Her Unexpected Hero

Her Unexpected Hero

by Melody Anne

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Would you recognize true love if it sat down next to you? In this unforgettable new spinoff of the Billionaire books from New York Times bestselling indie author Melody Anne, two strangers must look past their painful memories to make way for everlasting love.

Alyssa’s modeling career came to an abrupt end when her manager boyfriend emptied her bank account and ruined her professional reputation. Now she’s heading to a new town in Montana to rebuild her life—if she can even get there (stupid delayed planes!). But things are looking up when she's upgraded to first class and a mysterious stranger sits down next to her…

Jackson Whitman doesn’t believe in love, or commitment, or forever—not since he lost his wife and daughter. But the beautiful woman sitting next to him at the gate has him rethinking that position. Can he convince her to be his for the night? Or will she convince him to be hers for a lifetime?

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781476778600
Publisher: Pocket Books
Publication date: 02/24/2015
Series: Unexpected Heroes Series , #1
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 384
Sales rank: 54,841
File size: 5 MB

About the Author

Melody Anne is the New York Times bestselling author of the Unexpected Heroes series—a spin-off of her wildly popular Billionaire Bachelors novels featuring the handsome Anderson men—as well as the Tycoons series and the Surrender series. She lives in the Pacific Northwest.

Read an Excerpt

Her Unexpected Hero


“I promise you, Mom, I’m fine.”

But Alyssa’s mother kept on saying all the usual motherly things, full of worry and false cheer, not offering her daughter even the remotest chance of interrupting. Alyssa Gerard held her phone wearily against her ear. She had no more words to say, nothing that would make this nightmare end. A nine-hour flight was still ahead of her, then one connection, and she’d be home.

Or maybe not. Alyssa had waited in the crowded airport as her “on-time” flight was delayed again and again. It was already midafternoon, and she’d been in this boarding area for hours. Were there any other flights with open seats?

Not on this day of the year, New Year’s Eve. She could either wait for her original flight, or give up—which wasn’t going to happen. She was more than done with Paris, done with modeling, and done with people in general. This week had started out badly and kept on getting worse.

“. . . and I know you’ll really love it in Sterling . . .” Yes, her mom was still speaking, and yes, she should listen, but as she looked around at all the people in bright colors with what seemed like permanent smiles on their faces, she grew even grumpier and simply couldn’t force herself to respond. Not that she needed to, as her mom was speaking enough for both of them. Alyssa should be happy, should feel like celebrating, but instead she was fighting tears.

“. . . Martin is a wonderful boss. Your dad has never been happier . . .”

It was all over—everything had ended so much more speedily than it had begun. She’d set out at the tender age of fifteen, ready to change the world with all the millions she’d make, to see her name in lights, or at least to see her face on every magazine cover ever to grace store shelves and racks.

She’d gotten her dream . . . for a while. And then—poof!—it was gone. Her body tensed in anger as she found herself wedged between two large men who surely hadn’t bathed in eons.

Her mother continued to yammer away, though Alyssa was long past listening.

“. . . and you should see Martin’s boys. They are so handsome . . .”

Shaking her head, she took a deep breath. To her left, a heated debate had broken out between a man in a dark blue suit and an attractive blonde. The exchange flung her back into her own head as she was forced to think about what had happened between her and her ex.

Her “trustworthy” manager, who’d also happened to be her boyfriend, had taken it all—he’d run away not only with her fortune but with her hopes and dreams and reputation. Now she was stuck in Paris on New Year’s Eve, and all she could think about was how badly she wanted to be home, where she could lick her wounds in peace.

“. . . your father and I are so excited to have you home. I only wish you’d been here last week. It was our first Christmas with snow . . .”

To top everything off with a nice, fat cherry, her parents had decided to move out of the thriving Texas town she’d grown up in and hare off to the backwoods of Montana, settling in a place she had never heard of before—Sterling. Her mother swore up and down they’d visited an aunt there several times when she was a kid, but the place must be awful because she couldn’t even remember it.

Great! Just great. She had to go home with her tail tucked between her legs, and it wasn’t even home. They had snow in Montana? Lots of snow? Like the sort of snow that buried people alive, and they weren’t found again until months later, when the spring came and the roads finally cleared? She had a feeling she was going to be one of those unsuspecting victims—huddled in the fetal position as she froze to death in her car.

