Tag: On Dublin Street

Throwback Thursday Review: Echoes of Scotland Street by Samantha Young

Posted August 1, 2019 by Holly in Reviews | 5 Comments

Throwback Thursday Review: Echoes of Scotland Street by Samantha YoungReviewer: Holly
Echoes of Scotland Street by Samantha Young
Series: On Dublin Street #5
Also in this series: On Dublin Street , Down London Road (On Dublin Street, #2), Before Jamaica Lane (On Dublin Street, #3), Before Jamaica Lane, Castle Hill, Fall From India Place, Fall From India Place, Fall from India Place , Castle Hill, Echoes of Scotland Street , Moonlight on Nightingale Way, Moonlight on Nightingale Way, One King's Way, One King's Way, One King's Way, On Hart's Boardwalk (On Dublin Street #6.7) , On Hart's Boardwalk, Down London Road
Publisher: Penguin
Publication Date: October 7th 2014
Genres: Fiction
Pages: 336
Add It: Goodreads
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four-half-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

From the New York Times bestselling author of On Dublin Street comes a seductive story of forgiving the past and making up for lost time.…
Shannon MacLeod has always gone for the wrong type of man. After she drifted from one toxic relationship to the next, her last boyfriend gave her a wake-up call in the worst possible way. With her world shattered, she’s sworn off men—especially those of the bad-boy variety.Cole Walker is exactly the sort that Shannon wants to avoid—gorgeous, tattooed, charming, and cocky. But his rough exterior hides a good man who’s ready to find “the one.” He’s determined to pull Shannon from her self-imposed solitude to win her heart.As Shannon opens up in the face of Cole’s steady devotion, the passion between them ignites to blazing levels. But when Shannon’s past comes back to haunt her, her fears may destroy the trust Cole has built between them—and tear them apart for good.…

*** Every Thursday, we’ll be posting throwback reviews of our favorite and not-so-favorite books. Enjoy! ***

This review was originally posted on Oct 15, 2014.

I fell in love with Cole in Down London Road. I’m so glad he got his own book. He was everything I expected. I wasn’t sure what to make of his heroine at first, but she ended up being his perfect match.

Shannon moves to Edinburgh to start over. She’s had a pretty rough go of things lately and she needs a change of scenery. She applies for several jobs but the only interview she gets is at the tattoo shop INKarnate. When the owner offers her the position she’s thrilled to have found something so quickly. But she’s also terrified of accepting. Tattoo shops are bad boy hangouts and she’s a bad boy magnet..and not the good, sexy kind of bad boy, either. The lie, cheat, steal and beat on you kind.

When she meets Cole, the shop manager, she’s dismayed to feel an instant attraction to him. He doesn’t help things by coming on to her pretty strong. The last thing she needs in her life is another player like Cole. She wants to avoid him as much as possible, but when she moves in with another tattoo artist from the shop and gets pulled into their friend circle, it’s really hard. Cole won’t let up until she eventually slaps him down, hard. Then she realizes she made a mistake. Cole isn’t a player like all her exes. He’s actually a pretty great guy. And while she isn’t looking for a relationship – she isn’t sure she’ll ever be able to trust a guy again – she knows she has to make things right with him. Except once she does, once she lays out her secrets to him, Cole becomes even more determined to have her. Keeping him at bay isn’t easy, but she knows she has to. Because the alternative is opening her heart, and she just can’t do that.

This isn’t what I expected from Cole’s book. First, I thought it would be from his point-of-view. Second, I thought there would be more angst on his side of things. At first I was disappointed in the direction Young went with the story, but as the novel progressed I realized it was played just right. Though Cole had some drama growing up, he had strong role models in his sister, her husband and their circle of friends. He was firmly grounded. Had Young made up some kind of angsty drama for him, I would have been disappointed. His pursuit of Shannon early in the book was almost uncomfortable to read about, since we saw it from her perspective and she wasn’t exactly charmed (or, more to the point, didn’t want to be). Once she bares her soul to him, though, I thought he treated her exactly right.

