Gemma Bennett is the leading lady of her own life, and her true love is writing screenplays. With her trusty pink notebook in hand, she signs up for the Citizen’s Safety Academy to research her newest blockbuster hope, a rom-com with a police officer as the hero. And the fact that the handsome and heroic Lieutenant Karson Zellner is the one leading the training? Well, who can blame her for wanting to spend evenings with the man she swooned over months ago when he responded to a call at her apartment?
Karson already has his fair share of problems before Gemma shows up, and he’s not exactly a fan of the ditzy blonde who can’t seem to stay out of trouble. The last thing he needs is a damsel in distress to rescue; there are plenty of people in real need of his help. The fact that she seems to think his job makes him a superhero is just one more strike against her. This isn’t a movie, and he feels like the furthest thing from a leading man.
Gemma can’t seem to stop doing the worst, most embarrassing things at just the wrong time. And as time goes on, Gemma begins to realize that the scripts for a perfect screenplay and a real-life happily-ever-after are two very different things. Can she step out of her own way to find the hero her story needs?
I enjoyed reading Hero Debut, and I read it quickly, within 24 hours, because I couldn’t stop turning the pages. I loved Husband Auditions, the first book in the series, and Hero Debut is another fabulous romcom from Angela Ruth Strong that’s set in Portland, Oregon.
Gemma is a high school English teacher who writes screenplays and is looking for her big break. She’s also Barbie-beautiful, has worked as an actor, and literally stops traffic because everyone notices her appearance. Her beauty is a blessing and a curse, and she has a complicated relationship with her identical twin sister.
Gemma wants to get to know the handsome policeman, Karson, who we first met in Husband Auditions when neighbors saw an unusual situation in Gemma’s apartment and called the police. Karson showed no interest in dating Gemma and seemed perplexed by the vexatious call out.
Karson’s lack of interest piqued Gemma’s curiosity. Kai and Charlie are Gemma’s roommates, and the trio enrol in the Citizen’s Safety Academy that Karson runs at the police station. Gemma signs up at the last minute so Karson can’t avoid her. Gemma’s looking to learn more about police procedures and spend time with Karson.
Karson is now a lieutenant and in charge of the policing section of the Citizen’s Safety Academy. The firefighters run the second part of the course. Karson recognizes that Gemma is trouble. She has a habit of getting caught up in hilarious situations.
Karson’s struggling with emotional baggage from his past. He’s the cynical grump with a heart of gold. She’s the optimistic sunshine who’s hiding her own emotional pain.
A poignant and heartwarming romance unfolds as Karson and Gemma challenge each other to deal with their emotional wounds. I loved the faith threads in the story and how Karson and Gemma identified with specific Old Testament Biblical people who had walked a similar spiritual journey. I recommend Hero Debut to contemporary romance readers who like LOL romantic comedies with depth and a relevant faith element in the story.
Many thanks to Kregel and NetGalley for the advanced reader copy.