That is, if she was lucky enough to find a car she could afford.

“. . . I’ve had quite a time learning to drive in snow, but it can actually be fun . . .”

Alyssa had heard some of this before. She still wasn’t interested in living in Montana, not that she had a choice. She’d never thought she’d want that twenty-year-old Toyota so badly, but she was praying now that it had made the journey with her parents when they’d trekked north for her father’s new job. Alyssa didn’t even have enough money left to buy a five-hundred-dollar “preowned” lemon to get her to and from whatever job she’d manage to find back in the States.

“. . . your dad sold the car, but I’m sure we can find you something when you get here . . .” Great. She didn’t have the Toyota.

She could try to start again, try to make a go of a modeling career from scratch, but the reality was that she hated the industry, had hated it almost from the beginning, and now, at twenty-four, she was considered old in this world of the rich and beautiful, the sleek and connected. Connections that her manager/boyfriend had managed to sever irreparably.

“Honey? Are you still there?”

Alyssa jumped. She’d been sunk inside her own head so heavily that she’d forgotten her mom was on the phone.

“Mom, I love you and I promise I’m doing fine. I really appreciate the ticket home. But they’re speaking to the passengers, so I have to hang up now.”

With a little grumbling, her mother finally allowed her to disconnect her cell, though by then Alyssa had missed the agent’s message. Scanning the seating by the gate, she promptly spotted a nice, quiet corner, one with no loud or sweaty men nearby, and made a beeline for it.

A few minutes later she heard a commotion and she glanced up to see an unhappy passenger arguing with one of the customer service agents. This wasn’t anything new. Alyssa wasn’t thrilled with the delay, either, but she’d been traveling a lot over the years and knew it was par for the course.

Would the passengers rather fly in an unsafe plane? Alyssa would prefer to fly with her mind at ease, and to land the same way. Delays were never fun, but she wasn’t going to argue with people who knew a lot more about the airplanes than she did.

When several other people surged around the guy who’d gone ballistic—his voice was rising by the minute—and gained the “courage” to yell at the agent along with him, Alyssa tried not to watch. But it was like passing a wreck on the freeway. You knew it was ridiculous to slow down, but no matter how much you lectured yourself not to twist your head, it just seemed to happen.

As Alyssa focused on the clamor, she felt the air stir next to her as someone sat down. No rank odor assailed her, so she didn’t pay attention to her new neighbor; she was busy watching two policemen walk to the customer service counter. The noise finally began dying down when the officers told the passengers that the next person to cause a problem would be escorted off the premises.

Nothing more to see there. She turned her head idly and then started in surprise; her eyes surely widened to the size of small saucers. Sitting next to her was a heart-stoppingly beautiful man—and she never used that term lightly. His thick, dark hair was cut just a little longer than was conventional, brushing the top of his ears. His solid jawline and high cheekbones gave him an air of natural sophistication, and the straight, smooth shape of his nose perfected his features.

But what really caught her attention were the sultry dark brown eyes with their perfect almond shape, and thick, long lashes that most people in her former industry would pay thousands of dollars to acquire. The man was positively delicious, which sent an instant shot of awareness through her stomach. And she had no business gazing his way.

Something was making him unhappy. His flawless lips were clamped in a straight line and his eyebrows bent inward in a scowl. When Alyssa finally exhaled, she found herself sitting up a little bit straighter. His scent was now dancing inside her, and—mmmm—whatever cologne the man was wearing was meant to seduce. Meant to make women turn their heads. And it was doing the trick on her.

“Mr. Whitman, is there anything else I can do for you?”

Alyssa turned to find one of the airline’s agents hovering around her compelling neighbor. The name was familiar, but she couldn’t place it.

“No. Leave me.”

Wow! He was an unhappy man.

Alyssa decided that staying silent would be the wisest course of action. But she had never really been the silent type, and for some odd reason, this stranger’s disgruntled mood made her feel less sorry for herself. It looked as if his day was going worse than hers. And that was saying a lot.

“I’m so sorry about the delay, Mr. Whitman,” the agent said. “We’ll be boarding within the next twenty minutes.” When he didn’t respond, she shifted on her feet before shuffling away.

The man’s cold dismissal would make anyone uneasy. The little show that had just taken place told Alyssa that she should stand up quietly and find another seat. But she wouldn’t. Not when she was suddenly so entertained right where she was.

