Och, she's done it again (I'm part Scot, couldn't resist) and whilst I found it quite predictable in comparison to On Dublin Street and Down London Road, Before Jamaica Lane was still a great read and I loved Olivia and Nate. Liv's sweet, kind and fun and her vulnerablities are realistic ones; they aren't as deep or painful as Joss or Jo's and this made for a refreshing addition to the series. As for Nate, you can't not fall in love with him. He may be a player, but get to know him and there's plenty more to him.
With our favourite characters all playing an important part, it has emotion, passion and intimacy but ultimately my heart went out to both Liv and Nate as their story is one that you become completely invested in. The thing I do love about Samantha Young's writing is how she encompasses the real in these books; You can't beat a good escape from reality but I also equally like realistic elements every now and then. From losing virginity to flatulance these bring that. Let's be right, how many of us have lived the perfect romantic dream of flowers, candles and losing your virginity to the love of your life and the man you marry?
A worthy addition to the series and Hannah's story has been set up nicely.
on 16 August 2014
This was the first novel I've read by this author.
As a resident of Edinburgh, I was drawn to the books setting. I hadn't realised the book was one in a series. The first thing that hit me was that all the characters were introduced in one confusing paragraph so I had no idea who was who. Secondly, the Americanisms used by the narrator were really jarring and the author slipped in and out of them with no consistency. Thirdly, how come everyone (bar Nate) lived in some of the most expensive streets in Edinburgh!
The author's writing style was extremely simplistic with no character development whatsoever. A style more suited to teen fiction than adult literature.
I won't be looking out the other books in the series!
on 25 May 2014
I have had this book for review since before it was even released, I know I am such a bad book blogger. Why the hell didn't I read it straight away?!? I honestly have no idea because I adore Samantha's books! I think she is such a talented authors. Her books are always so easy to read and even though this book is a chunky length I devoured it in 2 sittings. It would have been one if I didn't have to go to work and look after The Kid lol!
Before Jamaica Lane is quite possibly my favourite title in the On Dublin Street series. There is just something so enchanting about the story that I got completely sucked into the lives of these characters. This time we get to focus on Olivia "Liv" and Nate. Olivia is very shy around men. Nate is a complete player but a lovable one. After Olivia moves from America to Edinburgh and is welcomed into the gang she quickly becomes friends with Nate. Their friendship isn't force it's very natural and as the story progress's it becomes very intense ;) I really like Olivia. She is funny, kind and sweet. Nate is cocky, a player and so bloody hot that it is insane. But the chemistry between these two sizzles off the pages.
As well as reading about Liv and Nate, we get to catch up on all the characters that I had grown to love in the previous books!! The group together really work. They all have individual personalities that they just all fit together perfectly and creates a very strong group of best friends.
I got so invested in these characters story that I felt everything they went through. I laughed and I cried , A LOT! I don't just mean the odd tear I mean full on sobbing!! I was a complete mess. I first started reading this on the bus going into town and I actually burst of laughing in public. People looked at me like I was crazy. If you have the UK Edition of the book go to page 41 and you will see why I ended up doing a real LOL. Now for the crying, oh dear I cried so much through this. At one point I had to stop reading for a few minutes to get calm down, only to pick the book up and start crying again. So if you are a someone who cries easily then be warned this is so emotional!
Before Jamaica Lane is one of those rare books that, even though it was just over 400pages it only took me a few hours to read in total (I read this is 2 sittings). This is mainly because the author is such a beautiful and flawless writer that you actually forget you are reading a book. I swear the whole book played out as a movie in my head. Samantha has created something unique and addictive with, not just this title but all her On Dublin Street novels. Each getting better than the last!!
So if you haven't read this series yet go start them now!!! They are not to be missed! If you have read them then this is a must read. I can not fault this book at all!!! Now bring on the next book!!!
*Received in exchange for an Honest review*
on 15 January 2014
I loved On Dublin Street, wasn't so keen on Down Dublin Rd but I'm right back in the game for Before Jamaica Lane, I love series' that work through a group of characters, it's like curling up for a pj & dvd day with people you feel you know.
I wasn't sure what I thought of Liv to begin with - I thought she was a bit odd, all gangly & awkward - ya know, the girl we all love but don't want to be!! However, as the story developed I realised that her opinion of herself was not necessarily what others saw - her confession to Nate after Joss & Braydens wedding and their conversation about it the following day broke my heart (I actually shed a tear or twenty). Liv is smart and completely switched on, she was dealt some rough cards during her childhood and missed out on the lessons of refinement that most people suffer through their teenage years and she's been beating herself up ever since, never quite getting where she wants to be.
