All kindergarten teacher Peyton Pearson wants is a nice, quiet life. Unfortunately, quiet isn't something she's had a lot of after tainted medicine turns her into a superhero. She's single, and saving the city from criminals—which is increasingly dangerous as the anti-superhero movement in St. Louis gains traction. Then there's her hot next door neighbor who makes her think super-dirty thoughts, and has no idea who she really is.
Police officer Dylan Wilson is trying to make the world safe by working to unmask all superheroes. When his sexy neighbor, Peyton, is evicted, Dylan offers her his spare room, unknowingly opening his home—and his heart—to the city's most reluctant superhero.
Can love survive when the masks come off?
To be perfectly honest when I started HIS SECRET SUPERHEROINE I expected something more in line with Eimer's "Speak of the Devil" books--lots of humor, banter and a light sexy romp, but this time with superheroes. The book began this way as well, but there was threads that were far more serious in nature woven throughout.
For instance from the get go we get an idea of why a relationship between Dylan and Peyton would be a headache. She's a reluctant superheroine desperately trying to live a life of quietness and he's a (mostly) proud member of the "Safety for America" movement. A movement that severely wanted to limited the rights, privileges and lives of anyone who has superpowers.
While Dylan is presented as a rational guy just trying to protect his family, he does come off as a blind idiot who needed to understand the situation for himself instead of basing his responses on clearly biased information. And Eimer doesn't sugarcoat that; while Dylan isn't one of the yahoos running around with bombs he is one of guys defending that person's right while shunting aside the supers' rights to feel safe.
Near the middle this becomes a rather political book for all that's a paranormal romance. This wasn't a problem for me, except that other then Dylan and his friend Jimmy we don't see any sane "Safety for America" members. Dylan's ex-wife is a member (though I have a bit of a timeline issue here that I'll get to in a second), two extremists who go the terrorist route are members and we see the leader who [spoiler]is the biggest Supervillain ever known[/spoiler] and spends much of his time threatening Dylan's little girl to get him to do what he wants. Whether the group had legitimate arguments or not, it was completely and utterly washed aside by the lunacy of the majority of its members.
Quite honestly for a book that has many of its superhero'ed characters mentioning how much everyone hates them we see very few civilians--aka the general public--discriminating against the supers who are gadding about. For Superman's sake they hold a charity event that is bi-weekly and was only recently attacked as a plot point in book.
The timeline issue I mention is that Dylan's ex Aria shacked up with a super who's powers went haywire nearly burning her and Dylan's daughter alive. That was about a year ago. I'm not completely sure when this superhero thing broke out in the general public, but Dylan's been part of the "Safety for America" for a long time and Aria is also a part of that group. What's a little unclear if whether Aria has always been part of that group or if its a recent thing since her super ex nearly torched her or what. Like I said the timeline is a little wonky
Now for what I liked. Peyton. Shea. Jimmy. Liza. Dylan when he finally got his head out of his ass. In that order. We get a very strong sense of who Peyton is as well as what she was willing to do for those she cared about. And this was consistent. Dylan had a lot of views he had to change in order to be worthy of even thinking of being with Peyton, but Peyton was firm. Either take me as I or this isn't worth anything. Which she repeatedly tells Dylan even to the point of telling him to get the heck out of her life if he wasn't going to understand why it was important to her.
Jimmy, for all that he is a womanizing lech at times, had common sense enough to only worry about one thing: are you a threat to those I love? Its not made entirely clear why he's part of "Safety for America" (though he's a cop and they're apparently big supporters of that), but once he clears up that Peyton and her cohorts aren't the danger he's on board with the "Dylan you're an idiot" train for his thoughtless reactions.
For which we all agree, Dylan is an idiot.