Release Day Post and Review: Hero: Samantha Young

Samantha Young
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Expected February 3, 2014

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 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…

The day Alexa Holland meets Caine Carraway will change both their lives in ways they never thought possible. Alexa is wracked with guilt over actions that members of her family made that had a devastating impact on his life. And he has no problem taking out his misplaced anger on her. When his presence blows her perfectly safe life up, she ends up in his employ. They fuss, fight, he bullies and intimidates, but she is strong-willed and challenges him.

"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. In fact, considering what your surname is, you can pretty much guarantee I won't be nice about it."

Sexual tension, denial, misunderstanding, agitation, and need causes friction, frustration and distance until it finally explodes. But that only adds to their issues and misery. These two people are so much alike in some ways and so different in others, but they are also both very tenacious and stubborn.

He is used to getting what he wants and strives for control and emotional distance. But she has a hard time separating physical and emotional. She has a strong need to fix things. He does not want to be fixed. He fights his need and wants to keep her from truly infiltrating his carefully erected walls. But she pushes full force. 

Caine was ambitious and hardworking. He was strong and stubborn and ruthless, but he was also this contradiction. He could be kind and compassionate and generous.

Along the way there are a few meddlesome friends that had me grinning. His charming, best friend, Henry, his sassy, intrusive, pseudo-grandmother Effie Flanagan, and her outspoken friend Rachel. They loved pushing them together, then watching the fireworks.
Caine could be a total arrogant, antagonizing a**, but I could see that much of it was based on him fighting his own needs and pushing her away. But she was one strong-willed woman not willing to always let him win by intimidation. It was fun  to watch the "Pain-in-the-ass Boss" and the "Smart-ass" together...their snarky rapport, confusing dynamics, intense passion, miscommunication, and jealousy caused drama. But they also had hot chemistry and a connection that had a life of its own. And  the real, tender moments of disclosure and intimacy would give glimpses of what could be and just enough hope to keep her wanting to hold on. They seemed to take a step forwards towards more friendship, feelings, and intimacy, then two steps back shortly after. A constant push and pull....so afraid to get too close, yet afraid to let go. 

""Lexie, I told you this to wake you up. A man like me isn't capable of being your f***ing white knight."

"I  never asked for that....I just wanted you, because despite what you might think, I see you. And no, you're no f***ing white knight, but you're what I want."

This was told in Alexa's point of view so we could see her struggle and fight to get to the heart of the man she knows is in there. And we are at a loss like she is on just what keeps him guarded, why he pushes her away, and what he is hiding that makes him say he is not the man for her. And she has her own insecurities from her past that color her decisions and just make her fight harder when there is any inkling of hope.  I would have loved to get into his head, but then it would have toned down the mystery and drama.

He was hard to connect with in the beginning because he could be mean and cold and had his own agenda. But I came to like him because underneath it all, I felt he really did have the feelings, but was afraid to let them show, And I wanted to find out what kept him so locked down and afraid. He could also be sexy, flirty, tender and protective. But he could turn himself on and off quickly. Due to this, a lot of the book was him treating her poorly or confusing her and then her fighting for him. But I really liked the moments he let his guard down and tried to let go, or was there for her. He knew he was not "White Knight" material and was so caught up on that being what she deserved that sometimes he did not understand what she really needed and wanted. And she was strong enough to keep coming back for more because it was usually up to her to do the saving, but even she could only have patience for so long.

"I hope your secrets keep you warm at night."

There were layers of secrets, lies, betrayal and dangerous undercurrents swirling under the surface. As the book went on it took on a more suspenseful feel. It kept me guessing on who was out to get who, who was lying, and how everything would turn out once there was full disclosure. Both of their family dynamics were entwined in secrets and past pain. The engaging side characters did their best to offer support, but also added humor as well. This was passionate, emotional, suspenseful, and steamy. I felt that the characters were well developed and it kept me interested with all of the background stories in addition to the main couples' complicated relationship and secrets. And it was refreshing that this really is a stand alone and told their full story with  an epilogue and tied up all of the loose ends sufficiently. 

I was gifted a copy in exchange for an honest review. 

New York Times bestselling author Samantha Young is a 27 year old book addict who graduated from the University of Edinburgh.  She lives in Scotland.  


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