1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 15 February 2014
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.
on 6 February 2014
Holy Hell!! I loved "On Dublin Street" It was almost perfect but this...."Down London Road" Sweet lordy! It was FREAKING PERFECT!! I don't have one bad thing to say about it. I wholeheartedly, 100% loved, loved, loved it.
Down London Road tells the story of Jo. We meet Jo briefly in "On Dublin Street" she isn't a big character in the main story but she is a friend of Joss and work colleague. However, we don't really get to know her and what we do, isn't much. With this book we learn everything about Jo. I loved her so much. She has such a hard life growing up, she has been forced into looking after little brother, her alcoholic mother and taking on 2 jobs. She struggles a lot. She only dates men who have money as she wants Cole to have the best start in life and not have to worry. This has worked out well for her. Enter Cam! Well..Cam blows her world apart. This hot and sexy tattooed man with his band t-shirts is everything Jo isn't attracted but......... There is instant attraction (not instalove) between and as much as they fight it they can't help but fall for each other. Cam gets right under Jo's skin. He wants to know her. The real her. Yes at first he came across as a complete judgmental arse but as the story develops he redeems himself and omg I feel hard. Cam is the type of guy who yes he may have been quick to judge (no one is perfect) but he is such a sweetheart. And the way he is with Cole, Jo's brother, it melted my heart.
As well as getting to know Jo and her story we also get to read about the characters we fell in love with in "On Dublin Street". Joss and Braden are back. I thought it was a nice touch that author kept us up to date with them. They aren't in it a lot but it was still nice to have them appear every now and then. Especially near the end.
Now I devoured this book in a couple of sittings. If I didn't have work I would have been able to read in a day. It was that good. The author has created something outstanding. It feels a lot more real and slightly more darker than "On Dublin Street". I have always prefered my books to be a bit more darker and grittier and this ticks that box and with lovable characters and hot and steamy sexy-times I was in my element. It was quite possibly my favourite book of 2013 so far!!
If you have read "On Dublin Street" You will LOVE this!! I know I did. If you haven't read it yet then go now before this one comes out. "Down London Road" is more of a companion than a sequel but I think it is important to read "On Dublin Street" first. I can't wait for the next book. And I really hope that it is Ellie's and Adam's Story!! But Who knows right?? No matter what I am sure Samantha will make it an amazing story just like "Down London Road"
on 4 October 2013
Awww, I really enjoyed this one.
I loved 'On Dublin Street', so I bought 'Down London Road' as soon as it was released but it's one of those that has been sitting on my Kindle waiting to be read.
I'm always a little dubious when I've absolutely adored a couple in a book and then the author releases a second book in the same series, but writes about a different couple. I felt that Joss and Braden were such strong characters, that I didn't know if I'd be able to read a book that they featured in in snippets, but that wasn't about them. I was wrong. Samantha Young did a fabulous job of giving us just enough Braden and Joss to feed my appetite, but making me fall equally as in love with these new characters, Jo and Cam.
If you've read 'On Dublin Street', this is Joss's friend, Jo's story. Johanna Walker has a bed ridden, alcoholic mother and a teenager brother who she has taken on full responsibility for. Working two jobs to pay their way, Johanna has decided attaching herself to wealthy men is the way forward. She doesn't men that she doesn't care for, but she also doesn't date men who can't guarantee her and her brother a financially secure future.
Her latest catch is lottery winning suit Malcolm Hendry. She likes Malcolm, and he really does care about her, but he doesn't set her on fire. Nobody does. But that doesn't matter, right? She needs security and stability.
Until Cameron MacCabe.
Cam is the tattoed, a little bit bad looking, but totally hot boyfriend of Malcolm's ex girlfriend, Becca. I know, right? It's instalust between Cam and Jo. And the fire only burns brighter when Jo gets Cam a job at the bar she works at and then also finds out that he's moved into the flat below hers. Oh, I do love a coincidence.
However, Cam thinks he's got Jo's card marked. He thinks he knows her. He pegs her as a fake, money grabbing, materialistic, slutty bimbo. And he isn't afraid to let her know.
But as Jo and Cam's lives entwine, secrets are spilled, truths are shared and Cam gets to know the real Jo. The real Jo that nobody else has ever been allowed to get close to. Especially not the likes of Malcolm and other wealthy ex-suitors.
