Hello, fellow bibliophiles! Long time, no see! My apologies. I started reading a series that had more books involved than I had anticipated, so I had to get through all of them before I brought you a proper review. I hope everyone had an enjoyable holiday season, and you’re ready to move into the New Year with an endless TBR pile waiting for you! There’s a lot being reviewed today, so I’m going to just jump into it. Today, I’m discussing the On Dublin Street series by Samantha Young. With this series, you have to be careful, because there are a lot of little novellas and treats in between each larger story. It’s a lot to keep in order, but you’ll see as we go along.
Book one is titled after the series, On Dublin Street. I gave this four stars because it had a lot of things I look for in a romance novel. There was the hot-as-all-sin alpha, angst, seduction, the comforts and excitement that comes with new love, conflict, etc… but there were parts of this story I just didn’t love, and even days later, I’m still debating on my rating.
Basically, the heroine of the novel is annoying as they can possibly get. Look, she lost her family in a tragic accident while she was just beginning to navigate her adolescent years, but her ways of coping (or lack thereof) as an adult are just beyond ridiculous and unacceptable. Every human on earth deals with death, we’ve all dealt with our own tragedies and demons, but at some point or another, you learn to pick yourself up and keep living. I know we all grieve in our own ways, but hers is completely unhealthy and insanely selfish.
Joss is living in a new country, has a new roommate she adores, is finally working on her dream career, and even has a gorgeous man pursuing her to no end, but she’s so stuck on the past she never dealt with properly, that she almost destroys it all before it has a chance to even bloom into something gorgeous.
Thank God for Braden. Yes, he’s relentless and territorial and everything an alpha is supposed to be, and some women don’t like that, but on some level, how can you not? The man wants and cares for her so much that he has this overwhelming need to claim her. He looks to be there for her first thing in the morning, and last at night. He wants to go on dates, practically snarls if other males start sniffing around, and makes her see herself and them as a couple for the better. Parts of his character and methods seem a bit archaic, but they’re merited. It was because of his determination to keep her and fix her (even though she absolutely didn’t deserve it or him) that I kept reading until the end.
An On Dublin Street Christmas is the first in the novella portion of the overall series. This was a lovely little treat and interlude after coming off of On Dublin Street. After all the heaviness of the first book, it was nice to take a little break and witness Joss and Braden enjoying their Christmas together. Having Joss act like a happy, adult human was what I enjoyed the most. Braden has learned to deal with her panic attacks, and they’ve settled into a great routine. Fingers crossed for them!
Here is where things got a bit dicey for me. I somehow missed this one in my chronological journey through this series. I’m glad I double-backed to give it a read. An On Dublin Street Halloween brought some comic relief to my reading journey.
This did not go the way I thought it would, but it was a nice and light interlude in this whole crazy batch of characters. Braden and Joss are not always as sexy as they seem, but I’m glad they offered a few laughs along the way.
I won’t be looking at James Bond, Snow White, or The Ghostbusters the same ever again!
Until Fountain Bridge also serves as a break before the larger novels of the series return. Already, we have three novellas involved in this batch of books, so it gets a bit daunting. You feel like you’re making progress and a dent in your reading, when in reality, you haven’t gotten as far as you would have hoped at this point.
Anyway, this was a sweet interlude in the series. I enjoyed getting to know more about Ellie and Adam. Their history consists of numerous good and bad moments which makes their time together now even more cherished.
I couldn’t quite decide how I felt about the flashback diary entries reading like actual dialogue. I know that no girl would actually write what actually transpired word-for-word in her journal, but then I tried to envision if it were a flashback in a movie, the characters would be acting out the events and talking to each other to make the memory… memorable. When I got into that mindset, it was much more tolerable to read.
Now we’re getting back into the novels. Down London Road is actually book two in the ODS saga.
This story was pretty heart-breaking. Jo has had a rough go in life, and she busts her ass day-in and day-out to provide for her brother, Cole, and keep her alcoholic mother alive. When she meets Cam, everything in her world changes.
Jo has a type of man and a system for which she keeps them. Her focus is her brother and keeping a roof over their heads. Getting emotionally involved with someone isn’t an option for her. She can’t do anything to mess up and have Cole taken from her by social services.
Cameron McCabe is a tornado in the middle of Jo’s world. He’s the exact opposite of her type, he aggravates her, makes her laugh, sends chills down her spine, and wakes up the dormant feelings inside her. When they start working together at Club 39, it’s not long before they can no longer fight their attraction to one another.
I think out of all the books in this series so far. This one has been my favorite to date. While the couple did push each other’s buttons in the worst ways and made stupid mistakes from time-to-time, I kept cheering for them to have their happily ever after.
Before Jamaica Lane (aka book three) is my favorite in the series. Nate is to die for.. And Olivia the university librarian? How kick ass?! I related to Liv far more than even I’d like to admit, but she got her happy ending. Maybe it makes me feel like I can get mine too. Who knows!
When they fought, they fought hard, and there were so many gray areas and lines they should or shouldn’t cross that when they did fight, I wasn’t sure which side to take in the matter.
