Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Review: Down London Road by Samantha Youg

Title: Down London Road (On Dublin Street #2)
Author: Samantha Yong
Published: January 1st 2013
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Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Book Depository

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.

Thanks to the amazingness that was On Dublin Street and Until Fountain Bridge I knew that when I was in the need of something smexy, I’d have to pick up something by Samantha Young. Seriously! This woman knows the recipe to writing the best kind of smexy that isn’t overbearing nor underwhelming. That being said, I knew that this was perhaps the least loved installment in the series, but it didn’t stop me from giving it a try.

“You know, the world will always try to make you into who it wants you to be. People, time, events, they’ll all try to carve away at you and make you think you don’t know who you are. But it doesn’t matter who they try to make you, or what name they try to give you. If you stay true, you can chip off all their machinations and you’re still you underneath it all.”

Jo is someone I didn’t necessarily like in On Dublin Street. Why? Well, her man-eater status isn’t very appealing and the fact that she almost had her claws in Braden didn’t help her case either. I loved her friendship with Jocelyn though so I was willing to give her the benefit of the doubt. Turns out, she’s not so bad after all. While I didn’t become completely compelled by her character, I did grow to like her. Cam, on the other hand, comes off as a cocky presumptuous douche who surprise, surprise isn’t one at all. I absolutely adored his sweet side. Again, even though I wasn’t head-over-heels in love with his character, I did like him.

Some may disagree, but it’s like a modern day sexy retelling of Pride & Prejudice. Cam and Jo are so prejudiced when it comes to thinking about one another and despite the insta-attraction between them, there’s a mutual layer of hate as well. As you can imagine, they change from haters to lovers who initially fight their undeniable attraction and come to realize they have multiple things in common. Also, no need to worry! They are both committed to other people when they first meet, but there is no cheating which I very much appreciated.

As for negative sides, well… In addition to the fact that I wasn’t necessarily in love with either of the main characters, the plot was dragging in many places and Jo & Cam had me yelling out of frustration more than once. They are so freakin’ stubborn and a lot of the drama could have been avoided if they had just talked and opened up. Then again, zero drama and conflict in contemporary books isn’t that entertaining to read. Still, doesn’t mean that I didn’t want to strangle these two once or twice.

What else? OH!!! Stay. The first time I heard it after finishing the book I got CHILLLLLLS!!! All over my body. If you have already read this book then you know why. Oh, boy. I will never be able to listen to this song without thinking about Jo and Cam. Even though I’m not a big Rihanna fan, I really like this performance.

Overall it was a decent book, I just expected a little more. Nevertheless, Samantha writes gorgeous romance and it isn’t all romance, but there’s also character growth and other storylines in addition to romance. If you haven’t read this installment yet, then be sure to try it, you may end up loving it. Also, the following book is just… asdfghjkl. If you haven’t read this series in general, start it. Now, please. Kthnxbye.

Overall rating: 3.4 out of 5.0
Stars: ★★★

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  1. Oh thank god they don't cheat on their significant others - I can't stand cheating characters. I haven't heard of this series before, but it sounds great! I love a smexy story every now and then ;)

    Joy @ Thoughts By J

  2. I've not read the books, but the story does sound interesting. Sorry you didn't love either of the main characters, but at least you liked them a little bit :) Great review Siiri!

  3. Yay for no cheating! I haven't started this series yet, but I think I should. I'm sad that you didn't enjoy this one as much as the other stories. I can see why though. The drama that could have been avoided would also drive me nuts.
    Glad you still liked it though! Lovely review!

  4. You had me worried there for a minute when you mentioned they were both already with other people, cheating and I just do not get along well at all. So glad that doesn't happen here! I adore this series, but for some reason I managed to skip over this book, maybe because I wasn't the biggest fan of Jo in On Dublin Street either. Still, I haven't met a book in this series I haven't liked, so I need to go back and pick it up. Oh, and of course I want to know all about the situation with "Stay" now:)

  5. I listened to the first one on audio and plan to finish the series on audio on of these days.

  6. I haven't read anything by this author before, but I have heard of On Dublin Street. But I love anything like this, a sexy romance and a bit like Pride and Prejudice you say. Totally sold. Great review, Siiri. :)

  7. Oh well, yet another NA series I should continue someday (I have quite a list). I kinda of forgot who is who here, well except for Braden 'cause you DON'T forget Braden but I like it when you think of a character as a dushe when he in fact isn't one. I'm so happy that happened with Cam. I'm so glad you enjoyed this one. Great review, Siiri :)

  8. Aw well, I enjoyed this one so much. For some reason Cam and Jo worked for me, though I did get frustrated. I'm glad you liked DLR. I can't wait to see what you think of Before Jamaica Lane and Castle Hill.

  9. I liked this more than you did, Siiri,and I was frustrated in more than a few parts but never to the point where I hated the characters. My favorite of this series it Before Jamaica Lane. I love Braden, but Joss is such a pain in the ass that she detracts from the story, even in Castle Hill. Can't wait to see what you think of that one, too. Wonderful review! :)

  10. Hm, this book does seem awfully typical of the NA genre so I think I will avoid this--especially since you say you weren't 100% with the characters in this book.

    Great review, Siiri! <33

  11. Ehh, I'm not sure I'd want to read this. I mean I read NA every now and then but I'd really rather read an NA that sets it apart from the other books. AS Melanie said this sounds more like the usual stuff you usually see in this genre so no bueno for me I guess ><

    Faye @ The Social Potato Reviews

  12. You make an interesting point about drama in these books. I'm not a fan of engineered drama and angst to add tension, but there needs to be some struggle in a story. It seems in contemporary romance especially, there's a fine line there. I liked On Dublin Street, but I haven't continued the series. I like P&P retellings, but this hasn't grabbed me. I'm glad you got chills by the end though! That's really promising. Great review.

  13. Sorry you didn't like it more.:( I still haven't read rest of the novels in this series - I'm afraid I'd end up disappointed.
    Great review, Siiri.

  14. oh no, sorry this was a disappointment for you, especially since you seemed to have liked the first ;/ it happens I suppose. Hard to beat the originals right? :) but at least you got something out of it!

  15. Sounds like this one ended up surprising you Siiri. I like the way you compared it to P&P. Too bad it wasn't as good as the rest of the series, but sounds like that was expected.