Title – Hero
Author – Samantha Young
Publication Date – February 3, 2015
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 definitely holds your next CEO book boyfriend. Caine is YUM! When he is thrown together with Alexa, they couldn’t seem more opposite. As they spend time together Samantha Young reveals just how similar these two really are. Their journeys are vastly different but it is clear that these two are kindred spirits. I loved the way Samantha allowed this couple to fall together. It was so natural and unhurried. Neither of them was forced to stray from their true character, even when it meant pushing each other to the breaking point. If anything, their strong personalities clashing served to fan the flames of the fire burning between Caine and Alexa.
“I stared at him, this man who help up an armored shield so high in the hopes that nothing would penetrate it. But call it intuition or call it wishful thinking, I believed I could see past that shield of his – like I could feel the emotion he fought so hard to hide.”
Samantha Young did a fantastic job with the character development in Hero. Alexa was a girl after my own heart. She is feisty and independent and stubborn as hell. Even as her world crashes down around her, she is looking for her next adventure. Beneath all the sass and sarcasm we eventually get to see the depth of her emotions and the true weight of her past. I adored that Samantha allowed her to be both vulnerable and strong. It gave her an authenticity that let me connect with her. Caine on the other hand was a mystery and his walls of steel gave Alexa a run for her money when it came to being hard headed. The way they challenged one another led to some hilarious banter and plenty of sexy fun times that just filled this story with life and color.
“Don’t ruin this. Outside these walls, life is so fucked right now. This here… it’s the only thing I have. Don’t ruin it.”
While the CEO falling for the average girl is certainly a popular storyline, I appreciated the unique spin Samantha Young gave this story. The way Caine and Alexa’s histories were interwoven and the nature of the challenges they faced together were certainly not something I’d seen before. For the most part, the story was well paced. It dropped off a bit for me briefly in the middle where so many questions lingered and not a lot of action was occurring in regards to uncovering each other’s secrets. The story soon picked back up and took off running, holding my attention hostage until the last page. Samantha clearly has a gift for descriptive imagery, charming storylines, and putting her readers into the hearts and minds of her characters. I definitely found myself attached to this couple and am already sad to let them go.
Hero is my first jump into Samantha Young’s writing and if it’s any indication of what she is capable of, I will surely be reading the rest of her work. This book was full of sexual tension, intrigue, and lots of sassy banter. A stubborn hero combined with a take no nonsense female seems to be the perfect combination and proved to be what hit the right spot!
“Caine Carroway in a business suit was gorgeous. Caine Carroway out of a suit was sexy as hell.”
The novel introduces us to Alexa immediately being thrown into a high-stress situation. I really appreciated that we got a feel for her character right off the bat. The reader could tell that she was a compassionate woman who wore her heart on her sleeve, but that didn’t mean that she would allow people to walk all over her. She had her insecurities and learned how to grow from them. I also liked that she didn’t try to hide who she was with Caine; she was honest and in that moment I knew that I would love her. When we meet Caine, he is so standoffish and brooding that it drove me crazy. I have a soft spot for that cocky, arrogant attitude so his whole demeanor just pierced through me. I could completely understand women’s attraction to him because those actions and attitude happen to be my weakness as well. However, it provided for tremendous character growth from beginning to end and I enjoyed being able to see his transformation.
“As sad as it was, sometimes there really was too much damage between people. Sometimes we were better apart than we were together.”
The chemistry between these two characters was off the wall. Even in that initial meeting and the information that was divulged, Young writes them in a way that just screams sexual tension, and it only escalates. When Alexa and Caine come together, it was like bombs exploded and I sucked up every single juicy moment! However, I adored the banter between the two and often found myself chuckling. There always seemed to be something to argue about, whether mundane or important. It made the dynamic between them really special though. It was never without its purpose in the greater realm of things.
“Didn’t you once tell me that people aren’t just one thing? You’re so much more to me than anything you might have done in the past.”
I also really appreciated the underlying storylines that created Hero. It wasn’t just about the romance and the overcoming of difficult obstacles. The story had these two lives that intertwined in ways beyond their control and it became about finding forgiveness. Hero raised questions on how to not be angry at the ripple effect one person’s actions can have. I was incredibly intrigued and hooked throughout the story, especially as it delved deeper into their time together. Alexa and Caine both forced the other to grow and really evaluate their own demons.
“I don’t believe you can make a firm decision to just forgive. Sometimes forgiveness can be won back, but there’s no one left around to earn that from me.”
I think that this book could have gone wrong in many ways; but, I think that Young executed a perfect balance of actual story line with steam factor and intrigue. She created two unforgettable characters who fought like mad, but loved even crazier. Every time they butted heads, the reader could so clearly see it was sexual tension and a mutual attraction. There is an addictive component to the storyline that kept me turning the pages and I couldn’t wait to get to the bottom of all the secrets that were piling up. Overall, Hero by Samantha Young was a white knight hero and it could save me any time!
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Don’t miss the companion novella:
Villain (Hero #1.5)