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…
Samantha Young’s books are usually a no brainer for me. Whatever she writes, I read. I usually don’t even read the blurb. She had me with On Dublin Street and since then, I’m pretty much into anything she writes. So when I heard of Hero I was really excited. It’s been a long time since I’ve read a book with a Fifty-style billionaire and after reading the blurb, I was pretty much ready to give this book a try. I love this kind of romance where the characters go from hating to falling for each other. Then I read the first three chapters as a teaser, and well, it did its job because I was very much teased and going crazy over the fact that I had to wait to get my hands on this book.
“He was a complex mix of confidence and insecurities.”
I know the whole the-guy-is-an-asshole-but-I-still-can’t-resist-him aspect of this book will bother some readers. And I get it, sometimes I don’t like that too. But with Hero, it didn’t bother me because Alexa, in my opinion, gave as good as she got (when she could). I liked that she wasn’t too afraid or intimidated to still tell it like it is to Caine when he was being an asshole or completely unreasonable, and how patient she was with him. Yet again, it a book, so I was able to see the purpose of her enduring Caine’s sometimes abusive behavior towards her. And anyway, I usually like when the hero starts out as a jackass to gradually soften and reveal himself for who he is and so because of his feelings for the heroine.
“The truth was, even when he pissed me off I wanted him. And that made me even angrier.”
Something I really enjoyed about this book was the sexual tension between Caine and Alexa. The love/hate aspect of their relationship had a lot to do with it but the cherry on top for me was the fact that Alexa was bound to him by contract. Now some of you may find this weird, but I love it when the characters get themselves in situations where they have to sign a contract or arrangement that will force them to spend time with the each other. I find it’s the perfect set up for witty banter, close proximity, mounting sexual tension and deliciously awkward moments. And when all of these things lead to the inevitable “mistake-fuck”, I’m pretty much in book heaven. I just love it when the characters just can’t help themselves and forget about the fact that they “hate” each other to finally cave and go at each other. So I was really happy with this book because it has all of the above.
“Sometimes you’ve just got to let yourself be vulnerable even when it’s the scariest thing in the world.”
I liked the relationship between Alexa and Caine. I know some readers won’t feel that way at all and will point out the fact that the message about relationship and the behavior Alexa had in this book was appalling to them, pretty much like the comments there were about Miles and Tate’s relationship in Ugly Love but I didn’t feel that way. To me, Alexa was strong and yes, she went along with Caine’s will to have a fling even though it hurt her in the long run. But she was also strong enough to stop it after giving him a second chance. I wouldn’t say she was feisty but she wasn’t wimpy either and she didn’t let Caine walk all over her.
“I just wanted you, because despite what you might think, I see you. And no, you’re no fucking white knight, but you’re what I want.”
I liked their dynamic and how her being accepting and patient with Caine allowed him to slowly trust her and let her in. I’m not saying he wasn’t an abusing asshole with her at times or that his past was a good excuse for his behavior toward her, but he was still a good guy at heart, with serious self worth issues and she was intelligent enough to realize that his behavior sometimes was because he didn’t know how to deal with his feelings.
“What Caine needs is a woman who is not easily intimidated, persistent, and pretty much okay with bulldozing her way into his life.”
Like I said, I enjoyed Alexa’s character. She was also pretty much all of the above. She was witty and funny and I really liked her quick come backs and smart-assery. She often made me laugh with her answers to Caine’s broody personality and moody attitude. She’s the kind of heroine I enjoy because even though she is tough and funny, she was also able to be gentle and considerate with Caine and she could read him really well. She was able to see past the wall he had around him. But I liked that at times, she didn’t let him walk all over her feelings or be a jerk to him unpunished. I liked that she respected herself enough to let him know when he was being a jackass and that she wouldn’t have it.
“Turned out in the right situation, Caine being bossy was less annoying and actually very, very hot.”
Caine was hot. He is very flawed but let’s face it, that what we like most about characters like him. He was the perfect Christian Grey/Gideon Cross/Braden Carmicheal combo ever. I loved seeing him slowly open up to Alexa and seeing him care for her more and more at her contact. I especially liked it when we got to the heart of the matter when it came to his hang-ups about being in a serious relationship with someone. And boy, is he hot in bed (and out of it too)! I love his brand of alpha-male, all broody and take charge. The “mistake-fuck” at the office was pretty spectacular if you ask me but all the times after that were pretty amazing too.
“I fantasize about fucking you in this office a hundred times a day.”
However, I wasn’t really convinced by the epilogue. The fact that Caine’s name was replaced by the words “my husband” or “Baby” and the really predictable and let’s say it, cheesy twist really didn’t do it for me. I was feeling good with the ending until the last few pages of the epilogue where things went downhill when Alexa went all girly on me. Caine was cute but Alexa just wasn’t the same as she was in the book and I didn’t like the version of her that was in the epilogue. But if I overlook the epilogue of doom, I enjoyed this book and I’m glad I followed my gut and gave this book a go.
“I’m not looking for something else from life. I’m not looking for more. I’m not looking for a great adventure. I’m not looking, because I found it. You are my more. You are my great adventure.”