Saturday, February 18, 2017

Book Release Blitz for You Had Me at Hero by Michael P. Thomas (Review & GIVEAWAY)

When two people get overly comfortable in marriage hurt feelings ensue in this vividly depicted romance that takes readers on an emotional rollercoaster ride.  Keep reading to get a tempting glimpse of You Had Me at Hero by Michael P. Thomas, along with my impressions of it, then add this novella to your bookshelf.  In honor of this m/m interracial romance make sure to fill out the from below for the chance to win a $20 Amazon GC too!

When seventeen-year-old Mark Potts fell from a balcony, he lost both the use of his legs and any faith in heroes. Now twenty-nine, he’s long-since come to terms with his injury. His job provides more opportunities for eye-rolling than for riding to anybody’s rescue, but with two kids to bring up, he barely has time for his husband, much less for heroics. Besides, Starr Bradford is a policeman -- how many heroes does one family need?
Mark and Starr love each other madly, but stress management is a load-bearing pillar of their happiness. When Mark’s coping skills fail him at exactly the wrong moment, he’s left hanging by a thread of words he should’ve kept in his mouth. He has the power to repair their relationship, but when Starr’s workday suddenly goes south, will he get to wield it? Keeping it together long enough to find out is a job worthy of any superhero!


The 911 call center was tucked into a park in the middle oftown. Mark and Starr lived in a neighborhood of post-World War II brick ranch houses east of the park, barely a five-minute drive at three in the morning. Even after being corralled by Coretta, Mark was out of his clothes, out of his chair, and into the bed by three-thirty, with his arms around his husband at three-thirty and about two seconds. Geeze but it felt good to cuddle up next to Starr. Any trace of a world that might exist outside their bed fizzled away as soon as they were in it together. Even if he tried, which he had long given up doing, he couldn’t focus on a worry, couldn’t retain the residue from even the most stressful call. With Starr in his arms, there was no room left for fear, no way to also hold on to doubt. With Starr in a patrol car and two sons careening through life in America while being black, these things were easy enough to find during the day, but in the quiet dark, Starr’s body throwing heat like rocks in a sauna, Mark’s defenses—which Starr assured him were more finely tuned than most people’s—melted away.
When Starr rolled over with the whoosh of a contented sigh to take Mark in his own arms, Mark knew he was safe. He knew he was loved. And when his hand followed a hunch along the ridge of Starr’s muscled belly, he knew he was desired. He took a great handful of Starr’s warm, heavy balls and watched a sleepy grin spread across his face.
This mumbled verification always made Mark laugh. Asopposed to“No. It’s a jewel thief,” he said, gathering Starr’sballs and giving his sac a tug. “I just struck it rich."
The grin grew and Starr rolled onto his back. “Take whatever you want, just please don’t hurt me."
“We’ll see.”



Married couples, after they've been together for a time, can get complacent and take their love for granted.  With this novella the author reminds readers of the consequences of doing just that as he presents a sweet and sentimental slice of life featuring an interracial couple raising their two children.  Not only are they dealing with taking their love for granted, but there are also issues of disability and racism weighing on them and their time together.  It all adds up to a short read long on timely issues that kept me fully immersed in their relationship from start to finish.

Growing up Mark was obsessed with superheroes and longed to be one one day. His dreams were of various careers that would let him save all those in need and enforce the law.  Unfortunately, one night of too many drinks put him in a wheelchair and dashed his dreams.  He didn't wallow in pity though, making a life for himself, and marrying an older man who's a policeman.  He's become his own kind of superhero through his 9-1-1 dispatch job.  By and large he feels blessed with his devoted husband and wonderful kids, but self-doubts start creeping in and have him saying something that he can't take back.  With his husband's life in danger it will have him reevaluating their relationship in a heartwarming and realistic conclusion.  I liked Mark and his ability to roll with the huge changes to his life as he never let his disability hold him back from living a normal life.  His disability, and the daily aspects revolving around it, were realistically depicted as were the feelings of self-doubt.  It's not often I see a character depicting my life and I applaud Mr. Thomas for his sensitive and respectful handling of disability and romance.

Starr never thought he'd find the love of his life after looking for it for over forty years, but he finds himself immediately captivated by the young man twenty years younger than he.  He doesn't see the wheelchair but rather the man who's grabbed onto living wholeheartedly.  The early stages of their romance go smoothly despite there being a big age difference as well as their being an interracial gay couple.  Once they adopt kids though, things subtly change in their relationship.  It becomes all about their kids, fears over society's judgments, as they spend less time as a couple.  It's a realistic change that made me feel a part of their family as I rooted for them every step of the way. Starr's a good man, honorable, and realistic in how he sees the world acting towards their kids.  He's strong and often silent, but is a solid wall of support for his family.  The moments we had with him were powerful and endearing, but I wish there'd been more as this story was mostly told from Mark's perspective.

This was a quick read that was a bit rough around the edges.  The narrative was a bit jumpy with a clunky flow that still showed great promise.  Mark and Starr are a sweet couple whose displays of affection are of the warm variety barring one steamy interlude.  Their tame romance was a reflection of the changes in their lives which other married couples can relate to and which fueled Mark's doubts and fears.  Very few romantic encounters though left plenty of room for talks related to racism and homosexuality which are important and legitimate, but came out of nowhere in the story, and dimmed the romanticism of this couple.  Despite my quibbles I still enjoyed this story and the positive depiction of Mark's disability as well as the uplifting conclusion that reinforces the power of love and look forward to more from Mr. Thomas in the future.

My rating for this is a C+

*I got this book from the author for review in exchange for my honest opinion.


Michael P. Thomas is a flight attendant whose writing is continually inspired by his work with the flying public, who flatly refuse to be boring. The author of three novel-length gay romances and a number of romantic and erotic shorts, he writes gay fiction because when he was coming out he sure was glad to have it to read. After misspending his youth in San Francisco, he now lives in his native Colorado with his husband.



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