Pocket, Dec 2003, 6.99, 384 pp.
In 1814 Lord William Ogilvie challenges playwright Edgar St. John to a duel because the former felt that the latter made him look inane in the play “He Begs to Differ”. By post Edgar accepts, but informs the English lord that their matter of honor must happen in Ireland. William obtains the services of Lucius Ashford as his second and they trek to the duel rendezvous point where they meet a woman and a preadolescent lass waiting for them. Lucius realizes over breakfast not bullets that Edgar is actually Emily Fairfax.
Lucius explains that duels are not matters of heroic honor as Emily believes, but stupidity that he tries to stop before anyone gets hurt. She believes he wants her fortune only, but still they fall in love. When Lucius becomes embroiled in a duel, Emily reconsiders what is a hero with her beloved at risk.
ENTER THE HERO is an exciting Regency romance with a superb male protagonist who opposes duels and a lead female character, who in spite of her gender bending works, glamorizes the often deadly event. Reminiscent in many ways to a Nixon era song, Billy Don't Be a Hero, the story line focuses on the two differing perspectives that Emily and L.A. have on heroism vs. family obligations when honor is allegedly at stake. Judith O'Brien presents her beliefs inside a warm historical romance that will leave the audience pondering the questions the author raises.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner