I have enjoyed Samantha Young’s On Dublin Street series but the last few books have left me feeling like it’s running out of gas. Hoping a fresh new series might reinvigorate Young’s stories, I picked up this book for review. Unfortunately, this was not the case for Hero. I initially described it as Devil Wears Prada meets Beautiful Bastard meets Bared to You with mixed results.
Six weeks ago, Alexa “Lexie” Holland was knocked down when her mother suddenly passed away and all the skeletons in the family closet came marching out. She returns to her job as a production assistant to a posh photographer when one of the “skeletons” walks smack into her. They were scheduled to shoot Caine Carraway, one of the youngest and most successful financial businessman in Boston – and her father’s dirty little secret.
Caine is initially drawn to Lexie’s beauty and begins to make a play. However, Lexie feels guilt that it was her father’s actions that directly resulted in Caine becoming an orphan in the foster system at age 13 and thinks it’s a brilliant idea to let Caine know who she is. She is shocked when the day ends with unemployment. Wanting to make amends for everything (and to get a job back), Lexie pushes her way back into Caine’s life; so, of course, he hires her on as his personal assistant.
Caine is a total alphahole and makes Lexie’s life hell. He’s very drawn to her but can’t let go of the past even though, technically, Lexie had nothing to do with what happened. She digs in her heels, determined to not to let Caine get to her and keep her job. There is some enjoyable banter and a lot of adolescent tit-for-tat behavior. The sexual tension builds slowly between the two and, while the sex is hot, afterward, Caine turns back into a jerk while Lexie pants after him.
Even though Lexie was a smart ass and pushed back against Caine, she also took a whole lot of his BS, including multiple rejections and him flat out telling her that he doesn’t have the capacity to love. Can we say “daddy issues”? I just wanted to shake my head that Lexie believed that she could change Caine’s mind about relationships when she agreed to be friends with benefits. I felt like there was a bit of a missing connection there because it seemed like they were into each other for reasons other than actual enjoyment of the other person.
I liked the side characters of Henry and, especially, Mrs. Flanagan, as they brought a lighter dimension to Caine. Unfortunately, I wanted to kick Lexie’s two-faced grandfather. The suspense sub-plot came out of nowhere and served only to bring the couple back together.
Young’s writing skill is always on point. I just didn’t love this story or romance. Your mileage may vary.
*ARC provided by Berkley/NAL
Click to purchase: Amazon
by Samantha Young
Release Date: February 3, 2015