microphone, nudging him none too gently to his feet. "You know better than to hand them something like that. Let's get out of here."

"But -" Zane looked out at the crowd as though somewhere in it lay the answers.

"Forget them -" she snapped. "They're piranhas, ready to feed." Her tone gentled. "You're rattled. I don't blame you. I'll phone some sources from the suite, see what I can find out."

He turned blind eyes to her. "She never said -" He glanced away. "I didn't let her finish. I thought it was just the same old -"

The crowd still clamored, shouting questions as he walked through the door in a daze.

He'd hung up on Kelly in disgust only hours ago. Given up on her, at last.

In so doing, had he driven her to give up on herself?


Excerpted from A Real Hero by Jean Brashear Copyright © 2004 by Harlequin Enterprises, Ltd.. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Real Hero (Harlequin Super Romance #1190) 3.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 6 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Don't waste your money.....not good. And what's up with the terrible cover? This guy is supposed to be a hollywood hottie. NOT.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Though Ms. Brashear is a good writer, this particular story is NOT a romance. A heroine who's a former hooker and drug addict, who's 'thin to the point of starvation,' and angrily resists every attempt the hero makes to help her?? Not my idea of a romance, or a hero. No man in his right mind would stick around longer than ten minutes with this woman. I forced myself to read it through Chapter 8. Maybe the story gets better after that.
Guest More than 1 year ago
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.
Guest More than 1 year ago
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.
Guest More than 1 year ago
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.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Hollywood heartthrob Zane MacAllister just wants to get away from the glitz and glamour of his ¿normal¿ life and back to what matters most: home, family and his very pregnant sister-in-law (Caroline from ¿The Healer,¿ another great book from Brashear¿s ¿Deep in the Heart¿ series).

On his way back home to Texas, a stopover in a tiny North Carolina town ends up changing the course of Zane¿s life forever when he crosses paths with Roan O¿Hara, a thin woman who telegraphs sadness and desperation. The gentleman in Zane won¿t let him leave Roan to fend for herself, but Roan¿s past won¿t permit her to relax and trust in his intentions...but the two are irresistibly drawn to one another.

Zane and Roan¿s connection, both emotional and sexual, is powerfully drawn. In Zane, author Jean Brashear has created ¿a real hero,¿ a character whose story is compelling, dramatic and very romantically satisfying. Brashear¿s writing is simultaneously crisp and lyrical, and she draws a portrait of the North Carolina mountains and woods as artfully as a painter. ¿A Real Hero¿ pulls the reader in deeply and irrevocably to care about Zane and Roan and their discovery of life and love together.