Fight or Flight

Fight or Flight by Samantha Young

4.5 stars 

“My physical appearance was just a small fraction of who I was. I was more than a pretty bauble to hang on the tree of a man’s world.” 

After a horrible trip to her childhood home, Ava just wants to get the heck out of Arizona and back to her apartment in Boston. Her attempts at everything in the airport from first class upgrades to meals to the coffee cart are thwarted by a rude Scotsman…. who happens to be her seatmate on her flight. Their hatred for each other soon turns into a night neither of them will ever forget.

By chance Caleb reenters her life when Ava had thought he was just a one night stand, and the two decide to explore their physical attraction even further…

“When you were infatuated with someone, you failed to see their imperfections. When it was more than a fixation, you still cared about them in spite of their flaws.” 

First off, Samantha Young is romance royalty. She delivered THE BEST ANGST in any romance novels, hands down. She’s also one of the few authors that I don’t skim sex scenes (yes I am weird and I do that most of the time). When I read a book by Young, I am enthralled from the very beginning, all the way to the last page at the end. I always say this too but I love how she manages to write characters from different countries and nails it every time, there are never cultural inaccuracies which blows my mind.

There are similarities in this book to On Dublin Street, a heroine with a messed up family past and a best friend who dies tragically (not a spoiler it’s in the beginning of both books). But the similarities end there. I loved Ava. She was such an incredible female character unlike many we see in this genre. She’s gorgeous but wants to be valued as more. She works hard but remembers to be kind. Caleb was an amazing alpha-hole, but was nice at the right points. I wish we had gotten more of his side of events but I still really loved him too.

I have two things to gripe about in this book, the first affected my rating the other did not. At the end of the book, what was done to Ava, there needed to be a lot more fucking groveling. I was actually appalled at the lack of groveling at the end considering Caleb’s words and actions. The second thing I have to gripe about, I friggin hate the cover of this book. I know it’s the newest rage in romance and we have The Hating Game to blame for it, but the cover of this book does not match the inside at all and I am looking forward to when (if) they change the cover in the future. I want to reiterate, the cover did not affect my rating.

“We’re all afraid of something, sweetheart. It’s up to us whether we stay and fight that fear… or whether we run and hide from it.” 

ARC provided by the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. All quotes came from an unedited copy and are subject to change in final review. 

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On Hart’s Boardwalk

On Hart’s Boardwalk by Samantha Young

4 stars! 

“By the end of this vacation you’ll never doubt my love for you again.” 

This is a novella that depicts the couple from Before Jamaica Lane about fourteen years later. Nate and Liv have a happy life with two beautiful kids, but while they love each other, Liv feels disconnected from Nate. When he discovers this, he whisks Liv away to the small seaside town in Hartwell, Delaware hoping time for the two of them will bring them back together.

“I can’t lose you, babe. You’d take my soul with you.” 

Nate and Liv are my favorite couple from this series, in fact Before Jamaica Lane is one of my all time favorite books EVER so I jumped on the chance to revisit this couple. I really enjoyed this sweet (with a hint of angsty) story between a couple who loves each other, but seems to have lost their way.

Young did a really good job combining her series, I’ve read the Hart’s Boardwalk books but I feel someone who hasn’t could easily fall into this book, nothing is confusing and the writing style makes reading it effortless. I did get really confused on the timelines, because if this is 14 years later (2013+14=2027) and yet it takes place at the same time as the other series (2017) it doesn’t make any sense. I know I should let it go, but it is something that bothered me a bit when I was reading it. I can’t help it lol.

If you read this, you will fall in love with Nate and Liv all over again. Seriously, look up relationship goals and you’ll just see their names in the dictionary.

Also, can we PLEASE get Emery’s book? I’ve been dying for it ever since The One Real Thing and the wait is killing meh!

“I don’t need to walk this boardwalk with my hand in yours to know we’ll last forever, Liv. I know we’ll last forever because I’m never letting you go.” 

ARC provided by the publisher via netgalley. All/any quotes in this review came from an advance unedited copy and may be subject to change in the final product. 

Villain

Villain

Cover Design by Samantha Young

 The sexy and emotional companion novella to the New York Times bestselling romance HERO.

 Nadia Ray is not just a broadcast meteorologist. She’s Boston’s morning television It Girl. Successful and independent, she’s put a past she’s ashamed of behind her and is forging a future she can be proud of. However, when her new boss discovers her secret he blackmails her, intent on using Nadia’s popularity to make them the number one morning show in Massachusetts. He wants her to be part of uncovering the city’s biggest scandal – a secret billionaire Caine Carraway is hiding.

