Title: Nobody’s Hero
Author: J. Leigh Bailey
Publisher: Carina Press
Pages/Word Count: 205 Pages
At a Glance: This is a very sweet romance, with a lovely group of characters that you’ll wish were your neighbors.
Reviewed By: Jules
Blurb: Bradley Greene’s family all but discarded him when his brother caught him fooling around with another boy. Now Bradley has seventeen dollars and a gas card, and he’s sleeping in his car. He’s an emotional mess and if he doesn’t land a job soon, he’s up the proverbial creek.
Danny Ortega can take care of himself…most of the time. When what started as a date turns into sexual assault in a dark parking lot, he’s grateful for Brad’s help—and an instant admirer of Brad’s military school-honed muscles. He certainly doesn’t expect to see him again, and definitely not as the newest hire at Ortega Construction.
As Brad and Danny’s quiet attraction turns into more, things start to go sour before they’ve even started. Danny grows frustrated that Brad won’t open up emotionally. And Brad is terrified of being responsible for someone else’s feelings. When Brad’s family makes one last attempt to turn him into an “acceptable” son, all bets are off—he and Danny will need to decide if they’re in this together…or apart.
Review: I enjoyed this one very much. Here’s a one-word reason why: ORTEGAS. This family is fantastic, but not unrealistically so. They are very real, and it makes you feel good to your core to know that there really are families out there doing it right—loving their kids unconditionally, supporting them, no matter what. Nobody’s Hero has a couple of dark moments…there is some underlying ugliness at work on a couple of fronts…but, at the heart of it, this is a very sweet romance, with a lovely group of characters that you’ll wish were your neighbors.
When we meet Brad Greene, we see that he is struggling right off the bat, sleeping in his truck, wishing with everything in him that his job interview the following day goes well and that he can finally breathe again—new town, scholarship for college, and, hopefully exactly the fresh start he desperately needs. Meeting Danny is not a part of Brad’s plan, but he’ll soon find out that Danny is a force to be reckoned with.
Danny Ortega is incredibly likeable and completely fabulous. I fell in love with him the first moment he was on page, and fell even harder as the book progressed. He’s every positive adjective you can think of – smart, sweet, thoughtful, nurturing, trusting, handsome, etc. – but he’s also sassy, spunky, and will take you out if you threaten him or his family. His patience with Brad is amazing. I loved how much time and space he gave him, even though it was hard, and that he didn’t push him for his story. There came a time, of course, where it became too much:
“Brad was pushing him back into the closet, a closet he’d never accepted in the first place. The closet may have been a garage apartment with used furniture and a sexy boyfriend, but it was still a closet.”
But, Danny is nothing if not loyal and forgiving, and when he finally does hear Brad’s story, he can’t do anything but put it all on the line and be there for him.
There are two conflicts in the storyline, both basically coming to a head at the same time. J. Leigh Bailey does a nice job of bringing everything together and wrapping it all up. Though bits of it were somewhat predictable, it didn’t take away from the reading experience at all. I liked how she resolved the issues with Danny’s brother Ray, and I can’t tell you how satisfying the showdown with Brad’s family was. So good.
According to the Goodreads listing, Nobody’s Hero is slated as the first book in a series. If the next book isn’t about Danny and Brad, I hope they at least make an appearance! Either way, I will definitely be on the lookout for more things from this author.
You can buy Nobody’s Hero here: