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18 February 2015

Review & Guest Post: 'Hero or Zero' by Julie Shackman (2014)

A light-hearted, funny romance novel you will adore.

When single mum Chloe Jones wins a magazine competition to have TV heartthrob Ethan Blake live with her for a month, she thinks her dreams have come true. And the presence of the handsome star in her home and small Scottish town certainly causes a stir. But when Chloe begins to see his true colours, will she find the courage to face him, and admit where her heart truly lies?

In September 2014, author Julie Shackman’s second novel ‘Hero or Zero’ was released by Not So Noble Books. Last year, I got the chance to read and review Julie’s debut novel ‘Rock My World’ which was a light-hearted, quirky fun romantic comedy which I really enjoyed (click here to read my review!). So when Julie contacted me about possibly giving her second book a chance as well, I was really excited. ‘Hero or Zero’ promised to be another fun romantic comedy and I looked forward to sitting down with it. I’m also really excited to have a special guest post from Julie herself to share with all of you today, so be sure to scroll down to check it out!

Twenty-something Chloe Jones is a single mum and the most important thing in her life is her young son Danny. However, when she’s not busy taking care of him, she allows herself to dream away every now and again and usually handsome actor Ethan Blake makes an appearance in those dreams. Chloe knows it’s just a silly crush on a TV heartthrob, but she would love to meet Ethan someday and see whether he’s as perfect as she images him to be in her head. When she enters a magazine competition to win a chance of having Ethan Blake himself come and live with you for a month, Chloe never expects to actually win. But that is exactly what happens: Ethan Blake is on his way to her apartment and will stay with her for a whole month. Chloe can’t believe her luck, but will Ethan be able to live up to the image she has created of him or will he turn out to be someone else completely?

The main storyline of ‘Hero or Zero’ is something I think most of us will have dreamed about sometime in our lives: meeting your favourite celebrity and him/her becoming your best friend or perhaps even falling for you. This is exactly what happens to main character Chloe, who ends up winning a competition and having her favourite actor Ethan Blake as her new roommate for a whole month. The storyline was really entertaining and I couldn’t wait to find out what would happen when Chloe would finally meet Ethan and whether they’d fall for one another or not. Chloe is a wonderful heroine; she’s down-to-earth, warm, and really easy to relate to and her thoughts had me laughing out loud multiple times while reading the novel. I also really liked the other characters, such as Chloe’s son Danny, her best friend, and Ethan’s agent Sean. 

The story is told from multiple perspectives and the reader gets to see things from different points of view. There are also a few flashbacks, explaining little things that happened in the past, which was great because it provides the reader with a chance to see where the characters come from and why they are who they are and do what they do. It personally took me a bit of time to really get into the novel, but as soon as I was immersed in the story I thought it was a really enjoyable read and I couldn’t wait to see how everything would end for Chloe. Overall, ‘Hero or Zero’ is another fun and enjoyable romantic comedy by Julie Shackman and I look forward to hopefully picking up her next read sometime soon!
For more information about this book: / / Goodreads

Thanks to the author for providing me with a review copy in exchange for an honest review.

Guest post by Julie Shackman!

My Famous Heroes – And Why!

If you could meet anyone, who would it be and why?

That was basically where my idea for my new romcom “Hero or Zero” came from.

For me, Stevie Nicks is one of the most talented singer/songwriters around and I’ve loved her music since I was thirteen years old. The way she creates beautiful imagery with her lyrics is just amazing and her voice is haunting.
There are authors I admire too. Writers like Jenny Colgan, Sophie Kinsella and Wendy Holden never fail to enthral me with their talent and ability to draw me into their worlds. I could sit for hours, pouring over their wonderful stories and characters.

And then of course there is the eye candy aspect to it all….er I mean I also do admire them for their fantastic acting abilities. That goes without saying! But you can’t deny that the likes of Richard Armitage, Bradley Cooper and Michael Fassbender are not only pleasing to look at – the three of them also make very captivating leading men!

But should you ever meet your Hero? Whether it’s an artist, an actor or a musician – would you be disappointed? What are the chances they would live up to your ideals and expectations?

This is precisely the dilemma my protagonist Chloe Jones faces when she meets her favourite actor, the handsome TV star Ethan Blake.

For now, I can imagine what meeting Stevie Nicks etc would be like. For Chloe, meeting her “Hero” becomes a reality – with very interesting consequences!

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