Soon Nadia is thrown into the path of Caine’s best friend: sexy, wealthy bachelor Henry Lexington. But she doesn’t encounter the dashing high society gentleman Henry is purported to be. Instead she’s faced with an insulting and defensive villain who misjudges her at every turn.

When Henry finally realizes the truth, and decides to make amends, Nadia wants nothing to do with him. But she underestimates his determination and charm and soon they find themselves embroiled in an intense, passionate affair.

An affair Nadia knows must come to an end before their feelings grow any deeper and he discovers her secrets.

After all, Henry Lexington isn’t the only one who played the part of a villain once…

My review:

4 stars!! 

“I acted like my story deserved a hero. But only a heroine deserves a hero. And I wasn’t a heroine. I couldn’t be. The truth was in someone else’s story… I was a villain.” 

Villain is the story of Nadia, a broadcast meteorologist. When her boss blackmail’s her into doing some deep digging into a wealthy man, his best friend Henry decides to fight back. Sparks fly, and hatred of each other evolves when Nadia and Henry realize they are both not what they seem.

But Nadia has a past that can threaten any relationship before it starts. That combined with severe trust issues promises an emotional and bumpy ride for these two.

“Grand gestures and fireworks are part of our lives; they’re not extraordinary to us. But when we get home and we close the door behind us and it’s just you and me…. that’s our extraordinary, right?” 

I love romances where the guy chases the girl. There’s just something so amazing about a man who knows what he wants and goes after it. Nadia was so unsure things would work and he never wavered. There were moment when this story seemed as if it would be cliché and predictable, but it had just enough angst and humor to push it over the edge and make it something a little bit more than the usual.

I read Samantha Young because she never fails to deliver me a satisfying story, and I will read her books as long as she keeps writing them because of this. A truly talented writer, I hope she never stops.

“I was born into a life of privilege… but I never knew true wealth until I met you.” 

ARC provided by the author. All/any quotes in this review came from an advance unedited copy and may be subject to change in the final product. 

 

Out December 5th in digital edition.

 

Preorder Links:

AMAZON US – http://amzn.to/2giFLfF
AMAZON UK – http://amzn.to/2yxhpZz

KOBO US – http://bit.ly/2i1siJr

KOBO UK – http://bit.ly/2yQpdGp

iBOOKS UK & US, & GOOGLE PLAY Links Coming Soon!

 

 

Connect with Samantha Young online:

Website:http://authorsamanthayoung.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/authorsamanthayoung

Twitter: @AuthorSamYoung

Instagram: @AuthorSamanthaYoung

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/samyoungauthor

 

 

The Impossible Vastness of Us

The Impossible Vastness of Us by Samantha Young

5 stars!!! 

How do you begin to gush about a book you loved so so much? Samantha Young is one of my all-time favorite authors, I’ll read anything the woman writes. So when she published a YA I was intrigued, and decided to give it a shot. I was completely blown away!!!! Young delivers a heartfelt and beautiful story, filled with angst, friendship, love and family.

India Maxwell is alarmed when her flight attendant mother tells her she’s been seeing a man on the other side of the country. Pretty soon her mother is engaged, and she’s whisked away to Boston to live with her soon to be step father, Theo, and step sister, Eloise. India and her mother have never been well off, so she’s in for a world of shock when she finds her new family insanely rich. And because of trust issues from her past, India has no desire to get close to her new family.

While India is adjusting, Eloise is not cruel but also not kind. Eloise’s boyfriend Finn appears to dislike India as well. All India wants is to be on top, and to get enough extracurricular’s to get into a good college. But as time goes by, feelings thaw between the two girls and a tentative relationship forms.

This book wasn’t anything like I expected in the best possible way. India had such a presence on the page, I absolutely adored her, flaws and all. There’s something about a girl trying so hard to be strong that I find endearing, and I felt for her and wished for her to succeed the entire time I was reading.

While this is a young adult romance, my favorite part of the book was the themes of friendship and family. People need more than just romantic love to feel supported in life, and I loved being on India’s journey to find her forever friendships and her way to a new family.

I cannot recommend this book enough, it’s one of the best books I’ve read this year. So if you find yourself curious about this book, just do yourself a favor and buy it and read it. You won’t regret it.

Every Little Thing

Every Little Thing by Samantha Young

4 stars!

“Vaughn Tremaine may have been a pompous, smug, wealthy, arrogant businessman who thought he was better than me, but he could also kind of be honorable when he wanted to be.”