The man was retrieving his laptop from his computer bag when the device slipped and he jerked his hand out to catch it; in the process, his elbow leapt over the armrest separating him from her and jabbed her in the ribs. She couldn’t help giving out an oof of pain.

Customer Reviews

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Her Unexpected Hero 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 20 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed each page of words. Loved the characters and plot.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Love thesse books...cant get enough...alyssa and jackson weremeant to be together...keep them coming
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Loved this book. Good to see Anderson's and their friends matchmaking. Really enjoyed and looking forward to the nextbook.
Under_The_Covers_BookBlog More than 1 year ago
Reviewed by Angela and posted at Under The Covers Book Blog Alyssa is on her way to her parents house to lick her wounds after a bad break up. But one bad luck after another, she ends up at the airport for hours in a rut of delayed planes. Call it bad luck, but this leads to an unforgettable one night stand with a very sexy, very rich man. Maybe it’s fate because, that night will not be the last she sees him. Jackson, a widowed work-a-holic still grieves the loss of his daughter and wife even after four years had past. He has immersed himself in meaningless one night stands until he finally meets the girl who intrigued him. A woman that will go against everything he is used to. He is shocked that for the first time, the girl didn’t want anything more. But after seeing her months later, he can’t help but attempt for something more. I enjoyed Allysa and Jackson’s story. The courtship was sweet and romantic, and even the angst between them was cute. The small town theme was complete with meddling elders and nosy neighbors. There was plenty of humor, and the plot kept me reading. My only gripe is Allysa’s deception or lies by omission. It made me cringe each time she weaved the web of lies that truly was unnecessary. It was minor, but I felt that the conflict could have been better. The backstory with Jackson and his brothers was intriguing. I can tell it’s thick with history that made their relationship strong. There’s a lot of history there that I want to read more of. Overall, Her Unexpected Hero was a quick, fun and sweet read. Perfect for a lazy weekend. *ARC provided by publisher
DBTan More than 1 year ago
Mind blowingly good!!! This is the first book in a brand new series by Melody Anne and it's off to great start. Her Unexpected hero is an emotional roller coaster ride that will surely keep you hooked from start to finish. Totally captivating! 
LoriC5 More than 1 year ago
4 Great Stars! It’s easy to go overboard and cliché with the “billionaire” books, but Melody Anne always seems to make me love each one she writes! Her Unexpected Hero is another fun, sexy, and intriguing story. This book is loosely related to Melanie’s Billionaire series starring the meddling and loveable Anderson Brothers. Joseph even makes an appearance to help Martin marry off his boys. Starting with Jackson! Jackson has been through the ultimate tragedy, having lost his wife and infant daughter in a fire. Despite having been adopted by an amazing, and wealthy man, he still harbors distrust from his years in foster care. Between those two things, he has become hardened, cynical, and determined never to love again.  He has closed himself off and even gone so far as to try and shut out his family. Lucky for him, they won’t let him.  Alyssa is the definition of down on her luck. After struggling to make something of herself in the modeling world, she has been duped, robbed, and abandoned by her manager/boyfriend. At 24, she is too old to make a new start and is she takes off to be with her parents where she can regroup and hopefully figure out what to do with her life.  Strangers meet in an airport. Seems like the beginning of a sexy romance novel. Oh wait! It is! Alyssa and Jackson are immediately drawn to each other, however their interlude seems safe because both are sure they will never see the other again. They spend a plane right from Paris to New York getting to know each other and then have one spectacular and explosive night together before Alyssa slips away the next morning.  Fate is now laughing in their faces. Alyssa’s parents moved to a new home in Montana a few years ago and little do Alyssa or Jackson know, they now live in the same town. Although Jackson still believes that he want nothing to do with love and commitment, he can’t get Alyssa out of his head, so when he sees her again, he starts a relentless pursuit. But, Alyssa has a secret and beyond her own fears for the future are her fears of letting herself fall for Jackson and have her heart broken.  Alyssa is a sweet character. She’s independent and a fighter, though she is a tad stubborn. Ok, a lot stubborn. Her fears are somewhat justified in the beginning, however as she gets to know Jackson, she should have trusted what was in front of her a little more.  Jackson is a little slow to come around to the truth of his feelings, but at the same time, he really doesn’t run from them. He steps up in a big way and shows that he can change for the right woman. His dark and cynical personality give way for a fun loving and swoon worthy man! He had me melting a little more with every page.  