A Reluctant Hero
Still in the Kimani Romance mode, I picked up another book from Harlequin’s African (American?) line.
A Reluctant Hero by Dana Girard was an interesting read. The story is a closer on the tales of four sisters, the Duvall girls: in the ”Dear Reader” section, the author explains that a lot of readers wanted a series closer for the baby Duvall sister, Daniella.
So, viola! Ms. Girard delivered with A Reluctant Hero, where Daniella Duvall gets herself mixed up into some craziness with our smokin’ hero, Richard Engleright/Trenton Sheppard.
What I enjoyed about this story is the mystery/thriller element. A little more mystery than thriller, it added something extra to the romantic main conflict: mostly a struggle with trusting anyone else but himself, Richard/Trenton pushes Daniella away AND though Daniella accepts her lust for Richard/Trenton, she isn’t sure that a HEA is at the end of their road…or she isn’t sure at first.
And because there was a mystery external conflict, it layered the narrative with different POVs. Something I liked, even though I thought I might not. It was nice to see some other goings-on around Richard/Trenton and Daniella’s story that didn’t entirely also shift focus from the romance. I never forgot I was reading about their love.
I LOVED the main characters, even the bad guys. But I really loved Emma and Duane. Mostly Emma, but I liked that they actually got their own closer in the end. Too sweet!
Character motivations were really strong as well, the ending wasn’t drawn out and there wasn’t a prolonged showdown: bad guy is confronted and he goes down, that’s it. Which is fine, I had no problem with that by the end.
I also don’t really do flashbacks, but there’s a chapter(s?)-worth of a flashback and I didn’t mind it at all. The author wrote it out of necessity; she got to the point of the flashback, which mostly developed the intrigue/mystery around Richard/Trenton and the romance between him and Daniella. Essentially if I have to read a flashback, make me want to read the flashback…
It helped that the flashback was part of a larger, interesting scenario. I won’t divulge spoilers, so you’ll have to read A Reluctant Hero to find out!
Also, dog lovers out there, there’s a super cute Lab in this one.