Thursday, January 14, 2016

Review: Heroes Are My Weakness by Susan Elizabeth Phillips

by Susan Elizabeth Phillips
The dead of winter.

An isolated island off the coast of Maine.

A man.

A woman.

A sinister house looming over the sea ...

He's a reclusive writer whose macabre 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 with his bare hands. She knows a dozen ways to kill with laughs.

But she's not laughing now. When she was a teenager, he terrified her. Now they're trapped together on a snowy island off the coast of Maine. 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.

I should point out that I am a pretty big SEP fan girl! Her Chicago Stars series is in my top 5 romance series, and she is one of my auto-buy authors. She is even one of the few authors that I have several editions of the same books, because I tend to give them away to people, they wear down quickly from re-reads, and all of her covers are just pretty awesome. Basically, I urge you to take my opinion on anything SEP writes with a grain of salt. 

The Good
What I love about SEP is that she all about showcasing growth and change, and how love is supposed to be a positive force, even when it isn't perfect. Her best stories are when it's two people who don't quite have everything figured out, but become better people just by being together. And that's what you get with Heroes Are My Weakness. Let's take Annie, someone who has been brow beaten by a domineering mother into believing there isn't much good about her. She is full of self-doubt, and doesn't recognize the best qualities of herself that make her into a strong, tenacious woman. Then you have Theo, a man with a dark past and a big pile of guilt constantly eating away at him, reinforcing the idea that love is not something he is worthy of. The story shows how two people can be a little broken, but still find their way, once they stop being so stubborn and spiteful toward each other. 

So, lots of character growth, not to mention SEP knows how to write some pretty steamy sex scenes! 

The Bad
With as much of a fan girl as I have admitted to being, I was really worried when I started this book. The puppets completely threw me for a loop. I thought they were so weird, and I wasn't sure if it would be the cute kind of quirky that I would get used to. But a friend told me that by the end they had grown on her, and it's true! By the end of the book, you really do have a soft spot for them, especially Scamp. The book is slow to start. And the more that you hear about the awful things that happened to Annie during her summer, the more horrified you get and pretty firmly in agreement with Annie about Theo's character. In the beginning I was disappointed, because Theo does not get much POV time, unlike the rest of SEP's books, where it is split pretty evenly. But by the middle, he does start to get more scenes, and it really does pick up. 

Overall, I would really recommend this to fans of the genre. It's a stand alone, so no other commitment is required to read it. If you are new to Susan Elizabeth Phillips, it's not a bad place to start, though I would highly recommend giving her Chicago Stars series a go! The first book is It Had To Be You, and I promise that Dan and Phoebe never disappoint! 


  1. I love the Chicago Stars series too by SEP. I wasn't madly in love with this one though. And I agree, those puppets were SO FREAKING WEIRD!

    1. The Chicago Stars series is so good! I am so excited that she is writing another book in it. I was so bummed when she announced she was finished with it. HAMW was definitely not one of my favorites, but it wasn't awful. I am glad I'm not the only one who wasn't onboard with the puppets! They were such a bizarre decision, even if by the end I couldn't help but like Scamp.