Friday, August 21, 2015

Book Review: Yellowbelly Hero (Heroes at Heart #1) by Susan Laine

Yellowbelly Hero (Heroes at Heart, #1)Blurb:

Yancy Bell was bullied in high school for being a yellowbelly, not because of any cowardice, but because of his nervous bladder condition. It’s Yancy’s first year in college, and he’s hoping to make a fresh start.

Three days before Christmas, the campus is empty. Having to pee on a midwinter night leads Yancy to meet Curt Donovan huddled in a dark shower stall. Curt’s a troubled jock whose coming out went badly, so he plans to end it all.

But Yancy adamantly refuses to let Curt go through with his irrevocable plan. With just one dark night to talk Curt around, Yancy has to win the trust of a stranger who only sees one way out.

Todd's rating:

I thoroughly enjoyed this short, 83-page novella.

The main focus of the story is the near-suicide by a senior member of the college football team, which is prevented by a chance encounter with a somewhat nerdy freshman.

Yancy has only been at college for one term, but is still plagued by the constant need to race to the bathroom to relieve himself several times a night. So around 2 am on the night before his parents are due to pick him up for the Christmas break, he races to the restroom, only to find that he isn't alone.

Yancy finds attractive football player Curt huddled with a knife in an empty shower stall, quietly falling apart after coming out to his bigoted, small-minded dad.

But Yancy can't simply leave Curt to his own devices, so he begins talking Curt down from his proverbial ledge.

In spite of the short length, I found the story to be full of feels, as Yancy and Curt begin opening up about their lives and past experiences, which then leads to the sharing of their mutual attraction.

The story isn't a preachy after school special, of which I'm not a fan. Instead, this is a story that shows how when a person is at his lowest, having even one person who genuinely cares about what happens to them can make all the difference. And how someone, even with somewhat low self-worth, can be an honest-to-God hero when the chips are down.

With the overall serious nature of the subject matter, the author didn't take the easy route and turn the story into a hot and steamy piece of erotica, which I appreciated. Instead, the MC's shared only a few heart-felt kisses, so there really isn't any steam level to speak of.

The only detractor for me is that I found the whole "nervous bladder" premise distracting and fairly unnecessary. People need to get up to pee in the middle of the night all the time, so I didn't get why it had to be any reason other than that for Yancy to stumble across Curt in the restroom.

I can't wait for more books in this series, whether they continue on with Yancy and Curt or go with other MC's.

This was a solid 4 *no-need-to-be-yellow* star read for me.

My ARC copy of the book was provided by the publisher in exchange for a fair, unbiased review.

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