Author: Samantha Young
Published: February 3rd 2015 by NAL
Source: Copy sent by the publisher for an honest review
"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…"
First line: "This wasn't happening."
Thoughts: Okay, I know what you guys are thinking. With the 50 Shades movie coming out this weekend, this book kind of sounds similar to it. Well, you wouldn't be wrong in this assumption, but that's where it ends. HERO is so much better and definitely more well-written than it's, oh let's call 50 Shades it's distant cousin twice removed. There's a reason samantha Young is one of my favorite authors, and HERO is just another example as to why.
First off, Alexa (known to those closest to her as Lexie) is really just having a bad go at life. She just lost her mother and is dealing with the crippling fact that her life isn't what she thought it was. After finding out what her father did to the Carraways, she decides to cut him off completely. The only connection she has with the Hollands now is through her grandfather, a relationship which can easily be summed up in one word: Complicated. It's not until she meets Caine that she realizes how insanely convoluted her life truly is.
What I love about this novel, and the author in general, is that she wastes no time in getting right to the punch. HERO immediately starts off with a double dose of intrigue, followed by a couple of seconds of sexiness, and then a bit of a "What the heck was that" moment. You see, Caine absolutely despises the Hollands, and it doesn't matter what kind of person Alexa is or what she does- He simply cannot and will not give her a chance. Alexa, being the fabulous woman she is, slowly begins to bring down his walls. It's not because she's attracted to him or feels guilty (even though she is), part of her just wants him to see past her family name.
In a way, this novel kind of reminds me of PRIDE AND PREJUDICE, but only if you retitle it PRIDE, MORE PRIDE, AND SOME PREJUDICE. Caine is completely hell bent on hating Alexa, but it's obvious he's attracted to her. His jealous outbreaks are insane, yet also slightly hot. I found the instances where Henry was clearly messing with Caine humorous. Speaking of Henry, I have to say that of all of the characters in this novel, he was my favorite. I loved his witty banter with Alexa and just genuinely enjoyed his personality. He brought this lightheartedness to the story the other two couldn't, and I'm not sure I would have loved HERO as much as I did without him.
Needless to say, though I love standalone novels, I'm disappointed that there won't be a follow-up told through Henry's point of view. How fantastic would that have been? I'm also fairly certain this would've been Young's most comical novel yet. Alas, the story comes full circle, so while the hope is there, I'm not going to put all of my eggs in one basket.
Overall, I think fans of Young's ON DUBLIN STREET series will devour and enjoy HERO. The author has this way of forcing you into loving people, even if you want to hate them, and savoring every minute of it! Witty and downright sexy, this is a book you'll want to curl up ASAP. More, please!
Happy Valentine's Day! To celebrate one of my absolute favorite holidays (yes, it's a holiday!), I am giving away an ebook of HERO via Amazon. To enter, comment below and let me know which book boyfriend/girlfriend you'd like to spend this Valentine's Day with. Be sure to leave an email address, so I know who to gift the book to. This one will be a quickly, so the winner will be notified on February 16th. US Only.
Good luck, and may the odds be ever in your favor.