Johanna Walker is used to taking charge. But she’s about to meet someone who will make her lose control….
It has always been up to Johanna to care for her family, particularly her younger brother, Cole. With an absent father and a useless mother, she’s been making decisions based on what’s best for Cole for as long as she can remember. She even determines what men to date by how much they can provide for her brother and her, not on whatever sparks may—or may not—fly.
But with Cameron MacCabe, the attraction is undeniable. The sexy new bartender at work gives her butterflies every time she looks at him. And for once, Jo is tempted to put her needs first. Cam is just as obsessed with getting to know Jo, but her walls are too solid to let him get close enough to even try.
Then Cam moves into the flat below Jo’s, and their blistering connection becomes impossible to ignore. Especially since Cam is determined to uncover all of Jo’s secrets even if it means taking apart her defenses piece by piece.
Awww, I really enjoyed this one.
I loved On Dublin Street, so I bought Down London Road as soon as it was released but it’s one of those that has been sitting on my Kindle waiting to be read.
I’m always a little dubious when I’ve absolutely adored a couple in a book and then the author releases a second book in the same series, but writes about a different couple. I felt that Joss and Braden were such strong characters, that I didn’t know if I’d be able to read a book that they featured in in snippets, but that wasn’t about them. I was wrong. Samantha Young did a fabulous job of giving us just enough Braden and Joss to feed my appetite, but making me fall equally as in love with these new characters, Jo and Cam.
If you’ve read On Dublin Street, this is Joss’s friend, Jo’s story. Johanna Walker has a bed ridden, alcoholic mother and a teenager brother who she has taken on full responsibility for. Working two jobs to pay their way, Johanna has decided attaching herself to wealthy men is the way forward. She doesn’t men that she doesn’t care for, but she also doesn’t date men who can’t guarantee her and her brother a financially secure future.
Her latest catch is lottery winning suit Malcolm Hendry. She likes Malcolm, and he really does care about her, but he doesn’t set her on fire. Nobody does. But that doesn’t matter, right? She needs security and stability.
Until Cameron MacCabe.
Cam is the tattoed, a little bit bad looking, but totally hot boyfriend of Malcolm’s ex girlfriend, Becca. I know, right? It’s instalust between Cam and Jo. And the fire only burns brighter when Jo gets Cam a job at the bar she works at and then also finds out that he’s moved into the flat below hers. Oh, I do love a coincidence.
However, Cam thinks he’s got Jo’s card marked. He thinks he knows her. He pegs her as a fake, money grabbing, materialistic, slutty bimbo. And he isn’t afraid to let her know.
But as Jo and Cam’s lives entwine, secrets are spilled, truths are shared and Cam gets to know the real Jo. The real Jo that nobody else has ever been allowed to get close to. Especially not the likes of Malcolm and other wealthy ex-suitors.
So now Jo needs to decide… does she want a life of financial security for herself and her baby brother, which would also mean a life of living a facade, keeping other people happy… or does she want a life where the person she wants accepts her for the person she is, knows her deepest, darkest secrets and wants her regardless…
I liked Jo. When we first meet her in On Dublin Street she is painted as a total gold digger. But I was totally sold on her in this book.
She was a walking contradiction. In one way she was strong, protective and determined. She is the sole provider in her family and she will do anything to get what she needs for her brother. She is dead set on giving him a better upbringing than the one she had, at the hands of her abusive father and useless mother.
Yet, she’s vulnerable too. She hides behind a wall. She’s afraid of dropping the ball, afraid of anybody finding out the truth about the life she leads behind the door of her apartment. And she’s terrified of her feelings for sexy Cameron McCabe, who knows exactly what he wants.
Cam is uber yummy! He does the whole protective alpha thing weeeellll! He’s swoops in and saves the day a number of times. He comforts Jo, he takes Jo’s brother, Cole, under his wing and he breathes life and self esteem back into Jo. I loved him for that. He’s the first man to ever see Jo for who she really is… and not only does he love her despite her faults, he loves her even more because of them.
Mmmmmm mmmmm!!! This book has a delicious dose of the sweetest sexual tension. I loved the build up between Cam and Jo, whilst they tried to avoid their growing attraction to one another whilst they were still with their prospective other halves. The scene in the kitchen with the spider… the first sex scene… the scene in the shop changing rooms… Y.U.M!
There’s also great banter. Between Jo’s younger brother and Cam, between Cam and his friends, between Cam’s friends and Jo, between Joss and Jo, Joss and Braden, and of course, between Jo and Cam. I love it when a book can deliver good, real banter, that I can believe. It just makes me fall in love with characters a little bit more.
I thought the big crescendo was done brilliantly. The conflict between Cam and Jo, mixed with the other things Jo had to deal with, Cam’s past getting in the way and of course, little bits of Joss and the gorgeous Braden, who gets all protective-alpha-male on us, to boot. I couldn’t put it down.
I enjoy the big extended family of surrounding characters in Samantha’s books. There’s a real feeling of love from this strange, pick-and-mix make shi
ft family unit. A whole host of characters who don’t have traditional, conventional families have come together and created their own. There’s something incredibly wholesome and heart warming about that.
There are some very dark issues dealt with in this book. Alcoholism, child abuse, domestic violence. And I think Samantha Young deals with all of these issues well. I did feel like the sub story of Jo’s mother was left a little un-resolved, but that’s my only complaint, really.
I know this has got quite a few low rating reviews, and I really don’t get why. I’ve read that some people didn’t connect to the characters or found the plot dull… I totally do not understand how that could be. I really felt the tension between these characters and I loved the build up. The only thing I can think is that sometimes, a strong of bad reviews can be self perpetuating… people read a bad review and go into the book expecting to be disappointed, which, in turn, prevents them from investing themselves fully to the story. Perhaps. I don’t know. It’s the only thing I can think.
So, I would definitely recommend this. I love Samantha Young’s writing. I think she does character development well and she writes fantastic loveable, rough-around-the-edges men.
Down London Road Statistics
Steam Rating (out of 5): ♥♥♥♥♥
Book #1 – On Dublin Street (On Dublin Street, #1)
Book #1.5 – An On Dublin Street Christmas (On Dublin Street, #1.5)
Book #1.6 – Until Fountain Bridge (On Dublin Street, #1.6)
Book #2 – Down London Road (On Dublin Street, #2)
Book #3 – Before Jamaica Lane (On Dublin Street, #3) – Not yet released
Can this be read as a standalone? Yes
Warning. This book includes…
Sexual content. Domestic abuse. Alcoholism. Violence.
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