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Monday, February 28, 2011

Heart of a Hero

There is nothing like a good book to rescue you from the hum drum of everyday living. It’s amazing to me that another person can literally daydream on paper and transport me to another place and time. I recently read Heart of a Heroby Marie Higgins.

It started innocently enough. I read a few pages in the morning, intrigued by the unexpected quirks of the characters. Soon we were on errand number three and I was reading at stoplights, kid number two on green light alert. This could only last for so many stop lights before annoying my green-light-alerter, who felt she had better things to do than watch traffic signals. I figure I was doing my duty, getting her acclimated to the world of driving and its many laws at the ripe, early age of eleven.

 Soon we were wrestling over the book, her figuring if the offending book were gone, the responsible mother would return. What I did not realize was the oldest child, my thirteen year old, who never in her life had expressed interest in Christian romance, was watching this exchange, calculating how interesting a book that would cause such contention must be. Yoink! Child number one plucked the book from both of us. I didn’t see it for a day and a half. I wrestled her at morning carpool, barely letting it slip through my fingers as she toted it into the school. I chased her over carpet in my electrifying fuzzy socks for it after dinner, delivering several successful shocks before she was able to hide away with it.

The problem was that feisty Summer Bennett and Deputy Marshal Jesse Slade had some refreshing banter going on, a whole lot of problems to untangle, and a twangy cadence I couldn’t get out of my head. It was torture being away from the book. To make matters worse the teenager would emerge from her hiding place from time to time to announce “This is sooooo good.” She was smiling ear to ear, trembling with giddiness as she held that carrot of information just out of reach. I sat on my bed folding laundry, listening to her laughter reverberate through the heat register. My room is just above hers. She’d squeal out to taunt me, “This is so exciting!” knowing I could hear her through the vents.

Finally, looking as though she’d just spent an afternoon pampered at a day spa, she danced into my room, collapsed on my bed, and let the book fall limply from her hand. “Where’s the next one?” she asked dreamily. I did what any deprived from the good book she was reading mother would do. I tugged her out the door, left her in a dreamy heap in the hall, and locked myself in my room.

At one in the morning, with ten pages left to read, my husband came home from working a late shift. I was unashamed of having done nothing for hours. The sink full of dishes and laundry on the bed were battle scars for having waited so long to get my book back. The true measure of a good book is how much housework goes undone when reading it. Unlike most Christian romance the last several pages of Heart of a Hero are as exciting as the first, and by now I was head over heals in love with the characters. My husband brushed his teeth and readied himself for bed. I read on greedily. He sat beside me, talking about his day. I had only pages left. Couldn’t he see I was reading? I was swept away to antiquated Richfield, Utah, wondering how Summer and Jesse were going to get out of this last scrape. Unable to bear the distraction, I turned to my husband, clamping a hand over his mouth. I then used my impressive coordination skills to hold the book with my other hand and turn pages with my face.

Moments later it was my turn to collapse back on the bed and let the book fall limply from my hand. I loved the unpredictable plot. The banter was priceless, making me smile and at times laugh out loud. I have a short attention span so the quick pace of adventure mingled with romance was just what the doctor ordered to kick me out of my hum drum week. By far my favorite thing about Heart of a Hero was how much my Wuthering Heights, pirate adventure, sword fighting addict of a daughter loved it. I’ve never seen her so alive about a book.

So cheers to those who daydream on paper and double cheers to Marie Higgins for doing it well!


  1. Great Post!! Love it! Loved the next 2 too. WHo knew you have a blog!! Fun!!

  2. What a great author couldn't ask for anything better. I'm jealous.

  3. Oh, Sheryl! This is really the best review in the WORLD!! Thanks for much for making my day!


  4. Sounds like a really fun book.

  5. Wow, I can't wait to read it! Sheryl you wrote a great review...very clever description of your adventure with the book!