Blog Tour: Before Jamaica Lane (On Dublin Street #3) by Samantha Young ~ Author Interview, Ava's Review and Giveaway!
Hi Sam, thank you for stopping by Biblio Belles today!
First of all, congratulations on the release of Before Jamaica Lane! This is your 18th book release, are you a dab hand at them now or is each book release as nerve-racking as your first?
Thank you so much! And yes, I’ve got the butterflies! Apparently, that’s never going away. If I’m being honest I hope the jitters continue for every release, because that means I’m still excited about book releases. I don’t see me ever losing that.
We thought it was a great touch to add the name of the real location of Jamaica Lane at the beginning of the book, as you know your fans and we really do go looking for the landmarks. Can you believe people travel all over to spot signs in books that you have written?
No! It’s wonderful! The first time it happened, a reader tweeted me a picture of her standing beside the Dublin Street sign in Edinburgh and it just blew me away. It’s so amazing that readers want to stand on the streets the characters of this series live on and take in a piece of the story in such a tangible way. It really means a lot to me when they go to such an effort to share that with me.
If your readers can take away one thing from reading Before Jamaica Lane, what would you hope it to be?
That if there’s something in their lives they’re not happy with, some change they’ve always wanted to make, the time is now to do it. You should be able to stand in front of a mirror and like all that you see, inside and out, and if you don’t, then make the change. That’s what Liv and Nate’s story is about and I hope it resonates with the readers.
Word on the street (according to Dana) is that Nate is *gasp* hotter than Braden?! What is your opinion on this?
LOL! I love that. According to my readers Braden is hard to beat. He seems to win every single time in my male character polls. However… I’d say Nate is just as hot as Braden. He’s straight-talking, he’s got a dirty mouth on him, and he’s the best friend you’ll ever have. I can’t wait to see what readers think of him.
Did you ever believe when writing On Dublin street that it would turn into a series?
Not at all. On Dublin Street was a step out of my comfort zone. My first contemporary romance and my first adult novel rolled into one. It was intended as a stand alone because I wasn’t sure how I’d be received as an adult contemporary romance writer.
Do you have a favourite couple from the Edinburgh gang?
Oh, that’s really difficult for me because I love them all for such different reasons. When I’m writing their stories, they’re always my favourite couple in that moment. For instance I’m writing Hannah and Marco’s story now and so they’re at the forefront of my brain and my emotions. However, I think I’ll always have a special fondness for Joss and Braden because they’re the reason I’ve started this fantastic adventure.
We have a specific question from our Belle Derna, and that is why is Braden so hot??
Ha! I’m not sure. I think he’s hot to readers for different reasons. Perhaps it’s his mix of alpha hero and good-natured charm. He’s a hero that, although used to taking charge, is not intimidated by a strong woman and has no intention of crushing her independence. Sometimes a hero can be too possessive, and sometimes too laid-back. I think Braden is balanced in that respect, and once you add in his dirty mouth and devotion… ;-)
The readers always ask for more Braden and Joss, and you certainly treated us to a great novella, will there be any more from them? Do you have any plans after Fall from India Place?
I love that readers care so much about them that they want more, but unfortunately I don’t have any plans to return to Braden and Joss’s story. Readers can always catch up with them in the continuing series as secondary characters, but the essence of their story has been told now in On Dublin Street and Castle Hill, and returning to them would be a case of piling unnecessary angst on them, and I don’t think I can put them through any more. I think they deserve they’re happily ever after :-)
What do your friends and family make of Samantha Young, NYT bestselling author? Or are you still the same Sam to them?
I’m definitely still the same Sam to them. Of course they’re massively proud and incredibly supportive, but I haven’t changed one iota and so neither have they.
Now you know our Scottish Belle Ava is prone to stalking you ;-) what signing events will you be appearing at this year?
Lol! I love Ava! The only event I have scheduled so far is The Romance Author Event in Edinburgh in July. I will be scheduling more Scottish signings this year, however, and I have a few announcements still to make regarding signings.
Thanks so much for answering our questions today!
Thanks so much for having me!
"No one," I whispered, my lips trembling with emotion, "has ever made me feel like the person I've always wanted to be until you."
I must confess that I read Before Jamaica Lane all in one sitting and I didn't put this book down until 5:30 am in the morning. I simply couldn't! I stupidly thought I could take a sneak peek and from page one I was hooked. Samantha Young reels you in. I know I am guaranteed great writing, amazing characters and brilliant story telling with a book by this author and Before Jamaica Lane was no exception. I experienced tears, laughter, frustration and downright joy while reading this book. It's not just a story, it's an experience and one that I truly loved!