Nate had similar teenage experiences and this in the main seems to bond them as firm friends, though he is the complete opposite to Liv on the social scale with his man whoring ways, they trust each other and are able to be themselves in each others company. Nates a good guy, he's loyal & despite his whoring around he's honest and upfront with women, I didn't get the impression that he was particularly arrogant or overly cocky.
When Liv & Nate decide to cross the proverbial line (uh oh) under the guise of "lessons" for Livs confidence - it's playing with fire and as we all know what happens when you play with fire!!!!!
Will the risk they take pay off, will they divide their friends loyalties, will Liv get what she truly think she deserves and is Nate the right person to give it to her - you'll have to read to find out and hold on tight because it's one hell of a ride.
I love the side characters in this book, the group of friends are a solid gang that truly have each others backs and it was lovely to see the development of Hannah, she's being brought into the fold as a mature, opinionated 16 year old and is having her own mini dramas, we're also treated to a delightful little secret of Joss & Brayden's, these characters sure have some interesting times ahead.
on 8 January 2014
Wow oh wow I am so in love with this tight group of friends and their stories. I did not think that other previous books could be bested but this has to he the best of the series. The emotions, drama and sensitivity shown in this alongside the smoking hot love scenes kept me reading start to finish. Absolutely fabulous.
on 13 June 2014
So well written, Samantha Young is just great at writing a story building on a romance and making you fall in love with the characters. Olivia has an outgoing personality but is painfully shy around the opposite sex. She is interested and develops a crush on a post-grad student so she asks her best friend Nate to help her go get what she wants.
Nate is reluctant at first to help but agrees, afterall who is better at teaching her what a man wants than him, someone who is a man whore, afraid of commitment.
Overall this is a sweet romance, one that has a few hiccups along the way but, like most of Samantha Young's books, will leave you wanting more!
on 9 January 2014
"No one," I whispered, my lips trembling with emotion, "has ever made me feel like the person I've always wanted to be until you."
I must confess that I read Before Jamaica Lane all in one sitting and I didn't put this book down until 5:30 am in the morning. I simply couldn't! I stupidly thought I could take a sneak peek and from page one I was hooked. Samantha Young reels you in. I know I am guaranteed great writing, amazing characters and brilliant story telling with a book by this author and Before Jamaica Lane was no exception. I experienced tears, laughter, frustration and downright joy while reading this book. It's not just a story, it's an experience and one that I truly loved!
We met Olivia and Nate in Down London Road. Olivia moved over from the states with her dad who was a father figure to Jo and Nate was Cam's friend. Olivia is starting fresh in Scotland. She works in the university library and although it seems she has it all; good job, loving father, her own flat and a new extended family of sorts, there is a part of Liv's life that is incomplete. Her self esteem and self belief are non existent. Liv can't even looking at a guy without quivering with shyness let a lone talk to one and this is something she wants to fix. Liv is a real girl, and one of my favourite female characters yet. She is curvy and just wants to feel sexy and confident in her own skin.
Liv feels like a huge chunk of her personality is missing so she drunkenly suggests to Nate, whom she has formed a great friendship with, to teach her how to seduce and be more sexually confident and experienced. Of course these lessons cover the physical side as well. Nate is a player and doesn't hide it. One night stands are his speciality, even though he is playing with fire when accepting Liv's proposal, he is helpless to stop it and soon they go from being best friends to best friends with benefits thrown in. And can I just say, Liv is one lucky lady as Nate is a sexy man with a dirty mouth on him ;-)
This book is no exception to the others in the heat factor, it was downright HAWTT! Samantha Young writes great sexy times. Before Jamaica Lane was a passionate story but at the same time Liv and Nate's relationship was built on a great friendship and I loved that Nate gave Liv the confidence she needed. The scene where he undresses Liv in front of the mirror and points out how beautiful she is, has to be one of the hottest and sensual scenes I've read. I loved it!
I loved witnessing Olivia's journey over the course of the book, slowly but surely she became more comfortable in her own skin and she finally got to be the person she always wanted to be.
I loved the fact Before Jamaica Lane was not only about Liv's own personal journey of confidence and inner peace but Samantha Young entwined poor Nate's broken soul into it as well. Nate deflected love and avoided connections out of a obligation to his childhood love. Nate couldn't differentiate between what he thought he should feel and what he wanted to feel. Nate was so young when tragedy stuck and it was only when Liv manage to penetrate his armour that he realised he could run no more. Honestly, this part of the storyline made me love Nate and Liv more! I was rooting for them to be together every step of the way!
As always it was wonderful to read about the couples we have grown to love. Joss, Braden, Ellie, Adam, Jo and Cam were all back. They have solidified into a great group of friends. And we got to witness parts of their stories along side Nate and Livs and the othre books entwine together. Of course Joss and Braden will forever be my number one couple but I loved this story so much, Nate and Liv have secured the second spot for sure!
