2013, A-Minus Rating, Alexis Knapp, Biffy Clyro, Blog Tour, Contemporary Romance, Florence + The Machine, Henry Cavill, Imagine Dragons, Jamie Dornan, Metric, New Adult, On Dublin Street Series, Posted by Liz, Samantha Young, Scottish Author, The Airborne Toxic Event, The Killers, White Lies
I’ve always had a little bit of a hard time reading books by authors from other countries. I don’t know if it’s the differences in the language or the slang or the unfamiliar locations. So I was somewhat hesitant about reading Down London Road by Samantha Young. I’m so happy that I gave it a chance, though, because this was a wonderful and VERY hot little romance!
Publication Date: May 7, 2013 Length: 384 pages Genre: Contemporary Romance Series: On Dublin Street, Book 2 Publisher: Berkley/NAL (Penguin) Source & Format: Review copy provided by publisher via NetGalley; digital Official Summary Johanna Walker is used to taking charge. But she’s about to meet someone who will make her lose control… It has always been up to Johanna to care for her family, particularly her younger brother, Cole. With an absent father and a useless mother, she’s been making decisions based on what’s best for Cole for as long as she can remember. She even determines what men to date by how much they can provide for her brother and her, not on whatever sparks may—or may not—fly. But with Cameron MacCabe, the attraction is undeniable. The sexy new bartender at work gives her butterflies every time she looks at him. And for once, Jo is tempted to put her needs first. Cam is just as obsessed with getting to know Jo, but her walls are too solid to let him get close enough to even try. Then Cam moves into the flat below Jo’s, and their blistering connection becomes impossible to ignore. Especially since Cam is determined to uncover all of Jo’s secrets even if it means taking apart her defenses piece by piece.
So, sure, there were a few slang words and phrases that I didn’t recognize in this book, but it really didn’t matter. You can pretty much figure out what the author is trying to say from context. So let’s forget about the nonexistent language barrier and talk about something we can ALL agree on: hot dudes and Sexy Time!
I don’t think I could tell you one thing that I didn’t like about Jo, the heroine of Down London Road. I mean, she has just about all of the qualities I love in a heroine. She’s a strong, independent woman. She’s had a difficult past and is currently having some struggles, but she’s keeping herself and her family together through all of it. One of my favorite things about Jo is her internal monologues. In her head, she’s thinking what we all would think, but her thoughts are filled with hilarious combinations of cuss words. Since I would like to keep this post from being X-rated for language, I won’t repeat some of the best ones she used that made me laugh out loud, but trust me, they were great. And unfortunately, they sounded a lot like my OWN inner monologues!
Anyway, Jo proves what an amazing woman she is every time you see her interacting with her little brother, Cole. Their dad was awful and went to prison, and their mom spiraled down into a major drunken stupor and has been there ever since. Jo is pretty much left to raise her little brother, and she’s doing the best she can. She’s vowed that he will never go a day without knowing he’s loved. I just thought that was so awesome, especially since it shows how Jo is purposely trying to “break the cycle” of abuse.
Now our hero, Cam, is a whole different story. Grrrrrr, he was such a bastard! Well, at least for a little while he was. Cam gets a job at the bar where Jo works and he makes some seriously incorrect assumptions about Jo. I wanted Jo to strangle him, or at least kick him in the “junk,” LOL! But because he’s our hero, you KNOW he has to redeem himself and he really, really does. Which brings me to what I liked so much about Cam: when he’s wrong, he not only admits it, he also apologizes for it. How many men do YOU know do that?
Sparks definitely fly when Jo and Cam are together. Whether it’s sparks of dislike or sparks of another kind, they are definitely great together. There is plenty of Sexy Time and, wow, let me tell you that Cam is insatiable! And even better than the great characters and hot sex scenes is the emotional roller coaster that the author takes you on! I kept waiting for the proverbial “other shoe to drop.” Whenever someone is so happy, so quickly, it never ends well. And then when you think you can’t handle anything else, not one more thing to drop in Jo’s lap, there’s something ELSE happening! It’s so insane!
The only thing about this book I didn’t love was that I wished the bad guys/jerks in Jo’s life got what was coming to them. I guess I felt protective of Jo because she was such a great character, and I just wanted her happily ever after to include justice for all the wrongs done to her in the past.Bottom Line
I really had no idea what to expect when I started this book, but it was awesome! Great characters that you can really root for, great family interactions, lots of drama, tons of laughs, and just the right amount of Sexy Time made for a great, great book. Although Down London Road is Book 2 in a series, you could absolutely read this one as a standalone. I think anyone who likes any kind of romance will enjoy this. I know I sure did!
Wine/Beverage Pairing: Rum & Coke – Jo works at a bar so let’s go with a classic!Buy Digital: Kindle | Nook Buy Print: Amazon | B&N
Interview with Samantha Young
Liz from K&W: Hi, Samantha! Thanks for joining us on Kindles & Wine today. I really enjoyed reading Down London Road! Who would you cast to play Cam and Jo in a movie version of Down London Road? For me, I was picturing Tom Hardy as Cam, but I think that might be partially because I just like picturing Tom Hardy…
Samantha Young: Thanks for having me! As for the cast picks, although I completely understand wanting to picture Tom Hardy at any given moment, for me I picture Jamie Dornan as Cam.
