Rating: 4.25 stars out of 5
Hopeless romantic and total geek Eddie Kim continues to dream that his knight in shining armor will show up one day to carry him away for a beautiful future together. But until that happens, Eddie hangs out with his best friends Kavita and Stacy playing D & D, moons over GoT’s Jon Snow and dreams of new scribblings for Morning Gloria’s sandwich board, the beanery where he is a barista. Life is pretty good for an adorable 23 year old, just not perfect. Then Eddie’s apartment catches fire and everything changes.
When Eddie’s kitchen catches fire, the smoke and fumes threaten to overwhelm Eddie. But Eddie is saved when strong cold arms lift him up and out of danger and a freezing cold puts the fire out. His rescuer? A gorgeous unknown red head who asks that Eddie not reveal his rescuer’s presence. One kiss later, then Eddie’s knight in shining frost disappears, leaving a stunned and coughing Eddie behind.
What’s a smitten boy to do when his longed for knight saves him only to disappear? Why look for him of course. Eddie’s friends look to craiglist to relocate his hero but the publicity is just the thing his hero was trying to avoid.
Callum, a mysterious red-head with freezing superpowers, couldn’t help saving Eddie but now he has put not only Eddie but himself in danger. Callum Race has come to Columbus to try and clear his family name, and now the dangerous superpowered organization he needs to thwart know he’s come home again. But the attraction he feels towards Eddie is anything but cold. And the more they see of each other, the stronger the connection gets.
Soon its a race against time for Callum and Eddie. Callum determined to clear his brother’s name and Eddie equally determined to help Callum fight. As the danger increases who is the knight and who is the “damsel in distress” is anyone’s guess.
I am going to admit right up front that I am a big time fan of Katey Hawthorne’s Superpowered Love series. So hearing about the release of In Distress brought a sense of anticipation and joy that soon I would be plunged back into a world of elemental beings and their search for some Superpowered Love. Hawthorne’s In Distress, part of Loose Id’s Missed Connections collection does not disappoint on any level, starting with her wonderful and totally adorable characters.
Now Eddie Kim would totally own that “adorable” appellation, particularly if it didn’t come with a gender attached to it. Eddie sees gender somewhat differently than others do, less rigidly defined and certainly more open to interpretation. At the moment, he identifies as male but that might change at any moment. Eddie wants others to respect that about him, knowing that his gender fluid appearance is one that can confuse those that aren’t familiar with him. I liked this aspect of Eddie’s character, it gave Eddie a deeper dimension, that combined with the other elements of his persona, made Eddie a wonderful unique individual. He’s highly intelligent and super romantic. At 23, Eddie still dreams of “The One”, a Knight that will save him, albeit not from dragons but from a loveless existence. And then Eddie gets what he has been dreaming for and ,of course, it’s far more than he ever expected.
Eddie, his friends Kavita and Stacy, as well as Callum, are all such terrific characters. Just when you might be feeling a little, oh I don’t know, perhaps, dubious at Eddie’s exuberance and “tilting at windmills” sort of behavior, then you have Kavita and Stacy there as your standin’s, saying exactly what you would say to Eddie, to bring him back down to reality. Only to realize a few paragraphs later that Eddie’s new reality is kind of out of this world, or too much of this world. Katey Hawthorne moves us back and forth in an emotional whirlwind with Eddie as the story is told from his very exuberant and delightful point of view.
And then there’s Callum Race, currently on the outs from all the Superpowered groups, unable to come home because of his brother’s actions and death. I have always found the Superpowered subculture that Katey Hawthorne has created for this series fascinating, especially it’s divisive cultural quandary of whether or not to stay hidden from the human populace. Which side of the question you come down on essentially makes you either a upstanding member of the Superpowered community or an outcast and potential rebel. This theme flows through all the stories and is an important one of In Distress as well.
There are plenty of action packed scenes as well as ones of intimacy and introspection to balance out each other. I did wish that Callum and Eddie had more time together before things got totally out of control. And for those of you who are new to the Superpowered Love series, some of the backhistory might feel a bit lacking. But how can you resist passages or characters like this?
“You’re okay. Just come with me,” said the voice attached to the hands.
My feet slipped on inexplicable ice. The strong, gloved hands steadied me, and the voice said, “Shit, sorry.” Then my feet were wet, but it wasn’t so slippery, and I could walk.