“Delicate, beautiful, fragile. I want to protect you while at the same time I want to shatter you,” he murmured against my lips, “but only in the best way possible.”

The way he acted toward the end frustrated me, but knowing where he came from (based on the way he was raised in Down London Road) made his actions tolerable. Shannon had a great amount of inner strength. Despite her family turning their backs on her and mistreatment by former boyfriends, she was determined to get back the girl she used to be.

Tears stung my eyes, and my mouth trembled as I glared out at the city. If it was the last thing I did, I would buy those acrylics and use them . . . and somehow, hopefully, along the way I was going to find the girl I’d lost because of him.

I had a lot of admiration for her. Especially as her relationship with Cole developed and she owned her behavior. She had the occasional setback, but she was quick to admit when she was wrong.  That isn’t to say she didn’t frustrate me at times, because she did. I wanted her to see how great Cole was sooner, and then to give in to the inevitable between them immediately. That wouldn’t have been realistic based on her past, however.

Shannon’s friendship with her roommate (a tattoo artist at INKarnate), Rae, as well as the relationships she develops with her other co-workers was great. It was good to see her spreading her wings and getting back out there. I always love it when the heroine has friends outside her relationship. Speaking of Rae, I really loved her. She was bold and brash, yet compassionate and caring when she needed to be. That didn’t stop me from being seriously pissed at the way she acted toward Shannon during the main part of the conflict. I’m not going to go into a huge rant here about it, but..I expected better from her. There’s a surprising amount of humor laced throughout. Shannon has a great sense of humor. There were times, especially when dealing with Cole’s family, that I was literally laughing out loud.

“Jo, sheathe the mother- bear claws.” He said it in such an authoritative tone I wasn’t surprised when she snapped her mouth shut. Cole’s fingers tightened their hold on my waist. “Shannon is my business, not yours.”

“And you’re my business,” she argued, glowering at me.

Awkward. ” Everyone stopped talking and looked at me.

I blanched.

“Did I say that out loud?” Cole nodded, shaking with amusement. Joss, Hannah, and Liv burst into laughter and even Jo’s scowl cleared as her lips twitched.

Speaking of Cole’s family, it was really great to see his interactions with Hannah and the rest. His relationship with Hannah had come under fire in the past, so I wondered how Shannon would deal with it. Her quick acceptance of their friendship was great, as were Cole and Hannah’s reactions to it.

I couldn’t imagine anyone being mean to Hannah. She was so lovely. “Why would she start on Hannah?”

Cole grinned. “You like Hannah, don’t you?”

“Eh, yeah. She’s a pregnant superwoman. She’s a teacher, she’s a mum, she’s a stepmum, she’s a wife, and she’s smart and organized and caring and somehow manages to be all those things while looking absolutely amazing. I kind of want to be Hannah.”

All-in-all, this was a great addition to the series. Cole was everything I expected him to be, and Shannon’s personal growth, as well as their developing relationship, really pulled me in. This book is emotionally charged, funny, sweet and full of depth. I couldn’t put it down.

4.25 out of 5

On Dublin Street

four-half-stars


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Throwback Thursday Review: Down London Road by Samantha Young

Posted July 25, 2019 by Holly in Reviews | 1 Comment

Throwback Thursday Review: Down London Road by Samantha YoungReviewer: Holly
Down London Road by Samantha Young
Series: On Dublin Street #2
Also in this series: On Dublin Street , Down London Road (On Dublin Street, #2), Before Jamaica Lane (On Dublin Street, #3), Before Jamaica Lane, Castle Hill, Fall From India Place, Fall From India Place, Fall from India Place , Castle Hill, Echoes of Scotland Street , Moonlight on Nightingale Way, Moonlight on Nightingale Way, One King's Way, One King's Way, One King's Way, On Hart's Boardwalk (On Dublin Street #6.7) , On Hart's Boardwalk, Echoes of Scotland Street
Publisher: NAL
Publication Date: May 7, 2013
Point-of-View: First
Cliffhanger: View Spoiler »
Content Warning: View Spoiler »
Genres: Contemporary Romance, New Adult
Pages: 369
Add It: Goodreads
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four-half-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

Johanna Walker is used to taking charge. But she’s about to meet someone who will make her lose control...