I think Alexis Knapp would be great for Jo.
Moving on to more a more serious topic, I found myself feeling extremely angry about Jo’s alcoholic mother (of course), but I really, really, super-duper loved Jo’s relationship with her brother, Cole. With Jo having her hands full (emotionally) with her mother, how did you know that Jo needed a younger brother? And how did you know he would be so awesome?
Samantha: The importance of family plays a large role in the On Dublin Street series, so I knew that, for Jo, family would have to be the driving force behind her loyalty, decisions and actions. There’s something powerful in the relationship between an older sibling and their kid brother or sister that can almost be parental and definitely is for Jo. I wanted the dynamic between her and Cole to be authentic but really special, so that meant Cole had to sound like a teenager but a really awesome teenager lol. I’m glad you liked him! I’m particularly fond of him too.
Liz: Yes, I thought he was a totally awesome teenager! I particularly enjoyed how he starts to become very protective of Jo and sort of takes on more of a man’s role as opposed to a child’s role in both their lives. Speaking of men, there are plenty of romance books that feature heroes who are quite wealthy. In fact, the hero of Book 1 in this series, On Dublin Street, Braden, was rich. What made you decide to write the hero of Down London Road as a regular guy? Or was it even a conscious decision?
Samantha: It was definitely a conscious decision to make Cam a regular guy. I needed Johanna to come to terms with the fact that she was strong enough, smart enough and talented enough to stand on her own two feet financially, and I don’t think she ever would have come to that realization if she’d continued to remain in a relationship with a wealthy man as her crutch. Cam was always going to be a hero that opened Jo’s eyes up to just how special she was, and he not only did that just by being the person he is, but also through his own social status. Moreover, there really is a plethora of heroes out there who are wealthy (as you mentioned, even Braden!), and I think it’s a nice change of pace for readers to discover heroes from all walks of life.
Liz: Oh my gosh, Cam SO did show Jo how special she was! Even in Book 1, I was intrigued by her. And I loved how she started to believe in herself and expect more for and from herself in this book!
Now for the fun stuff…it’s Personal Question Time!! Yay! Do you listen to music when you write?
Samantha: I do listen to music when I’m writing my notes—character histories/profiles, chapter summaries, etc. Music is a big part of my everyday life and I have quite an eclectic taste, but in general, I listen to indie rock—Biffy Clyro, The Airborne Toxic Event, White Lies, The Killers, Florence + The Machine, Imagine Dragons, Metric and so on…
Liz: Hmmm, looks like I need to broaden my tastes since I only know a couple of those groups! Your bio on your website states that you graduated from the University of Edinburgh and studied ancient and medieval history. As much as I loved On Dublin Street and Down London Road, why are you not writing historical romance novels?
Samantha: Lol, I remember attempting a historical romance when I was twenty. I think I still have the first few chapters lying around somewhere, but those will never see the light of day! I’d never say no to most genres so it’s always a possibility in the future. However, I do like to come up with fresh ideas so I’d have to be truly inspired before I’d attempt it.
Liz: OK, hard questions are done. Or are they…? Everyone interviewed on Kindles & Wine has to answer these last two questions: If you had to choose: Kindle/eBook or print? (Don’t worry, we don’t discriminate on the basis of preferred book format. )
Samantha: Arghh! That’s a scary question. I love my print copies because they smell great and look so pretty on the shelf…but…I think if it was a life or death situation, I’d end up choosing my Kindle. I just love having that many books available to me wherever I go and being able to download a book in an instant.
Liz: Ugh, I so agree with you. I love physical books, but I really love having 50 books at my fingertips. It really IS impossible to choose! And finally, what’s your favorite kind of wine? Or, if you’re not a wine drinker, what’s your beverage of choice?
Samantha: I’m more of a whisky girl than a wine girl, but I do like a nice glass of champagne. My favorite champagne is Laurent-Perrier. Mmm yum.
Thanks so much for having me!
Down London Road Giveaway
As part of this blog tour, the kind folks at Berkley are generously offering a print copy of Down London Road to ONE lucky Kindles & Wine reader (U.S. residents only).
To enter for your chance to win, you must:
- Be a follower of our blog (click HERE to subscribe), AND
- Hit the comments and tell us if you prefer reading stories with a rich hero or working class hero and why.
Please note: This contest will close on Sunday, May 19 at 11:59 PM (CDT) and the winner will be notified via email on Monday, May 20.ABOUT THE AUTHOR New York Times bestselling author Samantha Young is a 27-year-old book addict who graduated from the University of Edinburgh. She lives in Scotland. Visit Samantha online at her website, on Twitter, on Facebook, and on Goodreads.