On Dublin Street
Author: Samantha Young
Published: August 30, 2012
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Reviewed by: Marq
summary from Goodreads
Four years ago, Jocelyn Butler left her tragic past behind in the States and started over in Edinburgh. Burying the grief, ignoring her demons, and forging ahead without any real attachments has worked well for her so far but when Joss moves into a fantastic apartment on Dublin Street, her carefully guarded world is shaken to its core by her new roommate's sexy older brother.
Braden Carmichael is a man who always gets what he wants. And what he wants is Jocelyn in his bed. Knowing how skittish Joss is concerning any kind of relationship, Braden proposes a sexual arrangement that should satisfy the intense attraction between them without it developing into anything 'more'. An intrigued Jocelyn agrees, completely unprepared for the Scotsman and his single-minded determination to strip the stubborn young woman bare... to the very soul.
I'm going to preface this review by saying that I know I am in the minority but I did not love this book. What made me purchase On Dublin Street were the rave reviews from fellow bloggers. I read the blurb and figured this book was something I'd want to read. I love angsty romances and was in the mood to read something different from your typical contemporary romance. On Dublin Street was a fail for me because of Joss, the heroine. I found her boring, bitchy and not sympathetic. I wish I'd kept track of how many times I rolled my eyes. I think I gave myself a headache.
Joss Butler lost her family in a tragic accident when she was 14. After their deaths, Joss lived in foster care until she turned 18. During that time, Joss became a wild child and was acting out. Something happens at 18 and she decides to stop having sex, to stop being wild and to turn her life around. But Joss has also cut herself off emotionally from the people around her. She doesn't want to love or even like anyone because she doesn't want to get hurt.
Now, all of this is understandable except...she has friends! She's living with a roommate. She works at a bar where she deals with the public. If you are a person who truly doesn't want to chance liking a person because you don't want to open yourself emotionally, why would you allow anyone in your life? And yet she does and then bitches about it when she realizes that she likes her roommate. What did she think was going to happen?
Because of her "I don't want to like anyone" attitude, Joss comes off as bitchy instead of someone who is hurting. And when people call her on her shitty attitude she's either surprised that it's that noticeable (duh!) or she gets angry. I could not muster up any sympathy for Joss. I was waiting for the moment where I would finally connect to her hurt and pain and it never happened. Even when she was talking about her issues, I was more like "let's move on please".
On Dublin Street starts with Joss being 14 and finding out about her family's death. Then the book fast forwards 8 years and Joss is 22 and living in Scotland. I think this time jump does the book a disservice because I felt like we missed out on a lot of Joss' grief, her acting out, her life in foster care. Being privy to some of this, for me, would have provided a better picture of Joss as a grieving person. When she's talking to her therapist about her issues, she does it with snarkiness and detachment. As long as Joss remains detached, I, as the reader, remain detached as well.
As for Braden, Ellie, Adam and the other characters in this book, they added much needed levity and personality to the story. On Dublin Street is told in Joss' 1st person POV so we are constantly in her head, unfortunately. To be blunt, Joss is boring and her inner dialog is repetitive and being inside her head didn't shed any light on her problems.
Braden is the sexy older man and he, thankfully, isn't the brooding type. He's attracted to Joss and wants her. It takes forever (it seems) for that to happen and once it does, the sex is hot. But Joss' issues inserts itself into the situation every time they are together and I once again, find myself rolling my eyes and being exasperated. The drama between Joss and Braden dragged for far too long and they both got on my nerves. By the time Joss' hard, cold shell cracked, I found myself not caring. At times I found On Dublin Street boring and some parts of the book dragged. This book could have been 100 pages less and I would have been happy. I needed this book to end while I still had some positive feelings towards it.
But that changed with the epilogue. I love epilogues but not this one. I felt it was too easy and kind of a cop out.
I don't know if this was supposed to be a dark romance. If so, it failed. I expected tons of angst but got annoyance instead.