Book review: Holding Out For A Hero by Victoria Van Tiem

16 Jan

9781447269748The problem with first love is that it never truly dies . . .

Libby London fell in love with the eighties, came of age in the nineties, and now the twenty-first century is baffling her. Her New-York-City style is more, erm, vintage tragedy than retro babe and her penchant for All Things Eighties might just be what’s holding her back in matters of life and love . . .

At least that’s what her well-meaning friends think. They’ve staged a #80sIntervention in an effort to bring Libby bang up to date. What with her dreaded birthday party, friends’ madcap ambush, and being forced to relocate her vintage shop, Libby’s nearing breaking point!

Will she ever be able to move on when the one she loves keeps her in the past?

Holding Out for A Hero is Victoria Van Tiem’s second novel, following on from the fun rom-com, Love Like the Movies that was published last year. When I saw the cover and title for this book, I couldn’t wait to read it. I can’t look at this book without Bonnie Tyler singing in my head so I knew I was in for a fun read from the start. And this is a fun and funny book packed with retro charm and a brilliant hit list of chapter titles. But the story also has a serious side; it has been described as a ‘romantic dramedy’ as leading lady Libby London tries to come to terms with the events of her past.

Libby is addicted to the 1980s. She owns a retro shop called Pretty in Pink and dresses to match her obsession! As the story begins Libby’s friends have decided to take it upon themselves to stage an intervention. They want Libby to update her look and to find a man so they stage an 80s intervention and theming their dates around the classic 80s movie, The Breakfast Club declare that Libby has to date an athlete, a criminal, a nerd and a princess. I loved the idea of the themed dates but felt quite sorry for Libby as she went on them as they veered from outright disaster to just bizarre! You’ll have to read the book to find out why but some of them will definitely make you smile!

Despite her friends best efforts Libby can’t seem to move on from her ideal of first love and with her birthday coming up and then the bad news that she needs to find a new location for her shop, Libby has some real soul searching to do. I found it interesting how the crazy adventures that Libby’s friends sent her on contrasted with the sadness Libby feels but strangely, the story gels together well and manages to be both light-hearted and serious at the same time.

My favourite character in Holding Out for a Hero is Libby’s colleague Jasper; he’s the 90s grunge rocker to her 80s pop princess and together they make a fab team running Pretty in Pink. He’s such a lovely character and at the times when I wondered if Libby’s friends really did have her best intentions at heart, Jasper was always there for her.

Holding Out For a Hero is a bittersweet retro-flavoured romance with a fantastic feel-good ending. I enjoyed travelling back to the 80s with Libby and I’ll look forward to seeing where Victoria Van Tiem takes us next.


Holding Out For A Hero is out now in paperback and ebook formats.

I’d like to thank the publisher for sending me a review copy of this book.

Find out more about Victoria and her writing at:

Twitter: @VVanTiem_author

LET’S HEAR IT FOR THE BOY- a FREE Prequel Short to HOLDING OUT FOR A HERO is available now on Wattpad (it’s FREE!)

HERO (1)


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