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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars On Dublin Street book 2
With an alcoholic, dysfunctional mother and a father who disappeared years ago Jo has been taking care of her family since she was 16 years old. Forced to leave school and get a job just to pay the bills she never had much of a childhood but she is determined life will be better for her younger brother Cole. Everything she does is done in Cole's best interest, even when...
Published 22 months ago by Sarah (Feeling Fictional)

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Oh Dear
I really wanted to like this book as I have read Ms Young's other books and quite enjoyed them.

This book was dull by comparison. At 34% I started to skim read. Halfway through the book, I felt like giving up but I carried on thinking there's got to be something big coming....ermmmm no there wasn't.

To write a book about background characters from a...
Published 12 months ago by Lewlin


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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars On Dublin Street book 2, 7 May 2013
By 
Sarah (Feeling Fictional) (Kent, England) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Down London Road (Paperback)
With an alcoholic, dysfunctional mother and a father who disappeared years ago Jo has been taking care of her family since she was 16 years old. Forced to leave school and get a job just to pay the bills she never had much of a childhood but she is determined life will be better for her younger brother Cole. Everything she does is done in Cole's best interest, even when it comes to the guys she dates it is more about how they can help her financially rather than how much she loves them. That is until she meets Cam, he is the one man who tempts her to put her own needs first, she finds it impossible to deny the attraction she feels towards him but she is determined to keep him at a distance. That becomes impossible when Cam moves into the flat below hers though. Cam is intrigued by Jo and wants to get to know her better, she isn't the person he first thought she was and that just makes him want to break down her barriers and learn all of her secrets. Can he convince Jo that they could be good together?

I was a huge fan of On Dublin Street so I've been eagerly waiting for Down London Road ever since I finished reading it. I have to admit that I was a little disappointed when I found out that this was Jo's book, I'll admit that I had judged her based on what we saw of her in the first book and I thought she was a gold digger and not someone I was interested in seeing more of. It just goes to remind me that we shouldn't judge a book by it's cover though, Jo is nothing like I expected her to be and my opinion of her completely changed within the first couple of chapters. She isn't perfect and she does tend to look at men in terms of what they can do for her but she obviously cares for the guys she dates and I think deep down she is a romantic who was looking for a rich prince charming to sweep her off her feet and protect her and her brother. She's had a tough life, she works two jobs just to make ends meet and she does everything she can to make sure Cole has a better life than she did. She is saving every penny she can so he can get the good education that she missed out on and she does her best to protect him from their mother's drunken ranting outbursts. Some people would have probably walked away from their family as soon as they were old enough but Jo sticks around for Cole's sake and you have to admire her for that. She doesn't always make the right decisions, she can be a bit on the ruthless side, especially when it comes to men, but everything she does is done with good intentions and you can't really fault her for that.

Cam was actually an a-hole when he first met Jo. Like me he judged her on first appearances and found her wanting and he wasn't shy in letting her know just how much he disliked her for it. I was really quite concerned for a few minutes that he wasn't going to be a worthy hero but I should have known better and trusted Samantha Young to come through for me. Cam makes mistakes but he is man enough to admit it when he realises he is wrong, he feels terrible when he understands how badly he misjudged Jo and he goes out of his way to make it up to her. I think the reason he reacted so badly towards her in the first place was because he was so attracted to her and didn't think he stood a chance because he wasn't the kind of rich guy she'd be interested in. That doesn't excuse his behaviour but it does make it more understandable. When we get to know him we start to see what a sweet guy Cam really is, he grows to care a lot for Jo and he understands how important her family is to her. He really takes Cole under his wing and is a good influence on both of them. They make a great couple and it is impossible not to route for them.

One of the things I enjoyed most about the book was the dynamics between Jo and Cole, Cole is like the typical 14 year old boy but he loves his sister and appreciates everything she has done for him. They have such a great bond and I really enjoyed seeing them spend time together. I know that the biggest question fans of On Dublin Street will have is do we get to see more of Joss and Braden? You'll be pleased to know that they both have fairly large roles in the story and it was great to catch up with both of them along with Ellie and Adam. The stars of the show are definitely Jo and Cam but we see plenty of the other characters we know and love.

I expected to enjoy Down London Road but I never thought Samantha Young could make me fall for another couple even harder than I fell for Joss and Braden. I'm happy to say that is exactly what she did though, Jo and Cam were so good together and I just loved everything about this book. The romance is sweet and sexy, the family dynamics were great, Jo has a strong network of friends who she learns she can rely on to help her and the ending just left me with a huge smile on my face. I don't think it would have been possible to change anything in this book to make me like it more and it has just left me even more excited to get my hands on anything else that the author writes in the future. If you enjoyed On Dublin Street you're going to LOVE Down London Road!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant but I did prefer Joss and Bradens story, 8 May 2013
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4 stars!

