Thursday, September 11, 2014

{Review} Be My Hero (Forbidden Men #3) by Linda Kage

New Adult Contemporary
Published August 25th 2014
ARC provided by author for review

Once upon a time, there was this pampered rich girl who was kind of full of herself. She really only cared about appearances and hiding all her dark, ugly secrets under the guise of an opinionated snob. But then Eva Mercer got pregnant, shot by a psycho, and kicked out of the only home she knew. Now she’s broke, unemployed, and has to start anew with a newborn to raise. But how?

On the other side of town, sexy, tattooed orphan, Patrick Ryan, can’t get a break. He’s out on parole for defending the last damsel in distress while trying to help her support her child, but all he wants is to find his one true love. He knows this woman by scent, smile, and laugh, but he’s never actually met her. He doesn’t even know her name. He just knows she’s the key to fixing everything.

One kind of hero can save you from physical harm. Another can rescue you from a different kind of doom. To reach their dreams, Eva and Pick can save each other. But first, they must open their hearts and learn how to trust.

Be My Hero came as a surprise to me even though I was expecting it and had been looking forward to it. From the moment I met Pick and Eva in To Professor, With Love and their electric chemistry during their first meeting caught my eye, I knew their story would be the one I wanted most. Sometimes secondary characters just grab me by the short hairs and won't let go. With Eva being seven months pregnant at the time and Pick being the token perceived ladies' man, my gut told me this would be an epic journey for both characters. Be My Hero was intense, heart wrenching and absolutely beautiful. Everything I have come to expect from a Linda Kage original.

Be My Hero began a little unconventionally for one of Kage's books. With prologues introducing both characters Pick's story had an interesting start. An old witch catches Pick (Short for Jason Patrick Ryan *swoon*) unaware and ends up giving him several flash forward glimpses of a future he could have if he chose to take the straight and narrow path unlike the people surrounding him. He's lost almost all hope of a better life until this moment having grown up in the foster care system and witnessing the brutal rape of his best friend Tristy, who tried to take her own life. Eva's history is introduced in her prologue in such a way that made my stomach revolt once I knew what she dealt with. Coming home late from a party where she had been drinking her father catches her and pulls her into his office. From this point it's abundantly clear exactly what kind of man Eva's father is and it's revealed that he's touched Eva the way no father should ever touch his daughter.

For anyone not familiar with Kage's other two books in this series you probably don't know that Eva was introduced early on in Price Of A Kiss (LOVED!) as a somewhat slutty counterpart to her rock solid cousin Reese. In all honesty I didn't really like her much based on the way she tried to get at Reese's guy Mason. (Spoiler alert ahead if you haven't read the book) It wasn't until the end of that story where Eva ended up pregnant that I started to really want to know her. Eva's book wasn't the next in line as I'd hoped but her character had more of a part in the second because that's where she met Pick Ryan and their instant connection intrigued the hell out of me. Despite the fact that this book made my stomach hurt and my heart ache I am so glad I finally got the story behind why Eva was the way she is. 

Her traumatic childhood at the hands of her father and a mother who knew what was happening and did nothing made me want to vomit. Now I get why Eva ended up with so many guys and a wicked reputation. She was just trying to wash away the unpleasant memories constantly plaguing her of her father. All this lead to her serious mistrust of any man no matter how amazing they appeared. She was always looking for that inner demon to come out based on what she knew. Which is how she got mixed up with her baby's father and the physical altercation that landed her in the hospital from it. It was amazing she even still wanted to be with Pick when it was over. I don't care what kind of preconceived notions I had about Eva, they were washed away the second I found out what her father did to her. She had every right to hide her pain in booze and boys or whatever way she felt she needed to survive. All that change once she got pregnant though and I loved watching her character grow into a strong confident mama bear hell bent on making her child's life better than hers. Eva was a special girl and it made me so happy that she retained just a little bit of her sass throughout, especially when her part in helping with an issue that still plagues Mason played out. Every time I turned around Eva amazed me with her wisdom and the heartfelt moments she had with her friends. 

