Heroine Complex by Sarah Kuhn
Evie Tanaka is the put-upon personal assistant to Aveda Jupiter, her childhood best friend and San Francisco’s most beloved superheroine. She’s great at her job—blending into the background, handling her boss’s epic diva tantrums, and getting demon blood out of leather pants.
Unfortunately, she’s not nearly as together when it comes to running her own life, standing up for herself, or raising her tempestuous teenage sister, Bea.
But everything changes when Evie’s forced to pose as her glamorous boss for one night, and her darkest secret comes out: she has powers, too. Now it’s up to her to contend with murderous cupcakes, nosy gossip bloggers, and supernatural karaoke battles—all while juggling unexpected romance and Aveda’s increasingly outrageous demands. And when a larger threat emerges, Evie must finally take charge and become a superheroine in her own right… or see her city fall to a full-on demonic invasion.
Heroine Complex was completely different from what I was expecting, but still everything I was hoping for. It was exciting, funny, sexy, and full of heart.
The main way that this book was different from I expected is that it reads more like a romance novel than anything. The plot and pacing very much followed the romance formula, except that it happened to be about super heroes. I will say that it was mild for romance, which I prefer, though there was one incident of on-the-page sex. But the chemistry between Evie and Nate was palpable from the beginning, and I adored seeing them fall for each other.
As far as super hero stories go, I appreciated how unique this one was. There are only a smattering of people with powers as a result of a demon portal opening some years ago, but all of their powers are pretty wussy. Aveda doesn’t even use her power when fighting demons, she’s jut a straight-up badass. So that was a fun twist. The demons are also delightful. They come through the portal in swarms and take the form of whatever they see first. For example, cupcakes. I know, not too scary, but that’s kind of the point. Aveda’s lackluster superhero career makes her over-the-top diva attitude even more ridiculous.
Another great feature of this book is the OUTSTANDING banter. God, I love banter. Banter between friends, between people who are attracted but don’t want to admit it, between heroes and villains, it’s all hilarious.
I also appreciated that there are interesting, dynamic relationships other than the romantic ones. One of the most important is Evie’s relationship with her younger sister, for whom she is also a guardian. Evie and Aveda’s friendship, which has moved from healthy to toxic over the years, is also explored in detail. There’s some nice co-worker relationships that are sweet as pie. Honestly, it was super refreshing to read a superhero story that explored emotions and relationships on such a deep level.
I loved this book. I can see why it has so many negative reviews (mostly from men) on Goodreads, mainly because if you didn’t sign up for a romance novel you might REALLY hate it. But I adored it. Highly recommended for romance readers looking for a little variety, or superhero fans looking for some decent romance in their stories. Would probably not give to a Marvel fanboy.