Series: Heroes at Heart #1
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Also by this author: Serial Love, Celebrating Love, Finding Peace, Thin Ice, Picking Up the Pieces
The true measure of a man is not in the mistakes he makes…but in how he handles those mistakes.
After leaving the Army, Zander King wants nothing more to do with being a hero. His life plan is to keep his nose clean, work hard to make his bar successful and avoid damsels in distress. Old habits died hard, though, so when a beautiful stranger walks into the bar to drink alone, his protective instincts kicked into high gear. It was a good thing too, because his was not the only eye she caught in his rough-side-of-town establishment.
When a man won't take no for an answer from her, Zander kicks him out, but he sends the woman, who doesn't belong there, packing too. Too late, he realizes his mistake in releasing the petite, vulnerable woman out into the neighborhood alone, when he finds her near death outside the bar at closing time.
Racked with guilt, Zander's conscience won't let him abandon her until he knows she'll be okay. At the hospital days later, his sleeping beauty, Jane Doe, finally wakes up, but she doesn't remember who she is or how she got there.
Zander vows to help her put the pieces of her memory back together, but would regaining her memory only put her in more danger?
A Heroes at Heart novel based loosely on the fairy tale, Sleeping Beauty.
Themes, language, and adult situations are similar to an R-rated movie. For 18+ years.
Zander is a bit of a different type of story from Jordan’s usual books. Its a retelling of sorts of Sleeping Beauty and it worked. Sleeping Beauty was never my favorite fairy tale. I mean, come on…woman just sleeping in the forest. Strange man finds her and decides “Yep, kissing her seems cool”, then they fall in love the moment her eyes open…yeah, there are SO many things wrong with this. But, Jordan managed to retell the story with a modern twist and fix some of the major plot holes with the original.
Zander is a former foster kid who now owns a bar called Grimm (get it!). One evening, he sees a woman in his bar who he thinks is too innocent looking for her own good. He asks her to leave. She gets assaulted in the parking lot. Zander feels a huge amount of guilt over it. First, she wasn’t actually doing anything wrong but he made her leave anyway. Second, he was attracted to her on some level and that was part of the reason he wanted her gone. Third, it happened in his bar. She ends up in a coma and he comes to the hospital to read to her. Its very touching!
I did tear up a few times-Zander’s past is difficult and totally pulled at my heartstrings. His care for everyone around him is remarkable and made me wish everyone had a person like him in their lives. Rosalie is a likable character (once she is awake!) and I thought her and Zander handled everything, even miscommunications, with maturity. It was relaxing to read a story that wasn’t fully to new adult angst, miscommunications, and drama llamas. Zander is a sweet twist on a classic tale, with characters that are truly enjoyable.
- POV: 3rd
- Tears: yes
- Trope: fairytale retelling
- Triggers: View Spoiler »What happened to her is not detailed, but she is assaulted and beaten badly enough to end up in a coma, so this might be a trigger for some readers « Hide Spoiler
- Series/Standalone: stand alone
- Cliffhanger: View Spoiler »no « Hide Spoiler
- HEA: View Spoiler »yes with multiple epilogues « Hide Spoiler
Other retellings like Wasted Words by Staci Hart, A Kingdom of Dreams by Judith McNaught, Equal Parts by Emma Winter…then you will probably like Zander!