An amazing 5 out of 5 stars!
Read the blurb here:
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 LANE was a different story all together. The blurb got my attention quick so I added it to my to-read list. I can’t quite get the story out of my head, though, so I decided to push it to the top of the pile. That was the best reading decision I have made this year!
BEFORE JAMAICA LANE is a truly beautiful love story. It may not have been all butterflies and floating hearts all the way but it tugged at my heartstrings until the tear-holding dams broke and I found myself bawling my eyes out. I don’t know if it’s just because I’ve grown tired of all the love-at-first-sight storylines but I thought Olivia and Nate’s story was such a breather. All the gooey, mushy, stars-in-their-eyes-forever-honeymoon-phase couples, they’re really starting to get old. The beautiful thing about Olivia and Nate is that there wasn’t an instant love connection between them. Of course, there was the attraction when they met. I mean, who wouldn’t be attracted to NATE freakin’ SAWYER, right? He’s THE PERFECT BOOK BOYFRIEND. Rugged, charmingly geeky, mischievous, undeniably masculine, and unbelievably sexy. It’s no wonder romantically-challenged Olivia gets her loins fired up with the mere sight of the man. But what I appreciated the most about BEFORE JAMAICA LANE is the build up of Olivia and Nate's relationship. I think those are the sweetest relationships ever, the ones where bestfriends evolve into something that transcends the friendship without totally losing hold of the mutual warmth and comfort of being with each other.
Olivia has always been inept when dealing with men she is attracted to. Place her in the presence of an attractive guy and she becomes a blubbering, little mouse. Tongue-tied and feeling all kinds of stupid when it comes to the opposite sex, the last thing Olivia could have ever imagined is finding a kindred spirit in Nate, the gorgeous friend of a friend whom she met when she moved to Scotland. Who knew such a hot guy could be such a geek inside (he got me at the word geek *swoon*)?
She can’t deny the instant attraction she felt for Nate but plagued as she was by all her insecurities, she resigned herself to the fact that friends were all they were ever going to be. To be honest, she couldn’t be any happier about it. Olivia wouldn’t know the first thing about being with a man like Nate who seemed to go through his women like he goes through his clothes. So, yeah, friends it is, then.
Nate and Olivia couldn’t complain. They both enjoyed each other’s company. The fact that they both lost loved ones to cancer only solidified the bond they had. They became the best of friends regardless of the amount of time they have known each other.
When Olivia drunkenly let it slip to Nate that she’s crushing on a postgrad who regularly drops by at the library where she works, it started a chain reaction of events that neither of them could’ve seen coming. Thinking about helping a friend out with her relationship woes, Nate offered to teach Olivia how to navigate the seduction and attraction jungle in order to land her guy. It all started as a no strings attached kind of thing. Confident that they’re comfortable enough in their friendship to do things without making anything awkward between the two of them, they unknowingly began to stoke the kindling of emotions that has been quietly crackling between them the whole time they've known each other. Little did they know that it would grow to a blaze that threatened to destroy the only comfort they have found in years.
Olivia found herself falling fast for Nate, the quintessential playboy… a man with such commitment issues that even the whisper of the word “girlfriend” could have gotten him running for the hills in two seconds flat. She knew she was only setting herself up for heartbreak.
When shit hit the fan, it hit hard.
I couldn't numb the pain. It was a singular kind of pain. A pain I already knew well. Loss
Harsh words were uttered, hearts were broken, salt rubbed on wounds… Olivia knew that. Nate knew that. But he was determined to fight tooth and nail to make Olivia understand.
He can’t bear the thought of losing her.
She can’t settle on being anyone’s second choice.
Olivia and Nate must work through a whole lot of shit… Olivia’s self-esteem and insecurity issues that started it all and Nate’s commitment issues that ended it. Between the two of them, there are so many demons, both past and present, that have been trying to tear them apart. Can they survive and finally find the LOVE OF A LIFETIME that has eluded them BEFORE JAMAICA LANE?
I tried to walk away then because I've never felt so lost and yet so fucking found as I felt that night looking into your eyes...
Samantha Young’s third installment in the ON DUBLIN STREET series is a race to the end. I could not put the book down no matter how hard I tried, how tired I felt, how my eyes begged me to shut them… I kept turning page after page just to get to the end hoping against all hope that the characters find some kind of happiness somewhere down the road. Because the characters were so loveable, I can’t help but wish for some kind of heaven for them. They’ve been through enough hell in their lives.
Olivia and Nate are both relatable to the audience in that way. Their vulnerabilities bring them down from being imaginary literary characters to someone you might meet at the street. That’s the magic I find in Samantha Young’s writing. She makes the characters so believable that they just jump out of the page. BEFORE JAMAICA LANE was witty, creative, and beautifully written. I enjoyed reading through it all, from the casual banter between the characters to the heart-wrenching declarations… it was all so HEARTFELT. Samantha Young can make you feel things with her words like few others can.
Of course, there’s also the fact that we got to see more of the gang. So, that’s a plus, too!
BEFORE JAMAICA LANE was such a truly wonderful slice new adult romance. Delicious, funny, sinful, sexy, and beautifully heartbreaking… it’s a smorgasbord of emotion you can’t afford to miss out on.