Wednesday, September 26, 2012

On Dublin Street Book Review *Samantha Young*

Jocelyn “Joss” Butler’s entire world was destroyed in the blink of an eye when she was fourteen. Her parents and younger sister were killed in a car accident, leaving her an orphan and sent into foster care. For the most part, her years in foster care wasn’t that bad and when she turned eighteen she was free to do what she liked because she was given her inheritance thanks to her father’s money in oil. Jocelyn ends up in Scotland where she went to the University of Edinburgh. Jocelyn is now twenty-two and trying to make ends meet (actually she doesn’t have to make ends meet because she well off thanks to dad’s money, lucky gal) as a bartender and as a writer. Jocelyn has to find a new place to stay and isn’t too thrilled living alone. She does like her space, but she rather have a roommate around because she usually likes to keep to herself but feels that she needs some type of interaction with people. She ends up finding a place available on the very posh Dublin Street. There she meets her soon-to-be new roommate, Ellie, but not before she shares a taxi to her destination with a handsome man she nicknames, The Suit who is too nosy for his own good and asks her some intrusive questions. She blows him off before he can catch her name, but enjoyed the flirting and banter. What she doesn’t know at the time is that The Suit is Ellie’s rich older brother Braden who comes in goes in the apartment because he owns it. The second time he and Joss meets is him barging in while Joss is in the shower and he catches an eyeful of Joss, to her dismay. But again she tries to blow him off because she’s not interested in his flirty ways or his questions and over all friendliness. Plus Braden has a girlfriend, some long legged model type woman who is the total opposite of Joss.

Ellie and Joss become close, and with that Braden inserts himself into their relationship. Joss can't figure out Braden because he acts like he just wants to be friends, but then he gets jealous when she’s too touchy feely with her male co-workers at her bartender job. And she’s annoyed because Braden always has some stunning woman on his arm. She starts to wonder if Braden is rubbing his dates in her face because she’s standoffish toward him and won’t play his games. But then he’s suddenly single and wants a go at Joss. Since she’s very attracted to him and he won't leave her alone, she’ll see where it goes, but there are rules. They can only be friends with benefits, and only for three months because she’s not willing to fall in love with him because of her deep seeded issues and her inability to trust others. But Braden slinks into her heart and soon they’re a couple, although Braden has these moments of acting out, such as being jealous and telling Joss what to do and wear, which she won’t allow and tells him so. 

Joss is out of her comfort zone where Braden is concerned, but she’s trying her best to get past her emotional issues by seeing a therapist and confronting her past that makes her afraid to give Braden what he wants, to his own dismay. Joss must decide whether to welcome Braden into her heart or cast him aside before things get too complicated and deep for her and she ends up more emotional stunted than she is.

On Dublin Street is a sexy and at times sweet and funny contemporary romance. There are many familiar tropes here such as the slightly emotional damaged heroine who feels she can’t love because of her loss of her family and that of the semi-alpha, rich handsome, romantic lothario hero who wants the heroine to confront the demons plaguing her so they can have a future together. Braden does try to pull some caveman tactics with Joss, but Joss won’t take it and gets in his face and refuses to back down or have it his way or no way. That's one successful writing technique by Samantha Young here that most author don’t do. Usually the heroine will bow down to the alpha type hero and concede to his demands or wishes. Samantha doesn’t do that with Joss. I really have to give credit to Samantha for that. Also the love scenes are very steamy, hot and fun. Braden and Joss have great chemistry together.

But On Dublin Street is far from a perfect read. Yes, it’s horrible how Joss lost her family at such a young age and something emotionally damaging occurs a few years later that she feels responsible for. That guilt stays with her and rules her emotions and life. I felt it was a bit overkill with Joss, who for the most part doesn’t have any real problems. She has money since her father left her well off, she wasn’t abused in foster care, she has a great support of friends, and this wonderful man comes along who wants to not only be her lover but her friend. A few times I felt like smacking Joss because she has an almost perfect life but makes things difficult, which I guess is expected because then there would be no real story.

I had more issues with Joss than Braden. For a love interest, Braden made my heart skip a beat. He’s very appealing and although has his moments of possessiveness and jealousy, it fits his personality and demeanor and he comes across more dimensionally as Joss. Ellie grated on my nerves somewhat but she helps break up the tension with her own romance regarding Braden's friend who has his moments of alpha type jealousy regarding Ellie.

On Dublin Street was an enjoyable read for the most part. I’d be very interested in reading Samantha’s future projects. Any fan of contemporary romance with some steamy sex and an appealing rich, handsome, at times alpha love interest will enjoy On Dublin Street. Overall, not a bad read.(Self-Published, $3.99)

Final Grade: B

A few other On Dublin Street reviews:
Maryse's Book Blog
Once Upon a Twilight
Totally Booked

This is more of an observation on my part, but Samantha up to this point has only written young adult novels. I don’t know if this is a new trend, and I guess Samantha wanted her readers to buy her first adult novel, but since On Dublin Street is an adult novel with more explicit love scenes, I was surprised she wouldn’t have a different pseudonym to keep her young adult fiction separate from her adult fiction. 

Has it become the norm for young adult authors, and visa-versa, to keep their author name the same when writing more adult fiction? Has it become acceptable if say an young adult author ends up writing erotica or erotic romance and uses her young adult author pseudonym? I’m interested in hearing other opinions about this because it used to be that authors would change names when writing for different genres. But now so it’s no longer the case.



JoAnne Kenrick said...

Really great review!! You really went into detail; I was debating picking up this read so your honest and indepth words are much appreciated.

I agree 100% -- authors who write both YA or children's books should use a different pen name for their adult books. Heck, I wouldn't want my teenager son and middle school daughter picking up their favorite author's latest book only to discover sex...and lots of all it's explicit glory. Not cool! Not cool at all.
It's common sense. What was this author thinking?
Yes, most parents vet the books their children read, but some don't. Yes, the cover makes it clear it's a steamy romance, but you know what...some of those YA covers look like that now, too.
In my opinion, this was disrespectful and irresponsible for the author to write both YA and adult books under the same pen name.

mepamelia said...

Have to agree 100% with your review. I wasn't in love with this one either. It took WAY too long for Joss to wake the eff up! That also made me lose some interest in Braden because he put up with it way too long.
I originally didn't look at this book because the cover read "YA" to me, so I have to agree that a YA author should NOT write under the same name when bringing on the sexy!

KB/KT Grant said...

JoAnne: It looks like more authors when they switch over to YA or movie to adult books are keeping the name that they have. I think it's because they want to keep the readers they have. Also it doesn't seem a big deal for some reason.

Mepamelia: When I read Joss came into money when she turned 18 that made me roll my eyes. Other than her unfortunate past with her family and that other issue, which was kind of meh for her to have emotional issues, the women didn't have any problems or really suffered overall.