I may be in the minority with this one but I didn't really enjoy this half as much as On Dublin Street. The first 30% of the book was mainly setting the characters and I found this really hard to get into and I had trouble keeping interested. First of all I couldn't even remember who Johanna Walker was...I was racking my brains and then eventually realised that she was the barmaid who worked with Joss...I would have thought that this book would have been about a more prominent character from On Dublin Street. Once I got past the initial 30%, the book really got going and after that I loved it...it was Samantha Young at her best.

Jo has the reputation of being a gold digger and sleeping with men that are financially well off (if you remember she badly wanted Braden), however her motivations for this were entirely selfless. Her back story is harrowing at times and I just cried, I felt for her so badly and just wanted to give her a big hug. Her father is in prison, but not before he totally demonised Jo and made her feel worthless and absolutely useless, the mother is no better, she is a raging alcoholic that rarely ventures out of her bedroom...thus leaving Jo as the sole provider for the household and the sole carer for her little brother Cole who is only 14 years old. She works two jobs just to make ends meet and is running herself into the ground. Her current partner is lottery winner Malcolm, he is loaded and Jo makes sure that she is the perfect girlfriend, she takes whatever gifts he gives her with the sole intention of eventually ebaying them to provide money for Cole.

Cam is Malcom's exes boyfriend, he is a designer who is currently unemployed and Malcolm asks Jo to get him a job at the bar as a stop gap, as he has bar experience. There is some instant chemistry between the two but neither act on it and in fact Cam does not make a good impression especially when he basically calls her a gold digging whore. Jo does really care for Malcolm, but he is her safe..there is no real chemistry between them, but he is who she feels she needs to secure her and Cole's future.

Once Cam starts work at the bar, the attraction that they have really begins to manifest itself and this is only compounded when Cam moves in to the flat below her. Cam has been an ass towards her to cover up his real feelings, he knows he fancies her but he is in a relationship, she is in a relationship so where can they go????

I will say, I love the way Cam builds his relationship with Cole, it was truly beautiful. I loved Cam eventually once the hard ass persona had gone. The thing I loved about their relationship is that it was a friendship that blossomed to love, there is no cheating in this book either for those that are worried.

There is some angst and drama, but then no romance novel would be complete without it. We do see glimpses of our favourites from On Dublin Street.

I can't wait for book 3!!

[...]
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of my favourites so far in 2013, 25 May 2013
This review is from: Down London Road (Paperback)
Characters always make or break a book for me and there were two character related reasons why I loved every freaking minute of Down London Road. Firstly, Samantha Young made me dislike both the hero and heroine and I wasn't sure that I would ever be able to like them but as their story unfolded I completely changed my mind about them both and ended up really loving them. I'm pretty impressed by that. Secondly, Down London Road is a very Scottish book with very Scottish characters and I really, really loved that too. Most of the books I've read with Scottish characters in them are usually those pretty awful Highland-ish romances where the hero wears a kilt and says "I doona ken lassie" about four billion times. Those books are not written by real Scottish people and believe me it shows. As a fellow Scot Down London Road felt very, very real to me.

I loved the complexities of Jo's character. Jo has brought up her younger brother Cole ensuring he doesn't want for anything the way she did growing up. She also puts up with and still cares for her alcoholic mother and protects Cole from the cruel outbursts her drunken mother still lashes out with. So this caring, protective and responsible woman is so at odds from the gold digger Jo that we initially meet. I didn't really like her much at the start, any woman who is prepared to smoother her own personality to get and keep a guy is not much of a heroine as far as I'm concerned. Or so I thought. Like most people Jo faced I judged her too before I realised that she's using the only thing she thinks she has in her favour- her looks, to snare a wealthy guy who can look after her. Despite being stunning looking her self confidence is completely nonexistent. Deep down she genuinely believes that she's not smart enough or interesting enough to get or keep a guy. It was only really when little bits of her terrible upbringing came to light that I finally understood the reasons for Jo's heart breaking insecurities and with that, my opinion of her completely changed.

When Cam the very, very yummy good looking new bartender initially acts like a complete idiot and decides that Jo is a gold digging thicko I didn't appreciate his judgemental arse much either. It took me a while to change my mind about him. When Jo doesn't set him straight and let's him continue to think she's really like that I honestly wanted to scream. I ended up completely caught up in their enemies to friends to lovers journey and I'm pretty sure I'll not get the changing room sex scene out of my brain for a long time, phew it was good!