It has always been up to Johanna to care for her family, particularly her younger brother, Cole. With an absent father and a useless mother, she’s been making decisions based on what’s best for Cole for as long as she can remember. She even determines what men to date by how much they can provide for her brother and her, not on whatever sparks may—or may not—fly.

But with Cameron MacCabe, the attraction is undeniable. The sexy new bartender at work gives her butterflies every time she looks at him. And for once, Jo is tempted to put her needs first. Cam is just as obsessed with getting to know Jo, but her walls are too solid to let him get close enough to even try.

Then Cam moves into the flat below Jo’s, and their blistering connection becomes impossible to ignore. Especially since Cam is determined to uncover all of Jo’s secrets... even if it means taking apart her defenses piece by piece.

*** Every Thursday, we’ll be posting throwback reviews of our favorite and not-so-favorite books. Enjoy! ***

I recently re-read this book and it was just as good as the first time. Although I enjoyed most of this series, Down London Road remains my favorite.

This review was originally posted on May 3, 2013.

We first met Johanna Walker in On Dublin Street. She was Joss’s good friend and co-worker. She was also a shameless gold digger. She was portrayed as a blond bimbo who was just looking for a man to take care of her. Yet even in that story we see there’s more to her, since she takes care of her younger brother, Cole.

Here we finally learn what’s behind the bimbo mask Jo wears. Yes, she dates older, wealthy men. But she’s never been with someone she didn’t genuinely care about. And who can blame her for wanting stability and wealth when she has her younger brother to think of?

Until she meets Cameron McCabe at an art show. Cameron seems to see right through her, into her very soul. They have an immediate attraction and Jo, for the very first time ever, craves a man who won’t be any good for her family. Until Cam opens his mouth and ruins it by jumping to conclusions about her and making her feel bad about herself.

Thanks to his harsh words, she starts seeing herself in a new light, and what she sees isn’t good. When Cam gets a job bartending with her, then moves into the flat below hers, she’s forced to admit she wants him, even if he is a total jerk. But when Cam realizes he was wrong about Jo and presses her to explore what’s between them, she’ll have to choose between doing something for herself and the stability of providing for her family..

The truth about Johanna isn’t that she’s a gold digger. She’s just desperate to provide a good life for her brother. She grew up with an abusive father who finally disappeared when she was around 10. Since then she’s been caring for her younger brother, as her mother is nothing but a drunk. And not a functional drunk, either, a bed-ridden one. Jo dropped out of high school at 16 to get a job to support them and she’s determined that Cole with have a better life than she did.

Because she’s uneducated, she knows there isn’t much hope of her providing a stable life for Cole….unless she can find a man. She might be dumb, but she’s pretty and that’s enough to get her what she needs. The interesting thing is that though she takes gifts from her boyfriends, she doesn’t ask them to support her. She doesn’t have them pay her bills, or give her cash. They buy her gifts she later sells on ebay for money, but she won’t take money from them direct. She also works two jobs.

In this, Young did an excellent job of showing us both sides of Jo. The insecure girl who has a fear of poverty and the strong, independent woman who only wants the best for her younger brother (who is really more like her son). I’m not sure she would have worked quite so well if there hadn’t been such a good balance between strong and vulnerable.

Cam hits every one of her insecurities right in the heart. He judges her and makes her feel less than she already does. She’s used to people thinking the worst of her, but for some reason his scorn really cuts her to the quick. Although it was hard to read those parts with Cam being such a jerk at times, I feel they were necessary to force Jo to really look inside herself and find her worth. She has to look inside herself to find out why his opinion of her matters so much, and what she can do to live up to his expectations.

