by Samantha Young
Series: On Dublin Street #1
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Purchase*: Amazon *affiliate
Jocelyn Butler has been hiding from her past for years. But all her secrets are about to be laid bare… Four years ago, Jocelyn left her tragic past behind in the States and started over in Scotland, burying her grief, ignoring her demons, and forging ahead without attachments. Her solitary life is working well—until she moves into a new apartment on Dublin Street where she meets a man who shakes her carefully guarded world to its core. Braden Carmichael is used to getting what he wants, and he’s determined to get Jocelyn into his bed. Knowing how skittish she is about entering a relationship, Braden proposes an arrangement that will satisfy their intense attraction without any strings attached. But after an intrigued Jocelyn accepts, she realizes that Braden won’t be satisfied with just mind-blowing passion. The stubborn Scotsman is intent on truly knowing her… down to the very soul
On Dublin Street was in my TBR pile for a good four months before I dug it out for the Take Control challenge in March and I am glad it is one of the books I selected. Young offers up complex characters, a fantastic setting and weaves it all together to create a romance that swept me away.
The tale takes place primarily in Scotland after a brief prologue that gives us a strong sense of Jocelyn Butler’s background. Jocelyn is in search of a new flat and roommate after graduation and is on her way to visit a place on Dublin Street when she hails a cab and ends up sharing it with Braden Carmichael. Their conversation was funny and right away we get a sense of who they are. She ends up falling in love with the flat and takes an immediately liking to Elle her new roommate. As fate would have it, it turns out that Elle is the little sister of Braden who is now Jocelyn’s landlord. The tale that unfolds held me captive as Jocelyn struggles with her past, her feelings for Elle and Braden, and a fear of losing herself.
Young created fleshed out characters with flaws you can identify with. Jocelyn from the outside appears confident, calculated and snarky. She keeps people at a distance, tucking them into neat little boxes with labels. I instantly connected with her, and despite wanting to shake her a few times, I felt her emotions and struggles were genuine. Elle is in a word, “adorable” Ever optimistic, a totally romantic and someone you enjoy spending time with. She is a listener, and very good at picking up on subtle body language. While she is curious about Jocelyn she doesn’t push her. Braden is older than Jocelyn and has been previously hurt in a failed marriage. He is successful, and goes from one relationship to the next. He is charming, smexy and despite all the dating, he is faithful when in a relationship. There is an immediate physical attraction between them but Jocelyn tries very hard to deny it. Braden really gets her, and cleverly worms his way into her life and bed. It was fun to watch it all unfold. Their relationship is hot, sweet, turbulent, intense and beautiful. I found myself wrapped up emotionally in the outcome. The secondary characters all had their own voice, and personalities making the setting intimate.
There were many threads in the story, quickly making me invested in the characters and while it focused on Jocelyn I found myself caught up in the other characters lives as well. Jocelyn has secrets and carries a lot of grief but we see growth throughout the novel. Young has her seeing a therapist and I loved that she made Jocelyn strong enough to realize she needed to talk to someone. I consumed this in a single evening and enjoyed the author’s writing style and plot pacing. There are some hot, steamy scenes, that are detailed enough to let your imagination soar. I quickly slipped away from reality as the world and characters she created took me on an emotional journey I did not want to end. This series has the feel of a small-town series and I am excited to continue.
Fans of character driven romances will enjoy On Dublin Street. Down London Road is the next book in the On Dublin Street series and we get Johanna Walker’s story. She is the bartender who worked with Jocelyn in book one.
I am on her street team and cannot wait for book two..it has a small town feel to it and you should enjoy it.
ooh me too Ellen, glad you liked this too
I am sooooo happy you liked this one. I really loved it. I loved the characters so much and the sex…Wowzer.
ooh I loved the setting and would love to live there!
Me too Heather, I loved the setting
I could see myself rereading this one!
hope you read it soon, don’t kick yourself too hard for waiting
ah, we do tend to pick up the habits of the natives once we have lived there..although surrender my flip-flops..never!
Not so much dysfunctional relationship but she does have commitment issues due to loss.
thanks Sharon, and I appreciate the get well wishes. We feel a little better everyday.
Christy (Love of Books)
I’ll be honest, I’ve become leery of the NA genre. It seems like so many revolve around romanticizing dysfunctional relationships, and I’m not into that. But this sounds like it may actually be a good one that doesn’t do that. Hope you’re feeling better!
Sharon - Obsessionwithbooks
I loved this book Kimba so I’m so pleased you did as well! I agree with everything you said 🙂 Can’t wait for the next book.
A wonderful review! 🙂
PS. I hope you & hubby are feeling much better x
ha…I did the same thing and then it sat. Don’t kick yourself too hard when you finally read it..at least you won’t have a long wait for book two 🙂
Hope you get a chance to read it soon Sam:)
I loved the setting and want to move there!