And some guy in a black hoodie and leather gloves led me out of my smoke-filled apartment in the middle of the night. As we turned in to the hallway, flame flared up at the end. He held out a gloved hand. By the firelight, I saw frost spread in a flash over the wall and floor, snuffing out the flames.
I shivered again and decided I was still dreaming. And if I took this guy’s hood off, it was clearly going to be Jon Snow. Maybe I should jump on his back?
He tugged me out onto the rattly wrought-iron porch and started down the equally rattly stairs. He was tall, taller than me— which isn’t saying much, but still— with broad shoulders and slim hips. It was a perfect swimmer’s build, but he moved like he didn’t realize it, with an almost adolescent awkwardness. “Don’t you have a fire alarm?”
“It needs a battery,” I said, dazed. There was a small streetlight in the parking lot below, and the moon was out, and all I could smell was melting plastic. Now my brain was finally waking up. Oh God, this is real. My apartment was on fire— is on fire— was on fire, and this guy put it out with… What the hell did he just do? Who the hell is he? Oh my God, this is not Jon Snow!
“Well, consider getting one.” The voice was mild and somehow equally awkward but far from adolescent. “I’ll call you an ambulance. I have to get out of—”
But I wasn’t having that crap, by then. Adrenaline had belatedly kicked in, and I grabbed for his arm and spun him.
He was pale, possibly with a sprinkling of freckles, but I couldn’t see his hair under the hood. I could see his lips, palest pink and plump, especially the bottom one, which looked like someone had bitten it hard and the swelling had never gone down. Nice bone structure too— nothing supermodel or delicate, but hard, straight lines and angles. For some reason it made me think: Football hooligan? He was pretty, but the kind of pretty that’d still be scary in a fight.
And he’d probably just saved my life. I had a million questions (chiefly: Why the hell were you in my apartment— when it was on fire?), but my heart was racing with the sudden acknowledgement of my own ridiculous mortality. I had somehow forgotten the words thank you. So I grabbed the front of his hoodie, went up on my toes, and kissed him.
Because that’s what the damsel in distress does when he gets rescued from the tower, right?
And right there I was in love. In love with the lonely and brave Callum and his quest for justice and in love with that delectably over the top voice and personality that could only belong to Eddie Kim. Knight found his mate. But who really rescued who is something you will have to find out for yourself.
Of course, Katey Hawthorne throws in mentions of Lord of the Rings, Dungeons & Dragons, Game of Thrones, Spider Man and so many other present day references that help clue us into who Eddie and his friends are, a cultural shortcut that let’s us secure these characters as real people almost instantly in our minds. If you need more information about these characters, visit Katey Hawthorne’s In Distress page at her website. It has character stats and back history on the Superpowered Love series.
A special bonus resides at the end of the story. An In Distress playlist for your enjoyment that will also add to a better understanding of these characters and background. Just one more reason to get this story. Not that you need one. In Distress and all the Superpowered Love stories are must reads for me. The Superpowered Love stories are fun, sexy romps. A fascinating as watching lighting in a storm or as mesmerizing as lightning bugs in a bottle. And all are full of memorable characters so sexy and full of life that you won’t want to see them leave, including Eddie and Callum from In Distress.
Don’t pass this up.
And watch out for the sandwich board sayings….they are quite wonderful too. See? Win, win and win.
Cover art by P.L. Nunn who has created the wonderful covers for all the stories in this series. It works, and its adorable.
Part of Loose Id’s Missed Connections Collection.
Published March 25th 2014 by Loose Id LLC
url for all Things Katey Hawthorne http://www.kateyhawthorne.com
series Superpowered Love
settingColumbus, Ohio (United State
Books in the Superpowered Love series in the order they were written and should be read:
Equilibrium (Superpowered Love, #1)
Jealousy: A Love Story (Superpowered Love, #1.1)
Best Gift Ever (Superpowered Love, #1.2)
Riot Boy (Superpowered Love, #2)
Willoughby Spit (Superpowered Love, #2.1)
Nobody’s Hero (Superpowered Love, #3)
Losing Better (Superpowered Love, #4)
Re-Entry Burn (Superpowered Love, #5)
In Distress (Superpowered Love, #6)