Friday 13 June 2014

Book Review: Fall from India Place by Samantha Young.

Product details:
Publisher: Piatkus.
Paperback, 370 pages.
Release date: June 3rd 2014.
Rating: 4 out of 5.
Ages: Adult
Series: On Dublin Street #4.
 Other Books in Series: On Dublin Street, Down London Road, Before Jamaica Lane.
Source: Received from publisher for review.

When Hannah Nichols last saw Marco D’Alessandro, five long years ago, he broke her heart. The bad boy with a hidden sweet side was the only guy Hannah ever loved—and the only man she’s ever been with. After one intense night of giving into temptation, Marco took off, leaving Scotland and Hannah behind. Shattered by the consequences of their night together, Hannah has never truly moved on.

Leaving Hannah was the biggest mistake of Marco’s life, something he has deeply regretted for years. So when fate reunites them, he refuses to let her go without a fight. Determined to make her his, Marco pursues Hannah, reminding her of all the reasons they’re meant to be together.…

But just when Marco thinks they’re committed to a future together, Hannah makes a discovery that unearths the secret pain she’s been hiding from him, a secret that could tear them apart before they have a real chance to start over again

 Note: This is a next-in-a-series book. As such here may be spoilers for previous books in the series in this review.

If you were to ask me to describe Hannah Nichols, the protagonist of the fourth installment in Samantha Young’s highly-readable On Dublin Street series, I’d say she was intelligent, intuitive and level-headed and that she cared a lot about friends and family. Young’s characters are so well developed and I’ve been reading about them for so long now, that I feel like I know them all inside-out. Hannah has always been a favourite of mine since she was first introduced to readers of the series as a teenager with a voracious reading-habit and an all-consuming crush on hot older guy, the delectable Marco D’Alessandro. Fast-forward five years, and Hannah, at twenty-two has a pretty nice life; she has her own home (courtesy of brother Braden and sister Ellie), good friends – especially her best friend Cole,  and is well on her way to being a fully-qualified English teacher.  She doesn’t have a man in her life, hasn’t had a man in her life for a long, long time, not since the night five years ago that she hooked up with Marco D’Alessandro for the first and only time; the same night he walked out of her life.

But Marco is back and Hannah can’t deny that she’s still attracted to all his gorgeousness (Marco IS Jesse Williams of Grey’s Anatomy fame –you must picture him if you’re reading this!) The truth is that Hannah’s been in love with Marco since she was fourteen years old; she’s been in love with him forever. And she wants him now. But something in her past is stopping her. And as for Marco, he’s got baggage. Five years have passed, and both Marco and Hannah have changed, but are their secrets enough to keep them apart, or are these two meant to be together, forever?

Welcome to Fall From India Place.

Samantha Young knows how to weave a tale so that it captures your interest from the get go and holds it right till the very end. I’ve been a fan of Young’s writing for a long time – ever since she self-published her work – and it’s safe to say that I am pretty addicted to this series. I look forward to each new and I haven’t yet been disappointed. That said, those of you who loved On Dublin Street for its absolute hotness might find this one a little tame for your tastes. I’m not sure why the sexytimes have been toned down in these books –let’s face it Braden and Joss were hardly ever out of the bedroom! – but this book focuses more on Hannah’s day to day life, her family, her job and her struggle to come to terms with her past, than it does on her love life. Don’t get me wrong – Hannah has her fun, including a sexy country getaway and some sizzling shower action; and Marco is the hotness, but after Joss and Braden, these two seemed a little tame in comparison. I guess Hannah as a character is more reserved than feisty Joss, but still. At the time of its release Samantha Young pointed out that On Dublin Street was most definitely not a New Adult novel – and it’s not. This one, though, could pass as NA. Hannah is twenty-two and the bedroom action, while pretty hot, is not off-the-scale-Braden Carmichael-hot.

And that right there is the important information that you really needed to know!

As stories go, this one is a pretty emotional read; Hannah has been through a lot and there is an unexpected twist in this tale that blindsided me and made me tear up just a bit. The storyline is also pretty predicable – if you’ve read the blurb then you’ll probably have guessed the secrets these two are keeping from each other – I did. The blurb pretty much gives the game away here.  It’s all good, though, because knowing what went on in Hannah’s past and figuring out Marco’s secret in no way detracts from the emotional impact of this tale.

For those of you who want to know if we catch up with characters from previous books in the series – yes, yes, and yes. Five years have passed since we last caught up with Braden, Joss, Jo, Cam, Nate, Liv and the rest, and I’m glad to say that those Nichols Sunday dinners are still happening and going stronger than ever. In the meantime, there have been weddings and lots and lots of kids.  One quibble I have about those books (after reading four of them) is that, in their conclusions, they are all pretty similar. And I know, everyone loves a happy ending, but with such a wide cast of characters does it have to be the same happy ending – every time?

Maybe the next book in this series will bring something new to the mix. The fifth book is as yet untitled, but I do know that it’s Cole’s book (that’s Jo’s brother and Hannah’s best friend), and with his background and connection to the other characters, it should be another great read.

Fall From India Place might be less frenetic in pace than its predecessors but it is nonetheless another great read from Samantha Young; as always I was hooked from first page to last.

* The UK paperback of Fall From India Place includes the complete text of Castle Hill – the Joss and Braden novella that was previously only available in digital format. That’s some very nice bonus material right there –especially the airport scene!

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