That isn’t to say she changes for him. I think this book is as much Jo’s personal journey as it is a romance. She doesn’t want to change to be the person he wants her to be, but she wants to stop being the insecure woman who jumps at her own shadow. Cam was merely the catalyst for this transformation.

Cam is a tough character to like in the beginning. His disapproval of Jo and her lifestyle is understandable in one respect, as he isn’t too far off the mark about her. Yet he goes too far, jumping to conclusions and saying things that are way out of line. But we see there’s more to him than the judgmental jerk we meet in the beginning. Jo sees flashes of kindness in him almost immediately and as the story progresses he’s revealed as a strong, steady man who knows himself and is willing to put himself out there for those he cares about.

Aside from the fact that Jo and Cam are both dating other people, there’s added drama that comes from Jo’s life. Her alcoholic mother, gone but not forgotten abusive father and surrogate uncle who abandoned her. She has to overcome all of these obstacles in order to have happiness with Cam. I liked that her self-awareness grows as she does.

This is a novel of multi-faceted characters filled with emotion and depth. Highly recommended.

4.5/5

On Dublin Street

This book was provided by the publisher for an honest review.

four-half-stars


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Review: On Hart’s Boardwalk by Samantha Young

Posted March 29, 2018 by Rowena in Reviews | 2 Comments

Review: On Hart’s Boardwalk by Samantha YoungReviewer: Rowena
On Hart's Boardwalk by Samantha Young
Series: On Dublin Street #6.7, Hart's Boardwalk #2.5
Also in this series: On Dublin Street , Down London Road (On Dublin Street, #2), Before Jamaica Lane (On Dublin Street, #3), Before Jamaica Lane, Castle Hill, Fall From India Place, Fall From India Place, Fall from India Place , Castle Hill, Echoes of Scotland Street , Moonlight on Nightingale Way, Moonlight on Nightingale Way, One King's Way, One King's Way, One King's Way, On Hart's Boardwalk (On Dublin Street #6.7) , Down London Road, Echoes of Scotland Street, The One Real Thing, Every Little Thing
Publisher: Penguin, Intermix
Publication Date: March 20th 2018
Point-of-View: First Person
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 128
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four-stars

One of New York Times bestselling author Samantha Young's most beloved couples returns for the first time in a brand new novella set ten years after her blockbuster bestseller Before Jamaica Lane...

Nate and Liv have a great life together but they miss the spontaneity and freedom they enjoyed early on in their romance. Careers and their children have inevitably kept them busy, so when Nate discovers Liv is feeling disconnected from him, he plans an anniversary trip to the idyllic seaside town of Hartwell, Delaware. There he hopes they will have the opportunity they've been craving--a chance to reinvent themselves and fall in love all over again.

With each new day comes a new adventure, from wedding crashing at the five-star boardwalk hotel to pretending they are two strangers having a chance encounter at the boardwalk bar. In the midst of this daring, sexually-charged game of romantic rediscovery, Nate and Liv discover the only constant they need is each other.

On Hart’s Boardwalk takes us back into the lives of one of my favorite couples from Samantha Young’s On Dublin Street series. Nate and Liv have been together for fourteen years and are close to celebrating their tenth wedding anniversary and as couples do from time to time, they go through rough periods in their relationship and Nate and Liv are right in the middle of theirs.

Things between Nate and Liv aren’t quite right and it is starting to get to Liv. She’s in a relationship that is different from the one that she’s been in from the beginning and things went south when one of Nate’s best friends dies. When that happens, instead of leaning on Liv in his grief, Nate pulls away and each day that passes, Liv worries the worries of a neglected wife. She starts to second guess every single thing in their lives and it hurts her over and over again. When Liv turns 40 years old, Nate plans a getaway for the two of them. That getaway takes them to Hartwell, Delaware. The setting that will connect Samantha Young’s On Dublin Street and Hart’s Boardwalk worlds and this short story brought both worlds together in such a nice way that I was super happy with the entire thing.

