Hero has been on my most anticipated list for this year, so I was pleasantly surprised when NAL approved me for an electronic ARC of this book. I simply love Samantha Young’s writing.

But first, let’s check out the blurb for Hero.

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…

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This could have been an easy 5 stars for me but I had to knock off a star because of the hero’s actions, which to me was just too much. But more on that later.
First, I’m gonna break down what worked for me.

The chemistry between Alexa Holland and Caine Carraway is off the charts hot. The push and pull between them is so strong. The two of them cannot be in the room with each other without fireworks going off despite Caine’s obvious dislike for Alexa.

Speaking of Caine’s dislike…they share a convoluted family history, which colors Caine’s attitude towards Alexa at the very beginning. That said, his attraction to her is also palpable. Love and hate never looked this hot. Seriously, I had to pause and fan myself the first time they got together. It was that hot. And Ms. Young certainly knows how to write an emotionally packed love scene.

Another thing I liked about this book was Alexa. I don’t always agree with her decisions. And there were times that I wanted to tell her, “Girl, give up already. Have some respect!” But…I couldn’t call her a doormat either because I think Ms. Young did a phenomenal job giving me her back story. I do however, think she’s a people pleaser and she tries to win the affection of the people around her.

Which brings me why I couldn’t give this a five. Caine. Look, I am a very forgiving reader when it comes to heroes who fuck up and fuck up bad. I am also forgiving toward heroes who run hot-and-cold throughout the book. But…Caine rejected Alexa too many times…too many. I could handle once and even twice if I’m feeling generous but…he did it thrice if you discount the other times he was being horrible to her.

Again, I could have easily forgiven that but his reason for acting like an ass was a bit lame really. I could understand if he pushed her once but he did it too many times. What saved me from giving this even a lower rating was the fact that you can totally see how much he loves her already. His actions, when he allowed himself to actually give in was really sweet. And not just towards Alexa either but towards the very few people who he allowed to let into his heart.

Despite those issues, I could not put this book down. The chemistry and connection between Caine and Alexa kept me flipping the pages until the very end. There was just something about these characters, their messed up connection and their chemistry that drew me in. Plus, it didn’t hurt that I got an HEA tied in a pretty bow at the end either. So yes, I enjoyed this book more than I got annoyed by it. A testament, really, to Samantha Young’s engaging writing style which always works for me.

Rating: 4 stars!

ARC courtesy of NAL via NetGalley.