Make-Believe Mom

Roses for Chloe

No Hero Like Him
by Elaine Grant
(Harl. Super #1573, $5.50, PG) ISBN 978-0373-71573-2
No Hero Like Him sounds like the hero might be too good to be true and at times, he is. He is also sulky and moody and a little hard to take. The heroine is about the same. Despite this, I did enjoy the story. I think you will too.

Seth Morgan is a rodeo bull rider who has gotten hurt by a bull named Rotten. He rode him the full eight seconds, but Rotten decided to let him know that he had more in him. He tossed Seth and then rolled over on him, breaking his leg in many places. Seth is home in Montana, but refuses to go to his father’s ranch. They had hard words when Seth left home at eighteen to make his way in the rodeo rather than go to college and Seth doesn’t want to hear the “I told you so” that he thinks he will. He has to recuperate, yet is filled with anger at the circumstances. He really doesn’t have anything to fall back on, and needs to get back to the rodeo.

Claire Ford is a local girl trying to start a camp for kids who are troubled. She is a therapeutic riding instructor and already works with kids who have disabilities. But ever since her brother got killed in a car accident after a fight with their father, she is convinced that she needs to help other kids who are feeling lost and alone. Her goal is to start small with a four week summer camp on the ranch where her father is foreman. She will teach the kids about horses, responsibility and maybe some life lessons that will help them. One child in particular is Micah.  He has been in trouble at school and needs to be successful at the camp for the principal to allow him back for his senior year in high school.

After her main camp counselor leaves for a better job, Claire is forced to hire Seth or not open the camp. They start off as adversaries with different ideas about just about everything. Seth is macho and at times, self-centered. Yet he is caring and willing to try. He is touched by Claire’s concern for the kids, including the two children who she is helping to ride in her riding classes. He has a lot of issues he has to work through and at times, it looks like he and Claire just won’t be able to compromise to make it work. 

Claire, on the other hand, has some real issues of her own. She has some guilt about her brother’s death and hates the rodeo. She is systematic in her thinking and is leery of Seth, even though she is forced to rely on him.  t doesn’t help that they are attracted to each other. She is leery of her feelings, too.

The author does a good job of adding dimensions to the characters. Micah starts off being very one-dimensional but once we get to know him, it is clear why he has such a chip on his shoulder. The other kids also get more than a passing glance and this adds to the depth of the story as a whole.

There is a little too much sentimentality towards the end, but luckily by that time, the investment in the outcome of the romance made it acceptable. Both Claire and Seth have issues, but they work them through and talk to each other. They don’t always agree, but they talk. 

No Hero Like Him is a good story, with a nice happy ending and yet has some characters who are more than just cutout characters. Don’t hesitate to pick it up and enjoy the ride. 

--Shirley Lyons

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