Candace's Book Blog
I keep getting tempted to buy this one, it sounds SO good! I have to admit the setting is a large reason why I want to read it though. 😉 I have heard from MANY people it is a must-read! I think I’ll grab it soon!
not YA cupcake..these are adults
When I heard it was YA I was all..no :/
I am excited for Down London Road too Julie!
I LOVED this book! I bought it for my Kindle but I think I’m going to buy it in print, too. I can’t wait for Down London Road! Great review 🙂
Me too Andrea and thanks!
Oh, I loved On Dublin Street and am happy to see you did, too. I’m so excited for Down London Road.
thanks Heidi I cannot wait for book two
You know I did this one for FIre and Ice and I had fun with it. The whole Braden Joceyln relationship is fun. I really enjoyed the guys that she worked with in the bar so I am hoping they will be back for the next book. Samantha was a sweetheart to work with as well. Hope you are feeling a bit better today!
I do Anna and the setting on this one was wonderful
Hadn’t seen this one yet. It does sound great though. Don’t ya just love when fate plays a hand like that? LOL Great review Kimberly!
* shrugs* Will any of us?
Brandon was swoon-worthy and pretty brilliant.
I have been wondering what you thought of this one, I am glad it was as fleshed out and good for you as most of the other reviews I have seen. You just never know if a book will live up to its hype and it does sound like this one has.
I too have this in my TBR pile..buried..somewhere.
Will I ever catch up?
WOO HOO KIMBA!!!! I loved this book so much too! I loved that Braden wasn’t deterred no matter how strongly Jocelyn pushed him away or how often, he just kept coming (in a non-creepy, non-stalker way, obviously). And I agree, I like that Jocelyn recognized she needed to talk to someone too. I just adored this one and cannot wait for Down London Road!
ooh I need to go look!
thanks Ellen, I cannot wait for book two!
yes you need to read this one!
I cannot believe Barb hasn’t tied you to a chair and forced you to read it..LOL
So many readers have loved this book. I’ve added it to my to-be-read list too and I’m excited to start it myself.
The characters absolutely wonderful. I especially love the sound of Ellie. She sounds so lovable. Joyce and Braden sound like they have amazing chemistry together!
Glad that you loved this book too, Kim!
Turning the Pages
I’d love to live in Scotland. I’ve heard it’s very much like Ireland where I’ve been and if so it’s definitely a magical place!
Yes, I loved this and the setting is fantastic too..i want to live there in my next life!
Turning the Pages
I’ve been wanting to read this ne since it was still an indie novel! I just checked my library and we have copies on order in the system so I’m now #7 on hold and should have it soon. I’m glad you mentioned how well the characters are developed and that it’s a character driven read. I’m even more excited to read it now 🙂
go, go write your review..i bet the audio was cool
I just got book today and hope to read early next week:)
I came to look for your review of Down London Road. Let me know when it goes up.
Thanks Jen, I just finished book two Down London Road and eep it was good. My review won’t post till June 4th..enjoy!
OHH! I really enjoyed this audiobook, and it reminds me, I never wrote a review (need to that). Like you I really enjoyed the characters, and the narrator does a fantastic job with Branden’s accent…HOT…LOL. Great job as usual Kimberly 🙂
Melissa (Books and Things)
Oh I need a good romance book. This sounds fab. Totally moving it up my wishlist now. Also adding the second one too. 😀
I wish I could have enjoyed this book. I spent a year abroad living in Scotland and feel like Young missed a lot. Jocelyn spent a few years already in the UK and by then the Americanisms tend to go away. I guess for me the little things (ie wearing flip-flops. not in Scotland where it rains all the time!) and language just didn’t let me move past it.
Great review!! I can’t wait to read this one … I bought a copy a while back because everyone was raving about it.
Thanks for sharing!
I love the sound of Jocelyn’s character. I’m glad you connected with her straight away! I really need to pick this one up soon given all the positive reviews I’ve read for it. 🙂 So pleased you enjoyed it, Kimba!
I still haven’t gotten around to reading this yet ! Awesome review! 🙂
Mm, yummy sexy Braden. 😀 Young wrote a Christmas shortie for the characters that she only put up at Smexy’s blog (I think that’s the only place you can still find it), for anyone who’s interested. Great review, I’m glad you liked this one too!
I want to read this! Excellent review.
Book Savvy Babe
glad you enjoyed this one! I know I’m looking forward to book 2- Book Savvy Babe
Thanks Kimba…I bought it when I read the review on HNH…I bought The Paperback…So TBR and loved your review…It seems Smexy but a terrific Storyline and Set in Scotland…Could not resist it
Me too…See you in Scotland