Publisher: Breathless Press
Publication Date: April 4, 2012
Genre: Superhero Fantasy
If you believe the rumors you know that Doctor Charm, the wickedly sexy super villain, retired in shame seven years ago after his last fight with the super hero Zephyr Girl. The fact that the charming Evan Smith—father of four and husband of the too-beautiful-to-be-real Tabitha—bears a resemblance to the defeated Doctor is pure coincidence. And, please, ignore the minions.
Everything is perfect in the Smith household, until Tabitha announces her return to work as a super hero. Evan was hoping to keep her distracted until after he rigged the 2012 presidential election, but—genius that he is—Evan has a backup plan. In his basement lab, Evan has a machine whose sole purpose is keeping Tabitha hungry for him.
But children and labs don’t mix. The machine is broken, and Tabitha storms out, claiming she no longer knows him. World domination takes a back seat to meeting his daughters’ demands to get Mommy back right now. This time his genius isn’t going to be enough—he’s going to need both his evil alter-ego, and the blooming super abilities of his children to save his wife. But even his most charming self might not be enough to save their marriage.
There’s pretty much nothing I can add to the synopsis plot-wise that wouldn’t be spoiler-y, so I’m going to leave it alone and dive right into things. I know, me with nothing to add?!
This little tongue-in-cheek (firmly) superhero story was a lot of fun. When I first read the synopsis, I remember thinking, ehh, how is Brooks going to make that funny with kids? As much as I generally like them, having one myself, I kind of think they can be story-killers sometimes. Here, something about 5-year-old quadruplets, a gorgeous semi-retired superhero mom and a she-thinks-he’s-retired super villain dad makes for great hilarity.
Evan, aka Dr. Charm, is such a cute, befuddled, mostly-villainous genius. I loved that the story was told from his POV because he’s got such a funny set of sliding morals. He knows why heshould be good but doesn’t really see why he has to be if he can find a way around it. He’s even got his evil laboratory in the basement complete with minions (led by the warty six-knuckled Hert). He adores his perfect wife Tabitha, aka Zephyr Girl, and plans to make sure she stays his. Because of the way the plot was structured, there wasn’t as much Tabitha in the book as Evan, but they had great chemistry and she was delightful as a working mom/superhero that came home to see what hubby made for dinner. I was so anxious to see if Brooks was doing any more books like this that I checked her website and saw that she’s working on Every Hero Needs a Villain, which is Tabitha’s story!
The four Smith daughters are freaking adorable. They’re like smarter, cuter, funny versions of the Power Puff girls (how many of those things were there?). It could be that it’s because when my brothers or I got yelled at, my mom never got our names right (yes, she called me by my brothers’ names), but I thought it was hilarious that Evan thought about which daughter was which by their eye colors and favorite color. With some sewing help from Evan, they put their superhero costumes together and come up with their own names and it’s priceless.
This is a long-ish novella and with novellas there’s usually something you expect to get shaved off. There were some little plot issues with Tabitha’s end of the story but they didn’t bother me as much as I expected because I was having so much fun with Evan. I could have used a little more at the end though. I wanted an extra chapter but I would have settled for another handful of paragraphs even.
My Summary: When done with some wit, I really enjoy books with a superhero theme and Brooks nailed it. There were quite a few times that I thought Dr. Charm would have had a terrific show on Nick at Nite (or his four girls should have their own show). I had so much fun reading this that I didn’t want to come to the last page, which made the abrupt ending a little more painful that it may have been otherwise. The rating got dinged a little for the issues with Tabitha and the ending but I still recommend this.
My Rating: B+