My Hero
By Jennifer Wardrip
Jun 25, 2005 - 12:28:00 AM

Debut novelists are always a risk. You find a book at your local bookstore and realize you've never heard of the author. The cover looks interesting, and the back blurb sounds even better. You pick it up, pay, take it home, and... We all know that there are two ways this can go. You can start reading this great-sounding book by a new author, and within minutes decide that your cat-litter box now has a new lining. Or, in the case of Marianna Jameson and MY HERO, you can become immediately immersed in her style of writing, with it's charming mix of romance, humor, and wit, and realize six hours later that you've forgotten to feed your children dinner.

Miranda Lane is a Southern romance writer who pens her books under the name Randi Rhodes. With the bad luck to have her third book released on September 12, 2001, her sales are down, the publishing house where she's based has recently changed her editor, and her current manuscript has come under the wire. Her new editor, Ellen Barber, has a name in the business-she works hard, she likes what she likes, and what she doesn't like needs to fall by the wayside.

When Miranda learns that her newest masterpiece, with her lovable, cuddly beta hero, Brad, needs to be turned into a book with a snazzy northern setting and an alpha male who just happens to be a cop, she's less than thrilled. Suddenly, it's bye-bye easy-going Brad, and hello hardheaded, hard-ass alpha cop Dirk. Miranda's life is suddenly a world full of revisions, corrections, and red pen. In three short weeks, her editor needs her revised manuscript, and if Miranda just happens to be on vacation in Stamford, Connecticut, then so be it.

The only problem with this entire arrangement isn't so much the required revisions, but the fact that Miranda herself is a Southern gal who likes beta men. How do you write about a super-alpha Northern cop when you don't know any? Ergo, research! With an amazing chance meeting, which I can't go into detail on here, Miranda runs into Detective Chas Casey. If there was ever an alpha cop to be found in the Northern United States, Miranda just hit the jackpot with Chas.

Unfortunately, this Detective's first rule of thumb is to never let a woman have his heart. Fortunately for all of us reading MY HERO, Chas has never met a woman like Miranda. Suddenly, Miranda isn't sure where her research stops and her growing feelings for Chas begins, and what results is a hilarious romance filled with two engaging characters.

MY HERO is a two-edged sword. At once a contemporary romantic comedy, it's also a look into the world of publishing. Although Ms. Jameson never appears facetious in her book, never taking potshots at the world of editors, agents, and publishers, anyone who has ever tried to write a book and get it into print will appreciate Miranda and the editorial whirlwind she finds herself in.

You won't go wrong with this debut book from Marianna Jameson. Humorous dialogue, imaginative characters, and intriguing situations make the book one you'll want to read again and again. I'm definitely looking forward to Ms. Jameson's next release, BYTE ME, coming in May of 2006. Another alpha male, Joe Casey, Chas' brother, will make his appearance then, and I just can't wait.

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