As usual with Melody’s books, the cast of supporting characters is what make the book truly fun to read. The meddling parents and grandparents are a hoot! And, she certainly gives you just enough about the other brothers to make you want to read their stories as well. I’ll be on to Spence’s story next!  The book was cute and fun with a good dose of steamy. It’s not gripping or absolutely riveting, but it is worth the read. It’s a fairly quick read and it will leave you with a smile and the warm fuzzies. Have fun with Jackson and Alyssa! 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Another great book!! Loved the Billionaire Bachelor series and already love the spin off series. Can't help but love these families and wish you were a part of them. Ready for the next one!!!! If you haven't read the other booksin this series you need to.
2_Irish_Girls More than 1 year ago
The prologue pulled me in and the first me kept me there! “Sometimes we have to risk everything before we can find true happiness.” The prologue pulled me in and the first me kept meet there! Jackson and Alyssa had chemistry from the beginning. I really thought I knew how their story would go, but boy was I wrong! These two had way more surprises and turbulence than I expected. The character development itself was fantastic. We get Jackson's background first and it is a bad situation turned feel-good story. He and his brothers show their true colors at a young age and you just know that they will grow to be the kind of men you want to know. Jackson and Alyssa both have heartache to overcome and they do not want to expose themselves to that kind of pain again. But like most great love stories, everyone around them already knows than they belong together. One of my favorite aspects of this book was the support characters and there were a lot! Not overwhelmingly so, but they were a big family and a small town. You do the math. ;) Alyssa's parents were warm and compassionate. And remarkably patient! I mean WOW! They really knew their girl and what she needed. Jackson's brothers and dad were the best! So great that I cannot wait for their books to come out. If they are growing men like that in Montana, book me a one-way ticket! But seriously, there were a great family. It felt good to read about such closeness. I wanted to be on that ranch with them. The story itself was fun and exciting. I loved the back and forth between Jackson and Alyssa. I will say that I wanted to band their heads together a few times! And I definitely was not cool with how long Alyssa let things go, but then again, I am not her. She was scared and hurt and did what she had to do to protect herself. There were moments where she could have faced her fears and communicated with Jackson that they would have both been saved a lot of heartache. It was a little much at times, but it did not overshadow the story or the wonderfulness that was Jackson. He was just plain great. "Baby, when you're good, you know it." I give this 3.5 fate-never-looked-so-good stars and pair it with a bunch of little airplane liquor bottles!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I will definitely read this series...
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Another wonderful book by this author
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Another wonderful love story by Melody Anne ... love all her books.  I usually will not spend $7.99 for a Nook book, but I did for Melody Anne's book, I wasn't disappointed, you won't be either.
BlushingReader More than 1 year ago
3.5 stars Her Unexpected Hero was my first time reading a full length book by Melody Anne, I did read a novella by her in the Baby It's Cold Outside Anthology and it turns out I have several of her books in my TBR waiting for me on my Kindle so I know I will be reading more from this author in the future.  While this is a new series, I am going to assume (the vibe I got from reading this book) that this is a spin-off of another series.  While I enjoyed this book as a new series and a standalone there were times I felt like I was missing out on some pieces of the puzzle, they were few things that made me wonder if I should go back and read her Anderson series (which I most likely will). Her Unexpected Hero was different than I was expecting.  Melody Anne has crafted a story that you think is leading in one direction and then jumps the rails and really takes you on a new path!  When Jackson and Alyssa met there was a spark, chemistry and some heat!  Melody Anne did a great job pulling you into the story, from the emotional prologue and then right into the meeting of Alyssa and Jackson at the airport.  Alyssa was a tough sale for me, she had just had the carpet pulled from beneath her, losing everything and having to go back to living with her parents.  She was closed off, bitter and wanting to forget what she was forced to leave behind.  A fresh start was what she planned, then Jackson messed it all up (in a good way).  Jackson, I will admit, I liked right away.  He was surly, a bit fussy and hot under the collar.  Then we get to see him evolve and change during the story.  