HERO – Samantha Young
New American Library
Boston, Massachusetts – The Present
Alexa Holland is on a photo shoot as personal assistant to her boss when she sees Caine Carraway, the CEO of Carraway Financial Holdings and the subject of the shoot for the top self-made men under forty. When Carraway approaches her, he demands she tell him something about herself. Truthfully, she blurts out her name, which he recognizes. She is the daughter of the man who left his mother to die of an overdose. Caine ends the shoot, and her boss fires Alexa. When he learns what his actions caused, Caine isn't overly sympathetic, but ends up hiring Alexa for his own personal assistant. Alexa believes just to torture her, but she is very good at her job. Very observant, Alexa slowly learns to read the enigmatic Caine and learns he is a far different person from the public persona he uses.
After his mother's suicide, his father committed suicide, leaving Caine alone at a young age. He grew up hating anyone with the Holland name. He managed to put himself through college, and afterward, he began his meteoric rise in the financial business. However, there are things in his past he wants to forget, and while his new personal assistant attracts him, he remains gruff and unapproachable, even when an explosive affair between the two begins.
Both the hero and heroine of HERO are full of angst, anger, and family regrets. Her father's behavior damaged Alexa as much as it did Caine, and she hasn't seen her father since her own mother's funeral. Her grandfather is very rich, but he has kept her a secret from the rest of his family. She wants to help Caine, but it will be a difficult, nearly impossible task. The closer they become, the more Caine pushes her away. Other interesting characters move the story along, two of them very much intentionally pushing Caine at Alexa: Henry, Caine's best friend from college, and Mrs. Flanagan, Caine's penthouse neighbor. This is an attention-grabbing read building to an unexpected and dangerous situation with a satisfying conclusion that will thrill readers.