3:30 pm EDT, June 20, 2018

‘Bolt’ book review: Angel Payne puts romance first in this superhero story

Romance is common in superhero stories, but superheroes are rare in romance. At least I’ve never read one. If there’s a bevy of superhero romance books out there that I’m missing, someone please send me a list.

Bolt tells the story of Reece Richards and Emmalina Crist, the woman that changes the way he lives both as a man and a superhero. He used to flit from city to city, country to country, living up his rich, entitled existence, until he met the wrong woman. After a short, tortured existence, and a timely escape, he reappeared on the scene. Less a playboy, more a masked vigilante, working to make L.A. safer for everyone.

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Enter Emma Crist and her determined and authentic personality. She catches Reece’s eye within seconds of their meeting and the rest is… well… Bolt. Read on for all my excited superhero romance thoughts.

I’ve never read a book with a superhero that was romance first. Just about every comic book movie has some sort of romantic interest to it, but that story always comes secondary to the running around, fighting bad guys, and preserving their alternate identity. Then, I read Bolt.

This book is definitely romance-first. And I love it. The backstory of how Reece came to be so electric is fascinating, and the looming threat of the Consortium and Angelique La Salle definitely has me anxious to read the rest of the Bolt Saga, but Emma and Reece’s relationship is the part of the superhero story that always gets sidelined for more action. Not this time. They are the centerpiece of this story. No matter what horrors come next (as there undoubtedly have to be), or what else goes on to complicate their love story, I love that this book is ultimately about how this man with power beyond his own imagination finds a woman who makes it all worthwhile.

This story is definitely for adults, as Reece and Emma’s sex-capades are downright electrifying (especially that first time *wipes brow*), but that’s just another way this book amps up the aspects of the superhero story we all love to think about. I can’t even begin to tell you how many times I’ve heard people ponder how Superman and Lois Lane have sex without him hurting her. Or how The Flash or Magneto (or basically any of the X-Men) can use their powers to give their significant others a totally different kind of sex. It’s part of the fun of imagining humans with powers. We want to think about how those powers affect EVERY aspect of their lives, not just their crime fighting.

I am beyond eager to know what comes next for Emma and Reece. I was so happy with the choices he made in this book. They weren’t necessarily the same choices we’ve seen superheroes make when it comes to the girl (or boy) they love, but that’s just one of the ways that Reece and his alter-ego, Bolt, are different from your average, run-of-the-mill superhero. Reece makes a choice that puts Emma first in his life, and I definitely swooned as I read his daring decision.

We are lucky that there is more to come for Bolt and Emma, what with Part 4 already available! I haven’t had a chance to dive in yet, but rest assured I am eager to see what comes next for Reece, Emma, and the enemies that will definitely try to force them apart.

Bolt: Parts 1, 2, 3 is available now on Amazon and Barnes and Noble, as well as the next chapter, Part 4!

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