Bailey is a successful inn owner in Hartwell, Delaware, a small and charming boardwalk town. Bailey has always had a comfortable and safe relationship with her boyfriend of ten years, until she walks in on him having sex with a younger woman. And while Bailey is upset, she’s more dismayed that she wasted so much time on the wrong man.

Vaughn Tremaine is the sexy businessman who moved to Hartwell and got on Bailey’s bad side right away. For years the two have had a contemptuous banter that had a strong sexual undertone. When something bad happens to Bailey at her inn, Vaughn is there to help her. The attraction between the two is strong, it’s just a matter of whether or not they’ll admit it to each other.

“I wish you and he would just admit you’re attracted to one another and stop acting like children at recess.”

Samantha Young is one of my all-time favorite authors, I’ll read anything the woman writes. The Hart’s Boardwalk series is a change of pace for her, but a delightful and sweet series many readers will enjoy. Bailey and Vaughn were a couple I was intrigued by when they were introduced in the previous book, and the heat between them in this book did not disappoint. There was a lot of push and pull, and some frustrating moments, but this couple is made up of two very strong people and it was wonderful seeing them fight for what they wanted.

I think one of the strengths of this series is the side characters, you really get a sense of community when you read about these people. I am dying for Emery’s book, and the books of other characters mentioned in this novel. The pacing was a bit off in this book, some very slow moments like the first book. Usually with a Samantha Young book I am able to devour it within a few hours, but this one took me a couple of days.

If you want a romance with complex and powerful characters, this is the book for you. I cannot wait to read more about this small town and all of the people in it.

“I never dreamed it could be like this between us.”

ARC provided by publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review

The One Real Thing

The One Real Thing by Samantha Young

4 stars!

A great start to a promising new series!

Samantha Young is one of my all time favorite authors, it’s rare when she delivers a book I don’t enjoy. While this book is definitely a change of pace compared to her past books, I enjoyed it all the same.

Jessica Huntington is a doctor for a woman’s correctional facility where she finds a few letters that are forty years old who never reached their intended recipient. Her vacation time is coming up soon, so she decides to spend it at Hart’s Boardwalk so she can return the letters in person. Upon arriving she meets bar owner Cooper Lawson, and there is an immediate attraction between them. Both have pasts that make them hesitant to begin a new relationship, but they both feel a strong pull. It’s just a matter of both of them overcoming their pasts to make this work.

I think this book shows what a wonderful writer Samantha Young is, everything was very refined and worded beautifully, and her attention to detail was amazing. Yes, the beginning is slow like other reviewers have mentioned, but to me that’s only if you are expecting romance right away. This is a slow burn novel but you don’t have to wait until the very end for results. I also feel that much of this novel was set up for the entire series, and Young needed to set the stage for her readers.

Cooper and Jessica were very sweet together, but I found myself more interested in the side characters at certain parts and found there was a little bit too much drama between the two of them. Yes they both had past issues, but I kind of expected them to work them out a bit smoother since they were in their thirties and not their twenties. I really want to know more about Bailey, Tremaine, Emery and Cat! All fantastic side characters with a lot of depth to them.

Overall I think we can come to expect great things from this series, I know I am very excited for the next book because I am already half in love with those characters.

ARC was kindly provided by the author in exchange for an honest review

Hero

Hero by Samantha Young

4 stars!

“You’re the one real thing in my life right now … You should know I don’t want to let that go.”

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Samantha Young is one of my all time favorite authors. Even when her books aren’t my favorite, I’ve never given her anything less than 4 stars because she delivers the perfect romance books that work for me. Hero follows in the footsteps of her other books as a highly addictive, angst inducing, well written romance.

Alexa Holland grew up believing her dad was a hero. That is, until she was in college when he dropped the bomb on her that he had ruined the lives of another family. On top of that, Alexa’s mother had been his mistress and Alexa was his illegitimate hidden child. Now in her late twenties, Alexa works as a personal assistant for a fashion photographer. One day on set, Alexa comes face to face with the man whose life was ruined by her father, Caine Carraway. Caine becomes furious with Alexa on the set, which results in her boss losing the shoot and Alexa being fired.

In an attempt to make amends, Alexa bombards Caine at his office. Caine has grown up to become a successful businessman despite his horrible past. After she makes an apology, Caine offers Alexa a job, with the intent being clear that he was only doing so in order to make Alexa’s life miserable. Desperate and wanting to prove she wasn’t her father’s daughter, Alexa accepts.

Caine is literally the boss from hell, making Alexa do an insurmountable amount of meaningless and degrading tasks, but Alexa forges on. Soon it becomes clear that the feelings between Caine and Alexa do not contain only hatred, but a surprising amount of lust. Can either one of them overcome their pasts to accept the other?

