“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 hooked 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.