Taxi! Take me to Samantha Young, On Dublin Street.

“Sometimes the clouds weren’t weightless.  Sometimes their bellies got dark and full.  It was life.  It happened.  We’d get rained on together. Knowing Braden he’d have a big ass umbrella to shelter us from the worst of it.”

On Dublin Street has really made the buzz on Twitter and Goodreads and I have to say it did not disappoint!  I was ecstatic once I dove into the story because I immediately knew I was On Dublin Street Samantha Younghooked within the first few pages.  My first thought was, I had not been this excited about a new author since reading Ruthie Knox’s, About Last Night.  And, although Samantha Young has published many young adult books, this was her first step into the contemporary adult genre and she nailed it! Young’s voice is riveting and once I opened the book, I wanted to hang a “do not disturb” sign around my neck until I was finished.

I saw a tweet calling On Dublin Street “quality romangst” and I agree.  I thought the pace of the story and the development of Joss and Braden’s relationship was dead on given Joss’s emotional issues and both being adamantly against a committed relationship.  Their sexual tension and verbal banter was hilarious at times to witness.  I loved that Joss held her own against anything Braden threw to dismantle her.  From the first time she walked out of the bathroom naked, she had a comeback line.  I felt immediately that Braden had met his match and he had his work cut out for him!

“Not even twenty four hours in and this arrangement is already exhausting the fuck out of me.”

“Well you’ve given me four orgasms.  That oughta take it out of a guy.” I grinned saucily.”

Then, opposite that, you had Joss experiencing total sexual frustration in the fact that she started focusing on herself as a woman and was in complete denial of the fact that she could ever measure up as a partner to Braden.

“No. I wasn’t beautiful, or cute, or glamorous.  I also didn’t think I was ugly, but worrying about being extraordinary had never crossed my mind before.  Braden making me care…kind of pissed me off.”

I thought Ms. Young did a thorough job of relaying how emotionally scarred Joss was from family tragedy.   I appreciated that Joss made no bones about the fact that she had serious issues and finally sought therapy.  The sessions felt very real, the panic attacks, the constant internal questions/dialogue all felt authentic for a person trying to process such a great loss.  It is not an easy fix and there are set backs.  As the reader, we witness an authentic progression of an individual that is in constant struggle with trust and intimacy. I really enjoyed witnessing how she discovers so many new and positive aspects of who she while dealing with the negative.

“I heard his footsteps quicken behind me and felt his arm come around me, his palm flat to my stomach as he pulled me back against him, my head resting on his chest.  I was quickly getting used to Braden’s tactility.  The man liked to touch me.  All the time.  I’d thought it would be harder to get accustomed to since I wasn’t really an overly affectionate person myself, but Braden didn’t really ask me whether I wanted to be hauled into his arms every five seconds.  And the truth was, I didn’t really mind.  Another surprise.”

I really enjoyed the development of Joss and Ellie’s friendship.  Given all of Joss’s issues of trust and attachment disorder, knowing that even her best friend from home did not really know anything about her life or or family, it was refreshing to see how as she progressed in therapy and in turn their friendship also progressed.  She was able to open up more to Ellie and Ellie was the key to Joss allowing herself to feel empathy and closeness again with others.

“Ellie Carmichael was one of a kind.  She was sweet, kind, sort of goofy, funny, big-hearted…and my family.  The first family I’d had since losing my own.  I felt protective of her, I hurt when she hurt, I thought about her happiness, and what I could do to help her get whatever would make her happy.  Not even my relationship with Rhian had been this close.”

The typewriter! Gaaaaaa! Braden had already won my heart but he sealed the deal with the typewriter!

“It was just like the one my mom had promised to buy me.  Just like the one I’d told Braden my mom had promised to buy me.  The one she didn’t buy me because she’d died before she could.”

“This was an amazing gift.  A thoughtful, beautiful gift.  And it was more than sex.”

Andddd the sex.  Oh yes, Joss and Braden’s sexual chemistry is off the chain hot!  I really felt the desperation and desire of both.  They had such a fun, flirty and intense attraction that developed into such physical need.  I loved that Braden was cocky but not an ass. Possessive but not obsessive.  He was totally into her but knew how far he could push her.  He witnessed a woman with serious commitment/intimacy issues and he did not shy away or get fed up.  And as the story progressed, we learned that under the cockiness, Braden had his own issues of self-worth.

“His lips were soft, gentle at first, but I wanted more.  I flicked my tongue against his, deepening the kiss into something wild, lush and wet.  God, the man could kiss.  I could still smell his cologne on him, feel the gentle abrasion of his stubble against my cheek, and I could taste what being with me did to him.  I’d never known that someone’s desire for me could be so powerful.  But his was.  It drove me over the edge and made me forget everything else.”

On Dublin Street conveyed a real message of hope on many levels portrayed through such a memorable couple.  Who would have thought two strangers sharing a taxi could change so many lives?  This book definitely landed on my 2012 top picks!  I can’t wait to see what Ms. Young has next in the adult romance genre.


On Dublin Street by Samantha Young
August 31st 2012  Self Published
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Comments

  1. says

    I bought this one a few days ago.Can’t wait to start reading it. Thanks for reminding me to get my butt in gear! Now I think I will spend the weekend with this story!