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I had so much fun reading this book. As I said before, I love this author and how she tells her stories. The amount of angst and emotion mixed in is the perfect amount and was not overwhelming. The push and pull dynamic made this book really fun, I’m used to seeing the guy chasing the girl in Young’s books and not the other way around. It was a bit sad to continually read Alexa getting her hopes up about a real relationship with Caine knowing as the reader that he wasn’t ready yet.

“I’m not your white knight.”

The chemistry with these two characters was off the charts! It’s not normally something I point out, because I prefer angst over steam (yeah I’m weird, I know this already) but this book was pretty darn steamy!! For all of you out there who love steamy scenes, get your fans ready to help cool you off.

This was a 5 star read for me all the way up until about 80%. There were certain thing that I thought was a pretty random addition to the plot and didn’t really make any sense to me, because it came out of nowhere. But the angst in the scenes following those parts were amazing!!! Gah, I ate that shit up.

^^^so 0.5 stars off for that. Another 0.5 stars off for not enough groveling. I WANTED TO SEE SOME HANDS AND KNEES BEGGING FOR ALL OF THE TUG-A-WAR BULLSHIT HE PUT ALEXA THROUGH! But I love groveling, so maybe I’m asking for too much.

“I’m not asking for forever, I’m asking you to stop pushing me away. I’m asking you to be real with me for however long this lasts.”

So while it’s not my favorite Young book, I do have to say that this is the most intricately plotted book she’s come out with so far and it’s great to watch her to continue to grow as a writer with the new work she’s putting out. Alexa and Caine were so well developed and complicated and it just made me love them all the more for it.

“No, you’re no fucking white knight, but you’re what I want.”

Purchase on Amazon

Top 10 books I read in 2014

There are so many books I read this year that were winners. Bravo for a wonderful year in books! These are the top 10 books this year that stuck their hooks in my heart and will never let go. I highly recommend picking up all of these books for a an amazing read.

10. The Resurrection of Aubrey Miller by L. B. Simmons

Beautiful story of a young woman who must come to terms with her past and present.

9. Hothouse Flower by Krista and Becca Ritchie

The story of Daisy and Ryke and how their friendship becomes a full blown forbidden romance. Must read all of the previous Addicted series books before this one.

8. rock by Anyta Sunday

An M/M romance between two stepbrothers in New Zealand. This book has some serious feels.

7. After I Do by Taylor Jenkins Reid

A young married couple takes unusual risks to save their marriage when they find they cannot stand each other anymore. Both agree to take an extended amount of time apart from each other to find out what they want.

6. Thin Love by Eden Butler

The angsty and intense romance of college sweethearts Keira and Kona.

5. Dust to Dust by Karina Halle

The conclusion to the Experiment in Terror series, Dex and Perry must fight the ultimate evil in their lives.

4. Rome by Jay Crownover

The unlikely romance of military man Rome, and pixie tattooed Cora.

3. The Deep End of the Sea by Heather Lyons

Modern day telling of the Medusa myth, and the God Hermes who saved her.

2. Before Jamaica Lane by Samantha Young

Friends to lovers tale of Nate and Olivia. I’ve lost track of how many times I have reread this book this year. Truly a masterful romance!

1. Heir of Fire by Sarah J. Maas

The 3rd book about Celeana Sardothien, the king’s assassin. I can’t say much else for fear of spoilers, but I’m pretty sure my head exploded with how amazing this book is!

 

Before Jamaica Lane

Before Jamaica Lane (On Dublin Street #3) by Samantha Young

**5 stars!**

“You’ll end up living a lonely life if you’re waiting around for perfect.”

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So, it’s no secret that I absolutely adore Samantha Young’s books. There seems to be the perfect balance of angst, happy, and emotional in her writing formula that just works for me as a reader. Ever since I read On Dublin Street, I’ve been not so subtlety shoving her books down my friends’ throats for them to read.

Before Jamaica Lane is the story of library assistant, Olivia and her best guy friend Nate, who embark on a series of flirting lessons in order for Olivia to gain more confidence around the other sex. We’ve heard this story before, right? WRONG! Ms. Young did a wonderful job with an old story line and making it into something uniquely her own.

“I want to be someone’s big love, Dad. I think I deserve to have the man I love love me back just as much.”

Olivia is a heroine to stand by; she’s loyal to her friends and family, not quick to judge anyone, and very endearingly hopeless when it comes to men (at the beginning of the book at least). I loved the development of her character throughout the book from a semi-meek girl, into a woman who finally accepts herself for what she is: a confident, attractive and smart woman with a lot to offer.