Melody Anne did a great job with her characters, I loved the family ties with Jackson and his family and the sense of community that she portrayed in that small Montana town. As the story unfolded there were a few things that gave me pause (I have a few hang ups in my picky reader's mind that I couldn't get over, but no spoilers) and took me out of the story.  Alyssa was very wishy-washy and came off as a bit of a spoiled brat.  She didn't want Jackson, but she was upset when he wasn't there giving her attention and she made pretty silly choices.  Her character went through a lot during this book, things got pretty dramatic and a bit far fetched for me.  Jackson on the other hand became a whole new person from the surly man we meet at the airport, but I was ok with that.  He saw what he wanted, recognized it and went after it.  He was way more patient (and a bit blind) with Alyssa than many would be.  His turnaround did seem sudden, but somehow it worked.  I liked the idea that your whole life could change by sitting next to someone on a plane... ah, fate! Her Unexpected Hero was definitely an interesting read.  While I wasn't a fan of some the plot points and the dramatic happenings, it was a solid read and I will be interested to read the next installment.  If you like your romance with drama and sizzle then this is a great book to pick up and read tonight!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is the first book in a new series from Author Melody Anne. Like all of this author's previous books, this one hits it out of the park. I love that her books are parts of a series but each can ve read as a stand alone if you prefer. I honestly had a hard time putting this book down as it made me care what happened with the characters. Beloved characters from some of Melody Anne's other books make an appearance as well. Definately worth picking this book up for a great read
Jettamomma More than 1 year ago
Her Unexpected Hero was exactly what I have come to expect from Melody Anne! It is a wonderfully written love story that made me cry, laugh and swoon! The main character, Alyssa, was looking to rebuild her life and was thrown a curve ball in more ways than one. I thoroughly enjoyed the way she was able to put Jackson in his place while creating a new life for herself! I will definitely be recommending this story to all my friends!
Cindy111 More than 1 year ago
Melody Anne delivers another wonderful book with Her Unexpected Hero book #1 in the Unexpected Heroes series. The chemistry between Jackson and Alyssa sizzles, I especially liked the part where they are flying from Paris to the States in First Class(I'll never think of First Class in the same boring way as I used to.) To see what I am talking about, get the book, I am sure you will not be disappointed. I also liked revisiting characters from past books by Melody Anne especially the Andersons. Both Jackson & Alyssa are dealing with let downs and lies in their past and it is great to read how they overcome it and find their HEA. The secondary characters in this book are an interesting bunch too!
Lashea677 More than 1 year ago
I received an ARC of Her Unexpected Hero by Melody Anne for an honest review. I enjoyed Jackson and Alyssa's story. Both had been betrayed in the past by people they loved and trusted. For this reason they were afraid to trust and that made the journey to love difficult. Having read a number of Melody Anne's books in the past--I can honestly say that her books are always enjoyable reads. I would definitely purchase any book that she has written.
bouncyberthaCR More than 1 year ago
4 - "I'm game if you are." Stars! Melody Anne is fast becoming one of my favorite go-to romance authors, Her Unexpected Hero is the first full length book in the Unexpected Heroes Series, and it was an absolute winner. ”I’ve had better, Jackson Whitman.” We are introduced albeit briefly to the Whitman brothers in the opening novella in this series Safe in his Arms… Sexy, single, self-made, and all with a little something about them that you can’t help but be interested in and intrigued by, the Whitman’s, their family and friends as well as the town of Sterling, Montana as a whole are people and places I want to read more of.  ”I’m just across the hall if you want me… ”The door’s open and I sleep… commando.” Jackson and Alyssa’s story isn’t unique in its themes; in fact I could probably go into double figures on the amount of books that I have read with the same sort of storylines. But it is so beautifully written, with a cast of characters that you can’t help but become enamored with, I couldn’t put this book down I was enjoying it so much. Melody Anne has a writing style that pulls you in, you feel involved in the story and you hope the characters to make the right choices…  Lies never ended well. That didn’t always happen, and I could have happily given Alyssa a hard shake for a lot of this book, but it is all bought together really well, and the authors reasoning for leaving things as they were for so long become apparent as the story progressed. ”Sometimes we have to risk everything before we can find true happiness.” This is a series I think I am going to fall more and more in love with as the books are released. I sensed a spark when I read Safe in his Arms, after finishing Her Unexpected Hero there is a definite flame of interest burning, and I cannot wait to see where Melody takes us next with Who I am With You due for release April 2015. ARC generously provided via Netgalley, in exchange for the above honest review.