Thursday, April 10, 2014

Review: Before Jamaica Lane by Samantha Young

Title: Before Jamaica Lane (On Dublin Street #3)
Author: Samantha Young
Published: January 7th 2014
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Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Book Depository
One simple lesson in seduction between two friends can turn into so much more…
Despite her outgoing demeanor, Olivia is painfully insecure around the opposite sex—usually, she can’t get up the nerve to approach guys she’s interested in. But moving to Edinburgh has given her a new start, and, after she develops a crush on a sexy postgrad, she decides it’s time to push past her fears and go after what she wants.
Nate Sawyer is a gorgeous player who never commits, but to his close friends, he’s as loyal as they come. So when Olivia turns to him with her relationship woes, he offers to instruct her in the art of flirting and to help her become more sexually confident.
The friendly education in seduction soon grows into an intense and hot romance. But then Nate’s past and commitment issues rear their ugly heads, and Olivia is left broken-hearted. When Nate realizes he’s made the biggest mistake of his life, he will have to work harder than he ever has before to entice his best friend into falling back in love with him—or he may lose her forever…

Before starting the 3rd installment of On Dublin Street series I had enjoyed all of them (including the novella). Because Down London Road felt to me as the weakest out of them all, although still very enjoyable, and I was afraid that perhaps I would not enjoy the follow-up novel, but I had no reason to be afraid. This was Samantha at her best—bringing the feels and laying them on every corner to wait in attack and tackle me with their power.

“You'll end up living a lonely life if you're waiting around for perfect.”

Liv is easy to connect with because she loves books just as much as we do and almost all of us have labeled ourselves as nerds on some level—either publicly or secretly. Plus, most of us have felt uncomfortable in our own skin with or with our body image at some point in our lives. That's where Nate comes in. Her relationship with Nate is full of friendly banter and they’re basically best buds. Since Liv wants a guy she met in the library, but has next to no experience in the field of seduction, she asks Nate to step in and teach her a thing or two. He accepts the challenge so yes, as you can gess, this book is on the train of destination: Romanceville.

I so very enjoyed the smexy in this book. Yes, there is lots of steam, but it’s not overbearing. I dislike books that have too much steam—they’re uncomfortable for me to read, but this was the perfect amount here. Also, the other characters—Braden, Joss, Ellie, Adam, Jo and Cam? They’re all there and better than ever. Watching them still grow—Joss and Braden have some emotional scenes in this book told from Liv and Nathan’s POV—was beautiful and very enjoyable.

As for flaws, um, the ending dragged a little for me, but I understand that Nate and Liv really hurt each other and they needed time to heal and be by themselves for a while. The part I dislike about these stories is that the main couples always follow the trend of breaking up for some time after seemingly getting things to work, but oh no, they must break up over some silly argument, because goodness forbid there to be any tension and drama added without a break up. This isn't critique to Samantha in particular, but for most contemporary lit authors since this happens in every other book I read. So yep they’re hurt, not on speaking terms and giving each other longing looks, but we all know that they'll make up sooner or later. The epilogue more than made up for the torture I had to live through the broken-up-part though.

This book was hot, fun and entertaining. Nate joined Braden and Adam on the top of “My favorite Scottish guys” list. I wonder if Benjamin will get his own story—he’s clearly a good, decent guy and I think he’d be amazing as a leading man, although it seems that Ellie and Braden’s little sister Hannah is the next to last and Cole—Jo’s little borther—the last one to have their stories. Speaking of, I. CAN’T. WAIT.

