Thursday, May 23, 2013

Review: Down London Road by Samantha Young

I loved On Dublin Street so very much. It’s one of those books that after I read it, I had to tell everyone about it and try to convince them to read it as well.

But when I heard the sequel was going to be about Johanna and not a continuation of Joss and Braden’s story, I wasn’t overly excited. Jo is the bartender that worked with Joss, the one who would have liked very much to get her hands on Braden if given the opportunity because she considered dating to be a job – she only dated rich men who could provide for her and her family. I didn’t like her.

My dislike for her remained in the beginning of Down London Road. I know I was supposed to like her and see that she’s been through so much and she’s only doing what she thinks is best. But still, I didn’t think her circumstances – which were quite awful – justified her attitude about dating. I felt sorry for her, but I didn’t have much respect for her.

Whereas I could relate to a character like Joss in On Dublin Street, I couldn’t relate at all to Johanna. Nor was I all that impressed with the love interest, Cameron. Sure he sounds plenty sexy, but he was also kind of a jerk. I don’t think showing up in a nice restaurant wearing a t-shirt (when everyone else is in a suit) makes a person cool and self-assured, but instead just sort of screams pretentious hipster. I’m not attracted to that type of person, in fact, I’m incredibly turned off by that sort of person. Supposedly he and Johanna have some sort of scorching hot instant chemistry, before they even speak to each other. He’s rude and condescending and yet, her body is on fire every time she glances at him. This only made me realize how little self-respect she had. There’s part of me who feels that I would have found this story a lot more convincing if Johanna had eventually realized the only thing she and Cam had going for them was the hot sex and she dumped him and went back to her nice, polite, rich boyfriend. (I don’t think I’m giving anything away by mentioning that doesn’t happen.)

The first half of this book, when the two characters are just flirting, alternating between hating each other and wanting to jump each other, wasn’t that great. In fact, I was feeling very disappointed with the book. Then it got better, a lot better.

While I never grew to love Jo and Cam all that much, I thought the story became much more interesting. Once the relationship actually begins, the two characters become more likable and the sex is pretty hot. There’s a lot more action and conflict in the last half of the book. There’s also more revealed about their pasts which I don’t want to give away – but helped the story quite a bit. As I worked through the second half of the book, I reached a point where I couldn’t put it down.  Though I could have done without the "silent conversations" - at some point the couples developed the ability to look at each other and read their minds.  What was this, an episode of How I Met Your Mother?  Kind of annoying. 

For the most part though, I really enjoy this author’s style of writing and the way I become so immersed in the world she creates and the lives of her characters. Even when I don’t like the characters, I care about their behavior and want to know what they’re going to do next and why they do it. Overall, I didn’t like the book anywhere near as much as I like On Dublin Street. But I did like it, eventually. I’m glad I read it and I am very much looking forward to the next book in the series.

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