Published by Piatkus on February 3rd 2015
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Buy on Amazon US • Buy on Amazon UK
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…
*I received an ARC of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review*
I loved the books in the On Dublin Street series, and the In to the Deep duet, so when I heard about Hero I was really excited to read it! The book started off really well. I loved Alexa, she was a strong, sassy heroine who wasn’t afraid to speak her mind and stand up for herself. She was an outcast in her fathers very rich family, only acknowledged by her grandfather but even that was behind closed doors, never in public. Her father was the black sheep of the Holland family, and had been disowned by them many years ago. One of his past discretions involved Cain’s mother, which means that to Caine Carraway, Alexa is public enemy number one.
Caine is a hugely successful business man, and very alpha male. Alexa is determined to make sure that Caine realises she is nothing like her father, and that she shouldn’t be judged on the sins of her father. This results in battle of wills with Caine doing his best to push Alexa away whilst Alexa does her best to get under his skin. I loved the push and pull between them, and their chemistry was electric. Samantha Young knows how to turn up the heat in her books, and this one was no exception!
I was really enjoying this book until about half way through. Caine’s refusal to acknowledge he wanted anything from Alexa other than sex began to wear thin. He wanted the all the benefits, but he didn’t want to be in a relationship with her, however he couldn’t stand anyone else looking at her and would go all alpha male on her. He messed with her head, and blew hot and cold so much I got whiplash from his mood swings. I had tears brimming at the cold way Cain treat Alexa sometimes, it was so infuriating! Alexa had started off a really strong woman but then turned into a doormat and I just couldn’t get on board with that. I had wanted them to have their HEA but by the end I was really hoping Alexa would just tell him to do one! I wanted him to feel the pain of being rebuffed and turned away, he certainly deserved it!
*I received an eARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*
When I first heard Samantha Young was coming out with a new contemporary romance novel I was super excited. I’ve been a huge fan of hers since I first read On Dublin Street and continued to with each new book in that series. When I read the blurb of Hero I was super excited to meet new characters and delve into a new world, so when I saw it was available on Netgalley I jumped on it as soon as possible.
I started reading and flew through the first half of it. The sexual tension and history between Caine and Alexa was great and really kept me reading in the beginning. Their history was really interesting and super intense to read about. Because of that I enjoyed uncovering all the layers of what happened in the past and seeing these two characters struggle with being in each other’s presence because of it but still wanting to be near each other. Since the story was in Alexa’s POV, you always knew how she felt and her motivations, but Caine was a slight mystery. He was totally an alpha male who didn’t express his feelings well or at all and I was right there with Alexa being frustrated at times because of that, which was definitely more of an issue in the second half of the book.
Like all of Samantha’s romance novels, Hero was definitely another hot one! Could definitely feel the sexual tension in the beginning and the hot chemistry throughout. And I loved how Henry, Caine’s friend, just fanned the flames between Caine and Alexa by flirting with Alexa in front of Caine. In general, I love how Samantha writes these hot sex scenes but yet her stories don’t include all the sexual encounters. The story is always the main focus and I really appreciate that when reading. Because let me tell you if she did include all of them in Hero it would definitely have gotten old really fast.
Once the book got to the halfway point though it definitely slowed down. Caine and Alexa were in the swing of their affair but yet Alexa wanted more without scaring Caine. While that had its moments it definitely didn’t drive my interest in the book as much. The history with Alexa’s family was more interesting and I would have enjoyed seeing more of that sooner in the book.
The last portion of the book was definitely more exciting and interesting in my opinion. Caine could have used a swift kick in the ass at times and Alexa showed way more patience than I would have but the events that occurred were interesting. Definitely made me read faster to see how everything played out.
Overall, I thought Hero was good but not necessarily on par when compared to the On Dublin Street series. While Caine was hot and everything, his broody, alpha male character was just okay. With that said I did enjoy the story involving Caine and Alexa’s families and how that played into their relationship and their characters. I would be interested to see if Samantha comes out with another book set in this world!
Hero by Samantha Young is published by Piatkus in paperback and eBook. You can find of all Samantha Young’s titles in the Kobo website here: https://store.kobobooks.com/