Book Review: On Dublin Street by Samantha Young

synopsis 2

Jocelyn Butler has been hiding from her past for years. But all her secrets are about to be laid bare …

Four years ago, Jocelyn left her tragic past behind in the States and started over in Scotland, burying her grief, ignoring her demons, and forging ahead without attachments. Her solitary life is working well – until she moves into a new apartment on Dublin Street, where she meets a man who shakes her carefully guarded world to its core.

Braden Carmichael is used to getting what he wants, and he’s determined to get Jocelyn into his bed. Knowing how skittish she is about entering a relationship, Braden proposes an arrangement that will satisfy their intense attraction without any strings attached.

But after an intrigued Jocelyn accepts, she realizes that Braden won’t be satisfied with just mind-blowing passion. The stubborn Scotsman is intent on truly knowing her . . . down to the very soul.


 

My Thoughts 2

 

Years…. It´s been eons when I found this little romantic gem and to this day ( 5 years after publication and purchase ) I´m still going back to this book for a reread (either the whole thing or reread certain parts of the book ).

An unforgettable emotional romance.

Unforgettable indeed! `On Dublin Street` by author Samantha Young belongs to those romances that has a wrecked Heroine and an Alpha sex God who´ll stop at nothing to have and love the one person who doesn´t want him. On Dublin Street

Back in 2012/2013 those stories were so damn popular and the book market was over flooded with romances like this one but none came close to Samantha Young´s story.

I won´t bother with a story description because the synopsis provides enough info to whet a readers appetite. Instead I´ll focus on a little character analyzing and revealing my emotions.

 

The idea of the story isn´t anything new. Woman meets prick. Prick wants woman. Cat and mouse chase. Dramatic moments. More dramatic moments. The big threat followed by a big emotional disaster. A big bang. The end.

But it´s still heart-strings – tugging romantic. How can I not love something as simple yet overly dramatic? You´re right. I can´t. I have to love the overbearing Hero, Braden, and his bossy behavior. I have to love Jocelyn, the Heroine, for being a difficult little booger throughout the whole book. Because these figures made this book right.

 

And in the end, everything was still very dramatic and exciting.

Will they? Will they not? What´s with the sub characters? Will they get their own book? Will we continue to see the characters from this book in other books from the author?

I can answer the 4th and 5th question for you: Yes. There are more books to the series and characters from `On Dublin Street` get their own book. We also get to see the main characters from this book in the following books. Something I really appreciated.


My Opinion Then vs. My Opinion Now

 

It´s been 5 years. Opinions can shift with time and certain world views often change, as do tastes in all areas.  Has anything changed for me regarding this book? Yes and no.

The love I felt for this book 5 years ago certainly has changed. The asshole-ish behavior from the Hero doesn´t appeal to me as it once did. I find it rather annoying to read about ANOTHER cocky, smooth, sharp minded Hero who has it all and so much more. Braden´s behavior is often questionable ( something I blindly ignored back then ). If I were single and I´d bump into someone like Braden NOW I´d definitely have a few things to say to him.

The same goes for Jocelyn, the ever push – away protagonist. I recognized her as a difficult character 5 years ago and today, I just think she´s just pushing it too far. The emotional damage her character has isn´t unrealistic but it dictates her life and affects everyone around her. It´s like having the case of ” If I can´t have fun then I don´t want you to have fun, either. But I don´t want you to know that so, please, continue to try to have fun.” Jocelyn is an exhausting little chica who´s like the Duracell bunny- She goes on and on and on….

What hasn´t changed was: My love for the sub – characters. I loved every bit about them, then, and still do. They make up half the story because they´re weaved into the lives of the main characters.


 Would I, after my POV shift, still recommend this book? I most certainly would. Because the story is great. It´s romantic and challenging. It´s an emotional rollercoaster ride that´ll have your heart melting or boiling. This book is for any NA, contemporary romance reader who loves a classical romantic alpha story with steamy sex scenes.

Would I reread this book? I´ve been rereading it for 5 years. That should say a lot.


 

The Cover – 4 stars ( I have the first released edition with a different cover. The new cover is nothing like the original one but still great.)

The Story – 4 stars ( It´s more a relationship story than anything else. It´s about love and friendship. Trust and loyalty are big subjects.)

The Characters – 3 stars ( Slighty irrational. Slightly overbearing. Slightly too much when the MCs could have delivered the same emotional effect with less )

My emotional state after finishing this read – Still in love. I can´t help myself. I´m sentimental that way. Despite the negatives I still feel myself drawn to this book.

