I’m so relieved to say this book was not at all what I thought it would be. And what I thought it would be was actually mentioned somewhat tongue-in-cheek at one point in the novel. So I’m going to take this moment to applaud Sexton for this! In addition I’m going to reiterate that there does not need to be a lot of sex in a novel for it to be a great novel! I’m pretty sure sex didn’t appear in this novel until after the half way point and it was worth the wait.
As I mentioned earlier in the week in the Covet Thy Neighbor response, I can’t stop reading this series and that’s both good and bad. I read both books in a 24 hour (probably closer to 12 hours, I’ve got a long commute and read fast) period and thoroughly enjoyed them. As with the last, I received a copy from the publisher and received no compensation for my honest response.
Overall I really enjoyed this book and as I said it turned out to be something I really enjoyed reading. After Dirty Laundry I wasn’t sure I wanted to stick with this series, not because it was bad, but because I wasn’t sure if it was just going to become litered with tropes and archetypes (but who doesn’t love them). Sexton steered clear of that and even managed to reinvigorate my interest in the story.
In Never a Hero we have Owen who has a congenital amputated arm and his myriad horrible experiences from his mother growing up. What I was most afraid of was that Sexton was going to take the physical difference and fetishize it. And she didn’t, she actually even sort of poked fun at it at one point in the novel having a character talk about fisting and using Owen’s stump in a humorous way.
In addition to how she wrote Owen she also dealt with Nick’s problem in a humane and responsible way. Although it’s one of the biggest archetypes of LGBT literature and one of those few that really drives me nuts, I appreciated that the revelation was later in the story and that you could guess what it was, but you weren’t 100% certain until it was revealed.
Recommendation: Definitely worth the read. It was nice that the Tucker Springs universe was expanded to include these types of characters. As with all of the others it was a quick and enjoyable read. I also really appreciated that Sexton made sure to clearly show that this relationship developed over a period of months and not just a wham-bam thank you ma’am type fling.
Opening Line: “It took three years to convince myself I was in love with my downstairs neighbor.”
Closing Line: “It was with a great deal of satisfaction that I pushed Nick back inside and said to her, as I closed the door, ‘Get your own.'” (Whited out.)