Thursday, January 22, 2015

Review: Hero

HERO
Samantha Young
Contemporary Romance
416 pages
NAL
Available February 3rd
Source: ARC from publisher for review

THE STORY (from Goodreads)
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....


MY THOUGHTS
Hero is everything there is to love about a Samantha Young story, an emotionally complex romance wreaking havoc on our equilibrium chapter to chapter without ever pushing us past the point where things between the two of them are anything other than believable and genuine. The relationship between Alexa and Caine is of the push/pull variety–something that typically gets old quickly–but Ms. Young gives us in Lexie someone who acts as a balm to any irritation that attempts to flare up when Caine tries to take the easy way out by running away. Both of them are bruised by a tragic shared history, and while Caine is brooding, beautiful and incredibly sexy when he wants to be, it's Lexie who wins our hearts, showing herself to be stronger than a past doing everything in its power to weigh her down.

The push and pull nature of the romance is not the only element that would normally be a source of frustration, as at Caine's suggestion we also have a no-strings attached sexual setup. This type of agreement almost always causes us to shake our heads in dismay, wondering how anyone could honestly believe they'd be able to remain emotionally uninvolved for the duration of their intimacy, but again Ms. Young surprises us with Lexie. Lexie agrees to no-strings, but she does so completely free of the delusion that they'll both be able to keep things strictly on the surface. Instead, she enters into things with Caine already well aware feelings on her part are involved, but she remains hopeful that if she's both stubborn and persistent enough, she'll be able to get him to see what's between them.

Lexie is gorgeously strong in a way Caine isn't for nearly the entirety of the book, someone who at every opportunity tells it like it is and refuses to bury her feelings under a mask of indifference, even though down that road lies the safety of artifice. When Caine does that very thing, she calls him on it, just as she does when his words turn mocking or cruel, never allowing herself to be someone he walks all over due to his power and wealth. While Caine has moments when we want nothing more than for Lexie to walk away with her head held high, we have the benefit of seeing the man he is through Lexie's eyes, and the strength of her conviction where he's concerned casts him in a favorable light when, without her, he would more than likely be wreathed in shadow.

Overall, Hero is a tension-filled romance from beginning to end, but Lexie's spine of steel bolsters us as we follow her in her pursuit of the man she knows Caine is capable of being, and we can do nothing but smile as she wages an epic battle to bring down his walls.

Rating: 4/5

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This book was sent to me by the publisher free of charge for the purpose of a review
I received no other compensation and the above is my honest opinion.

32 comments:

  1. I like the sound of Lexie, but I feel like this would be one of those books that would frustrate me more than be enjoyable because of the no-strings attached sexual relationship and a push/pull romance. Great review though, Jenny!

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    1. I know it sounds frustrating, but Lexie was fantastic and she just made everything work for me. I really enjoyed her and Caine together:)

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  2. Oh it sounds like a great romance to discover. I confess that I didn't know about this one. I know about the author because I heard a lot about her but I haven't read any of her novels. I really should, I'm starting to be quite curious. thanks for the review!

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    1. I hope you give her a try Melliane! You can't go wrong with any of them:)

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  3. Well, I'm so very glad to hear there female lead here is fantastic and doesn't allow the alpha male to go into brooding and remote without calling him on his bullshit!
    Great review Jenny, I'm really tempted to pick up this one!

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    1. Lexie's great about calling him on his bullshit:) She was definitely the highlight for me!

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  4. I'm so excited to hear you loved this one, Jenny! I debated against downloading this one because of all the books I have to read, but you've changed my mind. I think I'm going to love this. I love the sound of Lexie. She sounds like my kind of heroine with her fierce attitude. Caine seems like he deserves someone like her.
    Can't wait to read this, Jenny! Lovely review!

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    1. I can't wait to see what you think Nick! I love a heroine who refuses to be a doormat and stands up for herself:)

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  5. YESYESYESYESYES!!!! I can't wait to read this one!!!!!!! I love Samantha Young, and I'm so excited that you liked it, Jenny!

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  6. If this is a double comment I apologize. I commented from my phone so it might be waiting for approval or lost to gremlins. I love Young and this book grabbed me and held my attention. I so agree that she writes characters that you come to care about and her stories are so well paced I slip right in

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    1. No double comment, you're good to go:) I haven't read a romantic couple of hers that I haven't loved!

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  7. While I don't normally like the no-strings attached set-up this one sounds interesting thanks to Lexie being so up front about her feelings and calling Caine out.

    Karen @For What It's Worth

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    1. I don't normally like that either, it makes no sense to me as inevitably feelings are going to come into play, but Lexie understands from the beginning that feelings are already involved. She doesn't pretend otherwise:)

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  8. One day I will try this fantastic author and fall in love with her work as well!

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    1. YES ALI!!! I know you'll be a fan:)

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  9. NICE cover. Love it! This one sounds pretty fantastic, and I'm glad to see you enjoyed it, Jenny! I love tension-filled romance, and the fact that Lexie is strong? Even better. Great review!

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    1. Isn't it? I love that its a little different from the standard romance cover. Men in suits can be just as sexy as men without shirts ;-)

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  10. Samantha Young always seems to deliver a terrific romance. I haven't heard of this one before,but I am adding it to the TBR. I want to meet Lexie.

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    1. I love Samantha's books Heidi! She never disappoints:)

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  11. I only read On Dublin Street by Samantha Young romance, but I enjoyed it so much that I plan on reading her other books. I haven't heard of this one, but I can't wait to meet these characters. Thanks for putting it on my radar.

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    1. That one is still my all time favorite, but I've loved everything she's written. She's definitely a go-to contemporary romance author for me:)

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  12. I keep thinking this would be a book that frustrates me but you have convinced me that I would actually enjoy the tension. I love the sound of Lexie and I want to read this book just for that character!

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    1. Yes! It all works in the context of this story, I promise:)

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  13. Excellent review, Jenny! I know she is one of your fave authors. :-)

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  14. I'm so excited for this, Jenny! I feel like Young lost me after the second Dublin Street novel--I still liked the later installments but I didn't quite LOVE them--so I'm hoping this new novel by her has me in love with her love stories all over again. Amazing review, dear! :)

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  15. Ugh, Jenny. I've been debating getting this book for a month, and now I want to.

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  16. Oooh. Jenny. I do adore an author/book that can take something that's normally annoying and make it awesome. Always a great sign. :)

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  17. Push/pull romances can really work...but can also get so darned frustrating, if it goes on too long. However, it sounds like Lexie can handle herself and she isn't going to let Caine get away with too much.

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  18. Lexie definitely sounds like a strong, gorgeous character I'd love to meet (and I will soon! Samantha Young is magic when it comes to writing a good romance so I can't wait for this :)). This kind of reminds me of Joss/Braden and Nate/Liv mix to be honest and I couldn't be happier about this, because I love these couples' stories the most! Lexie is a queen of mine already because she's not willing no one to belittle her in any way. I love that about her! I'm glad you loved this novel, Jenny! I can't wait to tell you all about my own thoughts when I'm done :)

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