 

My 31-year-old self gave `On Dublin Street` ( On Dublin Street #1 ) by Samantha Young 5+ stars.

36-year-old me is giving `On Dublin Street` 4 out of 5 stars.

4 stars

 

Buy On Dublin Street On Dublin Street

 

 

 

 

Book Review: The Birthday list – Devney Perry

synopsis 2

Happily married to her college sweetheart, Poppy lived a blessed life with the husband of her dreams. Then everything changed. She is no longer a wife. She is no longer the envy of her single friends. Now, people look at her with pity as they whisper a single word behind her back.

Widow.

Years after her husband’s tragic death, years of pain and sorrow and wishing for the life she’ll never get back, Poppy decides to finish Jamie’s birthday list. She’ll do the things he wanted to most. Because maybe, just maybe, if she can complete his list, she can start to live again.

Poppy expects going through the birthday list will be hard. She expects it to hurt. But what she doesn’t expect is Cole. Could the man who delivered the news of her husband’s death and shattered her heart be the one to help her put it back together again?


My Thoughts 2

Beautiful.

Have a seat because this might become a shocker to some romance lovers:

`The Birthday List` by Devney Perry is a romance that´s not tacky. The book doesn´t even have the typical drama we´re usually presented in today´s romance novels. `The Birthday list` is NOT one of those reads. This book is so much more but on a deeper emotional level.

This book is a piece of beautiful romance that´s about love, loss and moving forward.

The birthday list

 

There´s emotional turnmoil. And that, my dear Padawans, works out wonderfully for this story. The main focus is on Poppy, her happiness and her unknown future.

A slow burn romance with heartstring tugging moments.

I think what I loved most about this story was how easily it felt to sympathize for Poppy ( Heroine ). You start out with falling for her and her relationship with her husband then the next minute you´re falling apart with her, mourning the loss of her wonderful love. It feels genuine and realistic. And heartbreakingly realistic. It´s easy to see and accept her life choices after her husband´s death, even though Poppy didn´t do anything dramatic per se… It was the way she dealt with the loss that made me fight some unwanted lumps in my throat. To be apart of her world and living through her pain and coping methods was simply great.

If Cole ( Hero ) were real I´m sure he´d create a new world record on having the most marriage proposals. Let´s just ignore the fact that he´s good looking ( because, aren´t they always? ) and concentrate on Cole as a character. He´s a kind, caring, gentle and understanding bundle of perfection wearing a uniform. That´s enough to melt hearts. And the way he treats Poppy and deals with her situation is just… Heartwarming. He makes it clear that Poppy does not have to suffer alone, or suffer at all. And in the process- he falls for her.

“I’ll take whatever you’ll give me.”

So many lines in this book that caused my emotional undoing. Did I survive this great read? I did. And I´m glad for it, too, because I don´t think my heart would have survived any more pages.

 

Would I recommend this book? Yes. `The Birthday List` is a great romance. Simple. Cute. Lovable.

Would I reread this book? I´m not sure. I don´t deliberately seak out books with sad- ish themes. Since this was a mood read for me I´d say that I´d reread it when the sniffle mood ever strikes again.

 

The Cover – 5 stars ( Exactly what I like. It doesn´t state the obvious. No character image. Two thumbs up.)

The Story – 4 stars ( The story is nothing new but it does have unique aspects to it, which I fully enjoyed. )

The Characters – 4 stars ( While I liked both, Hero & Heroine, I thought Cole was a little too perfect. I would have liked for more flaws regarding his character.)

My emotional state after finishing this read – Fully satisfied and beyond happy I picked this book up.

4 stars

Book Purchase Link- Amazon.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Book Review: Cake – Carmen Jenner

Synopsis

A hilarious new rom-com from USA Today best-selling author Carmen Jenner. 

Poppy Porter’s ex is getting married … to her ex-best friend. To land her dream job of partner in the most prestigious firm on the Upper East Side, Poppy must now pull double shifts as their wedding planner and maid of honor. And the icing on a truly craptastic cake? Leo Nass. Handsome, infuriating, womanizer, and … the best man. Despite their longstanding loathing, Poppy doesn’t see Leo coming. Literally.

One ruined cake.
One archnemesis.
One hour to save the wedding.

Can they put their hatred aside long enough to save Poppy’s job and Bridezilla’s head from exploding?

Piece of cake, right?

My Thoughts

Fun fact- I don´t like watching rom – coms. I don´t like reading rom – coms, either.

The reason for that is:  I find them far too cheesy and full of clichés. And most of them take place in Manhattan…because that´s the place for rom – coms.

