Home is where my books are.
I was mesmerized by this book, even though it was difficult at times not to be frustrated by the main character's self defeating inner monologue. What made the book work was the narration by Paula Costello. She was a revelation and kept me listening long past bedtime.
The reviewer who compared this book to 'Bared to You,' must not have read them back to back, as I just did. While sexy, this book is no where near 'Bared to You,' --- if only! It could have been very hot indeed.
Disclaimer: I've never been much of a "girly girl," always rolled my eyes at chick flicks and chuckled at the covers of romance novels. But I was curious to try one at some point, and yes my boyfriend broke up me and I was frustrated. So take my review with a grain of salt, but I'm going back to eye-rolling and snickering.
First, predictable and repetitious. Sure, you know what is going to happen, if you wanted a mystery you would read a mystery. Of course you know that the chick is going to get the hot dude and that there will lots of sex, that's why you're reading this. But come on, how many times do we need to hear the same things happening again? I also thought the book began a bit abruptly--two sentences in and said chick is already in close quarters with said hot dude, who is already eying her thighs.
Next, the unhealthy nature of the "relationship." I know a lot of folks have enjoyed the "50 Shades" series, but I am personally annoyed and offended by the heroic portrayal of women being taken advantage of. Much of the book I was frustrated Joss' almost-attempts at standing up for herself, thinking "finally, don't take that sh*t, that-a-girl" until she yet again melts before the handsome douchebag. Telling her that she can't wear short dresses out in public because he doesn't want other men to see her taking pride in her body, can't wear her hair down because he doesn't want other men to see how nice it looks.... little red flags anybody?
Not to mention, Barbie and Ken? Of course the hot dude is going to be mid/late-twenties, handsome, extremely well-muscled, rich, smart, charismatic... of course. But when the author started describing Joss as looking more "plain," enjoying a "casual" appearance I cheered. Why, Joss even calls herself short! She even picked fun at the blonde bimbos. Cool, a "normal" heroine! But apparently looking "plain" means having fantastic hair, great legs, and jugs for boobs. Oh, and 5'6" is "short." [Need I comment that this 5'2" reviewer snorted in disgust at all the times Joss complained about her height?]
Am I just an insensitive, hard-to-please, fault-finding reader? Maybe. If your personality more closely matches that of the other reviews, hey you might enjoy the book, to each his own. But if you're newer to this genre and saw that this was ranked as a top novel, I would recommend trying to find something else.
The audiobook's redeeming quality was the accents. I thought the narrator did quite a good job impersonating the accents for the characters, though I am a sucker for Scottish and Irish accents. I almost wished that Joss' character had been Scottish too, so that the whole novel would have been read with such a delightful accent.
Audiobooks are relaxing and 'food for the soul'.
Great Contemporary Romance premise. Love the accents. Hated the "martyr" attitude.
The most interesting aspect of the story was how tolerant Braden was of Jocelyn's issues. I mean the guy has to be a Saint to put up with her whole "whoa is me" character throughout the ENTIRE book.
When Braden yells at Jocelyn to put her BS aside and stick by her friend that needs her.
Yes, frustration that I put up with her disturbing persona for the entire book. I stuck it out because I like all the other characters a lot.
With all this said, I can't wait for the next book...Down London Road...to come out in audible format. I'm hoping that the lead female character won't be such a drama queen in that one.
Funny, sexy, emotional.
There are a lot of "girl with tragic past meets alpha male and .... " books out there, but Joss and Braden have very believable chemistry. Braden is strong without being overwhelming and stalkerish like some other male characters in similar books. You will love him immediately.
Her transition between characters is seamless. Her Joss is perfect, sarcastic with hints of vulnerability.
The prologue perfectly sets up the story.
This is a good “nightstand” book to read an excerpt or two from to get you “in the mood”. As a book to read with a true compelling story line, no. I was half way through the book and still wondering what is this story about other than physical attraction. While I adored the ensemble case of characters, I found the main character, Joss, to be shallow and self-serving. The narrator was superb with all the different accents, but no narrator can rise above a truly poorly written book.
