Monday, December 16, 2013

Flaps Down: The Reluctant Hero / Jackie Weger

This is the first half of a doubleshot review. Later today we'll have ?wazithinkin's thoughts on the same book.

Reviewed by: BigAl

Genre: Romance

Approximate word count: 55-60,000 words

Kindle  US: YES  UK: YES  Nook: NO  Smashwords: NO  Paper: YES
Click on a YES above to go to appropriate page in Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or Smashwords store


Jackie Weger “…began writing romance novels in the 1980's while living in a small farming town in Texas and is an award-winning contemporary romance writer. She published sixteen novels with Harlequin Books and is now bringing her five-star favorites to the e-book community.”

To learn more about Ms. Weger visit her blog and/or her Facebook page, she loves to chat with readers.


“Parnell Stillman, ace pilot, is man to the bone in a lackadaisical kind of way. He has the ability to fly through anything except solid mountain. He lives alone because people are not to be trusted—especially women. Flying is his high road until one sleet-filled morning--it isn’t. Mischance forces his plane down in a frozen wilderness. He can survive, but his live cargo is another matter--an annoying social worker and five orphans--the most irksome freight he’s ever hauled in his life.

Rebecca Hollis is distraught. The orphans have missed their chance for parents. They can't miss Christmas. She determines to force the obnoxious, disagreeable, self-centered pilot to do what is necessary to insure the survival and rescue of the orphans by Christmas Eve… even if it means making the noble gesture of keeping her mouth shut—or other womanly things.
But the pilot isn’t having it. No way. No how. He’d rather dance with a grizzly or wrestle a puma than give his heart over to a sly, conniving, wily do-gooder. He has no intention of playing the hero.

Rebecca has other ideas—lots of them! All artful and disingenuous—one of which is bound to work…she hopes.”


Romance is a strange genre. Its conventions are very specific and sometimes inflexible. You MUST have an HEA – happily ever after – ending, for example. Other aspects aren’t conventions or rules as such, but are so common as to seem so. (The heroine is almost always going to make obvious missteps on her way to romance. At some point she’ll probably misinterpret the hero’s mood or what something he said or did means.) With a high level formula that is carved in stone, I’m always amazed at how using unique characters and situations, romance authors find a way to tell a story that, even though everyone knows where it is heading, can still engage the reader and keep them guessing how the story is going to get there.

Flaps Down sets up a situation that has some of the expected elements (the hero, Parnell, and heroine, Rebecca, get off on the wrong foot and don’t seem like much of a match at all, another common romance plot point) and a few that are far from the norm, a group of orphans the heroine is escorting on a trip would seem to be plenty to put a damper on romance, but then when the plane crashes, stranding the group in the wilderness, I’d have thought the odds of a romance blossoming were nil. Of course, I was wrong. How they get to that ending and the events that happen to them on the way are intense and often humorous, as Rebecca and Parnell learn that things they’ve long believe were true about themselves and others aren’t always, and grow as people as well as into a couple. I also enjoyed the orphans who added more to the story than I anticipated.


Relatively mild adult situations.

Format/Typo Issues:

A small number of typos. The review copy I received had a few formatting 
issues. Specifically ellipses displayed as spaces or possibly extremely small (which was confusing, as this author uses a lot of them) and a couple pages when a single letter or a few words were in an extremely small font for no apparent reason. However, it appears these formatting issues may have been fixed or never were in the production version loaded to Amazon because I was able to find the first couple instances of the ellipse issue using look inside and they displayed correctly.

Rating: **** Four stars        


Unknown said...

Don't you just love Jackie's talent!

?wazithinkin said...

I do enjoy the unique spin Ms. Weger puts in her novels. Nothing about her stories, which I have read so far, can be called typical romances.

Thanks for stopping by and commenting, Johnee Cherry.