Overall rating: 4.0 out of 5.0
Stars: ★★★★

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  1. oh another great book by this author. I keep hearing great things about her, it's terrible while I know I haven't read any. I need to! Really NEED to! Thanks for the nice review.

    following you on bloglovin

  2. Yay, Siiri! I'm glad this one was good too, and I definitely have to read it if Nate is up there with Braden and Adam. And I'm trusting you that the relationship drama isn't too much *squints* ;)

    Jessica @ Rabid Reads

  3. I'm glad to see that you ended up enjoying this book too Siiri, it sounds like there was a lot of sexy times ;). And I know what you mean about our couple breaking up over something minor or someone is hiding something and they can't reveal it as it will destroy everything, so they break up instead, but they still want to be together... ha as you can probably tell, stuff like this generally irritates me, but I'm glad that you were able to overlook this aspect! Gorgeous review as always! :)

  4. I need to get a start on this series, Siiri. Your raving reviews has definitely got me wanting to read these books. I'm with you on steam. There's a line between a steamy book and erotica.
    I also think it's easy to connect with characters that read and she body image issues?
    I'm going to really enjoy this one especially since they were best friends before they became a couple!
    Great review!

  5. I LOVE a good Scottish brogue, and in this case there's double the man-cady. YAY! I wonder if this book is available in audio... Narrators' accents are usually WAY better than my internal ones. Hehe Great review!

    Carmel @ Rabid Reads

  6. Yay! Glad you enjoyed this one overall Siiri! Yes the inevitable breakup was present, but it seemed more plausible and believable with this setup and with Nate and Olivia in particular. I just really enjoyed them together!

    And I would just like to start making a list of people who would like to move to Scotland in the hopes of finding men like the ones in these books? Who's with me? *raises both hands*

  7. I think I've seen all your reviews on this series, but I yet to look further into the books. I'm glad you enjoyed this one and I definitely understand what you mean about the break up thing. Great review Siiri!

    Janina @ Synchronized Reading

  8. These emotions sound like ones I would want to tackle me as well

  9. I loved, loved, loved this! I'm so happy to see you enjoyed it too. In hoping to start Fall From India Place very soon.

  10. Glad you found another good read, and by the same author, too! Maybe I really need to take another second look at these Scottish dudes, but I don't really like their accent that much ;p But all kidding aside, don't we all just love a book that presents relationships and break-ups and sadness and grief in an exemplary way? Most of the time books don't present these things genuinely and realistically. At least this one did! Erm, aside from the constant break-ups of course :)

    Faye at The Social Potato Reviews

  11. Never heard of Samantha Young. Never heard of this book. I think I've been hiding away in a far away cave because from your review, and the comments, everyone else seems to be loving this! Siiri, you must give me a list of your favourite books, because I'm clearly well behind on this reading lark!

  12. Ah girl while I'm struggling with these NA books you always remind me why I need to get myself together and crash this wall. I really loved the first book in this series but I fear reading the sequels. I do love the sound of this one and as always the author combines steam but you're right it's never too much. Also Braden, I mean BRADEN! Just from mentioning that name I'm not feeling good. I'm really glad you enjoyed this one. Great review, Siiri :)

  13. glad you found this one entertaining with just the right amount of steam ;) this entire series just sounds really like a lot of fun.

  14. Awesome review Siiri, I'm glad it wasn't too steamy bordering on porno :P It sounds like the relationship development was really good here though.

  15. Fantastic review Siiri, I love this series, and yeah these two really hurt each other..but the smexy times *HOT*

  16. Yay! So glad you enjoyed this one, Siiri! Nate and Olivia are tied for favorite couple with Adam and Ellie. I love Braden but Joss just grates on my last ever loving nerve at times! Wonderful review! :)

  17. I love companions because we get to see old favorites in new books, and usually there's less drama surrounding the settled couples. However, I haven't read past the first in this series. I've gotten a little tired of the fake boyfriend, or hiring a guy to teach you how to seduce another guy plot. I mean it always turns to love, but there's also the drama where it takes the girl a while to figure out what she wants. I'm also SO OVER the part at around 80% or so when there's the big ARGUMENT and breakup for a while. It happens in every book, and I agree, I always get stressed then. I wish authors did something else for tension. Glad you liked this overall though!

  18. I love this series! :D
    Plan to read Before Jamaica Lane very soon :)
    Great review!