I listen to many audiobooks and review the ones I find most notable.
Sigh. So, I don't really understand why this genre exists. The male love interest in this story is controlling and abusive. I don't find this 'swoon worthy'. I can only assume that those who do have not ever been in an abusive, controlling relationship. If you like this kind of thing, then it is a cute little story.
I will give you some examples below. May contain spoilers (no plot twists, just quotes and scenes).
The description makes it sound like Jocelyn is emotionally damaged and through his tenacity and devotion, Braden wins her trust and love. This is not so. He 'wins' her trust by demanding it, threatening her and playing emotional head games. Braden is constantly manhandling Jocelyn, physically manhandling. He is constantly ignoring her boundaries. In one scene, she gets angry at something he says and she gets up to leave. His response? 'You leave and I will tackle you'. This is not a joke. Jocelyn talks about being 'intimidated' constantly and tells him he is 'such a cave man'. She often says it lightheartedly, but it is not funny. Not to me. The Braden in the story is some kind of mythical man who has these traits but is actually loving and kind and no real threat. In real life, men like this are dangerous. She breaks up with him and he 'won't let her'. He tears up her plane ticket. He threatens bodily harm on other people if she flirts with them. He orders her around constantly. She acts all 'you can't treat me this way' but gives in immediately. He plays head games with a woman who already has severe emotional issues to manipulate her into getting what he wants. That is abuse. The have an 'arrangement' at the beginning of the book, but he never honors it. He begins their relationship by breaking trust and acting inappropriately. One of these traits could be a 'bad habit' a 'quirk'. But taken all together, this is not a man be with. I had to force myself to finish it.
But, again, this is not the only book of its kind that I have read. It is apparently something that sells. So, if this is your cup of tea, then I think this is a nice story. But please, do no let young impressionable girls read this crap. Real live men who act like this are far from endearing.
The narrator was great. :)
I have this book in print and read it quite some time ago so I knew the story and it was still GREAT! The narrator is fantastic. It was sweet, funny, HOT, emotional and HOT. Braden and Joss are some of my favorite characters. Samantha Young will be getting all of my credits since I'll be downloading all of her books from this point forward!
I'm a bored Alabamian looking for a way to escape!
I wouldn't recommend this book unless you were interested in a Scottish accent. The story was okay...No wait, yes I would if my girlfriends and I were on a road trip. We'd all have something to say based on the characters.
If I compared it to Shades or Bared, Dublin Street would be the better book because it had characters that were more believable.
Paula Costello can do male, female, young and mature accents!!!
I couldn't take this book in one sitting. But I read it in three days.
Interesting beginning, but the story was "eh". Maybe I'm just too old for this kind of book. It really wasn't romantic. It was tiring and aggravating. I understand the main character had issues. But by the time I was a third of the way in, I was ready to put it down. Maybe I was that immature when I was twenty-three. Geez, I hope not. That's all I kept thinking when I read it.The best part was the narrator. Paula Costello could do the accents and she could perform the male and female parts. Excellent! I could listen to her read a story about paint drying and it would be wonderful.
I LOVE books. And dogs & quilting & beading & volunteering.
Samantha Young writes great sex scenes and narrator Paula Costello did a very nice job of telling them. The journey of Joss and Brendan from casual relationship to marriage was a "listen twice" type of audiobook for me.
I enthusiastically urge women who enjoy romantic novels and graphic sex to spend a credit on this delightful story of an American girl in Scotland
When am I going to learn that hundreds of 5 star ratings doth not a good book make!?!?!? Unfortunately I read only after I downloaded that this author has previously only written for the YA audience. Had I discovered that, I would have passed this up. The premise and the characters are a stretch, but mostly it was just plain boring. But at least there was consistency in that the reader chosen was equally flat in her delivery. No tonal depth, no character differentiation, far too much snark.
What genre was it?! Not romance, not erotica. YA sex maybe. A new genre. Just what we need.
I would have been embarrassed had any of the readers I love done this book.
Not a one.