What it’s about: (from Goodreads) When sensible schoolteacher Ella Lucas rides into her home town on a Harley and seduces the resident football hero, Jake Prince, she figures she can be forgiven and move on. After all, she’s just buried her mother. Two years later, back in the city, their paths cross again but this time Jake is in the process of destroying her favourite dive bar.
With her home facing a wrecker’s ball, her school being closed down and her 15-year-old brother hell bent on self-destruction, it’s the last straw. Throw in a dominatrix best friend who is dating a blue ribbon guy so straight he still lives at home with his mother, it’s no wonder the sanest person in Ella’s life is a dog.
With all this to contend with, the last thing Ella needs is Jake back in her life. But, as fate would have it, Jake is the only chance she has to save her school.
As the school football season heats up, old secrets threaten to surface and Ella takes on greedy developers, school boards and national tabloids. But can she save not just her home, her school and her brother, but also the reputation of the man she’s never been able to forget? And, more importantly, does she want to?
What worked for me (and what didn’t): This book is set in Queensland, so it probably shouldn’t have taken me as long as it did to realise that “football” in this story means “rugby league” and not Aussie Rules (which everyone knows is the only true football :P). It is a sport book but actual game play doesn’t feature strongly in the story. That is, I don’t think one needs to understand the game to enjoy Holding Out For A Hero. Similarly, I don’t think one will understand the game all that much better by reading it. It does make an interesting backdrop and bookend to a tale about identity, forgiveness, and fighting the good fight as the underdog.