Cover Design By Samantha Young
Release Date: December 5th 2017
The sexy and emotional companion novella to the New York Times bestselling romance HERO.
Nadia Ray is not just a broadcast meteorologist. She’s Boston’s morning television It Girl. Successful and independent, she’s put a past she’s ashamed of behind her and is forging a future she can be proud of. However, when her new boss discovers her secret he blackmails her, intent on using Nadia’s popularity to make them the number one morning show in Massachusetts. He wants her to be part of uncovering the city’s biggest scandal – a secret billionaire Caine Carraway is hiding.
Soon Nadia is thrown into the path of Caine’s best friend: sexy, wealthy bachelor Henry Lexington. But she doesn’t encounter the dashing high society gentleman Henry is purported to be. Instead she’s faced with an insulting and defensive villain who misjudges her at every turn.
In Hero, Caine and Alexa’s book, Henry Lexington’s supporting role as Caine’s playboy best friend and perpetual high society flirt made the story that much more enjoyable because Henry was as adorable as he was sexy and he definitely knew how to get under Caine’s skin, especially when it came to Caine’s leading lady or Henry’s inability to not woo Alexa during every encounter simply because he can.
I think knowing Henry’s background and understanding the type of lifestyle that he’s required to live as well as the type of relationships he’s supposed to go after helped me to not get so riled up and agree with Nadia’s view that Henry didn’t have staying power when it came to his ‘apparent’ feelings for her and his desire to start a relationship with her. But I can’t say I wouldn’t be peeved if he kept up his charming antics for more than just me.
Nadia Ray is my kind of heroine…yes, she’s insecure about her body and has a crapload of baggage that prevents her from trusting men but as much as she feels powerless in certain situations that occur in the story, she demonstrates her strength and the fact that she’s learned from her past mistakes. She has every reason not to trust a single word Henry says to her…partly because of the horrendous way he treated her at the beginning of the story and partly because her insecurities get the better of her when he continues to charm every female he encounters.
Nadia’s a strong woman who doesn’t want others to see her vulnerabilities and use them against her, so she deflects and shields herself from those kinds of situations. She never anticipated Henry Lexington, Boston’s Most Eligible Bachelor, crashing into her life and persuading her to take risk after risk when it came to their ‘temporary’ relationship. But his honesty endears her to him and it gives her a chance to see who Henry is beneath social veneer, and everything about that man makes her crave something permanent with him, even if she thought she would never want a man again.
I adore Samantha Young’s storytelling; she allows her readers to understand every part of who her characters are, even if some of that knowledge is slowly revealed…that just adds to the intrigue and makes readers want to read the book in one sitting so all of our questions are answered. Nadia and Henry are complex characters who are much more than the facades they show to those around them and their depth definitely plays upon the idea of them being both good and bad…the hero/heroine and the villain, which ultimately leads readers to believe that everyone can play both parts in their lifetime but that doesn’t mean that one or the other completely defines their life.
4.5 Poison Apples
“I need to apologize,” he said to my back as I hurried into my sitting room. My shoulders hunched to my neck at the words. I couldn’t look at him.
What did he want me to say? That it was okay?
Because it wasn’t.
No one, no matter what, should have to be subjected to what that woman said to me.
He was in Cloud Cuckoo Land if he thought this, whatever this was between us, could ever work out when his mother thought so little of me.
“Just go,” I snapped, not looking at him.
“No,” he said, his tone stern. “Not until you turn around and look at me.”
I shot him a glare over my shoulder. “Satisfied? Now leave.”
Instead of leaving, he studied my face, softening as if he understood what was going on behind my fury.
But he didn’t understand.
“I cannot apologize enough for what my mother said to you. Frankly, right now I’m ashamed I share DNA with the woman. That was the reason I was avoiding her. She’s … bad with the women I date normally, even the ones she’s set me up with. No one is good enough. Usually, it’s merely irritating, but I didn’t want to subject you to her. And if I had known how goddamn low she’d sink tonight, I never would’ve put you in that situation.”
I heard his words, but I couldn’t feel them. I couldn’t feel the anger and worry in them that I’d later remember. In that moment, all I saw were the flowers peeking over the top of the trash can behind him. Flowers that had arrived at my apartment earlier that afternoon. Flowers that meant he’d found my home address. Flowers that taunted me, saying, “You can’t be angry at Penelope Lexington when you know she’d feel smug with satisfaction if she ever discovered the truth.” She’d feel vindicated in her opinion of me.
Worse would be how Henry would react if he knew the truth. How he’d never look at me the same way again. He’d never look at me in that way that was getting under my skin, becoming an addiction, despite all the defenses I’d tried to put up against him.
A chill shivered down my spine.
“Nadia, what can I do? What—”
“If you’re not going to leave,” I turned around to fully face him, “then we might as well get this over with.”
Henry watched with narrowed eyes as I threw my purse on the couch and then removed my earrings. “What are you doing?”
Cold, toneless, I reminded him, “Our arrangement is almost over. A deal is a deal.”
“A deal is a deal?” The muscle in his jaw twitched, his eyes flashing. “You’re going to fuck me like some martyr?”
“Well, I’d prefer it if you leave but I don’t welch on a deal.”
“Nadia, don’t hide from me.” I could hear the barely contained fury beneath his words and in a twisted way, I reveled in it. I wanted his anger. I wanted to force him to walk away and walk away for good. “Talk to me.”
I scoffed. “Why do you keep trying to make this more than it is? You wanted to slum it with the local weather girl. I wanted to get laid because it’s been a while. You just happened to be there and I’ve heard you’re good. That’s all this ever was. And I’m not one of your uptight society princesses who needs to be assured you want more from me than a dirty fuck.”
I didn’t heed the growl of warning in his voice. “Let me make it clearer,” I hissed out, all my rage at myself redirected at him like I knew and feared would happen. “I don’t do relationships with spoiled rich boys who run away from their mommas. I’ll let a rich boy fuck me for the hell of it, but rest assured when I do let someone in long-term, it’ll be a man.”
Not even a second later, Henry crossed the distance between us, one hand tangling into my pinned-up hair, the other around my waist. He yanked me roughly against him before I could blink and slammed his mouth down over mine in a hard, punishing kiss.
About Samantha Young
Samantha Young is the New York Times, USA Today and Wall Street Journal bestselling author of adult contemporary romances, including the On Dublin Street series and Hero, as well as the New Adult duology Into the Deep and Out of the Shallows. Every Little Thing, the second book in her new Hart’s Boardwalk series, will be published by Berkley in March 2017. Before turning to contemporary fiction, she wrote several young adult paranormal and fantasy series, including the amazon bestselling Tale of Lunarmorte trilogy. Samantha’s debut YA contemporary novel The Impossible Vastness of Us was published by Harlequin TEEN in ebook & hardback June 2017. Play On is an adult contemporary romance and the first in a brand new series set in Scotland. Villain is a companion novella to the New York Times bestselling romance HERO.
Samantha has been nominated for the Goodreads Choice Award 2012 for Best Author and Best Romance for On Dublin Street, Best Romance 2014 for Before Jamaica Lane, and Best Romance 2015 for Hero. On Dublin Street, a #1 bestseller in Germany, was the Bronze Award Winner in the LeserPreis German Readers Choice Awards for Best Romance 2013, Before Jamaica Lane the Gold Medal Winner for the LeserPreis German Readers Choice Awards for Best Romance 2014 and Echoes of Scotland Street the Bronze Medal Winner for the LeserPreis German Readers Choice Awards for Best Romance 2015.
Samantha is currently published in 30 countries and is a #1 international bestselling author.