I’m not one for dual perspectives, but I really did find myself wishing as a reader that we could see Nate’s point of view, as he could be so hard to read sometimes. And here is a segment from the main summary of the book as proof that I’m not spoiling anything, “But then Nate’s past and commitment issues rear their ugly heads, and Olivia is left broken-hearted.” Even without the summary giving this away, it was fairly obvious that Nate had many issues due to his tragic past and he would end up hurting Olivia. The scene in which this happens had me in knots and I felt like I was going to puke (not really, but you know what I mean). I kept returning to it as I continued reading because I felt I gained more insight to the story. So if only for that scene alone, I bow down to Ms. Young. You like to play with reader’s heartstrings like they’re a bloody violin. Bravo!

 Most authors neglect to have the party at fault grovel enough to make up for past wrongs. Nate more than made up for it to Olivia, and in return Olivia didn’t give into Nate so easily, thank god. One of my favorite quotes from the book:

“I thought I could do it. I thought I could lie to the both of us. But seeing you on the street last week with that guy and the little girl… It was a glimpse into the future. It didn’t hit me until right in that moment that walking away from you, from us, meant having to watch you be with someone else, have kids with someone else… Christ Liv, I couldn’t breathe.”

One thing that stood out to me in this book and On Dublin Street was how well Ms. Young wrote as an American. I am convinced that she’s lived in the states, despite being from the UK because she does such a wonderful job writing as an American that it’s believable in the books. I know what you’re thinking, there aren’t that many differences between Americans and the Scottish, but it’s the small things that make up one’s culture. Like how Olivia calls shotgun and the Scots have no idea what she meant. Plus the American slang/idioms used throughout the entire book. Masterfully done.

“I didn’t just want Nate to love me. I wanted him to love me the way I loved him. The kind of love that’s so big it would last beyond a lifetime.”

So now that I’m done gushing over Ms. Young and her book, I highly recommend this series to anyone. This book technically could be read out of order, but I wouldn’t recommend it. Start with the first book and make your way down. Plus, I am extremely excited for the next book about Hannah and Marco, an intriguing romance that began to develop in Down London Road.

“I never meant to fall in love with you. But I did. I felt it the first night I made love to you. I tried to walk away then because I’ve never felt so lost and yet so fucking found as I felt that night.”

***Note, I originally wrote and published this review in January of 2014 on Goodreads, just adding it to the blog now***

Echoes of Scotland Street

Echoes of Scotland Street (On Dublin Street #5) by Samantha Young

5 stars!

“Cole. Cole Walker.”
“You sound like a hero.”

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I LOVED IT!!!! Samantha Young is the one author where I don’t care about the nitty gritty details, I love everything this woman writes and will most likely always give her books 5 stars.

Echoes of Scotland Street is about Shannon, a girl who has been dating all of the wrong men and is tired of choosing the bad boys. After an extremely bad breakup that led to even more horrible things, Shannon finds herself moving from Glasgow to Edinburgh where she lands a job as a receptionist at INKarnate, the most regarded tattoo shop in Scotland. There she meets her new manager Cole Walker, a man she met briefly before when they were teenagers.

“Cole Walker. Cole freaking Walker. All grown-up. And he was my new manager. I was so screwed.”

After having been burned so many times before, when Cole starts flirting with Shannon, she makes the wrong assumption and tells him off. It isn’t until later that she realizes that Cole Walker is the furthest thing from a bad boy.

I really loved this addition to the On Dublin Street series. Hannah and Marco had a great story but I felt there was so much unnecessary drama in that one, that I was worried it would be in this one. Yes there is drama, but I felt it fit the story well based on the lives of the characters Young wrote.

“I will never do anything you don’t want to do. You’re safe with me, Shannon.”

Shannon is a spunky heroine who’s just been beaten down one too many times. I loved her journey to find herself again, and Cole was the perfect man to help her. Shannon had lost so much of herself, that every time Cole broke down a wall it was beautiful to watch. The part where he finds her art? Beautiful.

Cole. Mhmmm Cole. Can we get more American men like him? I’m beginning to think that I need to move to Scotland to find a man like that (well twist my arm on that). When Cole finally learns about all of the shit that her previous boyfriends put her through, he’s understanding and kind.

“I need to know. I need to know so I can try to reverse all the damage they’ve done.”

Only 2 teeny tiny issues with this book. One being near the end I felt Cole could have been a bit more understanding about the pickle Shannon was in. But there wouldn’t have been angst/drama if he had so I accept.

The second thing: No me gusta the cover.The covers on these books were fine until book 4 and now they’re not so good.