Published by Macmillan
Publication Date: January 18th 2016
Genres: Fiction, Fantasy
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Love is a battlefield...
Superhero Vince “The Anvil” can take on knives, bullets, and bombs, but he’s not invincible. It was a hard hit when Kara, AKA “Snapdragon,” flew off after their explosive affair. And he’s especially vulnerable when she returns, looking for his help.
Kara is new to the superhero game, and villain TechHead is too much for her and her teammates to handle. He’s determined to use their combined power to fuel his ultimate weapon. Her only chance to take him on is with Vince’s brutal skill. But bringing Vince into the fight leaves her exposed to the white hot passion that had scared her away in the first place.
When TechHead captures Kara, Vince will stop at nothing to rescue her–even if it means sacrificing his heart.
Ironheart was previously released as part of the Holding Out for a Hero anthology.
Ironheart was my very first superhero romance, and I liked it!
Vince and Kara, otherwise known by their superhero names “The Anvil” and “Snapdragon”, had an intense but brief fling a while ago, but Kara broke it off abruptly. After that, Vince ends up dropping out of his superhero group and disappearing to live a normal life, though he mostly spends his time pining after Kara. When she shows up out of the blue at the same time as some thugs attacking him, Vince is suspicious, but still hot for her, naturally, so he gives her a chance. He and Kara seem to be reconciling, until Vince realizes Kara hasn’t been entirely truthful about her reason for finding him again. Can they put aside their issues to help stop a super villain?
This story is short, but it was so much fun! Rosso creates a mostly fleshed-out, albeit narrowly focused, superhero world. Vince and Kara’s powers are explained (as much as any superhero powers are ever “explained”), and they actually have character arcs. Vince has to accept what he really wants, which is to be a superhero, and to be with Kara. Kara needs to accept all the parts of herself and embrace who she really is in order to be the best superhero, and partner, she can be. They both change and find out more about themselves and the other person in the course of a story, which is not an easy feat in a shorter book.
Probably the neatest part is that Vince and Kara are both super–no one has to save anyone else, or at least it’s not the same person always doing the saving. And really, Kara’s powers are cooler and probably more powerful than Vince’s, but it’s a total non-issue for Vince. The book doesn’t take itself too seriously either. It isn’t mocking superheroes, but it also acknowledges that superheroes are kind of funny too, which I liked. And have you ever wondered what would happen if superheroes had sex? Well, this book provides one potential answer: shit falls down and/or lights on fire. I assume that means no sex in a bed for these two or the fire department would have to be involved! (And apparently Kara’s powers allow her to make a little internal birth control device, hands down my favorite contraceptive reference EVER in a romance.)
Because the book is short, it’s inevitable that some things would not be as well explained as I would have liked, like who/what exactly gave Snapdragon her powers, what was going on with The Anvil’s group (Omni Force), how exactly the superhero political/organizational structure works, etc. I could overlook a lot of those details though because they didn’t take away from the relationship storyline. I did roll my eyes a bit at how Vince seemed so broken up over losing Kara when they’d hardly been together long (weeks? maybe only days? I wasn’t clear). He still thinks of her every day months later and is tortured by her memory. Really? Seems kind of melodramatic, Anvil! I believe these two had an intense connection, but maybe they needed a little more time to explore it. I loved the two of them once they were back in contact–I just thought the back story was weak.
I know there are a few other superhero romances floating around (and I will most certainly be looking for them now), but not many. I am honestly puzzled why there aren’t more, given how popular superheroes are lately. I sure hope there will be a series coming from this world because it was a ton of fun, and I’d love to hear more about some of the side characters.
Grade: 4 out of 5
*I received a review copy of this book from the publisher.