Play On, Samantha Young
Play On, Samantha Young
I’ve been a fan of Samantha’s writing since the wonderful On Dublin Street. Until now that’s been my favourite of her books but now Aiden and Nora, well, their story is up there too. Not better than but equal to 😉
This has some wonderful characters, not just Nora and Aiden, but Jim and his family, his mate Roddy, and of course Nora’s freinds, the hospital kids and the wonderful Sylvie.
Its packed with incidences that feel real, that tugged at me, made me happy, made me sad, to the point of tears and I adore books like that. I’d forgotten Quinten in my list of great characters, and he’s a wonderful, quirky, old fashioned guy. He has some great lines, and wonderful illustrative phrases.
I need people to feel genuine, for their situations to be ones that I can see happening to real people. I can give “artistic licence” for some things that may not work that way in the real world, as its fiction, and stretching the truth and things that can happen v legal constraints makes for a far more fun story.
I had one small disappointment here though, Nora’s dad. I’m in a very similar situation, probably about the same age when it happened though different circumstances, and though I can see for the story he needed to be That kind of man, it galled a bit that it was for those reasons. My life is very different, and so are the others I know who have the same issues. Gah, I’m trying not to reveal anything spoilerish, so its kind of circular talking, but when you read about him, just remember, his case and actions are so very different to most of us in that position. I guess I’m just disappointed Samantha made him that way for such a minor reason. I’d hate for anyone to think this is what its like for everyone in his position. And enough moaning from me….its a small issue for most readers, but one that felt very personal to me.
Jim was such a great guy, and I understood the conundrum Nora found herself in, the feelings she had, compounded with all the bad things that had gone on in her life so far really sucked her down. Sometimes that seems to happen, life hits those who are already in a bad situation, and its hard to summon the energy for more than just living, and easy to simply continue on a day-to-day basis, keeping everything locked tight inside. I so felt for Nora, and I felt for Jim too – there just wasn’t a right answer.
Aiden, well he’s another of Samantha’s gruff on the outside but solid, sensual Gentleman. The guy we’d all like to meet. he does remind me so much of Braden, ( and Nora of Joss, though that’s only just hit me), and Samantha writes these characters so well. I can hear their voices in my head, can see them in my imagination.
I love the not so nice characters too, I always like some of those in a book, the nastier and deceptive the better and there’s a real cracker here! They add a contrast to too much sweet and goodness, and makes a story so much more interesting.
I want high highs, and downs that plunge the lowest depths and Samantha delivers that and more. I was so glad that as with ODS the sad parts lasted, really got me feeling for Nora, got me angry, sad, emotional. So many books deliver a solid “down” hit and then two pages later its all “ups ” again, and I need to wallow, to really feel the characters have reached the bottom. Then when its all good I’m so happy.
Stars: five, a cracking emotional read, up there with my favourites in contemporary romance
ARC supplied for review purposes by Author and Publishers