Thursday, January 16, 2014

Review: Before Jamaica Lane

Before Jamaica Lane (On Dublin Street - Book 3) by Samantha Young

Publication Date: 01/07/2014
Publisher: Penguin Group
Imprint: NAL
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 432
ISBN-10: 0451466683
ISBN-13: 978-0451466686

(Received for an honest review from New American Library)

Purchase: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Book Depository, Indiebound

Samantha Young on the WEB: website, twitter, facebook, goodreads

Books in the series

On Dublin Road (2012), Down London Road (2013), Before Jamaica Lane (2014)

Coverart: Click the Image for a larger, clearer view of the covers in this series.

WARNING: This excerpt and book may contain some materiel that is inappropriate for readers under the age of 18. 

Excerpt from, Before Jamaica Lane, courtesy of Amazon's Look Inside feature.


The follow-up to the runaway bestsellers ON DUBLIN STREET and DOWN LONDON ROAD

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 brokenhearted. 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 Jamaica Lane is the third book in Samantha Young's highly acclaimed, On Dublin Street series. This is a great best friends turned lovers story that will have readers staying up late to see what happens next. Though this book is essentially a contemporary romance, it also deals with some issues that many women face, like problems with body image and confidence. Young does a masterful job of creating some amazing love scenes while also showing compassion and understanding. A great addition to the series!

What I liked:

Samantha Young is a writer after my own heart. First, she's from Scotland, always a plus in my book. Secondly, she has a knack for writing a story that could happen to anyone and making it extremely unique and romantic. I have always said that I wanted to marry my best friend, because that is the person who really knows you and not the person you use to impress others. I think Young takes that idea and runs with it in Before Jamaica Lane, creating a couple of friends who don't realize they couldn't do without each other until one of them wants to impress someone else.

I loved the way that Nate and Olvia react to each other. They have a very playful banter that is common among friends who know each other well. They can do the simplest of things together like watching a movie and it becomes a good time, because they each know how the other will react. They had a kind of chemistry that can't help but evolve into something else, but they needed a catalyst. Young brilliantly added a new postgrad student who Olivia decides she wants to know better, but her issues with self-confidence are getting in the way. Who better to help her get over them than her best friend... 

Olivia was such a great character. She was one of those girls who never found the confidence it took to stand out in a crowd. She is now a librarian, who doesn't know how beautiful she is. I liked the fact that she was very spontaneous, but still reserved. With Nate she was happy and able to voice her opinions and she was confident but not with others, that should have been her first clue. Young writes her as smart and a bit sassy, but scared of failing when it came to men.

Nate is a great hero. He's definitely a ladies man, but his are not your typical reasons. Having lost his former love Alana, heartbreak seems to be his nemesis and he never wants to get close enough to anyone else to have it happen to him again. He just can't seem to help himself with Olvia though. She is everything he needs and when his lessons in confidence go a little further than expected, the sparks start flying.

What I didn't like:

Not too much I didn't like about this one. The characters are well written and the plot is a new twist on the best friends to lovers theme. Young provides not only a primer in flirting with a man, but also a lesson in having the confidence to do anything. A great addition to the series.

Bottom Line:

This is a sexy contemporary romance series and readers who are looking for a great feel good story will love this one. The nature of the book may not be appropriate for young readers but the rest of us will be sitting back drooling over Nate and wishing Olivia the best chance in the world at love.

Before Jamaica Lane is available NOW from your favorite bookseller.

I'm giving this one 5 out of 5 apples from my book bag!

About the Author:

Samantha Young is a Scottish book addict who graduated from the University of Edinburgh. She is the New York Times bestselling author of On Dublin Street and Down London Road.

Giveaway Details:

Over at the Caffeinated Book Reviewer they are giving away a finished copy of Before Jamaica Road. You have about a week to enter before the deadline.