Another character that played a huge role in the story was Liv's mum, although no longer with her, Liv's mum was still very much present in her life. After losing her mum at a young age, Liv felt a flurry of emotions; overwhelming grief, despair and loss mixed with resentment and guilt. Even though Liv would never change being there for her mum every step of the way, she feared she might have resented her for robbing Liv of an 'average adolescence' but through her journey Liv was able to make peace with her mum and in turn she realised it was all meant to happen the way it did. Sporadic thoughts from Liv's mum would pop into the story and it really was heart warming, I loved the affectionate nick name for Liv and thought in some way her mum would be following Liv's journey if she could. "I'm so happy for you, Soda Pop."
Of course, something's gotta give and Liv could no longer read between the blurred lines. She was in a secret relationship with Nate, it went beyond 'practice now' and hearts were involved. "I was angry because what he'd just said was utterly beautiful. Looking at him caused a dart of pleasure to hit me in the chest. My blood heated, my fingers curling into little fists. He was making me fall for him. That wasn't supposed to be part of the deal." There was a point in the story when I didn't understand Liv's actions, seemingly Nate came to his senses and confessed what she was longing to hear, yet Liv was wanting more. I really wanted to shake her and say 'Girl, are you crazy!' but the more Liv shared her feelings I knew she was right. Words are easy to say, with Nate still very much stuck in his past, Liv needed actions, not words. And can I just say the results were swoon worthy and down right womb clenching!
Before Jamaica Lane is another fantastic story from Samantha Young. I adore her writing and story telling. I now feel like the Edinburgh gang are old acquaintances and I want to jump into their world at any chance I get. The stage is set for Hannah and Marco's story next and it will be interesting to see Hannah take centre stage. After reading the sweet, sweet epilogue I do wonder if a story for Cole will ever arise. All I know is, I just need more! I want to read about these characters until both them and I are grey haired!
If you are a fan of the series, you will absolutely fall in love with Liv and Nate and if you are new to it all then I say don't even hesitate and jump in today! ~Ava
*I received an ARC via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.*
I've loved this series since I read On Dublin Street but I have to say I think Nate and Olivia are now my favourite couple and Before Jamaica Lane is the best book so far. I always enjoy the friends to lovers trope and I loved that Nate and Olivia had such a strong bond long before things started to get physical between them.
Olivia has always been attracted to Nate but she knows what a player he is so she put him firmly in the friendship only box so she didn't get hurt. She was such a sweet character, sometimes she could be a little too naive and innocent but she had the same kind of insecurities that most women have experienced at some point in their lives which made her very easy to relate to. I quickly warmed to her character and I laughed a lot at how clumsy she could be and the way she kept putting her foot in it. Olivia is a normal girl, someone I could easily picture myself being friends with and I just generally enjoyed spending time with her.
Nate is sexy as hell but he's also a player, his heart was broken when his childhood sweetheart died and there is no way he's ever going to put himself in a position where he could feel so much pain again. Olivia is his best friend and no matter how beautiful he thinks she is he has no intention of taking their relationship beyond friendship. He had no idea how lonely Olivia was though and after she makes a drunken confession he wants to help her overcome her shyness. He offers to teach her the art of seduction so that she can find the man of her dreams but what starts out as just a friends with benefits kind of situation soon becomes so much more. The more he starts to feel for her the more he starts to panic and he makes a very stupid mistake by pushing her away.
Thankfully Nate comes to his senses but Olivia makes him work hard to earn her trust back and I really enjoyed seeing how far she'd come from the shy girl she was at the beginning of the book. I loved Nate for the way he built up Olivia's confidence too, he helped her see herself for who she really was and he made her feel beautiful inside and out.
Before Jamaica Lane is definitely a feel good romance, I smiled and swooned the whole way through reading it and the ending was completely perfect. If you're new to the series then you could probably read this book as a stand alone but I would highly recommend reading the books in order, all of the books have been great and I love the close knit group of family and friends who we've come to know so well throughout the series.
on 26 February 2014
Sassy, funny and outwardly confident, Liv loves her new life and the new group of friends she’s made in Edinburgh. There’s just one problem: men, or rather the lack thereof. It’s not that Liv doesn’t attract male attention –it’s that she just doesn’t know what to do with it when it comes her way; and she most definitely does not seek it out. Instead she dresses down and likes to be seen as one of the guys. In her heart, though, Liv is a romantic, and she wants love in her life. The problem is she just doesn’t know how to do relationships. Heck, Liv can’t even talk to the guy she likes –a sexy postgrad who frequents the library where she works – without breaking out in a cold sweat. Around her, Liv sees her new friends moving forward with their lives: Cam and Jo are totally loved up, while Braden and Joss are planning a wedding. But, Liv, well, she’s on her own. And while her life is fulfilling and fun, she wants more.