So now Jo needs to decide... does she want a life of financial security for herself and her baby brother, which would also mean a life of living a facade, keeping other people happy... or does she want a life where the person she wants accepts her for the person she is, knows her deepest, darkest secrets and wants her regardless...
I liked Jo. When we first meet her in On Dublin Street she is painted as a total gold digger. But I was totally sold on her in this book.
She was a walking contradiction. In one way she was strong, protective and determined. She is the sole provider in her family and she will do anything to get what she needs for her brother. She is dead set on giving him a better upbringing than the one she had, at the hands of her abusive father and useless mother.
Yet, she's vulnerable too. She hides behind a wall. She's afraid of dropping the ball, afraid of anybody finding out the truth about the life she leads behind the door of her apartment. And she's terrified of her feelings for sexy Cameron McCabe, who knows exactly what he wants.
Cam is uber yummy! He does the whole protective alpha thing weeeellll! He's swoops in and saves the day a number of times. He comforts Jo, he takes Jo's brother, Cole, under his wing and he breathes life and self esteem back into Jo. I loved him for that. He's the first man to ever see Jo for who she really is... and not only does he love her despite her faults, he loves her even more because of them.
Mmmmmm mmmmm!!! This book has a delicious dose of the sweetest sexual tension. I loved the build up between Cam and Jo, whilst they tried to avoid their growing attraction to one another whilst they were still with their prospective other halves. The scene in the kitchen with the spider... the first sex scene... the scene in the shop changing rooms... Y.U.M!
There's also great banter. Between Jo's younger brother and Cam, between Cam and his friends, between Cam's friends and Jo, between Joss and Jo, Joss and Braden, and of course, between Jo and Cam. I love it when a book can deliver good, real banter, that I can believe. It just makes me fall in love with characters a little bit more.
I thought the big crescendo was done brilliantly. The conflict between Cam and Jo, mixed with the other things Jo had to deal with, Cam's past getting in the way and of course, little bits of Joss and the gorgeous Braden, who gets all protective-alpha-male on us, to boot. I couldn't put it down.
I enjoy the big extended family of surrounding characters in Samantha's books. There's a real feeling of love from this strange, pick-and-mix, make-shift family unit. A whole host of characters who don't have traditional, conventional families have come together and created their own. There's something incredibly wholesome and heart warming about that.
There are some very dark issues dealt with in this book. Alcoholism, child abuse, domestic violence. And I think Samantha Young deals with all of these issues well. I did feel like the sub story of Jo's mother was left a little un-resolved, but that's my only complaint, really.
I know this has got quite a few low rating reviews, and I really don't get why. I've read that some people didn't connect to the characters or found the plot dull... I totally do not understand how that could be. I really felt the tension between these characters and I loved the build up. The only thing I can think is that sometimes, a string of bad reviews can be self perpetuating... people read a bad review and go into the book expecting to be disappointed, which, in turn, prevents them from investing themselves fully to the story. Perhaps. I don't know. It's the only thing I can think.
So, I would definitely recommend this. I love Samantha Young's writing. I think she does character development well and she writes fantastic loveable, rough-around-the-edges men.
Down London Road Statistics
Steam Rating (out of 5): ♥♥♥♥♥
Book #1 - On Dublin Street (On Dublin Street, #1)
Book #1.5 - An On Dublin Street Christmas (On Dublin Street, #1.5)
Book #1.6 - Until Fountain Bridge (On Dublin Street, #1.6)
Book #2 - Down London Road (On Dublin Street, #2)
Book #3 - Before Jamaica Lane (On Dublin Street, #3) - Not yet released
Can this be read as a standalone? Yes
Warning. This book includes...
Sexual content. Domestic abuse. Alcoholism. Violence.
Review by Smitten's Book Blog
on 31 August 2013
Down London Road is the sequel to Samantha Young's best-selling contemporary romance novel On Dublin Street. It follows the story of Jo, one of the characters you are introduced to in Joss and Braden's story. When I first learned who the story was about I wasn't sure if I was going to like it because of the preconceptions I had made about Jo while reading On Dublin Street - however if you have felt the same when reading the prequel - do not be put off, this is another corker of a story which will leave you wanting to read it over and over again.