It was great to see everyone again. From Josh and Braden to Cam and Jo, Marco and Hannah, everyone was here and I was here for that. I love these characters and my heart hurt for both Liv and Nate and what they were going through together. Samantha Young has created a bunch of special characters and Nate and Liv are a part of that bunch. I really enjoyed seeing them together again and seeing them work through their issues…together.

Nate is one of my favorite men in the On Dublin Streets series and seeing him hurt made me sad but Samantha Young did him a solid by writing this awesome short story that helped heal him from some very deep stuff that he was dealing with. It was great to see Nate, older and not yet wiser and still hopelessly in love with his wife. I loved seeing what comes after the happily ever after and I especially loved seeing two people fight to keep their happily ever after. That’s what Nate and Liv did and I loved them just as much now as I did then.

This was a good one. I definitely recommend.

On Dublin Street Series

Hart’s Boardwalk Series

Grade: 4 out of 5

four-stars


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Guest Review: On Hart’s Boardwalk by Samantha Young

Posted March 22, 2018 by Tracy in Reviews | 0 Comments

Guest Review: On Hart’s Boardwalk by Samantha YoungReviewer: Tracy
On Hart's Boardwalk (On Dublin Street #6.7) by Samantha Young
Series: On Dublin Street #6.7, Hart's Boardwalk #2.5
Also in this series: On Dublin Street , Down London Road (On Dublin Street, #2), Before Jamaica Lane (On Dublin Street, #3), Before Jamaica Lane, Castle Hill, Fall From India Place, Fall From India Place, Fall from India Place , Castle Hill, Echoes of Scotland Street , Moonlight on Nightingale Way, Moonlight on Nightingale Way, One King's Way, One King's Way, One King's Way, On Hart's Boardwalk, Down London Road, Echoes of Scotland Street, The One Real Thing, Every Little Thing
Publisher: Intermix
Publication Date: March 20th 2018
Format: eARC
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Add It: Goodreads
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
four-half-stars

Nate and Liv have a great life together but they miss the spontaneity and freedom they enjoyed early on in their romance. Careers and their children have inevitably kept them busy, so when Nate discovers Liv is feeling disconnected from him, he plans an anniversary trip to the idyllic seaside town of Hartwell, Delaware. There he hopes they will have the opportunity they've been craving--a chance to reinvent themselves and fall in love all over again.

With each new day comes a new adventure, from wedding crashing at the five-star boardwalk hotel to pretending they are two strangers having a chance encounter at the boardwalk bar. In the midst of this daring, sexually-charged game of romantic rediscovery, Nate and Liv discover the only constant they need is each other.

Nate and Liv have been together for 14 years, and married for 10 of those.  They have two beautiful children and Liv is just as in love with Nate now as she was when they first got together.  The problem is that Nate seems to have lost his love for Liv.  Since one of his friends died suddenly Nate has pushed Liv away and when Nate finds out how Liv is truly feeling he plans a trip to Delaware.  At one time, Liv had told Nate of vacations taken near Hartwell, Delaware and Nate wanted to recreate that joy for her.  He wanted to make his own memories, however, so he chose Hartwell.  They have a great location and it’s just the two of them, but can they work through the issues that have been haunting Liv for the past six months?

This was a pretty great novella.  I’ve been reading the Hart’s Boardwalk series so when I saw a novella for that series I was excited.  I had no idea I’d get the wonderful double whammy by getting the On Dublin Street series cast of characters as well as Hart’s Boardwalk characters.

Nate and Liv got their HEA in the novel Before Jamaica Lane, and if you read that you know that these two are incredibly hot together.  Their sex play in this book was no different but the even better than that was watching two people in love communicate and find the core issue to their problems.  It was well written, and Young didn’t slack on giving us the nitty gritty of their relationship – arguments and all.

