The narrator is fantastic. Her seamless transition from English accent to Scottish is nearly flawless and made each character believable, approachable..Show More » and likable. She expertly personified Joss and it was no trouble believing her as Braden, either.
Jocelyn Butler is a very complicated character. She has put up such a fierce wall to surround the hurts of her past; it's almost impossible that anyon..Show More »e could get past the barriers. There were times when I wanted to scold her, wring her neck, shake my finger at her, comfort her, and just be the friend she didn't want. Her character is written with depth and extreme emotion. When Braden Carmichael enters her life she is not looking for a man, or a relationship with one beyond the most superficial friendship. It's very interesting how Braden manages to worm his way into her life; as if he'd taken the time to study her and figure out how to 'crack the nut' that fences her emotions. Braden is a wonderful character and I'd imagine the writer had a blast writing for him. Very slowly; Braden 'gets' to Jocelyn (Joss). It seems to this reader that there were times when he'd advance a step only to be put back two steps. Jocelyn is very emotionally bottled-up but the help of Braden and his family; she begins to unfurl.
It's not an easy romance. Most of it seems to be Jocelyn working through her demons. When the romance comes it's HOT and sweet. Very angsty as well. This is a book that we readers will keep and reread. It sparks our thoughts, dreams, hopes, introspections, and worry that maybe Jocelyn won't make it through the darkness that she finally has to face.
Samantha Young definitely knows how to write a story that will keep her readers captured. I appreciated the depth of emotion and intense detail she put into this story. It has a very good amount of sex that is written not so much erotically, but emotionally. It's graphic, but not over the top or objectionable.
I would recommend this story without reservation but only to those discerning readers who want to really FEEL the story and characters and is willing to follow some fairly tortured paths to happiness. The epilogue: what a nice reward for us readers! Loved it all.
Added note: It was so refreshing to read a book that is ONE BOOK and not a drawn-out serial. Don't get me wrong...I read those as well BUT I get frustrated that the reader has to wait so long for the next book to come out. I've come to the conclusion that it's better to wait until the final book is out in a series and then read the whole thing in order. Having said this.....I hope I can make myself do it. This doesn't include series books that are about a different set of H/h in each book. It's when the book series is one set of H/h. This would never include the books by Marie Force who does the FATAL series. I don't mind reading that series which is about one couple (with LOTS of recurring characters). That series is perfect.
Paula Costello was wonderful with the delivery of the story
Samantha Young is my new favorite author. I loved On Dublin Street and she actually wrote a second book to top that one! There are so many things I lo..Show More »ved about this book: the real life drama, likeable and complex characters and a romance that builds great anticipation and intensity. The narration was very good too. A must listen to anyone who likes contemporary romances.
When I first found out that On Dublin Street was going to have a second book, I was extremely excited since I absolutely LOVED it. When I read the syn..Show More »opsis, I was disappointed because it wasn't about Joss and Braden, and Jo was just a blip in the first book. Sure she seemed to be a friend to Joss but really Ellie was Joss's friend. Reluctantly, I purchased the book and decided to give it a chance. Let me just say there is a lot of Joss, Braden, and Ellie in this book, so nothing to be disappointed about!
Johanna `Jo' in my initial impression was a gold digger, shallow, and manipulative. She dated only rich men, allowed them to buy her things and lavish her. Not exactly what I look for in a female lead character. However, Jo is anything but those things. She is strong, selfless, and is one of the most loving and admirable women characters. She always puts her brothers' care in front of her own, as a mother would do. By the end of the first few chapters I found myself as Jo's biggest fan! Anyone who has a child knows that your biggest mission is to protect them, and she ensures her brother never feels neglected.
We start off in the beginning where Jo is dating Malcolm. Jo thinks that she is in love with him, and tries to be everything that she believes he wants. She is the ultimate chameleon, and I don't think she even knows who she is. Her walls are so high to ensure she can't be hurt. She is at an event with Malcolm where she meets Cameron `Cam' McCabe. Cam is hot and the sexual tension between them is instant! However, Cam is there because he is dating Malcolm's ex Becca. (AWKWARD) When Cam realizes that Jo is there for Malcolm, his attitude switches from hot and bothered to irritated and pissed off. Cam's assessment of Jo is that she is using Malcolm and is sure to let her know how he feels about gold diggers.
"Look, I know your type well. I grew up watching a parade of gorgeous bimbos walk in and out of my uncle's life."