Jo appears to be a gold-digger, chasing fabulously rich men to enhance her own life. She is anything but. As pseudo-mother to her younger brother Cole and nurse, rather than daughter, to her alcoholic mother, Jo strives to provide a safe and stable environment for her brother to grow up in. She forfeits love in the hope of finding a wealthy man who she has lukewarm feelings for, but knows can provide the life she so desperately wants for Cole - that is until she meets Cam.
Cam instantly judges Jo like a book by its cover and calls her out on all the things about herself that she is afraid of. Jo must make the decision whether to risk her and Cole's financial stability in the face of what could be true love, and as Cam is introduced into Jo's life she has to deal with the her insecurities that Cam will find out what her life is really like.
As I've mentioned I wasn't sure how I felt about Jo being the main character. I really had judged her, badly I admit, when I was reading the first in the series. Having said that, getting to know her story and how hard she fights for her brother to have a normal upbringing, which is more than she has ever had. I began to really admire her, not for having a relationship with a wealthy man, but for the decisions she makes regarding her brother and how she has coped with having a whole pile of responsibility thrust upon her at a young age.
I wasn't sure of Cam either in the beginning, and he appeared to be constantly at odds with Jo, judging her far more harshly than she deserved. I love how their relationship, however fractious in the beginning, is intense throughout the story. Although they appear to severely dislike each other at the start their attraction is undeniable, and makes the story electric.
When their relationship starts to grow and change from friends to lovers I like how although it is only told from Jo's point of view, it is obvious how deep Cam's feelings are for her, the romance really pulses through.
The book is full of emotion, and those emotions are often conflicting between what Jo wants and what she thinks is best for her family. It also has a darker side as Jo's family history surfaces and throws everything up in the air towards the end of the book, making for a really great twist.
In short I loved it, even after being unsure in the beginning. I loved that as it's the second in the series it gives you an insight to how the rest of the characters are getting on in their respective lives.
On Dublin Street and novella Until Fountain Bridge are also available to download.
Read them all!
on 17 June 2013
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.
on 13 May 2013
Oh, I'm so happy right now. I absolutely adored ON DUBLIN STREET when I read it last year - it was one of my very first CRs, actually. I loved its intensity paired with its relaxed down-to-earthness. I loved the fact that it was set in my own country for a change. I loved the characters, the dialogue, the steamy scenes, how it gave me so many feels. Just everything, really... So I was naturally a bit nervous to start the sequel thinking it couldn't possibly live up to its predecessor. Well, as you can see from my high rating, I needn't have worried! DOWN LONDON ROAD was every bit as good as book one. Young somehow, miraculously managed to create that same magic once again and stirred many of the same feelings within me as ODS, despite the characters and situations being entirely different.
(Well, not all the characters were different - Joss and Braden (the MCs from ODS) were in it a fair bit, and main character Jo was barmaid-Jo-who-likes-rich-older-guys from ODS as well.)
Now, I know what you're thinking... Jo didn't come across that well in ODS. She was just the shameless, shallow pouty chick that was after anyone with a pulse and a fat wallet. Well, yes that is kind of still true. But let me assure you there is so much more to her than that, and we may have been given a rather skewed and unfair impression of her.
Sadly, it's an impression that a lot of people share, including other main character, Cameron. He's really not very nice to Jo at the start of this book. In fact, he's extremely unpleasant, hurtful and judgemental. I found Cameron's misconceptions very confusing, actually, because part of me thought he was being a total a*****, and yet another part of me kinda agreed with him. Jo is a golddigger. She's one of those women who, in the real world, I would probably really dislike and give the stink-eye to when she wasn't looking. Because on the surface, she's got it all - she's tall, attractive and has a multi-millionaire boyfriend. But sadly for Jo, that's really not a true reflection of her life at all. Jo is a survivor, a fighter, and a character I grew to deeply admire. I can't tell you all about why, obviously, but when you read it you will see - as Cameron eventually did- that first impressions can be very misleading.