Although I loved the romance Down London Road is more than just a good contemporary romance, I know it sounds a bit "X factor-ish" but it really was a journey. A realistic, heart breakingly good journey as Jo realises her family isn't just her and Cole it's Cam, Joss and Braiden, Uncle Mick and Olivia, Ellie and Adam, Elodie, Clark and Hannah too. Talk about a book putting you through the emotional wringer. Down London Road had me ranging from being as disapproving as an ancient maiden aunt, raging mad on poor Jo's behalf, swooning like a Victorian lady, really, really squirmy hot under the collar and crying like a freaking baby with tears and snot the lot! Definitely a sign of an amazing book and one of my favourites of 2013 so far.

Favourite quote (which still makes me sniff and get all emotional):

"Be Caledonia." Cam grinned, love in his eyes for the man who was his Dad. "He said that Caledonia wasn't a name we'd given to our land, to Scotland, but the name the Romans had...
You know, the world will always try to make you into who it wants to be. People, time events, they'll all try to carve away at you and make you think you don't know who you are. But it doesn't matter who they try to make you, or what name they give you. If you stay true, you can chip off all their machinations and you're still you underneath it all. Be Caledonia. It might be the name someone else gave the land, but it didn't change the land. Better yet, we embraced the name, keeping it but never changing it. Be Caledonia."
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Scotland, it really is land of the brave, 8 May 2013
By 
Nicola_1202 (South Yorkshire, UK) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This book had a lot to live up to. I was blown away when I read On Dublin Street and I must admit when I started reading this, I wasn't so sure that it was going to manage it. I'll admit I found the first 40 pages or so a little slow going and I whilst I was enjoying it, it wasn't gripping me in the same way On Dublin Street did. And then all of a sudden everything ramped up a notch and it became a book that I couldn't (and didn't) put down.

Samantha Young is a great author. She develops characters that you become invested in and Johanna and Cameron were as easy to love as Braden, Joss, Ellie and Adam. Jo, who we were introduced to in ODS, is one hell of a young woman. With an alcoholic Mum and an abusive out-of-the-picture Dad she hasn't had it easy. Particularly as she has taken on the parental role to her teenage brother Cole. She's insecure and lacks self-esteem but also a feisty, snippy, woman with a kind heart who has simply surrounded herself with huge emotional barricades as a form of self-preservation. Her relationship with Cole is lovely, he is a typical teenager but he loves his big sis to bits and their interactions were humorous and touching. Cameron, well what can I say about him. He may appear the buff tattooed bad-boy, but you should never judge a book by its cover and there is so much more to him. A down-to-earth struggling graphic designer who, when we first meet him, has a tendency to put his brain into gear after he opens his mouth, he's thoughtful, sexy, caring, sexy, protective, sexy, determined and did I mention sexy? Everything that Jo doesn't go for in a man.

I covers every possible emotion; I felt their joy, fear, sorrow, happiness and pain and my heart ached for Jo. But all this is perfectly balanced with humour, particularly from Joss and Braden, along with bedroom/hallway/changing room antics that are just downright page burning.

Along with a good malt, Edinburgh rock, half my family and Westies, these books are the best thing to come out of Scotland and I wouldn't hesitate to recommend. I sincerely hope that the introduction of Olivia and Nate may be a lead in to another trip to Edinburgh for us.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Be Caledonia", 7 May 2013
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What a wonderful continuation to the On Dublin Street series. I so very much loved On Dublin Street and Until Fountain Bridge. You end up caring and loving each and every secondary character from On Dublin Street. So obviously, it is completely awesome that Samantha has been able to expand the series so that we can get to know them all a bit more.

"Braden, Ellie, and Adam came in and took their usual table directly across from us so that Braden and Joss could screw each other with their eyes."

But of course, before I get into the main characters for Down London Road, I have mention all of our old favorites. It was lovely that we got to see so much of Joss and Braden. Of course they have had their happily ever after, and we were all glad for that... but that isn't to say that we didn't want more of them.

So, I was very pleased with how much they were actually a part of Johanna's story. Her and Joss have turned into the best of friends, and their relationship was a wonderful thing to see. No jealousy, no backstabbing, just two woman who truly love and care for each other. oooOOOooohhh and did you see where I said we get more Braden? Each and every time he entered a scene, my breath caught. The man could just be standing there doing nothing, and you could feel his presence. Like I said, it was nice to see more of him.

