Joint Review: Hero by Samantha Young

Publisher: Berkley
How did you get the book: e-ARC from publisher
Release date: Out now

The emotional and unforgettable new romance from the New York Times bestselling author of the On Dublin Street series.

heroAlexa 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…

*blurb taken from Goodreads*

Lou: Samantha Young has been one of my favourite contemporary romance authors for some time but with her last couple of releases in the On Dublin Street series, I’ve been falling out of love as I’ve had issues with the heroines. I was hesitant before reading Hero but I’m happy that Hero is, IMO, Young’s best work to date. I just loved everything about this book; the sexy romance, the sexy characters, and even the dramatic ending to the book. Plus, a love/hate trope is just the icing on the freaking cake. Alexa is the daughter of the man that ruined Caine’s family when her father left Caine’s mother to die of a drug overdose. The two have never met one another but Caine harbours deep resentment towards Alexa when they bump into each other. Hero is about Caine realising that he shouldn’t blame Alexa for what her father did, and while Caine was a big ass at times, he was so into Alexa.

Has: I totally agree with you about this book and I also felt the same way with the last couple of releases. But HERO was a return to form and it has definitely pipped ON DUBLIN STREET as my favourite Samantha Young book to date! I enjoyed the ‘I love to hate you, but I really love you trope’ and Young did a fabulous job in building up the chemistry and romance between Alexa and Caine which really sizzled on the page. I also adored their banter which is another highlight of the story and I found myself chuckling with Alexa’s smartarse comments towards Caine after he did an asshole move. And this really helped to sustain a tension throughout the book, and I never felt that it got too angsty or drawn out with the tooing and froing between them both.

Lou: Yes. The banter was most excellent. I really loved Alexa; she was confident, sexy and she wouldn’t take no for an answer. She wouldn’t give up on Caine and I admired her because she stuck to her guns when needed and retreated when needed. The sexual tension between Caine and Alexa was really hot. I think the hate/love trope adds an extra dollop of spiciness to the romance. Caine did have issues from his past which were kept hidden until the end of the book. I wanted to smack Caine so many times but Alexa knew how to get underneath him. She knew what buttons to push and I also enjoyed the humour the two of them shared with each other. I think there was a nice balance; not too much hate and not too much goo goo eyes from Alexa towards Caine, considering he treated her like crap at times.

Has: The emotional tone of the romance felt real and authentic which is why I think characters and their issues worked really well. And yes! I also wanted to slap Caine several times when I was reading because he was so reticent and stubborn but I liked that when he messed up he did learn from his mistakes and was totally head over heels in love with Alexa, even though he refused to admit his true feelings. I enjoyed seeing him battling his emotions and the loss of control which was fun to see play out.

I do have to say that I did feel the ending was a bit over the top but I really enjoyed it! And the main conflict was set up really well and I liked how Alexa and Caine’s past and families intertwined with the plot. I also loved that how things were resolved had a realistic ending and that made the story and romance more authentic for me.

Lou: Yes! Alexa’s family life was really sad and I loved that Caine wanted to protect her earlier on in the novel, despite her connection to people that did destroy Caine’s life. I did think that Caine’s own mother and father should have also taken some of the blame. Both of them were screwed over. I did enjoy the matchmaking done by Effie who was hillarious. I would also love to see Nadia and Henry’s story but I don’t know if Hero is going to be a standalone novel. The secondary characters in this book were awesome. We saw glimpses of them but they didn’t overtake Alexa and Caine. There is a dramatic tinge to the story towards the end and though it was dramatic I didn’t care because I loved the characters so much.

The romance was hot. The sex was hot. The characters were hot with lots of dirty sexy times. There was emotional development and I want more books like Hero, please.

I give Hero a B+.

Has: Ditto! HERO had a fun recipe of an entertaining romance with real emotions, good sexy action and a great cast of characters brimming with memorable chemistry. I would also love to see Nadia and Henry’s story but I would be left satisfied with a stand alone book that focused on Alexa and Caine. HERO was a wonderful and entertaining romance with two engaging and memorable leads!

I also give Hero a B+

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