Tuesday 7 May 2013

Down London Road by Samantha Young

Reviewed by Donna & Dawn 

***ARCs received in exchange for honest reviews***

What Dawn says: 4.5 Stars

When we first met Jo briefly, in On Dublin Street, I thought she was a gold digging, money grabber. 

She worked at Club 39 with Joss, and she was always trying to pull any rich bloke who could shower her in what she liked, she even tried to pull Braden, well.....never judge a book by its cover....... 

Then we meet Cam a sexy, hot, cocky tattooed guy thats so not Jo's type....So why is she instantly attracted to him from the minute she lays eyes on him across a crowded room?!  

Cam's seen Jo's type before first hand, the ones that latch on to rich men, the type that use their physical assets to get anything they want, the type with the annoying fake giggle. And he calls he on it the first time he speaks to her when he overhears her phone call and thinks she cheating on her boyfriend Malcolm. 

Jo let's him believe what he wants to and has no intention of setting him straight, why would she, she doesn't even like him. Right?? 

Well fate has different plans for them and keeps bringing them together. First Cam gets a job at the club, then he moves in underneath her flat in London Road. They soon become friends after they form a bond over something her mum does and his past he shares with her. 

“Honestly, I don’t know.  All I do know is that I’ve never treated anyone the way I’ve treated you, and I’ve never met anyone who deserved it less. I like you, Jo. And whether you want to admit it or not, you need a friend.”

They are both painfully aware that they are attracted to each other on a really deep level both physically and emotionally. He admits he judged her wrong on more than one occasion and is sorry for that, he want them to start over and become friends. 

"You and I are starting over today. I’m not some asshole who has judged you over and over again and got you wrong every single time. Trust me. Please.”

This story is about Cam breaking down Jo's walls, brick by brick. 

Helping her get over her insecurities which are a result of the abuse she faced as a child at the hands of her dad, then her mum (I really hate that woman) once he was gone.

"No one had ever told me I was smart or talented or brave, or that I deserved more than what I'd asked for."

Jo feels she needs to protect her 14 year old brother Cole from their alcoholic mum. She fears not being able to provide for him and she believes the only way to do this is to find a rich man who will marry her and give him the life she was never able to have. Even if this means not being herself, being a false person that deep down she doesn't really like. But she's willing to live with that if it means Cole is safe, happy and cared for. Cam shows her different, he helps her see there's more to life than just being financially happy. More to life than not being completely happy. That she's a completely selfless person for doing that. 

The story is not without some angst, and drama. Cam and Jo are involved with other people when they first meet, so it's not an easy road. Then, an old girlfriend pops up! There were a few scenes that made me gasp when I thought Cam had done wrong!! But for the majority of this story, I wore a stupid grin that got bigger at the end.

Then there's the hotness!!!! If you've read On Dublin Street you know Samantha can write great love scenes!! 

Cam,” I whispered, wanting him to pull away and needing him to never leave. He groaned and gently slid his forehead down the side of mine, his nose skimming my cheek, following my jaw, and coming to rest in a nuzzle against my throat. 

I held my breath, waiting.

His hot lips touched the skin there. One brush. Two. 

And then I felt the wet, hot erotic touch of tongue and I shuddered, falling against him.

And that's just a kiss, imagine what the rest is like......

“I’m going to f*** you so hard, sink so deep inside of you, you’ll never work me out from under your skin. Never.”

As well as getting to know Jo I also loved reading more about the gang I love from the other books, Joss, Braden, Ellie and Adam,  an the rest of the family as well as some new characters who I quickly came to love too. And a few I wanted to punch or kick too. The main one being Jo & Cole's mum. What a selfish ungrateful horrible horrible woman. Then there's her dad, when we finally meet him in person he's the nasty piece of work we think he's gonna be. 

The writing was beautiful, Samantha is an great storyteller, she really makes you feel like you know these people. There are a lot of issues cover in this book and covered in a great way where you don't feel they 

I did find the story a little slow to start but once it got going I couldn't put it down. And decided I actually like the slow burn. 

Then there's the ending......sigh......you'll need to read it to find out about that. 

Side note...As I'm Scottish and know Edinburgh quite well I loved being able to actually see in my head where I though they were when a place or street was described. 

I loved that Samantha used "Hullo" instead of "Hello" cause generally that's how we say it here!!! And she used a version of the word cantankerous a word I love and use a lot!! It should be used more often. Throughout a lot of the book I had in my head the song "Caledonia" because of Cam's tattoo and its one of my favourite songs, it give me a warm feeling of loving where I come from.  (Singing it again now) 

An all round great book I would recommend to anyone and everyone. 

Well done for yet another fantastic book Samantha. 

I've got my goofy grin back just writing this.

What Donna Says:  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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