Cardboard Hero by Shelby Morgen

Cardboard Hero by Shelby Morgen
Publisher: Changeling Press
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (111 pgs)
Other: M/F
Rating: 3 stars
Reviewed by Xeranthemum

Victoria Townsen’s falling in love with her hero. Ewan MacKenzie is a dangerous man. He’s in control of almost every situation — except the woman who haunts his fantasies.

He’s perfect. The embodiment of every fantasy Tory’s ever written. There’s only one slight problem. Tory’s always written sweet romances. Her publisher wants something spicier. Tory’s just discovered her perfect lover’s not anatomically correct! That’s a problem she should be able to solve. With a little help.

Then there’s Evan. Her modern day hero. Her protector. How can Tory possibly expect him to understand she’s already in love — with the hero in the cover art he posed for more than a decade ago?

Are you in the mood for something different? Do you enjoy books about authors in a pickle? This tale covers this subject plus more. I have followed a bunch of authors over the years and many of them have ‘guest posts’ by their characters and interviews. They speak of them as though they were real. This novella explores one such author and her obsession with her creation. It’s so thorough that it seems the author in the novel can’t tell the difference between reality and fiction. In fact, I’d swear she was lost to the fiction.

For erotic romance readers this story is chock full of moments of exploration, seduction and fulfillment. Whether it’s real or not is the question. One thing is for sure, Ms. Morgan was quite inventive and definitely thorough with any scene she created.

I found the format to be a bit daunting. I’m not much into scenes full of fantasy because I’ve always been of the opinion that it’s filler. However, since this story is based on an author’s writing experience and her inadvertent isolation within her own mind, it makes sense.

Things got a ton more interesting when Evan, the real flesh and blood hero showed up. At first there was a blending but eventually Tory stepped out of her head. It was then that she found reality a LOT more interesting, sensually fulfilling and surprising. She also found it a bit harder to win over the hero because he was his own man, he had feelings and he knew what he wanted – a woman who saw him for the man he is.

How the author had the two finally meet, reconcile and fulfill the happy-ever-after that I had been waiting for was ingenious, rather hilarious and totally satisfactory.

Cardboard Hero is unique, interesting and a quick read. The book that Tory was writing seems to be a real book because after the initial story, there is the start of the book the heroine wrote in Cardboard Hero, which is kind of weird because I know what Tory, the character author, was going through when she wrote it, but I know it’s really Ms. Morgen who wrote it. That sounds confusing doesn’t it? Yet, that is the epitome of what I mean about this story being unique. It’s up to each individual reader to decide if this format rings their bell. It had its moments that I really liked and I enjoyed the humor so I’d say Cardboard Hero is a successful read.

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