I kind of love how they did things in such a weird and round-about way. They didn’t go with convention, and that made them all the more interesting to me. I hope I hear more from them in the near future!
Looky here! We have another novella on our hands (which I almost forgot to include in the review… whoops). Castle Hill brings us back to our original couple, Joss and Braden, and the next chapter in their lives. I enjoyed getting time with them again. While elements of this novella were a bit Twilight-y for me, I liked going on a journey with them to the new chapter in their lives.
I was not expecting their wedded bliss to go the way it did for a chunk of this story. It was heart-wrenching and it drove me mad that they didn’t just talk to each other, but rather, were content to exist on assumptions. I wanted to scream at both of them to no end!
Needless to say, I can’t wait for more of these two! I’d love to see what happens next!
Fall FromIndia Place, book four, is my least favorite in the series. Marco I loved, Hannah, not so much. Her character almost made me stop reading the book. However, I was so close to the end by time I realized how much I disliked her that I just needed to finish.
Listen, I fully understand they both had a ton of shit thrown their way and they both dealt alone and in very different ways.
Marco found his potential and became an adult. His past shaped his future and molded him into something better. He wants to do better and become a better man so the past doesn’t repeat itself.
For being such a brilliant bookworm, Hannah sure is stupid (and selfish and cruel) She let’s her past shape her, but she lets it get the best of her. She ignores her support system and everything and everyone who wants to help her, and it almost destroys her chance at a happy future. In my opinion, she didn’t deserve to have Marco chase after her for as long and as hard as he did for so long. He wanted to prove himself and she kept stomping on his heart. Every time I thought she’d give him a chance, she proved me wrong. It got to the point, she couldn’t redeem herself in my eyes.
I get that Marco loved her since they were kids, but I almost wish he was just a bit stronger and chose someone who treated him well. Unless Hannah proves herself more in a later book somewhere, I won’t cheer for them the way I should. The ending of the book didn’t even make me fee giddy for them.. I just couldn’t trust Hannah.
Echoes Of Scotland Street take us into the future. Remember Jo’s baby brother, Cole? He’s all grown up now and making girls weak in the knees! Cole might be a close second to Nate as my favorite. He’s a genuinely good guy, and lord knows, there aren’t enough of them in the world.
I was so nervous the whole time that Shannon would revert to her old ways, and that’s where the drama would come in between her and Cole, but I was pleasantly surprised.
If you’re reading this book, I’m assuming you’ve read the stories prior, so we all know Cole’s back story, but hearing Shannon’s was something new (sort of). Obviously, she comes with emotional baggage. She has a dark and messed up past that Cole decides to heal once they cross paths.
I’m really glad Cole was right and could coax Shannon into something real, and something GOOD. She never knew good before he came along. Like I said, my paranoia came in thinking she’d revert to her skittish ways thinking she only attracted bad.
I knew they’d work through their issues, the question was just how they would go about it. The ending was a pleasant surprise. I could see it coming, but reading it as it played out was thrilling. Go big, or go home!
More novella time! Luckily, this one was my favorite out of all of them. Valentine was amazing! I loved getting to re-visit all the characters while they each got their fair-share of center stage.
Each couple gets a segment to tell their story of Valentine’s Day escapades while they deal with marriage, babies, and life in general. Things aren’t always as rosy as they seem, but this gang somehow makes it work!
Reading this is one of my biggest fears realized. When marriage settles into comfort and there’s the potential for love and passion to go away, it can become utterly terrifying. I’m ecstatic that each of these couples prove that love not only has the potential to be powerful, but also ever-lasting as long as you both continue to work at it on a daily basis. If that day ever comes for me, I could only hope to be so lucky!
We’re finally at the last of the novels (thanks for sticking with me this far… we’re almost there!). Moonlight On Nightingale Way focuses on Shannon’s brother, Logan, and his time post-prison. This was a good story, and a bit different from the others in the series. Instead of two people jumping into an instant attraction and falling into bed together, they had to learn how to be civil neighbors, take on a task that somehow involved the both of them, work out all their kinks and faults, and then worry about love later on down the road.
Logan is amazing. He may have done time, but his heart has always been in the right place. I can’t fault him for that at all. He may have thought Grace was uptight, but she’s just who he needed to keep his head on straight and look forward to a positive future.
Of course, they are introduced to the whole gang and become family. Like I said, it’s a bit hard to keep everyone and their kids straight, but I enjoyed watching this brood grow and evolve into the families they’ve become.
The last novella, and then we’re done! One King’s Way is a story that maybe didn’t need to be told. I can’t decide if this book was necessary in this series. It was nice to get a glimpse at one more character and his story, but I didn’t love it as much as spending time with the other clan.
Rain and Craig could solve 99% of their problems if they would just communicate. A lot of their problems stemmed from made up scenarios in their heads. Also, their relationship progressed a bit quickly for my liking. It didn’t seem believable to have the connection be that intense in that short a time frame. Maybe that’s just me.
Rain and Craig had some issues with jealously and I felt they just handled them improperly. There was just something about their journey that I remained slightly disconnected from all throughout the story. Maybe if it was a longer book with more detail, I could get on board. I really feel this series would have been best if left off at the last book.