Author: S.A. Sommers
Series: Cape and Cowl, book 1
Publisher: Independent (December 1, 2021)
Kindle edition, 297 pages
Romance, Adult contemporary romance, superheroes
A knock on the door in the middle of the night means nothing but trouble.
Especially when the door belongs to Registered Villain ™ Rook. But when Rook—alias Oliver Coburn—opens the door, it’s so much worse than he thought. Gladiator, Far Moor City’s main Registered Heroes ™ is standing there, bleeding to death.
Villains aren’t supposed to help Heroes.
Oliver isn’t a Big Bad, though. He’s a small time villain who enjoys complex and nuanced crimes, and his own personal code won’t let him let Gladiator die on his doorstep. Not to mention the man was gorgeous and muscled and… now sleeping on his couch.
Gladiator–alias Cassian Rossilli–doesn’t remember much between the (obviously) roofied drink and showing up at Rook’s doorstep, just about dead.
Heroes aren’t supposed to ask Villains for help.
But his obsession with Rook wound up being the thing that saved him. It was the only address he could remember when the drug took affect—he’d spent the past few years finding out who Rook was and everything little thing about adorable twinkish villain. He knew that Rook was an old-school gentleman thief, and that trust saved his life.
Except now, Oliver and Cassian are stuck with the city thinking Gladiator is dead, the Villains of the Department of Villainous Affairs starting to get out of control, and series of fires and explosions that no one is taking credit for. More, the tension between them is firing up and it’s going to explode as well: Cassian and Oliver are falling for each other.
Heroes and villains don’t mix.
AHHHHH this book is so good! OK, so I knocked half a star off for several typos or places where the story sort of repeated itself or in one instance seemed to suddenly jerk a conversation completely in another direction. Nothing a solid edit couldn’t fix.
Someone in a Facebook group I’m in asked for a book where there are two enemies, and one shows up at the other’s doorstep bleeding and half dead and is like “I didn’t know where else to go.” Someone recommended Petty and yup, there is pretty much EXACTLY this scene – all the more delicious because it’s a hero showing up on the doorstep of a villain in this fun alternate reality where superheroes exist and belong to societies with rules and quotas (which made me think of Dr. Horrible’s Sing Along Blog).
I really love Oliver aka Rook. He’s the sort of mischievous yet lovable scamp type of villain that makes me think of DC’s Harley Quinn, or Marvel’s Gambit who sort of walks the line between hero and villain. For a bad guy, he’s just so good. And then there’s Cassian aka Gladiator, who is this clean-cut, upstanding hero who seems like he might be kind of boring on the surface, but then he’s got a lot going on underneath. Toss them together and add in a little “he’s supposed to be my mortal enemy” drama in with a whole lot of chemistry and attraction and POW! This book packs a real punch.
This is the first book in the Cape and Cowl series and can be read as a stand-alone. S.A. Sommers notes in the afterward that this was the book they wrote during all the Covid chaos and upheaval that got them out of their writer’s block. Goodreads lists a second book in the series, Flying Foul, with no release date as of yet but I am VERY MUCH looking forward to it. In the meantime, I’ll definitely be checking out some of S.A. Sommers’ backlist!