Hero by Samantha Young
Published February 3, 2015
Source: Received via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
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Why I picked up this book:
Hero seemed to be everywhere when I requested it. I was curious!
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…
Extraordinarily wealthy, alpha men are a favourite of contemporary romance novels. They make for excellent leading men with vast resources at their fingertips, the implication of intelligence and strength of character in their successes and a need to have control over their circumstances. When a woman comes along whom they fall head over heels for, the resulting flailing as they try to make her fit into their well-ordered world, try to woo her by dazzling her with the aforementioned resources and/or end up having to loosen up a little and accept that some things are beyond their control is almost guaranteed to make readers swoon a little.
Hero falls into this sub-genre quite neatly. Caine Carraway is a wealthy, self-made man who heads his own business. He hires Alexa Holland to work as his PA, and immediately begins tormenting her in a professional sense. You see, Alexa and Caine are connected indirectly in a way that provides a lot of conflict right from the start of the book. Alexa feels an obligation to Caine because of this, making her willing and determined to endure all the crappy treatment.
My problem with the book starts here - I never really bought into Alexa's feeling that she somehow owed Caine anything or was obligated to try to help him out emotionally in any way. The entire reason for her to reach out to him in the first place - that desire to let him know that she understood/sympathized/was sorry/whatever - just didn't resonate with me at all. Maybe I'm just cold hearted?
Beyond that, Hero progresses much as you might expect, with the begrudging acknowledgements of attraction, jealousy, and eventually Alexa and Caine caving to their sexual chemistry. Caine sees Alexa as a smart-ass, while she sees Caine as cold and distant. It sounds like a love match to me!
Truly, I didn't dislike this book. It simply felt overly familiar, like I had read it all before. There's nothing about the book that bothered me so much I would have set it down if I wasn't reviewing it. There just wasn't anything about it that made me really sit up and take notice.
Ultimately, Hero gives the reader what they expect from a book in this sub-genre. Caine is emotionally damaged, wealthy, completely in control of his corner of the world and upset by Alexa, who is stubbornly determined to stick with Caine, wanting to reach the man beneath the cold, distant image he projects. If you go weak in the knees for this kind of romance, you'll probably enjoy this? Just don't expect too many surprises.
For fans of contemporary romance, angsty millionaires
But don't just take my word for it! I grabbed a few links to other blog reviews of Hero:
Red Hot Books
The Reading Date