Hero at Large

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Hero at Large

Chris Nelson teaches figure skating at a Northern Virginia skating rink. It’s not a big rink so after the skaters get to a certain level they move on to a more competitive rink. In her youth, Chris was a competitive skater and while she enjoyed the skating, she hated the competitions. This may have been one of the contributing factors in her getting married to the first guy who asked her. Still, she has her daughter from that disastrous short marriage.
And speaking of disasters, Chris has a theory about cars. She drives them until they die and then buys another one. Her current car is on its last legs and she’s hoping that it waits another 6 weeks before dying so she’ll have enough money to buy another one. Unfortunately, her car dies on her way to the rink. Fortunately, a really cute construction worker stops to help. Unfortunately, she accidently drops the hood of the car on his arm breaking it.
Ken Callahan was on his way to a job site when he stopped to help Chris. He didn’t expect to be attracted to her nor did he expect her to break his arm! After it was all said and done though, Ken has talked Chris and her aunt into letting him stay at their house while he has the cast on. Ken figures he can get to know Chris and maybe even get her in his bed. What he doesn’t figure on is Chris breaking another one of his bones and Chris’s Aunt Edna being such a great chaperone. 
This is Janet Evanovich’s first published book.   It’s from before Stephanie Plum and was actually published under Stephie Hall. There are a few spots where this book feels a bit dated like when Ken offers $50 per week for staying at Chris’s house and it appears to be a lot of money. Yet, most of the story seems to be contemporary and fresh.
The humor that is associated with Ms Evanovich’s books is definitely present in this one. From Chris’s clumsiness to Aunt Edna’s coming into a room at inopportune times, you can’t help but laugh at the antics that are going on in Chris and Ken’s lives. Even Ken gets in on the humor in his attempts at cooking as well as his attempts at other things!
The characters are great. Aunt Edna is a card. Her values are old fashion but she only wants the best for her family so you can‘t help but love her. Chris has a life and a family which are important to her. She will fight with everything she has to keep them safe and happy, including herself. Ken has secrets that he’s not willing to share, yet. When he does, will it make a difference with Chris?
This is a fun, sweet romance story that will appeal to both young and old. While there is some premarital sex, there is nothing explicit. After all, Aunt Enid is on the ball trying to push Chris and Ken together but not into bed! This book would make a great first romance to read, though it would set the bar extremely high for any future authors. This book would also be the perfect book for on the beach, though people may look at you strange if you laugh too hard.
With this book as Ms Evanovich’s debut novel, we all know why she is so popular today.

Book Blurb for Hero at Large

He cooks a pot holder in the spaghetti sauce and needs lessons on making Jell-O. Still, single mom and ice skating coach Chris Nelson is committed to keeping her sexy, scruffy, new "house husband" around. After all, she did break his arm...and his toe...and she can't just turn him out into the cold...
It seemed like luck when this gorgeous stranger first stopped to help Chris with her car, but suddenly her peaceful life turns topsy-turvy as tender, long-suffering Ken Callahan enlists the sympathies of her 7-year-old daughter and her meddlesome Aunt Edna. And even Chris can't deny the excitement his magnetic blue-black eyes spark deep within her...But who is he?

Night Owl Reviews May, 2010 5.00