Only a Hero Will Do by Susan Lodge

 HERO

Only a Hero Will Do by Susan Lodge
Publisher: Musa Publishing
Genre: Action/Adventure, Historical, Suspense/Mystery
Length: Full Length (194 pgs)
Heat Level: sweet
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed by Aloe

Hetty’s desperate gamble to avoid an odious match lands her all at sea. Can an overbearing ship’s physician really be the hero she needs to escape her treacherous family?

Marriage to a cruel dandy is not how Hetty Avebury envisions spending the rest of her life. Determined to raise funds to escape the match she earns money the only way she knows how—gambling. Her plans go astray and she finds herself onboard a man-of-war under the care of its stern physician. But Hetty soon realizes that the disapproving Doctor Withington is not at all the man she had first imagined.

If it wasn’t bad enough declaring one of the pressed men as a woman, Robert has been tasked with the tiresome job of returning her safely back to her dysfunctional family. It was ten years ago when his father gambled away his inheritance, home, and any chance of marrying the woman he loved. So when Robert discovers Hetty gambling he takes drastic action to cure her of the habit.

Hetty was not going to marry that dandy her father picked out. She needed money to escape but all she had as a money making skill was gambling. She dressed up as man and was doing well at earning her passage to another land. If only the branch she was hiding on hadn’t broken and almost dropped her on the passing doctor…

Only a Hero Will Do is set in the Victorian period. The author immediately grabs your attention when the young lady in the story is wearing trousers under her skirts and she tries to talk her way out of trouble with the man she just met. He, unfortunately, didn’t believe her story about early morning riding. After all, she didn’t even have a horse, nor had there been any around lately. He takes her home, makes sure she’s okay, and runs into the man she’s supposed to marry on the way out. He doesn’t like him.

Ms. Lodge’s descriptions show how desperate Hetty is to escape this arranged marriage. As were many marriages in that era, it was more of a money transaction than a good match up for love. You can tell the author is familiar with this time period because her description of the era is authentic.

When Hetty manages to escape again, it doesn’t end any better. Imagine Hetty’s astonishment when she gets “pressed” into service on board a ship (she’s dressed as a boy again) and then finds the doctor on the same ship! As is usual in stories set in this period, the road to romance between the doctor and Hetty is fraught with potholes. Ms. Lodge shows you their frustration, anger, and how easy it to misunderstand situations. She also introduces a bit of a mystery when Hetty finds out her father is not actually her father. He married her mother and took her into his household at the same time. So who is her father?

I’m very glad I don’t live in the world of the ton. I could easily relate to Hetty dressing a boy/man and doing unexpected things for a woman. I’m like that, too. Even if you’re not, you will have fun watching Hetty go on her journey towards womanhood, taking a wrong turn here and there. Why not meet the doctor and see what you think?

Comments

  1. Thanks very much for reviewing my book on your website. Delighted it was given 4 stars.

  2. Thankyou very much for this review. I was delighted to have 4 stars.

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