I wish there was a factory somewhere that made guys like Pick Ryan because every girl needs a guy like this. Honest, thoughtful, protective and genuine, Pick Ryan is my favorite guy in this series, taking the spot from Mason. Pick hasn't had an easy life either, growing up in foster care and seeing some things I wouldn't even watch in a movie. He's the kind of guy who would do anything to help the people he cares about and that is abundantly clear when he marries his childhood friend to help out with her son. My stomach dropped when I got to that part because I knew that the glimpse he was given of his life was about him and Eva so watching him do this, even if it as just a union on paper alone still broke my heart. I couldn't fault him for it though once I saw how much he loved his friends kid Julian even though the baby wasn't his. Because Pick works at  Forbidden, the same bar as Mason and Noel (the two other Forbidden Men in this series) he's developed a reputation among the guys as the ladies man being seen taking a different girl home every night. What surprised me about this, and ladies, get your fans ready, is that Pick was only being a gentleman and making sure the drunk party girls made it home safely. NO strings attached. Nothing expected in return. {Insert Swoon Here} I mean, could you love this guy ANY MORE? (Whoa. I just channeled Chandler Bing for a moment.) He was just a a good guy for the sake of being good. Pick didn't need much character growth because he's already working and taking care of a family but his growth comes in the form of letting go of his fantasy woman in his glimpse of the future and reconciling the woman in front of him. 

Babies, crack whores, psycho tormentors returning to twist the knife and lots of tears both happy and sad are just some of the mild elements of angst that Kage so artfully entwines into her stories. There is so much to say about this book that made me feel so many damned emotions sometimes all at once but I don't want to get too long winded as I probably already have but I will say this. Linda Kage is the Picasso of new adult. She can take so many ragged pieces and mishapped story arcs and put them together in one eye and heart catching masterpiece. Be My Hero was beautiful simply put. I wanted this story between two unlikely characters and I got exactly as I asked for. This was like going through the drive thru at McDonald's and ordering a Big Mac meal and finding an apple pie in the bag you didn't pay for. Pick and Eva, both separately and together had an amazing story full of trials, grief and a love that was strong and powerful that grips you with every page. Their love story, although unconventional was very moving. Every character form the previous novels had a part to play in this book and that was a bonus I didn't see coming. Mason and Reese had a wonderful arc in their story thrown in, the introduction of virginal Quinn has me excited for his story and of course I can't forget to mention the extremely whore-ish man whore Tenning who's story hints at a possible union with another forbidden character.

I've resigned myself to the fact that Linda Kage will always make me cry. Make my gut churn and my heart ache for so many reasons. Each story gets a little more beautiful. Has a little more heart and always an abundance of flawed human beings. I'm not even sure what to say to compel you to read this series of books because I'm still trying to grasp my thoughts and feelings out of the clouds and put them into words here. All I can really say is... if you want to experience some true heart and emotion that drives the story, plot and characters with force then you have GOT to give Linda Kage a try and pick up her Forbidden Men series. You'll be glad you did.


I was Eva Mercer, the queen of cool and collected, unaffected and always hard-to-get. I was supposed to have goddamn attitude here. If I'd just thrown myself at Pick's feet and begged take me, I'm yours, I don't think I could feel any more pathetic. eARC 32%

Maybe this was the reason I'd had those glimpses. If I hadn't seen her in my head, I wouldn't have been fascinated with her for the past ten years, ergo I wouldn't have been so eager to visit Masons's house tonight. And if I hadn't come over, no one would've been here to stop her ex from killing her. Leaning in, I kissed our entwined hands, so very grateful she was still alive. "I'll never let anything bad ever happen to you again. I swear it." It was a promise I meant from the bottom of my soul. eARC 48%

Check out the other books in the series:

{Click pictures for Goodreads info}

My Reviews:

About The Author:
I grew up on a dairy farm in the Midwest as the youngest of eight children. Now I live in Kansas with my husband, daughter, and our nine cuckoo clocks. My life's been blessed with lots of people to learn from and love. Writing's always been a major part my world, and I'm so happy to finally share some of my stories with other romance lovers. 


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  1. Aww, Mason and Reese.

    This sounds pretty fantastic. Over twenty years ago my cousin, who'd had a baby, fell in love with a guy who fell in love with her AND her daughter, raising her as his own. All these years later, he's still one of my favorite men ever.

    Great review!

    1. I respect the hell out of a man who steps up for someone elses children. My friend Tim did that and I love him more for it!

  2. Can't say the cover would get me interested but the review did :) Thanks for the heads up on it!

    1. Anna, I'm not a great reviewer but these books are just beautiful. You need to ad these to your gigantic TBR :)


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