Liv spends most of her evenings hanging out with best friend Nate, Cam’s ridiculously good-looking friend last seen playing video games in Down London Road. Nate is the ultimate player. And he never, ever lets anyone into his heart. Liv knows the truth about Nate, the secret hidden in his past that has made him the man he is today. And Liv gets it. She’s experienced the pain of loss, and she knows that sometimes it’s impossible to let go of the past. So Nate lives in the moment, he lives in the now, and he never loses his heart to anyone, because that way, he can’t get hurt. Not again.
Things with Nate are great, and Liv wonders why she can’t be as relaxed around her crush as she is around her friend. When she gets horrendously drunk and Braden and Joss’s wedding, Liv confesses all of her relationship woes to Nate. And so a plan is born; a plan to rid Liv of all her sexual insecurities, an extremely sexy plan of teacher and pupil where the ultimate goal is to get Liv laid.
Hot. That is my one word description of these books for anyone who asks, but there is so much more to them too. Sure, the On Dublin Street books are very sexy romps, but they are also warm and heartfelt, while the characters Samantha Young has created ring so true. Liv, for example is a character you can really root for. She is insecure, but also level-headed, she is funny, smart, able to tell and take a joke, and overall just so relatable. I definitely related to Liv more than Joss (who I liked but didn’t really relate to) or Jo (who I had a hard time connecting with). So, I worried for Liv when she hooked up with Nate as part of her ‘education.’ He’s a total player. Would Liv get hurt? Would he break her heart? And would their friendship be ruined in the end?
Just like On Dublin Street and Down London Road, Before Jamaica Place is a truly great read. I always read these books when I know I have time to get really stuck in, because once I pick these Samantha Young’s books up, I generally don’t put them down until I am done. Young has a great way with words and she is a supreme storyteller. I love how well-developed her characters are and I love how she always weaves characters from past books into each of her new books in this series. I also absolutely adored the by now well established family dinners where everyone comes together. I love catching up with Joss and Braden especially and also Hannah, who I have always loved for her reading habits and special bond with Jo. I was very excited then when I discovered that the next book in this series Fall From India Place will focus on Hannah and her crush Marco. While I was reading Before Jamaica Place, I pictured Jesse Williams as moody Marco (those eyes!) so I can’t wait to find out more about him.
But back to Liv and Nate. What can I say? Those two are made for each other and their sexy game is all kinds of hot. But will it all end in tears? Will Liv end up with the hot post grad? Or will Nate come to his senses in time, let go of his past, and move on to a fantastic future with his best friend?
You’ll have to read Before Jamaica Lane to find out – and I strongly recommend that you do!
on 18 January 2014
Oh God, this was all kinds of awesome, and I stayed up till 2.30am so I could finish it! *YAWNS* I'm always somewhat wary when reading a book in a series now, as so many other series' have disappointed me, but this was just brilliant and had me sucked in from the beginning. I absolutely LOVE friends to lovers stories (the angst, the chemistry, the disappointment, the realisations), so this was right up my street!
We met Olivia (Liv) and Nate towards the end of the second book in this series, Down London Road. Liv moved over from Arizona with her dad, and Nate is one of Cameron's best friends, and so they are well established members of the gang at the start of this book.
Nate and Liv are best friends, and spend a lot of time together, bonding over their love of computer games, movies and all things geeky. Liv has no confidence around the opposite sex, and hasn't had sex in years. While Nate is a bit of a man whore, who loves them and leaves them. When Nate offers to help her be more confident around men, Liv jumps at the chance.
She has always found Nate attractive (as have most women), and when he points out all her physical attributes in a way to improve her self esteem, is stirs something deep inside her, and she finds herself looking forward to his "lessons". But Nate promises nothing, and begs Liv not to let the lines get blurred for the sake of their friendship. But then the lines get very blurred when they fall into bed, and this is where things get messed up.
Liv starts developing stronger feelings for Nate, and Nate blows hot and cold - sometimes spending the night, sometimes leaving as soon as sex is over - and their friendship is compromised, as is the dynamics of their group.
This was such a heart-wrenching read. To learn why Nate was the way he was, and why he felt he couldn't let Liv (or any woman) in. And then to see him battle his demons so he could find a way back to Liv. The argument they had where Nate walked away just broke my heart.
I felt it was such a realistic read, and I loved both characters. I think a lot of women with insecurities with their bodies could definitely relate to Liv. She was just so nice and refreshing, but was definitely not a pushover - strong without being a bitch.
This was very well written and I didn't feel it dipped at any time. Some of the other character's side stories bored me a little bit as I just wanted it to be all about Nate and Liv, but it wasn't enough to take from the story - I get that we need to see how everyone else is doing too! I'm just wondering will the next book be a little Hannah, Mario, Cole triangle..............