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Thursday, August 1, 2013

#Romance VBT and #Review: Searching for Superman by Ute Carbone #CBLSpromos

Searching for Superman
by Ute Carbone
Contemporary Romanctic Comedy
Publisher: Champagne Books
Release Date: June 3, 2013
Heat Level: Sensual
Word Count/Length: 55,000 words/166 pages

Available at:
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Stephanie Holbrook has finally found a job she really loves: working as an assistant to Conrad Finch in a small regional theater that’s about a three dollars and a power outage from being torn down. Stephanie wishes her love life would be as perfect as her job. She’ll be thirty on her next birthday and she still hasn’t found Mr. Right.  According to Stephanie, Mr. Right has to be strong and brave, with great values and good looks. A guy a lot like Superman. 

When Doug Castleberry shows up at her niece’s birthday party dressed as Superman, Stephanie is positive he’s not the real deal. Sure, he’s great with kids and he’s kind of cute. But he’s just a high school teacher making extra money by dressing up for kid’s parties. Hardly the strong, brave, and drop-dead gorgeous guy she’s looking for.

As the theater teeters ever closer to the edge of disaster, Doug proves to be a better man than Stephanie had ever imagined. Could he be the Superman she’s been looking for all along?

As though her frustration had been carried across the airwaves, a white van with a castle stenciled to its side pulled into the Spellman’s driveway as Stephanie hung up. None too soon. She surveyed the damages. All the balloons had been popped. The presents had been opened in an attempt to restore order among the birthday guests. Wrapping paper was strewn across the floor in three rooms. Some of the girls were playing catch with a new Barbie doll. And several other children were using a new jump rope as a makeshift whip.

Steve had taken Max, who had somehow fallen asleep despite the ruckus, upstairs for a nap. Liz was attempting to clean bits of cookie dough from the counters and floors. Stephanie squared her shoulders, ready for a showdown with the belated Cinderella.

She marched down the driveway, ready to tell the Castle Creature just what she thought of abhorrently tardy behavior, when out of the van jumped Superman.

He didn’t look so much like Superman as a man dressed for a Halloween party. He was too short for a superhero, for one, only a few inches taller than Stephanie. He was more wiry than muscular. He was cute, though. He had a full head of light brown curly hair and nice eyes. Not blue, like Christopher Reeve’s had been, but hazel. The eyes were looking right at her.

“Spellman?” he asked. When she didn’t answer, he smiled apologetically. “The GPS in the van isn’t working. And this development is a maze. I felt like I was in an episode of Lost. In which I was really lost. I figured I’d eventually run out of gas and Jane would have to put out an APB.” He looked at Stephanie with those hemlock eyes again. “Sorry.”

“You are not supposed to be Superman.”

“What?” He went to the van and drew a paper off the seat.

“I’m sure. Yup. Says right here. Superman.”

She took the paper from him and crumbled it. “You are supposed to be Cinderella.”

“No.” He looked at her with a combination of horror and confusion. “Cinderella?”

“It’s a princess party. So you better have Cinderella in that van of yours.”

“It’s not my van. And, no, I don’t have Cinderella hiding under the backseat.” He gave her a no-harm-no-foul sort of shrug.

“Let me call Jane.”

Stephanie waved her cell phone at him. “What do you suppose I’ve been doing for the last hour?”

“Okay, okay. She’s probably... Let me go back to the shop, see what I can do.”

He turned to get back into the van. She gave his cape a tug. “You are not leaving. You can’t leave. There are twenty-five children terrorizing my sister’s house and you have to stop them.”

“You’re not Liz Spellman?”

“No. I’m her sister. It doesn’t matter. You get in there and do whatever it is you do or I’ll get you fired.”

“That would be great,” said Superman. “Seriously, if you could get me fired.” He smiled. She glared at him. “Twenty-five?”

She nodded and he shook his head. “No offense to your sister, but is she nuts? The kid is five, right? All the magazines say age plus one.”

***Nona’s Review*** 

(Disclaimer: I purchased this book myself.)

This story was a fun read made more enjoyable by two very likable main characters. Discovering that the story takes place in my stomping grounds of upstate New York was a pleasant surprise. Stephanie’s bad experience with a former boyfriend has made her reluctant to risk her heart again. When she tells her sister that her ideal man is “Superman”, I had to roll my eyes. What mortal man can fill those shoes? Or should I say, can fill out that costume. Having Doug, the hero, show up at her niece’s party dressed as the Man of Steel was a cute turn of events.

Doug’s taken with Stephanie right away, but she’s a hard sell. Doug may not have super powers, but he’s smart, good looking, a devoted teacher and all around good guy. Still, he finds himself firmly in the friend zone.  Stephanie, in the meantime, is wooed by a local rocker and a hunkalicious firefighter while trying to save the local theater where she’s employed.

Stephanie’s boss Conrad and Conrad’s crabby mother are among the supporting characters that add to the fun.  The efforts to save the theater, a local landmark, from demolition and to make it a thriving concern in the community make an interesting subplot. There’s even a bit of mystery as our hero and heroine realize that someone is actively trying to undermine their efforts to save the theater. Oh, and did I mention that a wackadoodle named Merry becomes obsessed with Doug?

I only wish there hadn’t been quite so many obstacles in the way of Doug and Stephanie, and that the author had allowed them to get together sooner before the “black moment” that temporarily tore them apart. I was a bit irked that Stephanie made Doug wait so long before realizing he was “the one” and I wish Doug had given his inner nice guy a kick in the pants and been more assertive with her.

Though the heat rating of the story is sensual, in my opinion it’s fairly mild.  The one lovemaking scene between Doug and Stephanie is short and not explicit. I’d recommend Searching for Superman to any reader who enjoys light, sweet romance with a generous dash of humor.

About the Author:
Ute (who pronounces her name Oooh-tah) Carbone is a multi-published author of women’s fiction and romance. Her romantic comedy, The P-Town Queen, was selected as Champagne Books novel of the year for 2012. She and her husband reside in Nashua, NH. They have two grown sons.

Connect with Ute Carbone
TellingStories (available daily via Paper Li) 

Follow the Searching for Superman blog tour here

Have a wonderful weekend, all!
Nona Raines
Hot Contemporary Romance
Edgy ~ Emotional ~ Erotic

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