Rating: 4.25 stars out of 5
Hal Porter left his family and home believing that his large Catholic family would never accept his homosexuality. In fact, Hal is not even sure he accepts it. But he thought that a new city, new apartment and job would bring a new perspective. Instead it brought more questions, long hours as a construction worker and loneliness.
Strange things are happening at the construction site Hal is working on. There’s a huge empty lot in the middle of the job that all avoid. A lot on which a strange bar appears and disappears at will. And at times Hal swears he sees a crystal tower and a balcony on which stands the most beautiful man Hal has ever scene. Something about that lonely figure calls to Hal like nothing ever has in his life.
When a strange fox like woman approaches Hal from the bar, she has a quest for Hal. A long enchanted shape shifter needs saving, needs a hero…and Hal is that person chosen to save him. But can Hal be the hero when all his life he has been told he is nothing special? And when love approaches in the form of the shape shifter, will Hal be able to accept his homosexuality in time to save them both?
Hero is large in heart while short in length. I loved so much about this story that I wished it was as large in length as it was in emotions and depth of storyline. Heidi Cullinan took this “prince in a tower needing to be saved” story and gave it quite a few marvelous and fresh twerks, not the least of which is a prince instead of a princess who needs a hero.
Some of the wonderful surprises Heidi has in store for the reader are things that should be left as elements to wonder at when you come upon them in the course of the tale. But others, like choosing the kitsune as the shape shifters and Japanese lore as a foundation for those magical beings are both charming and new. I wish Cullinan had gone a little more in depth into the kitsune legends but what is here is marvelous and intriguing.
And then there is the bar/tower. Such an amazing idea and construct. This aspect of Hero almost made the entire story for me. But the figure of Hal Porter must always remain at the top. He is such a lovely, gentle man. A Catholic who is wrestiling with the church’s idea of homosexuality versus his love of men, Hal is a man divided between the mother and family he loves and being true to himself. Cullinan brings Hal and his internal monologues into sharp focus. We love Hal for the decent, caring person he is and understand the insecurities and lack of self esteem his upbringing has caused. Hal Porter is a wonderful character and we are happy to follow in his footsteps towards acceptance, bravery and love.
This book has not yet been released yet (August 13) by Wilde City Press but when it is, grab it up and start reading. I think you will be as charmed as I was by Hal Porter, the kitsune prince and the quest for love no matter where you find it.
Cover art by Wilde City Press. That is an unbelievable cover. One of the Best of 2014 for me. And it works perfectly for the story in every way!
Buy Links: Wilde City Press All Romance eBook (ARe) Amazon – links to come
Sequel to MILES AND THE MAGIC FLUTE
Length: 60,000 words
Release Date: August 13
ebook, 2nd Edition
Published May 27th 2014 by Wilde City Press (first published December 4th 2009)