"I'd never felt so intensely attracted to someone before. Usually, it took me a while to get to know a guy before I felt that kind of deep tingling in all of my good-for-nothing places."

So, let us now discuss our two main characters, Johanna and Cameron. We all know Johanna but we did not learn a lot about her to be honest. Now we finally get to see why she has struggled her whole life. The hardships she has faced while trying to raise her little brother. Johanna is a very strong character, and does whatever she can for her those that she loves, without a second thought for what it would do to her. She lets people think whatever they want about her, but if it means she can keep Cole safe there is no doubt she will continue to do it.

"My body was panting, "He's hot. Can we have him?" While my mind was screaming, "Oh, dear God, what the hell are you thinking?"

Then there is Cameron. *swoon* Cameron is amazing, but trust me when I say it takes him a bit to earn that title. He is nothing short of a jerk at the start. He is one of those that immediately makes his mind up about Jo and how he thinks she is. Although, when he finally gets his act together... he is outstanding.

"When his blue eyes met mine, I inhaled sharply at the raw need in them. "You're stunning," he whispered hoarsely. "No man can possibly deserve you."

Now, as much as I absolutely loved Cameron and Johanna together I have to admit my favorite relationship in this book was Joanna and her little brother, Cole. I lost track at the amount of times that their love for each other made me tear up. I loved how they stuck up for each other, the kind words for each other, and the banter.

So in others words, I guess what I am trying to say is, I love Cole. I honestly just loved him. And although he is not old enough to have his own book just yet, I will be keeping my fingers crossed that sometime in his future he will be blessed with his own story. I have no doubt that he will be doing just fine but would love to see him grown up, and falling in love with somebody. He was just such a wonderful character.

"Now go. Hang out with your friends and be immature. Responsible," I added hurriedly, "but immature."
He made a face. "Do those two go hand in hand?"
"If your immaturity can lead to consequences, then it's irresponsible."
Cole grunted. "You should write that s*** stuff down."
"I heard the "s***" in there, baby boy, and I'm stealing the last PopTart as punishment."
"Harsh, Jo." He shook his head, backing off with a smile. "Harsh."

Please do not hesitate at all to read this series if you haven't already done so. You will love everybody, and even come to think of them as one big extended family. There is a fourth book in the series scheduled for publication in 2014. However, at the time of this review Samantha hasn't released details about who the book will be centered around. I have my suspicions about who I think it will be about, but there are just so many perfect characters to pick from. Regardless of who it is, I know I will be right there to read it as soon as I can.

"Some people are born with family, and others have to make family."

Christine
Rainy Day Reads
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing, 10 May 2013
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I completely loved this book. I read on Dublin street and wasn't sure how it could be bested but Samantha Young has done an absolutely amazing job with down London road. It has had me laughing and crying and slightly hot under the collar! Would definitely recommend, and have done already, to everyone. Samantha Young is definitely in my top five fave authors now :)
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Samantha young, you are amazing, 10 May 2013
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Samantha does it again. A fantastic complete story about 2 wonderful characters Cam and Jo. It helps if you've read On Dublin St because we meet again Joss and Braden and get to learn more about them. It's steamy and erotic but at the same time tells the story of Jo and her difficult childhood. The relationship between Jo and Cole is endearing. I wonder if Samantha will write about Olivia next?
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Oh Dear, 15 Feb. 2014
By 
I really wanted to like this book as I have read Ms Young's other books and quite enjoyed them.

This book was dull by comparison. At 34% I started to skim read. Halfway through the book, I felt like giving up but I carried on thinking there's got to be something big coming....ermmmm no there wasn't.

To write a book about background characters from a previous book, they have to be pretty strong and likeable. I don't think Johanna was a strong enough character to warrant a book of her own. Cam also wasn't particularly brilliant either. Joss irritated the hell out of me in On Dublin Street but that was her character. Braden was a great book hero....his quirks and his humour were great!

Some editing issues in this book also didn't help.

I am disappointed that I didn't enjoy this book.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A Beautiful and Heartfelt Novel! 5 Stars!, 17 Jun. 2013
This review is from: Down London Road (Paperback)
Another fantabulous book in the `On Dublin Street' verse, and another 5 amazing brilliant stars! The writing was, as always, technically flawless, and the writing style was beautiful and heartfelt, which always helps me to see the characters as real people rather than just characters on a page. This is something that Samantha Young's writing always brings to me.

