Alexa Holland's father was her hero - until she made a shocking discovery. Ever since, Alexa has worked to turn her life in a different direction and forge her own identity outside 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.
Yet 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 all-consuming 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 being hurt again . . .
Villain (Companion Novella)
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As a huge fan of Samantha Young's On Dublin Street series I was really excited when I first heard about her new standalone romance, Hero, and it went straight to the top of my wish list. Samantha Young excels at writing fabulous chemistry between her characters and Alexa and Caine are no exception, the heat between them practically set fire to the pages and there was never a doubt in my mind that they were going to be explosive together when they finally gave into their attraction.
Alexa and Caine have a complicated relationship though, mainly down to something her father did that destroyed Caine's family and turned his whole life upside down. I don't want to go into much detail about that because you'll find out for yourself when you read the book but it was a heartbreaking back story and I couldn't blame Caine for feeling resentment towards Alexa's father. I was even able to understand him taking his frustration out on Alexa to a certain point becase she had blind sided him with her identity when he wasn't expecting it and it put him completely on the defensive. At that point I really found myself admiring Alexa because she absolutely refused to let him grind her down, she was so determined to make him see that she was nothing like her father and there were quite a few times where she gave as good as she got. I absolutely loved the back and forth between them, I always love characters who have a bit of fire to them and Alexa and Caine both fit the bill perfectly.
Unfortunately for me Caine's bad attitude continued for far too long, he continued to punish her and hurt her for a good 70% of the story while Alexa turned into more and more of a doormat the longer it went on. She started losing that sparky attitude that I'd admired so much in the beginning and then she started making excuses for him. She even seemed to give up on things that had seemed important to her beforehand and I really just wanted to shake some sense into her. It got to the point where I was angry with the pair of them and all the hot sex in the world (and trust me there was a lot of EXTREMELY hot sex - another thing that Samantha Young excels at writing!) just couldn't make me fall in love with them as a couple. It felt to me like they brought the worst out in each other and had started to make each other miserable which is the opposite of what a good relationship should be all about.
Throw in the family drama with Alexa that seemed to come out of absolutely nowhere and the story lost me a bit. Especially when even something absolutely terrifying happening wasn't enough to snap Caine out of his determination to push Alexa away. Since that didn't shock him enough to make him realise he loved her I wasn't able to believe the sudden turn around he made a little later on in the story. It's such a shame because I had incredibly high hopes for this story but it just wasn't as good as I had expected it to be. It wasn't all bad and there were things I liked about it, particularly during the first half of the story but it certainly isn't a new favourite. I do still love Samantha Young's writing style though, even when I was frustrated with the characters I never once considered giving up on the book and I found Hero was an incredibly quick read. She is still an auto-buy author for me and I'll definitely be grabbing a copy of her next book as soon as it's published.
Source: Received from Piatkus in exchange for an honest review
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Hero by Samantha Young is published by Piatkus in paperback and eBook. You can find of all Samantha Young’s titles in the Kobo website here: https://store.kobobooks.com/List/the-hottest-new-voice-in-romance-samantha-young/J-xrHY0rhcp8fAjSHjnPlQ
Samantha Young is the author of the runaway bestselling On Dublin Street, which sold over 150,000 copies within five weeks and has now been sold in more than 25 countries. Published by Penguin UK until recently, her first book with Little Brown (Castle Hill) was one of the top 10 Hachette ebooks for 2014. This year she has been nominated for the Goodreads Choice Award for Best Author and Best Romance. She lives in Stirlingshire, Scotland and is available for publicity purposes, along with corresponding regularly with her 22,000 fans on FB and 15,000 Twitter followers.
You can visit her at www.samanthayoungbooks.com
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