Title: Hero by Samantha Young
Genre: Contemporary, Romance
Book Rating: B
Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through NetGalley
The emotional and unforgettable new romance from the New York Times bestselling author of the On Dublin Street series.
Alexa Holland’s father was her hero—until her shocking discovery that her mother and she weren’t his only family. Ever since, Alexa has worked to turn her life in a different direction and forge her own identity outside of his terrible secrets. But when she meets a man who’s as damaged by her father’s mistakes as she is, Alexa must help him.
Caine Carraway wants nothing to do with Alexa’s efforts at redemption, but it’s not so easy to push her away. Determined to make her hate him, he brings her to the edge of her patience and waits for her to walk away. But his actions only draw them together and, despite the odds, they begin an intense and explosive affair.
Only Caine knows he can never be the white knight that Alexa has always longed for. And when they’re on the precipice of danger, he finds he’ll do anything to protect either one of them from being hurt again….
Hero by Samantha Young is an angsty and sizzling hot romance. This engrossing enemies to lovers novel has a gusty heroine that you can’t help but love and a brooding hero that you can’t help but dislike. Yes, I said dislike, in a “can he be any meaner, oh, no he didn’t (but yes he did) just say/do THAT and push her away AGAIN!” kind of way. Does this man have any redeeming qualities? Is our leading lady crazy for having faith that he does? My advice? Read this marvelous book and discover the answers for yourself (I promise you won’t regret it).
Alexa Holland and Caine Carraway share a very complicated and rather unpleasant history and this is just the beginning of the problems between this passionate but star crossed couple. Their first meeting ends with Alexa enraging Caine and losing her job, and in a shocking turn of events, he hires her as his personal assistant. Caine is determined to make her life miserable but no matter what wretched task he throws her way, Alexa refuses to let him force her into quitting. Underlying all of their volatile interactions is a blazing hot attraction that cannot be ignored. Alexa remains unflaggingly optimistic that they have a future together, but convincing Caine that they are right for each other is an exercise in aggravation (both for her and the reader).
Alexa is a strong, independent woman but in order to keep her job, she pretty much has no choice but to do whatever Caine wants. She gives in gracefully but she always manages to get in a snarky, sarcastic comment or two. She is good natured even when he infuriates her and she goes after what she wants. Alexa has doormat tendencies, so that makes it even sweeter when she finally stands up to Caine.
Caine is intense, successful and extremely career oriented. It is infuriating how cold and calculating he can be and his treatment of Alexa is absolutely appalling. There are a few tantalizing glimpses of his softer side, but he is pretty quick to erect emotional barriers after revealing a little vulnerability. In his favor, Caine is always honest and upfront with Alexa about what he wants from her but she continues to push him for more than he offers.
The relationship between Caine and Alexa is slow growing and their first encounter is lust-filled and extremely passionate. The pattern for the ensuing push/pull between them begins immediately with Caine pulling away and Alexa chasing after him. They mutually agree to a no strings affair, but their refusal to define their relationship leads to misunderstandings and jealousy. For every step forward they make, they wind up taking two steps back. This unending cycle is incredibly maddening and I hated to see Alexa keep faith in Caine no matter how many times he rejects her.
Despite a few frustrations, Hero is a very engaging and captivating romance. The storyline is refreshingly unique and the characters are three-dimensional with relatable flaws and imperfections. There is plenty of chemistry between Caine and Alexa and their sex scenes are blazing hot. Unexpected plot twists keep the novel moving at a brisk pace and Samantha Young brings the story to a realistic but very satisfying conclusion.