Samantha Young
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Release Date
February 2015
Contemporary Romance

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....

Book Review by BJ (reviewer)
Feb 16, 2015   [ OFFICIAL REVIEW ]
126 people found the following review helpful
4.5 "Believe in Yourself" Stars! HERO is an emotional tale about two individuals who are damaged in their own ways by an intersecting past. The emotional angst and hidden secrets are what make this read so special. But be forewarned, the "hero's" actions at times can tear you apart, and just when you think this couple is making huge strides forward, be prepared for the inevitable setback, as the deep emotional scars inflicted by the past take their toll.

This was my first book by Samantha Young, and I guarantee it will not be my last! I love her style which combines a mix of all my favorite romantic elements. From her deep introspection into the key motivators that shape a character's personality, to the suspense garnered by a well played mysterious connection, to, of course, her plenty of well written, steamy, erotic scenes! I loved it all!

Alexa Holland's dreams were dashed at a young age when she came to the revolutionary revelation that her father, the man she once viewed as her hero, was anything but. Instead, she and her mother were her socialite father's dirty little secret. Overwhelmed and destroyed, Alexa promised herself that she would become her own success story. Alexa was well on her way to forging her own future when she meets the one man, who perhaps, has been even more negatively affected by the selfish actions of her father.

Caine Carraway, however, is not a forgiving man. Cold, hard and ruthless, it is his self-determination that has raised him from nothing to the rich entrepreneur that he is today. As one of Boston's richest men, he is used to getting his way. And when it comes to Alexa, what he believes he wants from her is to make her pay. Notwithstanding this shroud of indifference, however, there is a chemistry that connects Alexa and Caine. So much so that--whenever she is able to crack through his facade--it is pure heat and passion that overtakes them.

Soon the pair is wrapped up in a clandestine affair. Knowing he could never be the hero that Alexa deserves, Caine forewarns her that their relationship will never last. But as their interconnected past rears its ugly head and danger is ever near, Caine's convictions will be challenged, and his desire to protect Alexa at all costs may potentially lead to life altering consequences. Can there possible be a HEA in store for a couple with such an inauspicious start?

I was fortunate enough to be able to experience this book, both in its written form and in audio. I absolutely love the heightened effect that experiencing a story in both formats can develop. Sometimes it's good to curl up with a book and just read, while letting your imagination conjure up the related images. At other times, listening even for a short while, can greatly aid set the tone, background and feeling of a story, particularly when the story is read by a talented narrator like Angelica Lee.

Although a quick search reveals that Ms. Lee has only produced a handful of titles, Ms. Lee's dynamic performance in HERO is a great start! Ms. Lee produces both genuine male and female voices, an essential hallmark of a good romance audiobook narrator. Moreover, she also does a good job of providing slightly differentiated voices, even among characters of a similar age and gender, so that each character can be easily distinguished.

Ms. Lee's acting style is also well suited to communicating the multitude of emotions conveyed in HERO. Additionally, her sensitivity to pacing her delivery to match the mood of the scene greatly enhanced the overall effect of this already poignant story for me.

Perhaps my favorite part of Ms. Lee's rendition is her portrayal of Alexa. She uses just the right mix in her intonation to bring to life Alexa's emotional turmoil over her feelings for Caine. Moreover, she also convincingly brings to light both Alexa's strong will and determination at remaining independent, while at the same time longing for the love that her unfortunate past failed to provide her.

I absolutely adored the character development in this emotional romance. Caine's evolution from the stark, cold man he was in the beginning of this novel, to the man he allows himself to open up to become at the end was remarkable! Moreover, Alexa's strength in the face of so many obstacles is admirable. Ms. Young knew how to time the development of this couple's feelings just right, so that by the time the inevitable comes, it's completely believable and, in fact, an incredible relief that I had been pining for from the edge of my seat! Clearly Ms. Young is an incredibly talented writer and now I must go back and read some of her backlist!
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