Trust me he doesn't stop there! Despite Cam's bad attitude and nasty words Jo decides to help him by getting Cam a job at the bar with her. There are parts where I was literally laughing out loud because their banter is hysterical. I loved how snarky they get with each other. I also loved how Jo had no problem calling Cam out on his crap. If he is an ass she lets him know it!
Their story really changes when Cam moves into the flat below Jo and learns that he really has no idea what Jo is really like. They become friends, and Cam and Jo can no longer pretend that their feelings and chemistry can be ignored. They each end the relationships with Malcolm and Becca, which is when I was jumping up and down screaming... YES! I loved them and loved how Cam was able to break down her walls. He refuses put up with her fake s*** and he tells her how it is going to be.
"If we're doing this, you're going to be straight with me. In every way - including in bed. I'm not some guy you're trying to hold on to for dear life - accommodating him and forgetting about yourself and what you want. We're in this together and I just took what I wanted. Now you take what you want. So what do you want?" The sex is H-O-T and so is their love, but it is not easy. Jo has deep emotional issues of abandonment and fear of not being worthy. Cam pushes her to be who she really is, and wants no pretenses. They fall very hard for each other, and Cam is swoon worthy! Of course nothing is ever easy, and this is especially true for Jo and Cam. They have to fight for their love and decide if Jo can trust not only Cam, but herself to be worthy enough. I definitely enjoyed their story and Cam's sexy talk!
I have already downloaded Before Jamaica Lane the next book in the series.
I absolutely loved it – 5 stars. Actually, I love love love this whole freaking series. Each book always has fun banter, one HOT couple, and the same ..Show More »terrific group of great friends that capture your heart. Samantha Young had me emotionally invested in both Olivia and Nate. They are, by far my favorite couple in this series. I loved how their relationship developed and the transition between friends to lovers doesn't feel rushed or contrived. Nate and Olivia were downright perfect together and the ride although predictable was nonetheless enjoyable! I thought the whole story was very well executed. The chemistry between them is sizzling right from the very start, and I was just waiting for all of that hotness to explode. And explode it does! It may be for ‘educational purposes’ (pfft), but there is a lot of sexy time in this book, and in true Samantha Young style, it’s absolutely steaming! Wow, these two are hot together, and every time they are together, you can feel the emotion and intimacy between them. The way they are together, and the way they react to each other shows us so much, and I loved every minute of it! If you are looking for sweet turn angst with plenty of sexy time, best friends to lovers type, I would strongly recommend this. The writing in this book was beautiful and the scenes were so well written. I can't even begin to describe how much I loved this book. So many wonderful lines and emotional scenes that tear into your heart. Samantha Young is definitely a winner with this series!
I really enjoyed this story. The writing was on the wall that these two would end up together, so it was a fun journey watching them get there. Olivia..Show More » is a beautiful girl that is yearning for love; Nate is a gorgeous guy who has suffered loss at the hand of love, well really they both have. They formed an instant friendship, and shared an easy camaraderie that created an extremely strong bond between them. Olivia trusted her friend and felt that they could share anything with each other, so who better to ask help her attract Benjamin, the cute guy that she sees at work. What she lacks in confidence, Nate makes up in his bravado. They agree to him helping her with her "flirting" skills, and finding her inner sexy goddess. At Joss and Braden's wedding reception, after indulging in some liquid courage, Olivia confides to Nate her sheer lack of experience with men, and before you know it, the private lessons in the art of seduction become physical between them, and that is when things get a little complicated.
I enjoyed the humor, witty dialogue, and getting to see our friends and couples from the previous reads; we also had the stage set for Hannah and Marco's story along with getting a glimpse at Cole in what I hope to be a future story as well. What I thought would have made the story perfect, was if we could have gotten into the head of Nate; he was struggling with some real pain, and I was obvious that he cared deeply for Olivia so I would have loved to read his thoughts. Maybe we will get more of this couple in the future, I sure hope so.
I love all the books in this series and I was really looking forward to this book. I don't know if this book fell a little short for me because I had ..Show More »a hard time with the narrator or that I felt the story had no momentum but I was left wanting and had to push myself through this book which is weird as I've listened to the others in this series multiple times because I loved them so much.
I will still continue to get books by this author as I think this book was an anomaly for me and I love the authors work, just not sure I will get this narrator again as she didn't work well for me. I loved the narrator on the other 3 books, I felt they were excellent picks and I enjoyed the change in narrator. I thought it gave each person's story their own voice.