In this love story, a chance encounter brings two doctoral candidates together just as they’re about to make the dumbest mistakes of their lives.
Patrick Murphy was considering becoming a priest when an awkward encounter with a so-called friend changed the course of his career. Now he’s engaged to Bianca Alfaro, a manipulative and demanding princess who is determined to drag him down the aisle at any cost. Their relationship devolves in both hilarious and heartbreaking ways as Patrick discovers that the way to his heart is through his head when he meets his intellectual match. Hero Delphinia Fairchild is working as an advice columnist while pursuing her doctorate in psychology when she and Patrick are paired on a class assignment. That the heroine of the story is named Hero is the first of many literary allusions and jokes about romance novels. Although the characters quote Wordsworth and visit museums, they’re not sensible enough to listen to their hearts. Scandal, misunderstandings, and bad decisions ensue as Patrick fights his lust for Hero while she grows dangerously attached to her needy boyfriend, Kamal. But Hero happily indulges Patrick’s wanderlust as they tour California, England, Spain, and Morocco while Bianca and Kamal jealously wait for them to call home. Throughout Questman’s (The Misadventures of Double Dog Darrenger & Gappy Jack Daniels, 2016) novel, the multilingual characters have lively snippets of conversations in Gaelic, Spanish, French, and, Arabic, with translations provided in a glossary at the end of the absorbing book. A variety of topics, including literature, opera, religion, psychology, history, and the couple’s mutual love for cats, makes their conversations all the more enjoyable, especially when shared with memorable minor characters like Hero’s artist mother, Lorena, and her protective brother, Dante. Although they are initially set up as adversaries, Hero and Patrick discover early on that they have more in common with each other than with their current partners, and this inspires them to actively pursue what they truly want instead of living to please others.
A provocative thesis that develops into a riveting dissertation on true love.