by Racy Li, paranormal (2008)
Loose Id, $5.99, ISBN 978-1-59632-787-0
She Knows His Secret is a superhero romance set in the same setting as Ninja. To sum things up, the superheroes are humans who had been given powers by aliens that came from another planet in order to help Earth deal with alien invasions and other threats, and they form the Planetary Protection Agency (PPA). Alas, there is no Billy Butcher in this story to liven things up.
Meet Marcus Bruhn. He's a superhero, with his alter-ego Centurion having this ability to fly and smash things using his extraordinary strength. He's not to be confused with Superman, though, because the Centurion is the one wearing the golden helmet. Which I'm sure is way cooler than red underpants worn over blue spandex leggings. When the story opens, he's in berserk mode because his girlfriend Audrey Chao had only recently dumped him. Unknown to him, Audrey had known for a while now that he is the Centurion. The poor dear was close to breaking point because she couldn't take the stress of worrying about him anymore. The straw that broke the camel's back was a recent superhero mission of his that saw him disappearing without any news for three weeks. Audrey thought he was dead, so when he showed up alive and well and showed no sign of wanting to confide in Audrey his secret, she had enough and kicked him out of her life. Poor Marcus is now all lost and miserable without his girlfriend. Can you blame him for going on a mad rampage and channeling his fury at hapless evil alien invaders?
She Knows His Secret is so much better than Ninja than it is as if two different people have written the two books. Ninja is more like a silly sex-heavy parody of a comic book while She Knows His Secret is like a Marjorie M Liu story given a heavier dose of sexually explicit scenes. It is a most pleasant surprise to discover how much I enjoy this one because when I first opened this book, I was hoping for some silly laugh-a-minute inane fun like what I found in Ninja. This one has a meatier plot, lots of action scenes, and sex scenes that fit in very well in the context of the story. Oh, and a hero who is so adorable in his crazy/romantic demented way.
Marcus is so, so, lost without Audrey, just as he is so deeply in love with that woman that I find him a most delicious kind of hero. He's like Heathcliff in spandex minus the self-destructive tendencies. I'm torn between wanting to check whether he wears underpants under his spandex tights and giving him a hug because he's so melodramatically lost without his girlfriend, awww. I love a big puppy-like guy who loves his girlfriend so utterly and pathetically when he's not going on a macho rampage breaking things and such.
The pretty big problem with this story is Audrey. Oh, it's not that she is stupid, instead she comes off like a very self-absorbed twit with no sense of priorities when she focuses on the fact that Marcus "lied" about his identity to the world as a reason why she can't trust him. Hello, she knows that he's out there risking his life to save the world from the evil Joran aliens, so if the man has to lie, I'd think this is one of the best reasons he has to lie. It's not as if he wears her underpants when she's not around and neglects to wash them after he's done with them. For a long time, she behaves like a self-absorbed silly creature who makes the poor adorable big lug Marcus sport a big sad face.
Still, all things considered, She Knows His Secret is a most entertaining fun read. I'd suggest not thinking too hard about the plot while reading this because this is not that kind of story. Just try to sit back and enjoy like I did.
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