Review: Hero by Samantha Young

Review: Hero by Samantha YoungHero by Samantha Young
Published by Penguin Publication Date: February 3rd 2015
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
Pages: 416
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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 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....

I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.


I have loved all of Samantha Young’s books.  She always has an impeccable writing style with fantastic characters. Hero did not deviate from this pattern, but delivered what is, in my opinion, her best work yet.

“So I remember the good stuff and most days it gets me through it. Not every day, but most days.”

The first character we encounter in Hero is the lovely Alexa “Lexie”  Holland.  She has had some recent tragedy in her life that has left her anxious and a little off her game. But, she works hard not to let that show. She is the master of her own destiny, and she will make it!  She’s taken some time off from her work to refocus her life, and is re-entering the real world to show it who’s boss.

“I’m a hard man to please. And I’m also a very busy man. You’ll do what I want when I want and I won’t always be nice about it.”

Caine Callaway has a rough exterior.  He has experienced enough disappointment and hard times in his life to realize that trusting people and letting them in only brings him pain and regret.  He is a well- educated and highly-successful businessman, and each move he makes is calculated, very well thought out, and with specific intent.

We are only pages into Hero when we  catch a glimpse of Lexie’s connection to Caine. It is instant and heated, until cold water is thrown on it when Caine discovers Lexie’s true identity. They share a common history.  A connection in their family that has caused them both great hardship. So, with this secret revealed, Lexie’s world takes a steep downward dive,  causing her to take matters into her own hands.

“You cannot kill your boss on the first day, you cannot kill your boss on the first day, you cannot kill your boss period…”

A deal is struck, and the two least-likely-to-work-well-together people find themselves where they thought they never would be…in the same office space, breathing the same air, working side-by-side, fighting their obvious attraction to one another.  As the roles of their interactions change, we are given a deeper look into Caine, the business man. He conducts his business life like his personal life, holding onto only what is necessary to make it, and letting go of any excess baggage that may cause him to loose his focus.  But, to give us a chink in his armor, Samantha Young brilliantly incorporates the character of  Mrs. Effie Flanagan.  Effie knows the true Caine, the one he prefers to show no one. But through his relationship with her are allowed to view glimpses of his humor and true self from time-to-time.

“With our eyes locked, our bodies touching, the heat around us blazing off the charts, I forgot where we were. I forgot everything but him.”

The tone then changes like the tide, so slow and subtly that if we weren’t attending to the minute transitions we might miss the beauty of it. We reach a point in the story in which Caine and Lexie can no longer ignore the intense attraction they have for one another that has overwhelmed them.  In this moment we feel the sultry, unending desire they have for one another in every word that’s uttered and every motion made. It draws us closer to them individually, and as a couple.  Coming back down to earth this time is different for them, but honesty can do strange things to a moment. And then where does that leave us?  Lexie and Caine are an impenetrable force in bed and the workplace. But, there are still issues in their lives that must be dealt. with.  It takes us by surprise when Caine unveils the mystery that he has kept hidden for so long that interferes with his ability to show and receive love.  The truth of Lexie’s family and implications for her future rock us from the moment they are revealed until the final resolution.

Hot tamales with a side of spicy salsa!  Hero was such an amazing book! For me it was about finding one’s self, and in the most unlikely circumstances.  It was enjoying life and love, and learning to live in the present instead of the past.  It was beauty, love, loss, renewal, and salvation.

Lexie was my kind of lady. Soft on the inside, but confident on the outside. Hard enough to stand up for herself, but gentle enough to display passion and sympathy.  I enjoyed reading her personal dialogue, the snarky thoughts that detailed many aspects of Caine’s life, and her personal struggle to maintain a safe distance from him. I initially felt that Caine was such a pompous jerk, but was pleased to find that a different man existed underneath all of that facade.  Watching them as they danced around one another was like watching an oncoming electrical storm; I knew that the two of them together would produce some beautiful moments, but hoped that it would not cause an unending amount of destruction in its wake. Many of my favorite laugh-out-loud moments surrounded Lexie and Caine’s interactions with Effie. She was the ultimate match-maker and pseudo-mom extraordinaire.  Her character filled in a piece to the puzzle that nearly made it complete. Rounding out this group of wonderful characters were great friends, who constantly offered their expert opinions and advice to further our Hero infatuation.

I found myself swept every with every turn of the page, and was carried away until the very last pages of the epilogue…Hallmark has never wrapped a package so pretty. Hero gently took me in its grasp, turned me upside down with humor, melted my socks (and panties) off with heat, and then infectiously took root in my heart and consumed me! I was in awe of the story that was set before me, and will continue to ride this wave for some time, while enjoying the lasting effects.

One quote from Hero that reflects the pleasure I felt in reading it…

“I’d spend my last hours inside you if I could.”

5 Stars

More from Samantha Young

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