Sunday, January 5, 2014

[Early Review] Before Jamaica Lane (On Dublin Street #3) by Samantha Young

One simple lesson in seduction between two friends can turn into so much more…

Despite her outgoing demeanor, Olivia is painfully insecure around the opposite sex—usually, she can’t get up the nerve to approach guys she’s interested in. But moving to Edinburgh has given her a new start, and, after she develops a crush on a sexy postgrad, she decides it’s time to push past her fears and go after what she wants.  Nate Sawyer is a gorgeous player who never commits, but to his close friends, he’s as loyal as they come. So when Olivia turns to him with her relationship woes, he offers to instruct her in the art of flirting and to help her become more sexually confident.  The friendly education in seduction soon grows into an intense and hot romance. But then Nate’s past and commitment issues rear their ugly heads, and Olivia is left broken-hearted. When Nate realizes he’s made the biggest mistake of his life, he will have to work harder than he ever has before to entice his best friend into falling back in love with him—or he may lose her forever…

Before Jamaica Street, the third full length novel in the On Dublin Street series, is a sweet, sexy and seductive addition to a solid romantic series.  This book follows the story of Jo's kind-of, but-not-really half sister, Olivia.  Olivia's father was the one solid male presence in Jo's life before he fled to America.  When Olivia and her dad decides to move permanently to Scotland, Jo accepts Olivia as a sister and welcomes her into her group of friends.  Jo's boyfriend Cam has two best friends.  The very engaged Peetie, and the commitment-phobe, yet sexy as sin, Nate Sawyer.  

Nate and Olivia become very close friends.  Olivia is still having difficulty dealing with the death of her mother and the void it has left in her life.  Nate has his own secrets haunting him.  They click on a friendship level and spend an awful lot of time with one another.  Olivia has self-confidence issues - she thinks she is over weight and unattractive to men.  Add that to her lack of sexual experience, and you have one vulnerable girl.  Nate is the consummate play boy.  He's the guy who has a different girl every night of the week.  He's gorgeous, charming and intelligent, and he seems to be just as beautiful on the inside as he is on the outside.

While at the wedding of very close friends, Olivia confides in Nate her self-worth issues and a plan is formed.  Nate is going to teach her how to flirt and how to feel beautiful around guys.  Olivia feels that she missed out on a lot during her teenage and college years because she had to take care of her sick mother.  Soon after, Olivia asks Nate to teach her as much as he can about sex.  This is where it gets interesting.

Nate is a player.  He's not a bad guy - when he takes a girl home, she knows it's a one-night stand.  Nate is actually one of the sweeter and more loyal heroes in recent memory.  He would drop any girl if one of his friends needed help.  Olivia is the same way.  She is a sounding board for Johanna, a loyal friend to Joss and an ear to listen to Hannah.  Olivia deserves a man that is worthy of her.

Nate fights his attraction to Olivia throughout most of this book.  He knows deep down that Olivia is the girl for him, but his memories of the past are holding him back.  Olivia knows immediately that she is in love with him, but she refuses to settle as second best.  I love Olivia because when the situation between her and Nate comes to a head, she doesn't put up with his bullshit.  She tells Nate how she feels and she doesn't shy away from being uncomfortable.  What I like the most about Olivia is her strength.  When Nate tries to repair his relationship with her, she doesn't fall down swooning like a lot of romance novel heroines.  She puts herself first in her mind, and Nate has to work awful hard to regain her trust.

If you are a fan of the previous books in Young's On Dublin Street series, you won't be disappointed!  I found Nate and Olivia to be quite charming and steamy!  With two very likeable main characters and a cast of familiar friends, this book is bound to give you something warm to snuggle up with on a winter night!  I'm looking forward to Hannah's book, which releases later this year, as the groundwork for her was laid in this book.  Another winner from Samantha Young!


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