You´d have a better chance catching me reading a Sci-Fi than a rom-com. If I want to be dragged out of my comfort – zone then I will most definitely not start reading romantic comedy´s.

Believe it or not… There´s a huge difference when it comes to romances. There are so many sub categories to the genre.

It´s the „I can´t live without you“ and „You had me at hello.“ that has me constantly doing the face of all faces.

I cannot, by all that´s pink and fluffy, remember what drove me to buy `Cake` by author Carmen Jenner.Cake

I remember seeing the cover on all social media platforms and reading a handful of reviews. The next thing I remember is scrolling through my TBR list on my Kindle and POOF, there was `Cake´. So, my guess is that I made a mistake.

I was in for a surprise.

Well, butter my butt and call me a biscuit Cake!

I actually enjoyed `Cake`. Like…really really enjoyed it.

The story? It was nothing new, or nothing I haven´t heard of a million times before. The story was the exact thing that usually bothers me with rom – coms.

Wedding planner gets a triple slap in the face when her ex wants to marry her best friend and has to co – plan their wedding PLUS be the maid of honor.

Things become interesting when Poppy, the wedding planner, has to deal with the groom´s best man – Leo, who´s also a childhood enemy of Poppy. They bump into each other more often than not.

The story takes place in New York and the Maldives ( of course! ) and cash is being tossed around as if someone had it growing on trees in their backyard.

So, why did I like this book so much?

Besides the humor ( which I fully appreciated ) it was the writing style and the way the characters were portrayed that made this read great. Poppy and Leo definitely helped me enjoy this book more than I was willing to.

Plus, there was cake. A lot of cake involved in this story. Who doesn´t love cake? Cake rules.

I couldn´t help myself. Falling for Leo and Poppy was not what I had planned but it happened anyways. Their overall chemistry was lovable.

What I also enjoyed was how movie – like this read felt. I kid you not… Reading `Cake ` felt like watching a Kate Hudson rom – com. ( I like watching Kate Hudson… not the romantic comedy´s she plays in )

The end was great. I liked how things played out for the MCs and the sub – characters.

Would I recommend this book? Sure. `Cake` is quite funny and entertaining. I don´t necessarily think that this book cured me of my dislike for rom – coms… but it did put a smile on my face more than once. That alone is reason enough to recommend this book. Maybe I´d be more open to rom – coms if they took place in Iceland or…. some other place that´s not in / near / around Manhattan.

Would I re – read this book? Not sure. Maybe. Maybe not. I have a strong feeling that this is a once – is – enough type of book. But who knows… I´m open for surprises.

The Cover – 3 stars ( The cover is nothing I´d go nuts over. And it´s definitely not the worst I´ve seen.)

The Story – 3 stars ( Uuhm… Not really unique but due to the writing style definitely highly entertaining. )

The Characters – 5 stars ( Loved them. )

My emotional state after finishing this read – Really happy.

4 stars

Purchase Links   Cake

Amazon.com 

Amazon.co.uk

Review- Play On by Samantha Young

Book Description

Nora O’Brien chased a dream from Indiana to Scotland, so sure it was the right thing to do. Three years later she was left in her adopted country with nothing to her name but guilt and regret.

Until Aidan Lennox entered her life.

Older, worldlier, a music producer and composer, the sexy Scot should never have made sense for Nora. But somehow, in each other, they found the light they were looking for, the laughter and the passion—the strength to play on despite their past losses.

But when life dealt Aidan another unlucky hand, instead of reaching for her he disappeared. The agonizing loss of him inspired something within Nora. It fired her spirit— the anger and hurt pushing her forward to take control and reach for her dreams.

Finally pursuing a career on stage while she put herself through college, everything is how Nora wants it. She’s avoiding heartbreak and concentrating on her goals.

Sounds easy but it’s not. Because Aidan is back. And for some reason he hates Nora.

He’s determined to be at war with her. And she has absolutely no idea why.

My Thoughts

Samantha Young is my go-to author. When I´m in need of a gut twisting romance I always think of the author first.

`Play On` did not disappoint me. I´m a total confused mess when it comes to keeping track of new releases or even stalking authors. I´m always late when finding out the author published something new. I don´t know how late I was with `Play On` but it didn´t matter. I´m so glad I didn´t miss this one completely.Play On

I won´t bore you with my own synopsis or any spoilers but I will say this:

If you love the author´s work then you´ll definitely like this one as well. If you love a slow grow romance where the characters have their own demons to tackle while finding love then this story is for you!

`Play On` is emotional. Heart breaking and heart mending at the same time.

