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Review: The Superheroes Union: Dynama by Ruth Diaz

The Superheroes Union: Dynama
Romance, Superheroes, GLBT
Ebook $3.99 (89 pages, CARINA PRESS)
What if your evil ex really was evil? TJ Gutierrez used to be a superhero. But after the birth of her twins seven years ago, she hung up the yellow spandex. Until the day her archenemy and ex-husband, Singularity, breaks out of prison. When it becomes clear he's after the kids, she's forced to call the nanny helpline—and once again become...Dynama! Annmarie Smith doesn't have a superpower. She saves the world by keeping kids safe while their parents fight evil. She temporarily moves in with TJ, and the way the magnetic mama puts family first captures Annmarie's respect, and maybe her heart—even though she knows better than to fall for a superhero. Still, it's hard to resist their wicked chemistry. Kapow! But they can only hide from the world for so long. When Singularity's quest for custody puts the kids' lives in danger, can the two women conquer the evil villain and save TJ's family—all before their first date?Author Site: n/a

Minimal Good vs. Evil + Lukewarm Romance = Bummer!  (2 stars)

As with a few of the titles I've reviewed recently I find myself citing the blurb as giving a great enough gist of the plot I don't have to summarize it myself. In boiled down basics THE SUPERHEROES UNION: DYNAMA's blurb lays it out. Former superhero mom, evil ex-husband-slash-arch-enemy father of her twin kids, babysitter to the rescue, romance, superhero custody battle, neat and tidy ending. Except that the ex isn't really all that evil, the babysitter spends more time ogling the mom's breasts and whining about her childhood than being really useful, and the mom herself seems very detached from it all.

I'm a geek for anything superhero related and thought I'd be getting something a little more Sky High or The Incredibles-ish with the family element. What I got was a pair of heroines I found very dislikable. Annmarie is bland, whiny, and well, what we geeks call a Mary-Sue. TJ has so many names, nicknames, and aliases (Heidi, Hidden Hand, Dynama, Terry, etc.) I was constantly confused who was being referred to. When I could figure it it was TJ who was being spoken of I found her to be completely 2 dimensional. There was a lot of telling the reader she cared about her kids and not a lot of showing. More dumbfounding to me was how TJ and Annmarie never had a moment of sorting out the girl-girl attraction, since TJ had obviously been married to a guy I expected there to be at least a moment where it would be noted between them that she was bisexual. (Yes, I admit this was my first lesbian romance so maybe I just don't know how these things are supposed to be done but it felt contrived to me personally because there was never any discussion of the matter).

The whole evil ex part of the plot was so slow and boring up until the end I almost didn't finish it. I honestly think this should have been a plot for an actual superhero comic book because it read like one without the pictures to pull it along. I honestly didn't want to review TSU:D because I felt guilty for not liking it and really don't want readers to think it had anything to do with it being a GLBT romance. I was actually thrilled to try a lesbian romance finally but found it lacked in the areas I would dislike whether the couple were m/m, f/m, or f/f, orientation really didn't matter here, unlikable characters and a lackluster plot just didn't sell me.

If you're looking for a superhero romance (as I was) I'd suggest a pass on this one. There's just too much focus on the politics of being a superhero and the couple are too unlikable as individuals to enjoy as romantic interests. If you're a fan of lesbian romance already you might like it but I honestly have no basis for comparison yet so I can't be a fair judge.

Other Reviews:
Dear Author
Smart Bitches, Trashy Books

Notes: Review Copy received via NetGalley.

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