On top of the greatness of that part of the book we also got to see, as I said, all of the characters from On Dublin Street as well as Hart’s Boardwalk.  I loved reading about the ODS crew and hearing a little about their families now that it’s been years since their HEA’s. HB is a newer series but it was still fun to catch up with those characters as well.

Overall I thought this was really good.  The love, friendship and feeling of contentment it left me with was incredible and I definitely recommend this one.

On Dublin Street Series

Rating: 4.5 out of 5

four-half-stars


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Review: One King’s Way by Samantha Young

Posted December 28, 2015 by Rowena in Reviews | 0 Comments

Review: One King’s Way by Samantha YoungReviewer: Rowena
One King's Way by Samantha Young
Series: On Dublin Street #1.5
Also in this series: On Dublin Street , Down London Road (On Dublin Street, #2), Before Jamaica Lane (On Dublin Street, #3), Before Jamaica Lane, Castle Hill, Fall From India Place, Fall From India Place, Fall from India Place , Castle Hill, Echoes of Scotland Street , Moonlight on Nightingale Way, Moonlight on Nightingale Way, One King's Way, One King's Way, On Hart's Boardwalk (On Dublin Street #6.7) , On Hart's Boardwalk, Down London Road, Echoes of Scotland Street
Publisher: Penguin
Publication Date: November 3, 2015
Pages: 158
Add It: Goodreads
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three-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

The New York Times bestselling author of On Dublin Street returns to the bar where it all began with Braden and Joss for a white-hot new novella full of passion and drama.

When he’s not working at the club, Craig Lanaghan looks out for his mother and little sisters. So when it comes to women, all he wants is a good time. But once Rain Alexander walks into his life, there’s no denying that this woman could be worth much more than a one-night stand….

Rain’s lifelong regret is having left her sister Darcy alone years ago with a guardian who turned out to be abusive. So when Darcy’s boyfriend publicly humiliates her in a cruel way, Rain’s overprotective instincts kick in and she follows him to Club 39—where she meets a guy who just might be her perfect match.

The chemistry between Rain and Craig is explosive, but Rain is out for revenge, and refuses to be sidetracked by flirtation. As things between them heat up, she’ll have to make a heartbreaking choice between giving in to the man of her dreams or putting her sister’s happiness first….

Another On Dublin Street book? Count me in!

I like Craig and was glad to hear that he was finally getting his own story, even if it was a short one. I like this series and was sad to see it go so to get a new story was a bonus for me.

If you’ve read this series, you’ll remember Craig as the cheeky bartender co-worker of both Jo and Joss at Club 39. It’s a happening bar that gets a lot of regulars and Craig is more than a little interested in the gorgeous red head that has been spending time in the bar, all by herself.

Being the gorgeous flirt that he is, Craig tries to get to know the red head and while she chats with him, that’s about as far as he gets with her. He’s going to need to bring out the big guns in order to win this one over.

I enjoyed this book but I didn’t love it the way that I loved most of the other books in this series and a lot of it had to do with how hard it was for me to connect with Rain. I didn’t understand her revenge plot, thought it was silly to be honest and her hot and cold attitude with Craig kind of got on my nerves. I’m not sure if it’s because I know Craig from the previous books so I know that he’s a good guy but there was something about Rain that made me want to roll my eyes down the street whenever she’d either blow Craig off or get all snippy with him.

I did like Craig and I did come around with Rain but I don’t know, there was something missing in this story. I liked it, but I didn’t exactly love it. The romance was solid and even though I didn’t warm up to Rain until the very end, I still enjoyed it. The romance was sweet but I wish we’d gotten a little more from both Rain and Craig’s background, maybe then I would have enjoyed this one a little more but still, it’s a solid story.

Grade: 3 out of 5

three-stars


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