In `Down London Road' some brilliant characters are introduced that I really connected to. I loved reading about Jo and her parental protectiveness of her younger brother Cole, as it really added another dimension to the story that I was so excited to read. I really loved seeing how protective Jo was of him and how her whole life and the choices she makes revolve around her looking after her brother and making his future as secure as she can. Jo's storyline brilliantly highlights the importance of not judging people by first impressions. When I realised that the main character of `Down London Road' Johanna Walker was in fact the same girl who blatantly threw herself at Braden in `On Dublin Street', I was a little bit worried about whether I'd connect to her character. My love for Braden and Joss as a couple had me cautious to see one of Braden's other admirers close up. I really shouldn't have worried as I connected so deeply to Jo's character, and within the first few pages I was shown a whole other side to her character which you realise she had hidden in the past, and her story was written with such grace that I felt like I was experiencing every emotion of Jo's as I read her story.

Cam was the perfect match for Jo. I loved the development of his and Jo's relationship, as in some ways, it started in the same way that the reader's relationship with Jo started. We had first impressions of her that were proved to be nothing but false, and Cam held the same bad opinion of Jo from their first encounter, which he held on to like a dog with a bone out of loyalty for his Uncle who had been whisked away from him by another gold digger woman. The development of Jo and Cam's relationship was wonderful as it really coincided beautifully with Cam beginning to see just how different Jo was to what he expected and he also became closer to Cole. Whilst Cam couldn't quite replace Braden in my heart, I absolutely reading his and Jo's story, and it was made all the better by the little glimpses we see from Jo of how important Joss and Braden are to her, and how they are all there for each other when they need each other.

I'm always stunned by Samantha Young's heartfelt writing, and I can't recommend this book enough. A wonderful read and five dazzling shiny stars.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Emotional on many levels, 8 May 2013
By 
Sandy S. (Ontario, Canada) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Down London Road (Paperback)
DOWN LONDON ROAD is the second storyline in the contemporary romance series On Dublin Street by Samantha Young. Although this is the second novel in the series, and most of the characters from the first storyline are present and play secondary roles in this particular novel, Down London Road can be read as a stand alone without too much difficulty. There are a few references to events from On Dublin Street, but Samantha Young blends the information so that the reader is not totally lost and grasping for purchase.

From the outset, we learn that our heroine Johanna is a down on her luck, hard working twenty something woman who knows what it is in life she wants. Working two jobs to support her alcoholic mother and younger brother, Johanna has made some poor choices when it comes to the men in her life. Looking to escape the poverty and lower class stigma, Johanna's relationships have all been with men who are no strangers to money, wealth and prestige. But at a recent art exhibition with her boyfriend Malcolm, Johanna will be introduced to Cameron MacCabe, who is more than willing to call it like he sees it. And to complicate matters, her best friend sees through Johanna's relationship choices and the men in her life, as well. And it doesn't help when Johanna's lack of self-esteem takes everything Cam says to heart.

Cameron was and is a giant a$$ through much of the storyline until he accidently discovers the truth behind Johanna's troubled life both present and past but that does not excuse his behavior and lack of respect towards the woman with whom he is falling in love. With both Cam and Johanna in relationships with other people, part of the storyline is spent with the couple dancing around each other's attempts to ignore the elephant in the room. Their attraction to one another is immediate, the sexual tension is tight, but Johanna has a hard time forgetting that Cam equates her to a whore who will spread her legs for money-every time.

Johanna has spent much of her life protecting her younger brother Cole ensuring that he is safe, fed and loved. Sacrificing her own education, we learn about the hardships and struggles befalling Johanna throughout her life and she is reluctant to ask for help fearing rejection and a broken heart; but there will come a point when she finally needs help, and true to her belief, betrayal and heart break will follow. I shed a few tears at this point, knowing how badly damaged her already fragile self-esteem had developed, but to come face to face with her worst nightmare, only made the trauma that much more painful. This is a contemporary romance storyline, so a happily ever after will follow but not before some damage and issues of trust must be addressed.

There is one soul who deserves a HEA and I am hoping Samantha Young will give Malcolm a chance at love. He did not deserve to lose the woman with whom he was falling in love, but if not for that, there would not have been a story.

DOWN LONDON ROAD is a well-written, sometimes heartbreaking story of betrayal, struggle and the ability to overcome a painful past. But when the past comes face to face with the present, there is both an emotional and physical struggle that will pit the power of love against hatred and betrayal. If you love a storyline with an emotionally fragile but strong heroine, Down London Road will not disappoint. The reader will be pulled into a world of pain, sorrow, betrayal, heartbreak and above else, the ability to overcome a past fraught with abuse to find love where least expected.

see all of my reviews at : thereadingcafe(dot)com
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Down London Road
Down London Road by Samantha Young (Paperback - 9 May 2013)
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