I know some readers have a problem when characters have big age gaps. If you feel like you belong to that group and can´t stomache a 12 year age difference then I advise you to skip this read. Personally, age gaps don´t bother me. I like to read about a struggle ( if there is one). I´m a firm believer in young people having a beautiful old mind and older people who are older but young at heart. Love it. That´s what I got with `Play On´..

The only issue I have with this story was the Heroine, Nora. I liked her but that poor girl had no confidence what so ever. That usually leads to a character constantly questioning their own self-worth and that get´s slightly annoying with time. I would have liked for her to have more backbone despite the issues she´d dealt with before she met Aidan.

Besides Nora, the rest of the characters were fab. All loving, caring, fierce figures who were super engaging and interesting.

The end of the story didn´t knock me off my feet but it was still good.

All in all a great read. I´m looking forward to read the next book!

Would I reread this book? Yes. Probably.

Would I recommend this book? Yes. This is a must have for Samantha Young fans. It´s also a great read for romance lovers.

The Cover – 5 stars (It´s playful. It´s soft on the eye. It reflects the story. I think it´s great.)

The Story – 4 stars ( Nothing I haven´t already read before but since I like the author´s writing I enjoyed it alot.)

The Characters – 4 stars ( Nora was a small thorn in my thumb.)

My emotional state after finishing this read – Happy.

I´m giving `Play On` ( Play On #1) by Samantha Young 4 out of 5 starsstars14

Purchase Links

Amazon.com

Amazon.co.uk

Amazon.de

Book review- The Break by Marian Keyes

Book Description

Amy O’Connell is living your typical modern life – harried, overfull and totally stressed out (more-than-occasional glasses of wine notwithstanding). Between a husband who has become withdrawn following the death of his father, three girls with various degrees of independence, a high-stress job commuting between Dublin and London, and the distraction of a colleague who may or may not be making moves on her – what’s a girl to do? Then Amy’s husband announces that he is taking “a break” – six months to go to the other side of the world and “clear his hand”. What the everlasting…..?

My Thoughts

Your husband wants a break. What do you do? Do you flip your top? Do you push him to go and enjoy his break or do you make him stay?

A break for me says someone in a marriage/relationship isn´t happy and needs time for themselves. I mean, that´s the only logical explanation I have because I, myself, have never been on one before so…. I got curious when I saw the book and read the synopsis.The Break

It´s scary when you´re married or in a relationship to think about a break when you don´t even need one. But what would happen if I or my husband would reach that point? Hof would either of us react? Would we survive? Or would we split up and go separate ways?

The ride home from the bookstore was gruesome, to say the least. I had so many questions and needed answers from the chick-lit I had bought.

I love Marian Keyes books. She has an amazing writing style. It´s truly a pleasure to read her stories because they´re so easy-going with the perfect amount of depth.

`The Break`was a fun and exciting read with so many feels. I had so much love and hate boiling inside me but then again- I felt alot of understanding for the characters and their actions.

( Not the break part. That crushed me.)

Without wanting to give anything away I would say this is a relatable read. The idea of a couple that loved each other to bits, even after so many years of being together, suddenly being challenged by one tiny life choice… plus the involvement with kids and work and everything else that comes with life is really not too far fetched.

My kind of Chick-Lit!

I did not only enjoy reading this relationship romance because it made me go through the „what if´s“ afterwards… I also enjoyed `The Break`for what it was- Entertaining.

It took me 2 days to start and finish 568 pages, and boy… was my heart all over the place.

The only complaint I have it that the end was a bit „So, this happens,… color out the rest for yourselves.“. The end didn´t quite get as much attention as I hoped for.

A reader gets alot of well written scenes on what happened before the break, during the break, and after the break. It felt like the real closure didn´t get a proper spotlight moment.

Nonetheless- I still enjoyed reading `The Break` by Marian Keyes.

Would I reread the story? Sure. Sometime in the future, most definitely.

Would I recommend this read? Absolutely. Although it´s a rather larger book it´s well written and the reading flow is great. Chick-Lit lovers will definitely get a kick out of this one.

The Cover – 5 stars ( A total eye-catcher. Simple, in-your-face subtle…. I love it )

The Story – 4 stars ( As a whole I´d say it was really enjoyable. But the end didn´t really do it for me. I expected more.)

The Characters – 4 stars ( Great. All aside from Amy´s husband, Hugh. Would have liked for him to have more… more…. more.)

My emotional state after finishing this read- Satisfied and waiting to read something new from the author.

I´m giving `The Break` by Marian Keyes 4 out of 5 stars.

Purchase Links

Amazon.com

Amazon.co.uk

Amazon.de