Monday, December 30, 2013

Review & Giveaway: Before Jamaica Lane (On Dublin Street #3) by Samantha Young

Before Jamaica Lane (On Dublin Street, #3)

Publication Date: January 7th 2014 by NAL
Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo

About the book:

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…

My Thoughts:
Before Jamaica Lane is a best-friends-that-turn-into-something more type of romance, albeit, VERY reluctantly and with some heartache along the way.  This was such an addictive read I read it in one day, but I can’t say I’m surprised with this story coming from one of my favorite romance authors: Samantha Young. 

Olivia has moved to Scotland with her father for a fresh start and to be closer to her father’s sort of adopted daughter, Jo.  Olivia is ready for the move after caring for her mother through a bout with cancer and then ultimately losing her in the battle.  Because of putting her mother first, Olivia basically skipped over those years fumbling through romances, so even though she’s in her mid 20s, she has next to no experience with the opposite sex, and is extremely shy.  Therefore, when anyone seems to be interested, Olivia invariably mucks up her chances. This is with the exception of Nate.  He’s gorgeous, and pretty much a man-whore, but for some reason she immediately clicked with him upon arriving in Scotland, bonding over all things geek.  That doesn’t mean she’s immune to Nate’s charm and charisma. Olivia's pretty much a goner and harbors the crush of all crushes for him, but because romance doesn’t seem possible, she’s comfortable with him and they become best friends.  She tries to turn off the hurt and jealousy that comes whenever he snags a girl to take home, which is OFTEN!

Nate has no problem with the opposite sex. He’s the king of the one-night stand after having a very painful experience in love very early on. When Olivia asks Nate to help her overcome her crippling shyness with men, he agrees, but makes it clear he doesn’t want any confusion on his position:

“You trust me to do this with you, but I’ve got to trust that you won’t try to make this into anything more than a friend helping out another friend.”

And I want to smack Nate again after reading that quote!

Soon their “lessons” turn into so much more (big surprise) and before they know it Olivia and Nate are in over their heads. Olivia figures this out pretty early on, but can’t stop because her heart is too far gone.  Oh, Olivia! Nate on the other hand is very stubborn and I wanted to slap him upside the head more than a few times!  And this is where the angst comes in. Samantha Young has a talent for incorporating just enough drama and angst to puncture your heart, and keep you hooked without drawing it out to the point of frustrating you and turning you off the story.  Don’t let me turn you off of Nate, though, he had good reasons and he was a sweetheart helping Olivia see her value and desirability:

Nate said quietly, “Liv’s perfect. She deserves perfect. She won’t be settling for anything less.”

See, sweatheart.

Nate and Olivia were so very hot together! Ms. Young writes some of the hottest scenes and this story is no exception.  She builds things up, and up, and up, until the sexual tension makes you ready to combust!

As if this lovely romance wasn’t enough, we get updates on our favorite past couples: Joss and Braden, Jo and Camden, and Ellie and Adam.  Fans will recognize the events of this story overlap with the events in Castle Hill, the Joss and Braden novella, and we get a little of what happened through Olivia’s perspective.  I must mention that I love the whole “family” feeling you get with all the characters.  Olivia was accepted into this big group almost like a surrogate sister. All the girls were in her corner when she needed them the most.  I adored Olivia’s father Mick, as well.  Every girl needs a father like him.

Another bonus to this story is the inclusion of Ellie and Adam’s novella Until Fountain Bridge.  I LOVED their story.  So much packed into 111 pages!

Favorite Quote: (Spoilery so you need to highlight to see the text.)
“I never meant to fall in love with you. But I did. I felt it the first night I made love to you. I tried to walk away then because I’ve never felt so lost and yet so fucking found as I felt that night looking into your eyes as I moved inside you. I thought I should walk away…but I couldn’t stay away from you.”
 4.5 Suns

On Dublin Street Series:
(click on cover for Goodreads link)

On Dublin Street (On Dublin Street, #1)  Until Fountain Bridge (On Dublin Street, #1.5)  Down London Road (On Dublin Street, #2)  Castle Hill (On Dublin Street, #2.5)

About the Author: Samantha Young is a New York Times, USA Today and Wall Street Journal bestselling author from Stirlingshire, Scotland. She's been nominated for the Goodreads Choice Award for Best Author and Best Romance for her international bestselling novel ON DUBLIN STREET. ON DUBLIN STREET is Samantha's first adult contemporary romance and has been sold in twenty five countries. For more info on Samantha's adult fiction visit

Connect with Samantha Young:

The publisher generously provided a print copy of Before Jamaica Lane, which includes the novella Until Fountain Bridge for a giveaway to one lucky Waves of Fiction reader! Awesome, right?! The giveaway is open to US Residents only.  Simply fill out the rafflecopter for a chance to win.

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  1. I find friends to lovers stories to be somewhat realistic. It's hard for men and women to remain just friends. At one time or another attraction for the other person will develop. It's just a matter if it happens for both people at the same time so they can act on it or not.

    1. I totally agree with you, Chanpreet. I think usually if a man and a women become friends attraction for each other usually gets in there somewhere. :)

  2. Yay! I loved this one too, Rachel. It just may be my favorite in this incredible series.

    I loooove your review!

  3. I believe it's possible. Thank you for the wonderful giveaway.

  4. Great review! I think it's possible. Thanks for the giveaway!

  5. I find friends to lovers stories very believable!

  6. I love to read books where friends become lovers! They're my favorite, and so far the ones I've read have been pretty realistic, so no complaints from me!

    I cannot wait to read this book!

    1. It's one of my favorite types of romances as well, Nancy. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did! :)

  7. I find them the most realistic because there is a trust that develops that makes a friends to lovers relationship more solid.

    1. Totally agree, krg! Usually the connection is very strong with friends to lovers. :)

  8. I find them very believable! I love Samantha Young and I am looking forward to reading Jamaica Lane ♥

    1. I love Samantha Young, too, Maria! I hope you enjoy this installment as much as I did. :)

  9. Those are some of my favorites! Very believable! Thanks!

  10. Great review! I loved Nate and Olivia as well :)

  11. I find them often pretty realistic since the couple has a great basis for their relationship.

  12. Some believable and some not so much.

  13. I find them realistic because that's how my boyfriend and I ended up together. Thanks to having the same major we had 3 years of being in the same college courses and we didn't start dating until right before graduation! 4 years later and we're still together :)

  14. Love friends to lovers stories, they're not always realistic but they can be lots of fun. Thanks for the giveaway!