Contemporary Romance

Book Review: Down London Road by Samantha Young

Title: Down London Road (On Dublin Street, #2)Down London Road

Author: Samantha Young

Series: On Dublin Street #2

The Verdict: ★★★★

For: Lovers of love that knows no bounds, strong women and stronger men

Genres: Contemporary romance

Publication details: May 7th, 2013 by Penguin

Format: Kindle, 464 pages

 All images link back to their respective Goodreads page

This review may contain spoilers and may not be suitable for under 18s

Book Synopsis

Johanna Walker knows what she wants. And that’s a strong, steady, financially secure man who will treat her well and look after her and her little brother, Cole – something her parents have never done.

But when she meets the gorgeous Cameron MacCabe, a new bartender at work, Jo can’t deny the instant and undeniable attraction she feels. Cam doesn’t fit into her strict specifications of her perfect partner at all – but for once she is tempted to let her heart rule her head.

And as their intense connection grows, Jo has to stop hiding the truth about herself and her family. Is Cam prepared to accept Jo for who she really is? And is Jo willing to let someone into her life for keeps?

My review 

Down London Road is the second instalment of the Bestselling On Dublin Street series by Samantha Young and quite frankly I can see why it’s a bestselling series. The style of writing flows very well and you can easily connect with the characters on various levels.

Down London Road follows the story of Johanna Walker – bar-tender, carer and gold-digger extraordinaire – in On Dublin Street, Jo came across as a gold-digger, straight up and the thing I liked about Jo is that she didn’t lie and try to deny it.  She simply accepted it as fact.

On the other hand, what I didn’t like about Jo’s character is that she is a gold-digger and that she’s purposely demeaning herself.  She has it in her head that she’s no good for anyone – to be fair, if I’d been through what she’s been through and what she’s still going  through I’d quite possibly feel the same way.  But her utter lack of faith in herself and her choice to become a trophy girlfriend to a rich man makes her come across as quite weak and shallow.

At several stages in this book, she is told that she has a real giggle and a fake giggle and that the fake giggle is unbelievably annoying and easily faked; the fact that she doesn’t realise that she is a different person with these men until Cameron McCabe comes along and tells her about herself makes me think she’s as stupid as everyone thinks she is.

In an idealistic world, nothing bad would happen, everyone would be safe at all times and there would be no drama but let’s face it, this isn’t an idealistic world and bad things do happen.  Jo – unfortunately – I feel has more than her fair share; she is supporting herself, her 14 year old brother Cole as well as her bed-ridden severe alcoholic mother while working two jobs and spreading her legs for her rich boyfriend.

Props to Jo for working two jobs to support her family but I thought throughout the majority of the book that she needed to sort herself out.

Cameron McCabe is the one to help her sort herself out.  Albeit he does it in a roundabout way and he’s quite cruel at times; I don’t think he means to be and his apology mid-way through the book shows that for sure. He judged Jo’s cover before he got to know her at all – in his defence – Jo doesn’t give him the opportunity or the time of day especially not after his stupid comments.

Cameron’s character is the typical bad-boy – he’s tattooed, he swears, he drinks, he wears shit-kickers but then he’s also the total opposite – he’s into comic books, is a graphic designer and he likes art (although his definition of art is infinitely different to his girlfriend Becca’s definition).

What’s that you ask? A girlfriend? Good ol’ Cam has a girlfriend at the same time as Jo has a boyfriend and there’s tension between Jo and Cam almost from the minute they see each other, in a way it’s a good tension – it’s hot, sexual and what they both need.  On the other hand, there’s sexual tension between two attached people and they do their damndest to stay away from each other I give them mega props for that.

About half-way through the book Cam and Jo start over and become friends, not through a choice of Jo’s to be sure.  Malcolm talked her into staying the night at his flat and shit hit the roof when she came home the next morning and she had no choice but to tell Cameron the truth about her mother’s illness (she’d been telling people her mother suffered from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome when in actuality she was a heavily dependent alcoholic). From that moment on their relationship develops better and they no longer hate each other.

Both of them leave their respective partners (on the same night at the same party) and so begins their relationship which is rocky to say the least. The majority of the issues I felt were on Jo’s side with her insecurities but also Cam didn’t help matters when the ex love of his love appeared out of the blue and he went weird.

Jo’s father comes back on the scene after he sees her on the arm of rich Malcolm in the paper and demands money or to see his son, beats her up and then gets beaten up himself by Cam, Braden and her Uncle Mick (who Cam finds – proper sweet of him – and he comes back to Edinburgh for a trip and see his family).

Let’s just say that there is a sweet love declaration in this book. Real sweet and I think that despite their differences and the hardships they both went through Jo especially, they deserve this kind of love.

In terms of writing style, Down London Road was very similar to On Dublin Street and I liked that, there wasn’t a massive overhaul with the author’s writing style as I’ve witnessed in some books.  The characters were mostly likeable – apart from my dislike of Jo at first – and there was a clear, concise separation between character dialogue and internal monologue.

Overall, despite some of the content (abusive mother and father, agreeable prostitution {by that I mean Jo and her decision to have sex with a rich man in order to be financially secure due to her insecurities about herself} and the topic of alcoholism and abuse towards a child) it was a very good book.  No major complaints and it received a shiny four star review.

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