Sweet fantasy tale about a construction worker who wanders into an "oasis" - sort of an alternate universe - in L.A. while on a job. Well-written and imaginative, but didn't strike the same "romantic" chord as "Special Delivery" did with me. This may have been because the whole fantasy explanation supplanted the romance in spots. Enjoyable read, though.
MILD SPOILERS FOLLOW:
Hal is a definitely-in-the-closet construction worker who has fled his Midwestern home hoping to find a different vibe to his life and run away from his deep-seated Catholic guilt over his sexual preferences. He works at a construction site and sees a strange building wink in and out of existence. He leaves the site, determined to forget about the bizarre things he's seen, only to be pulled into an alternative universe fantasy world by a strange woman/fox creature who urges him to find "Morgan."
Morgan, it turns out, is a rare form of shape-shifter who creates the space around himself - the oasis. But Morgan is being held captive of an evil being who thrives on giving his victims as much of their own pain as he can. Hal falls for Morgan, and is caught up in the strange world. As the title implies, he must become Morgan's "hero" to save the beautiful shifter.
For me, especially coming on the heels of reading "Special Delivery," which I rank as my all-time sexiest M/M slash novel (*fans self*), this novella was a bit of a disappointment. The sex scenes didn't rise to the level of that later work, and the love that develops between the men is a bit rushed (although, to be fair, that's part of the fantasy itself). But I'd have liked more explanation of the emotions involved. Still, it's a fun, relatively-quick read, and as always, it's well-edited and cleanly written, which is why I've rounded up to a 4-star here.
Shira Anthony (a.k.a. Sarah Alexander)
Author of "From the Depths"