Jocelyn Butler has been hiding from her past for years. But all her secrets are about to be laid bare....
Four years ago, Jocelyn left her tragic past behind in the States and started over in Scotland, burying her grief, ignoring her demons, and forging ahead without attachments. Her solitary life is working well - until she moves into a new apartment on Dublin Street where she meets a man who shakes her carefully guarded world to its core.
Braden Carmichael is used to getting what he wants, and he's determined to get Jocelyn into his bed. Knowing how skittish she is about entering a relationship, Braden proposes an arrangement that will satisfy their intense attraction without any strings attached.
But after an intrigued Jocelyn accepts, she realizes that Braden won't be satisfied with just mind-blowing passion. The stubborn Scotsman is intent on truly knowing her...down to the very soul.
©2012 Samantha Young (P)2013 Penguin Audio
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.
I can find a book to love in any genre -- a beautifully written classic, an interesting mystery or sci-fi, a trashy romance. Bring it!
STORY (romance) - If you've heard as many audiobooks as I have, you will come across this story line a lot. One lover has a difficult past and the other has to help work through the demons. But this one just really "got me" more than most. Joss has moved from Virginia (USA) all the way to Scotland to get away from her past. She sticks to herself and won't let anyone in...until she meets scrumptious Braden Carmichael in a cab.
Usually I prefer mystery/romances because I tend to get bored with just romance alone. Not this time. I loved the story, the sexual content and, most of all, Braden.
PERFORMANCE - I have a pet peeve about romances I listen to. I like the men to sound like men and the women to sound like women, which is extremely hard when there's only one narrator. Paula Costello does a great job. Braden's Scottish accent may not be perfect, but it is tender and sexy. That's all that matters!
OVERALL (actual overall rating 4.5) - There is quite a bit of explicit sex. I didn't count, but maybe like six five-minute scenes. The F-word is fairly frequently uttered. There is no violence. Recommended for any female who likes hot romances.
I am a book junkie...I read and enjoy a variety of stories, so please don't "define me" by one book or review! :)
I really enjoyed this story. In my estimation it is well-written and well-done. I became engrossed and was able to connect with the characters which, after all, is the number one job of any "good" fiction book. I ejoyed and liked the characters, and felt the book was pretty well-plotted and paced. There were a few things you could see coming quite far ahead, (particularly regarding Ellie and her life), but that's not always a bad thing and I wouldn't take any credit away from this book for that. The narrator did an excellent job voicing the various characters, and seemed just the right tone for the main character Jocelyn.
Yes, I enjoyed Paulo Costello reading this book. I love the Scottish accent she did while reading this book.
I love how romantic Braden is. I love how he found for Jocelyn.
I think this is her 1st reading b/c I did not find any other books she had read.
Wow, I listened to this book. I love the reader voice with the Scottish accent. I read this book through e-book awhile ago and enjoyed it a lot. However while I listened to it, I found that Jocelyn can me such a coward at times and it drove me crazy.
My favorites quotes: I love Braden.
He jerked his eyes back to mine. "You look beautiful, Jocelyn." ... "But you need to put your hair up."... "Because," his voice was low, a deep purr he reserved for the bedroom, hence why I felt all the way down into my panties, "I like being the only man who knows how beautiful your hair is. How gorgeous you look with it down.:
"I spent last night going over and over the last six months in my head and I know that you're lying to my. I know you love me, Jocelyn, because there's no f**king way I can be this much in love with you, and not have you feel the same ways. It's not possible."
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.
I really enjoy the world of books! Narration just add layers to that world... don't u think? :)
Wow... what a great love story. I loved this. I have just become a Samantha Young Fan!!!
I was not expecting this to be as good as this was. Jos has so many issues b/c of her childhood and she moves to Scotland and meets Brendon and his sister and boy do they help her. Well Brendon sure does. The way the story is written you can just listen without stopping. It was an easy listen from beginning to end. I never felt like skipping chapters because the story got boring or started to lack seriousness or intensity. It was great! I loved the bar fight scene with hot smex in the office. AWESOME!!!! Great Job!
A buy or credit. I would buy and save my credit for something else I am not to sure about. This is a sure thing for romantic novel lovers like myself...
Narration was really good. I never listen to Costello before, and she was just wonderful. I loved her Scottish accent. Simply Perfect. One of my fave stories now.
LOVED this book. Oh Braden, Braden, Braden. I was hooked from beginning to end. There was a good balance of angst, emotions, laughter, love. Good story with a perfect ending and no cliffhangers. Oh yeah, I almost forgot, HOT ACCENT!!!!! WHEW (fanning myself) ;-) the narrator did a good job.
Audible Addict!!! My Favorite books have change since joining Audible and my taste for erotic has enhanced! Follow me to the dark side. ;)
For some reason I avoided these books even though they had good reviews. Latley I've had a couple of bad narrators this week and was getting pissed 😡😡😡😡 but once I started listening to this one I loved it from chapter one. It's really good narration writing and most important for me is the HOT SEX. Worth the credit.
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!
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