by Samantha Young
Series: On Dublin Street #3
Published by: Penguin
Genres: Contemporary Romance
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…
I am such a fan of the On Dublin Street series, and this tight, close-knit group of friends and their families. Before Jamaica Lane delivers Olivia and Nate’s story and oh, man I swallowed this one whole, it consumed me with the need to have my HEA. The tale was hot, bittersweet, intense, and so dang sensual I melted on the floor. This was the type of read where I needed total quiet, and a comfy blanket to snuggle with. Mini review: sensual, with witty banter, angst, heart-breaking moments and a love story you cannot help but embrace.
Olivia moved to Edinburgh with her father to be near her half-sister. She has slipped into this group of friends who have become fast and tight buds. Nate Sawyer is yummy and a total player, but there is so much more to Nate beneath his never-care facade. She is interested in a post-grad student at the university but gets tongue tied and turns three shades of red when she sees him. One night Olivia confesses her woes to Nate, and he hatches a plan to help her and she readily agrees.
Olivia is a nerd, and librarian with beauty eyes, and long legs who appears to have it all. I found her to be funny, friendly and at times awkward. On the inside, she lacks confidence and has some self-esteem issues. She also has very little experience with the opposite sex, and usually ends up falling into the friend category with them. She thinks Nate is sexy, and he has become her best friend even if she dreams of something more. Nate Sawyer, oh, where do I begin? He is a sweetheart, loyal to his friends and visits his parents regularly. *swoon* He is also a player, never getting attached but straight up with his conquests from the beginning. Oh, he is so complicated, and learning Nate’s story undid me. I wanted to hold him as I watched him complicate things. We spend time with previous characters and learn more about them, but this was Nate and Olivia’s story.
Before Jamaica Lane explored one of my favorite tropes, friendship to lovers. Young cleverly weaved in the arrangement trope which left me positively giddy. These arrangements offer the perfect amount of angst, and humor. It’s always an emotional ride, and when angst is done right it is simply delicious. I loved Nate and Olivia’s friendship, from their wicked and hilarious conversations to their struggle to find themselves. As a couple, they made me warm and fuzzy. It was one heck of a ride watching these two flawed, stubborn characters, figure things out. Young takes us into Olivia’s mind, and we see her fears, feel her heart-beating out of her chest and watch her knees turn to jelly as Nate looks at her through hooded eyes. I would have liked to get inside Nate’s head on this one, but Young really made me feel his emotions, his fears and even when he wasn’t sure – I was. The lessons, OMG peeps they were hot I mean leave me alone, do not disturb, I am reading HOT! It left me breathless, believe me when I tell you, Young can write heat and romance. She even made non-sex scenes so incredibly hot and delicious it stole my breath. While the heat was wonderful, Young also fleshed out these characters and created depth to this friendship. We had a few flashback moments that really helped define their friendship. My only complaint is that I wish Young chose to give us dual POVs. I can honestly say, I think their story was my favorite of the series to date.
Fans of the series are going to love Before Jamaica Lane, and while this can be read as a standalone, I so recommend you read all of the books from the On Dublin Street series. The next book, Fall from India Place, will release in June of 2014.
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