Review: On Dublin Street by Samantha Young

ODSOn Dublin Street (On Dublin Street #1)
Samantha Young
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: December 31st 2012
Format: Paperback
Pages: 336
Purchase: Amazon, Barnes & Nobles

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.

There’s something extremely entertaining about a stubborn protagonist. Yes indeed. Jocelyn Butler is one hell of a woman. She’s stubborn, she’s tough and she’s a little rough around the edges. In other words, Jocelyn is just my kind of girl. On Dublin Street starts off during Jocelyn’s teenage years, so from an early start we know about the demons that haunt her. Fast forward eight years and Jocelyn is living in Scotland. Right off the bat we get a sense of Jocelyn’s character. She’s been through hell but she’s come out a strong, independent woman. I can’t clarify enough how refreshing it is to have a protagonist who’s fine on her own, who doesn’t need a man to define her, who’s  intelligent and witty. Honestly, Young surpassed any expectations I had going into this novel. Kudos to you, Ms. Young. Kudos to you.

Braden and Jocelyn meet in a cab–more specifically, outside a cab–but once you start reading their back and forth banter, you fall in love. It was fresh, original, amusing, and sexy all at once. They’re perfect strangers in that cab, but you just know they won’t stay that way for long. Now, Braden. Braden, Braden, Braden. He’s a contradiction. On the outside he’s a successful business man, with a strong head on his shoulders, who his gives off this unavailable vibe–regardless of the fact that he has a girlfriend. Still, the more you get to know him, the more you realize that he has a heart of gold–from the way he treats his half-sister to the way he interacts around his “adopted” family. And let’s not forget that sexy Scottish accent. It’s not long before he’s giving Jocelyn that come-hither look.

Jocelyn has closed herself off from relationships and guys in general. The loss of her family at such a young age has left a pretty big hole in her and it’s built walls around her heart. She doesn’t let anyone in–she barely even does friendships. So the threat Braden poses to her carefully laid-back and carefree facade is one that shakes her up. And the fact that Braden is unrelenting? Well, it just makes for an even more scorching build-up. Each and every scene (*cough cough*  that clothing-optional second encounter at Jocelyn’s new apartment *wink wink*) between the two leaves you blushing and wanting more, until–finally–Jocelyn gives in. Let me tell you: it’s explosive and unexpected and utterly satisfying. And even though their relationship starts off as an arrangement, it’s not long before it turns into something more.

Nevertheless, you don’t only get this whirl-wind romance scorching the sheets. You also get a look inside Jocelyn’s head and a first-hand knowledge of the friendships she starts to form–and strengthen–despite her misgivings. Every choice she’s made regarding her personal life has been defined by a horrible car crash years ago, and as the novel progresses you see her deal with that tragedy and heal. Making the decision to seek help by herself shows you how determined and headstrong she is. At the beginning of the book Jocelyn is all alone, but by the end, she’s gained a wonderful friend in Ellie and been “adopted” into a loving family. All the things she thought she didn’t need and would never have, become the things she holds dear the most.

The plot, the characters, the setting all work to invite you to sit down and read until the very last page. And the romance? It’s utterly decadent and wickedly sexy. On Dublin Street is the type of novel you read after a long day at work, that helps you unwind, laugh and blush your cheeks off–or perhaps like me, keeps you from getting any work done. Down London Road, the second book in the series, already has a spot in my bookshelf, so you know this is a series you want to go back to over and over again.

P.S. The fact that Jocelyn wants to be a writer just makes me love her even more!

5/5 Stars

add-to-goodreads

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