Monday 27 January 2014

Book Review: Before Jamaica Lane by Samantha Young.

Product details:
Publisher: Penguin.
Paperback, 464 pages.
Release date: January 14th 2013.
Rating: 4½ out of 5.
Ages: Adult.
Series: On Dublin Street #3.
Other Books in Series: On Dublin Street, Down London Road.
Source: Purchased.

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…

Sassy, funny and outwardly confident, Liv loves her new life and the new group of friends she’s made in Edinburgh. There’s just one problem: men, or rather the lack thereof.  It’s not that Liv doesn’t attract male attention –it’s that she just doesn’t know what to do with it when it comes her way; and she most definitely does not seek it out. Instead she dresses down and likes to be seen as one of the guys.  In her heart, though, Liv is a romantic, and she wants love in her life. The problem is she just doesn’t know how to do relationships. Heck, Liv can’t even talk to the guy she likes –a sexy postgrad who frequents the library where she works – without breaking out in a cold sweat. Around her, Liv sees her new friends moving forward with their lives: Cam and Jo are totally loved up, while Braden and Joss are planning a wedding. But, Liv, well, she’s on her own.  And while her life is fulfilling and fun, she wants more.

Liv spends most of her evenings hanging out with best friend Nate, Cam’s ridiculously good-looking friend last seen playing video games in Down London Road. Nate is the ultimate player. And he never, ever lets anyone into his heart. Liv knows the truth about Nate, the secret hidden in his past that has made him the man he is today. And Liv gets it. She’s experienced the pain of loss, and she knows that sometimes it’s impossible to let go of the past. So Nate lives in the moment, he lives in the now, and he never loses his heart to anyone, because that way, he can’t get hurt. Not again.

Things with Nate are great, and Liv wonders why she can’t be as relaxed around her crush as she is around her friend. When she gets horrendously drunk and Braden and Joss’s wedding, Liv confesses all of her relationship woes to Nate. And so a plan is born; a plan to rid Liv of all her sexual insecurities, an extremely sexy plan of teacher and pupil where the ultimate goal is to get Liv laid.

Hot. That is my one word description of these books for anyone who asks, but there is so much more to them too. Sure, the On Dublin Street books are very sexy romps, but they are also warm and heartfelt, while the characters Samantha Young has created ring so true. Liv, for example is a character you can really root for. She is insecure, but also level-headed, she is funny, smart, able to tell and take a joke, and overall just so relatable. I definitely related to Liv more than Joss (who I liked but didn’t really relate to) or Jo (who I had a hard time connecting with). So, I worried for Liv when she hooked up with Nate as part of her ‘education.’ He’s a total player. Would Liv get hurt? Would he break her heart? And would their friendship be ruined in the end?

Just like On Dublin Street and Down London Road, Before Jamaica Place is a truly great read. I always read these books when I know I have time to get really stuck in, because once I pick these Samantha Young’s books up, I generally don’t put them down until I am done. Young has a great way with words and she is a supreme storyteller. I love how well-developed her characters are and I love how she always weaves characters from past books into each of her new books in this series. I also absolutely adored the by now well established family dinners where everyone comes together. I love catching up with Joss and Braden especially and also Hannah, who I have always loved for her reading habits and special bond with Jo. I was very excited then when I discovered that the next book in this series Fall From India Place will focus on Hannah and her crush Marco. While I was reading Before Jamaica Place, I pictured Jesse Williams as moody Marco (those eyes!) so I can’t wait to find out more about him.

But back to Liv and Nate. What can I say?  Those two are made for each other and their sexy game is all kinds of hot. But will it all end in tears? Will Liv end up with the hot post grad? Or will Nate come to his senses in time, let go of his past, and move on to a fantastic future with his best friend?

You’ll have to read Before Jamaica Lane to find out – and I strongly recommend that you do!


Want more Joss and Braden? Then read Castle Hill...

We are treated to snippets of Joss and Braden's wedding in Before Jamaica Lane, but if you want to experience the full glorious day, then check out Castle Hill. This novella (On Dublin Street #2.5) encompasses a lot of exciting times in Joss and Braden's life including Braden's romantic proposal, the aforementioned wedding, and of course, the Honeymoon (split into two parts), and believe me when I say what happens at the airport is all kinds of hot! You'll also find out what comes next for my favourite hot-blooded couple...

Just like all the other books in the series, Castle Hill is a novella is well worth checking out!


  1. I've never heard of this one, Leanna, but it sounds like an absolutely wonderful read. I read plenty of adult fiction in my free time, so this has definitely made it on my list now. Absolutely lovely review! :)

  2. These books are truly addictive! I can't get enough! Thanks for visiting Married Lady! ;)


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