Now I know some people didn't like the fact that both Cam and Jo had other partners as the story began, but personally I think it was absolutely necessary to have that in there as it's all part of Jo's emotional baggage. The fact that she thinks she needs to choose her lovers based on what they can provide for her and Cole (her teenaged brother whom she parents because their own mother is a non-functioning alcoholic waste of space), instead of basing it just on her own feelings. And as for Cam, well... anyone who looks like Cam would likely have a girlfriend at all times. So I didn't mind that aspect of the story at all and thought it was realistic, if not very romantic.
The plot itself, much like ODS, was a character-driven tale with lots of lovely romantic scenes, some super hot sexy scenes, and some ball-like-a-baby scenes. I just love, love LOVE all the feels you get from a Samantha Young book. I can't even pinpoint exactly what it is that causes them to be so effective in that way, because the writing style is really very straightforward. I guess some writers just have a better insight into what situations would create the best tension and drama and know how to pull that from their readers. But whatever it is, so far, she has gotten me good twice. In fact with this one, I was crying by around the 20% mark. Like, serious crying. I may not know how she does it, but I'm sure glad she does!
5 Stars ★★★★★
ARC provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
on 12 May 2013
So well written - I loved this as much as On Dublin Street, which I didn't think could be possible! This book can be read as a stand-alone, as the characters are briefly explained as they are introduced within the story. This book tells the story of Jo and Cam.
Jo is a part-time barmaid (where Joss works) and office administrator, who looks after her teenage brother while her mother tries to drink herself into an early grave. Jo carries this weight and responsibility around with her daily, and providing for her and her brother causes her to make somewhat dubious but understandable decisions regarding her love life - mainly dating wealthy men. But this lifestyle leaves her feeling cold and untrue to herself - pretending to be someone she's not so that she won't get dumped, and be left without a financial safety net.
Cam is a tattooed, out-of-work graphic designer, working part-time as a barman, and is quick to judge Jo negatively on their first meeting. This did not endear me to Cam in the outset, but it also made him more real and flawed, which I love in a book. In fact, all the characters in the book were flawed to some degree, but that's life, and more relatable and realistic. Cam definitely redeemed himself when he took Cole (Jo's brother) under his wing.
The sexual tension between Jo and Cam was off the scale, and when they finally got it on, it was hot as hell!
I'm predicting that Olivia and Nate's story will be next - bring it on!
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
on 30 May 2013
"Up London Road book review 30/5/13 *5 Stars*
I read this book straight after finishing On Dublin Street.... I was hooked!
This is Jo & Cam's story & I would say that I loved it just as much as the first (On Dublin Street). Jo is strong willed & knows exactly what she wants in a man – she wants a successful guy who is financially secure so he can take care of her & her brother Cole, something her own parents have never done. She then meets Cam, a bartender & the complete opposite to what she normally goes for but the sexual chemistry between them is undenible & smokin hot! I'm not gonna tell you anymore, as I'm not one to give away spoilers, however if you've not read this book then what are u waiting for! I would definitely say to read On Dublin Street first as Jo appears in this book & u can see how her friendship started with Joss & Braden. Now onto Cam – the extremely hot guy of the book & trust me when I say he is smoking hot...Samantha certainly knows how to make her guys totally hot & swoonworthy & when I read On Dublin Street I was like.... omg Braden is one of my top book crushes & in comes Cam & hes now joined Braden, lol.
Samantha Young is fast becoming one of my favourite authors, her books are such easy reading & I love them, can't wait for the 3rd book – Until Fountain Bridge which is due out on the 20th June – which have already pre-ordered :)"
on 13 May 2013
I loved this book, I am so glad I re-read On Dublin Street before I started Down London Road it just reminded me about all the wonderful characters. I was so pleased that many of the characters appear in this book as well and hope we get more in the future.
The main storyline follows the life of Johanna Walker (Jo from the bar in On Dublin Street) and boy has she had a difficult life, she brings up her younger brother Cole. Jo meets Cameron and the attraction is instant but he jumps to a lot of conclusions about her and the path to their romance starts out Rocky, then they form a wonderful friendship before finally giving in to their amazing chemistry and love for one another (cue lots of steamy scenes).
I loved the importance given to friendships and making your own family in this story, Joss and Braden, Ellie and Adam and the Nichols family feature a lot in this book and I really enjoyed the love and support they give it was heart warming :-) as well as other new characters introduced including Cam's friends Nate and Pete.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book, well done Samantha on another fabulous book.