  2. says

    Top 10 list for 2012 for me also. I loved how emotional the book was. It killed me when Joss walked away from them. Excellent review! Love all the quotes.

  3. Angela says

    I loved this one! It’ll be on my recs page for the month. Just the right amount of sex, angst, romance and humor.

    P.S. I read About Last Night based on your review and rating on Goodreads and absolutely loved it. So good.

  4. ClaudiaGC says

    When I bought this book I didn’t notice that it was quite long. I only noticed when I started reading and thought ‘duh, let’s see how sloooow it will be’. But surprise, surprise I totally rushed through that book in two days! :)
    And I’m not a big fan of first person point of view (actually, I’m shying away from reading these books) but for whatever reason (ok, all the pressure on Twitter lol) I still bought and I don’t regret it.
    I love the author’s voice! The sad thing is she doesn’t have a backlist. Damnit! I want more! ;)

    • says

      Glad you enjoyed! And like you, I sobbed after seeing that her only backlist was YA! Ms. Young did inform me she is currently writing more adult. I’m guessing we are looking at spring 2013 for another adult contemporary release.

  5. Tina B says

    I agree with all that you said! I actually read this book because a very good friend of mine got it and called to tell me how amazing it was. She was going to lend it to me, but since I didn’t think it was Kindle lendable, I bought it for myself. And, boy am I glad that I did! This is one that I will definitely be reading over and over again. :)
    This was also my first story by this author and really hope that she writes more adult stories!

  6. pamelia says

    Dissenter here. I thought it was OK. I was really annoyed by 60% into the book and the last 40% was pretty torturous for me to read. I thought that for all Joss’s baggage she needed to start coming around a little more quickly to what was going on. Whereas she was able to realize she could have a friend the fact that she was so resistant to feeling anything for Braden? It seemed manufactured to me. Plus I thought the epilogue was pretty saccharine.
    Maybe if the book were longer to give more of an emotional payoff? I don’t know. It just left me feeling frustrated and I kept thinking “big buildup, small payoff”.
    I did enjoy the writing though and the voice was good.

    • says

      I struggled for the first 40% of the book because I had a hard time sympathizing with the heroine. But at 40% it picked up for me and I enjoyed the rest.

  7. Jodie says

    I loved this book! After reading the review at Smexy, I bought it. Started early last Sunday morning and read it straight through. I really enjoyed the characters and the story. One of my favs for this year.

  8. says

    Great review, Amy! I really loved how slowly the romance between Joss and Braden developed. Too often it feels like I’ve blinked and the h/h in a story are already convinced that they’re in love and will be together forever. I liked that their interest took a while to develop into them being willing to act on it.

    When talking to friends about this book I’ve found that a lot of them had less patience with Joss than I did, which surprised me. I did feel that the end got a little bogged down in the assumptions and lack of communication, but I also liked that it was a clear indication that Joss wasn’t perfectly cured just because she loved Braden. In some ways it actually made it worse because of it. As that, and the other emotionally upsetting event they went through, got worse her issues started cropping up even more because of her emotional turmoil. I’m glad it was still a struggle because it showed that there is no magic cure and they’ll always have their work cut out for them, but that coping with it is easier when Joss is open with Braden and allows him to help.

    One thing about Joss that I loved was how she filled the traditional hero role. She was the one that was emotionally closed off, despite her attraction to Braden, and who didn’t think she was any good for a relationship. The book was all about her slowly opening up and being willing to take a chance on love. In most Romances it’s the hero who fills that role, so I liked that it was the heroine who was ultra capable and perfectly content being alone. She was not emotional and she did not need anyone–she was just fine being the island in the crowd. I really loved her character.

    I agree with what you said about Joss and her friend. Her refusal to open up emotionally with Braden and his sister was more understandable once we knew that she didn’t even open up that much with her best friend–and they had known each other for years!

  9. JenM says

    After all the great reviews, I decided to get this and I loved it. Well, I’m a sucker for damaged heroines and angsty romance so I guess that’s no surprise. I loved that even though Braden tried to be all controlling and alpha, Joss was totally the one in control of the relationship, but I also loved how he tried to help her. I promptly went to see if she’d written anything else and was bummed to see that they were all YA. Even though I don’t usually like YA, I actually considered buying one, but I guess I’ll just have to wait for her to write another adult romance.

Trackbacks

  1. […] On Dublin Street by Samantha Young ** [AMZ – BN – S – K] I loved the emotional depth and the hot sexiness to this book.  I think it had it all.  I was impressed with the realistic feel to Jocelyn not wanting to committ.  I didn’t think she was just being wishy washy.  Loving someone was a serious issue for her.  I just wish Ms. Young had a backlog of books for me to dive in to.  See Amy’s review here. […]

  2. […] On Dublin Street by Samantha Young ** [AMZ – BN – S – K] Samantha Young was known exclusively as a YA author until this year when she jumped all into the adult contemporary genre and boy did she make a mark! Countless friends and readers, (including myself) could not stop talking/tweeting about our love for On Dublin Street and how badly we were dying for more of Samantha’s voice in the adult genre.  Braden, Braden, Braden…*sighs*.  Oh how I love the complicated, devilishly sexy, Braden Carmichael.  He has too many facets and fabulously flawed qualities to list but you can’t help but be enamored with his electric personality and tender heart. On Dublin Street is a memorable story, rich in emotion with a great message of hope.  My review. […]