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....
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.
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.