ARC Review: ★HERO★ by Samantha Young

HERO
Author: Samantha Young
Genre: Contemporary Romance (standalone)
Release Date: February 3, 2015
Length: 384 pages

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 she and her mother 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…

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Review
4 stars

The only thing I was starting to predict was that if I did by some miracle find a way to make Caine see who I really was, I was almost positive that I wasn’t going to come out of it unscathed.

There is nothing better for me than a hate to love trope. Nothing. I eat it up and ask for seconds and thirds. I will never get enough of it. Add into that equation a brooding business man and a fantastic heroine and you’ve got yourself a recipe for a terrific read!

If you’re a fan of Samantha Young’s writing, I can almost guarantee that you will love this standalone novel for her about finding love in the most unlikely of places.

…sometimes you’ve got to let yourself be vulnerable even when it’s the scariest thing in the world.

Alexa Holland is a succesful assistant to a photographer. She knows her job and she does it well. But her mother’s death recently has left her reeling, and the dirty family secret that it unearthed even more so. She idolized her father as a little girl, so to learn about the dirty details of his shameful past mistakes was a shock. To learn that his actions also ruined the lives of another family was even more so. So she writes her father out of her life and tries to live her life even though she still continues to feel like she’s living in the shadow of his sin.

This becomes glaringly obvious to her when she runs into the one person that her father hurt the most with his actions. A man whose life he ultimately ruined but still turned around to make himself an immensely successful and rich business man; Caine Carraway.

Even though she had nothing to do with her father’s decisions, Lexie wants to explain to Caine who she is and that she’s nothing like her father. Unfortunately her impulsive decision doesn’t quite pan out the way she wants when the only reaction she gets from Caine is disgust and the loss of her job in the process.

Lexie is definitely one tough cookie. This was the thing that I really loved about her character. She never crumbles under the weight of her troubles, she faces them head on. And that’s precisely what she does when she pushes her way into Caine’s office the next day and demands he hears her out. She’ll beg if she has to if it gets him to call her boss and get her job back and to see that she’s nothing like her father.

But Caine has a different plan in mind. He refuses to see past the sins of Lexie’s father, and he can make her pay for it…in the form of a job. She’ll no longer be jobless, but she’ll work for him…

Caine is a very intense character and he definitely doesn’t shy away from making Lexie feel like she’s below him. Luckily Lexie has a backbone and never fails to give as good as she gets.

Tomorrow you’ll receive your employment contracts. Once you sign those I’m your boss.” When I didn’t answer he said, “That means you act the way I want you to act. That means you shelve your attitude and the twenty questions.”
“Should I shelve those next to ‘personality’?”

Thus begins their intricate push and pull. I think this may have been my favorite part of the book. The banter between Caine and Lexie was fantastic. Caine was a straight up asshole at times, and Lexie always pushed his buttons right back. But beneath the obviously anger there was also this undercurrent of lust. Samantha Young did such a fantastic job writing that in without making it be too obvious or too sudden. The chemistry between them, though felt right away, is still a slow burn. And when they finally give into the inevitable?

Caine doesn’t thaw right away, not even close. The push and pull continues for a very large chunk of the book. There are times where even though you see that he’s drawn to Lexie, he’s still an asshole

I don’t know what this is you’re trying to do, but you and I are not the same.” He took another step back from me. “And I am not for you. I’m not your white knight. I’m just the guy who wanted to fuck you.”

I really enjoyed that part of the book, though. The progression of their relationship, considering their past, is a very realistic one, and I appreciated that. It takes Caine a while to really see Lexie and who she truly is and Lexie never gives up on him. The chemistry between them is absolutely sizzling. Miss Young can definitely write one incredibly sexy love scene.

This would have been a solid five star read for me if not for one small thing; Caine’s ‘secret’. There’s a lot of build up to why he is the way he is and why he doesn’t believe he can be the man for her. He continuously pushes her away because of this. But I have to say when the entire thing was finally revealed…I was left underwhelmed. It was this feeling of ‘that’s it? That’s what it was?’. For lack of a better word, it just seemed a little lame. Luckily that was such a small part and it didn’t really take away from my enjoyment of the books as a whole. I definitely really enjoyed this one and highly recommend to any fans of sexy contemporary romance that like their heroes a little intense with a dash of asshole

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