Rating: 5 stars
Buy Link:
Amazon | iBooks | Amazon UK
Length: Novel


Patrick hit it big when he landed the role of Captain Kismet in a major Hollywood movie. But filming the sequel has been a challenge, what with so much refilming due to last minute script changes. Patrick, his co-stars, and all the crew have been doing endless retakes on a soundstage in Birmingham, England. After a grueling series of reshoots, Patrick and the others decide to unwind at a club–undercover, of course. The studio bankrolling the Kismet films requires all employees to sign a morality clause; attending a drag performance at a club would certainly be out of bounds. Despite Patrick and his co-stars’ best efforts, however, they inevitably get recognized. Thankfully, before things have a chance to really escalate, a drag queen named Grace Anatomy sashays to the rescue.

Will never expected another day at the club performing as Grace Anatomy to be anything more than an affirmation of his community. However, when movie star Patrick gets caught in a compromising position at the club, Grace helps him and his friends sneak out without further ado. A single, fleeting brush with fame where Will saved the day was everything Will could have hoped such an encounter to be. To his endless surprise, Will actually meets Patrick again when the star pops into the bookstore where Will works with a request for a rare comic that puts these two in each other’s orbit. What unfolds from there is an unlikely romance that defies Hollywood’s expectations for a leading man. But it’s not all rainbows and roses. If Will wants a shot at being with Patrick, he must comply with a rigid NDA that puts Will firmly back in the closet. Not only that, but long ago Patrick agreed to sublimate his own queer identity for a chance at stardom.

We Could Be Heroes is a contemporary, opposite-sides-of-the-track, get-together story starring Will as an every man and Patrick as an up-and-coming superstar. It’s set in London; Will is from England and Patrick hails from America. That physical distance may separate them as much as social circles do, an eventuality that looms ever larger for the MCs. Despite being similar ages, they are both at very different stages in their lives. Over the course of the book, Will goes on a journey of discovering what his community means to him and what it means to be part of that community. Patrick, on the other hand, goes on a personal journey and must contend with what it means for him to be a closeted Hollywood star.

As far as the romance goes, these two have a good chemistry built on attraction and a mutual interest in books and comics. With Patrick being a movie star, the lovers have to do a fair amount of sneaking around and keeping things on the down low. That said, when they step away from Patrick’s world and spend time in Will’s, there’s a much greater sense of down-home charm. For example, spending time with Patrick means being holed up in hotel rooms accessed by service elevators, whereas time with Will means gathering around his stepsister’s kitchen table in mismatched chairs and sharing a meal. I think this shows that the two MCs are clearly clicking with each other, but highlights that while Patrick may fit snugly in Will’s life, Will will never fit into Patrick’s. Even when Will and his friends get invited to a private karaoke session with Patrick and his co-stars, they are only free so long as the plans are kept from prying eyes.

Sprinkled throughout the book are chapters that feature a different timeline and different characters. This alternate timeline is set in mostly post-World War II era America. It stars the creators of the original Captain Kismet comic, Charles and Iris, a gay man and a lesbian. Eventually, Charles and Iris’ story begins to echo with Patrick and Will’s story in the present day. For example, the original comic’s publisher finds out about Charles and Iris, which has major ramifications for their lives. This is reflected in Patrick’s time through the morality clause and NDAs he must sign with the studio. The creators of Captain Kismet took a gamble with the way they ended the original run of the comic in what’s know as the “Omega Issue.” This was a neat little device that actually kick-started Patrick and Will’s relationship and gave me hope that maybe finding the Omega Issue would give Patrick the leverage he’d need to break out of the closet.

The get-together elements of Patrick and Will’s story were fun, but I really liked the second half of the book when the timeline starts to take on more depth by more closely following Charles and Iris’ struggles. And a little later, there is a climactic scene between Patrick and Will that causes tension in their relationship. At this point, it was fast-and-furious reading for me, gripped by the portrayal of what queer people did to survive in a world where being outed as gay was a one-way ticket to being blacklisted or worse. I also really loved the growth Patrick and Will experience, learning how to stand up for himself in Patrick’s case and for his community in Will’s.

We Could Be Heroes starts off as a very generic Hollywood-star-meets-delightful-drag queen. I think this star-crossed lovers, feel-good story gets legs as the two MCs grapple with their individual struggles. The inclusion of an on-page backstory for the Captain Kismet comic was literally a tearjerker for me. If you like stories about opposites attract, or people overcoming self-imposed barriers to embrace who they are, then I think you will super enjoy We Could Be Heroes.