We met Olivia and Nate in Down London Road. Olivia moved over from the states with her dad who was a father figure to Jo and Nate was Cam's friend. Olivia is starting fresh in Scotland. She works in the university library and although it seems she has it all; good job, loving father, her own flat and a new extended family of sorts, there is a part of Liv's life that is incomplete. Her self esteem and self belief are non existent. Liv can't even looking at a guy without quivering with shyness let a lone talk to one and this is something she wants to fix. Liv is a real girl, and one of my favourite female characters yet. She is curvy and just wants to feel sexy and confident in her own skin.
Liv feels like a huge chunk of her personality is missing so she drunkenly suggests to Nate, whom she has formed a great friendship with, to teach her how to seduce and be more sexually confident and experienced. Of course these lessons cover the physical side as well. Nate is a player and doesn't hide it. One night stands are his speciality, even though he is playing with fire when accepting Liv's proposal, he is helpless to stop it and soon they go from being best friends to best friends with benefits thrown in. And can I just say, Liv is one lucky lady as Nate is a sexy man with a dirty mouth on him ;-)
"If you were just some woman in a bar, I'd pick you out from all the others, take you home, and fuck you so hard you wouldn't be able to walk straight in the morning."
"Promise me. Tell me you won't run." He bit my ear, the nip almost painful. "Tell me you won't run from me ever. And then beg me to fuck you."
This book is no exception to the others in the heat factor, it was downright HAWTT! Samantha Young writes great sexy times. Before Jamaica Lane was a passionate story but at the same time Liv and Nate's relationship was built on a great friendship and I loved that Nate gave Liv the confidence she needed. The scene where he undresses Liv in front of the mirror and points out how beautiful she is, has to be one of the hottest and sensual scenes I've read. I loved it!
"Shock rooted me to the floor. It wasn't just the very cool things he was saying; it was the rush of tingles that shivered through me as he caressed my butt and moved his hand upward, sliding it under my T-shirt, and around my waist to caress my stomach."
I loved witnessing Olivia's journey over the course of the book, slowly but surely she became more comfortable in her own skin and she finally got to be the person she always wanted to be.
"It was possible that men, actual men, not adolescent boys and young college boys, might find me attractive-might actually be ok with a woman who was a little overweight, had curves and an ass on her. And here I'd thought Sir Mix-A-Lot wrote "I Like Big Butts' just because it was catchy."
"She told me she admired me. With Jo, I liked myself so much more than I usually did. She was the only mirror I liked looking into."
I loved the fact Before Jamaica Lane was not only about Liv's own personal journey of confidence and inner peace but Samantha Young entwined poor Nate's broken soul into it as well. Nate deflected love and avoided connections out of a obligation to his childhood love. Nate couldn't differentiate between what he thought he should feel and what he wanted to feel. Nate was so young when tragedy stuck and it was only when Liv manage to penetrate his armour that he realised he could run no more. Honestly, this part of the storyline made me love Nate and Liv more! I was rooting for them to be together every step of the way!
As always it was wonderful to read about the couples we have grown to love. Joss, Braden, Ellie, Adam, Jo and Cam were all back. They have solidified into a great group of friends. And we got to witness parts of their stories along side Nate and Livs and the othre books entwine together. Of course Joss and Braden will forever be my number one couple but I loved this story so much, Nate and Liv have secured the second spot for sure!
Another character that played a huge role in the story was Liv's mum, although no longer with her, Liv's mum was still very much present in her life. After losing her mum at a young age, Liv felt a flurry of emotions; overwhelming grief, despair and loss mixed with resentment and guilt. Even though Liv would never change being there for her mum every step of the way, she feared she might have resented her for robbing Liv of an 'average adolescence' but through her journey Liv was able to make peace with her mum and in turn she realised it was all meant to happen the way it did. Sporadic thoughts from Liv's mum would pop into the story and it really was heart warming, I loved the affectionate nick name for Liv and thought in some way her mum would be following Liv's journey if she could. "I'm so happy for you, Soda Pop."
Of course, something's gotta give and Liv could no longer read between the blurred lines. She was in a secret relationship with Nate, it went beyond 'practice now' and hearts were involved. "I was angry because what he'd just said was utterly beautiful. Looking at him caused a dart of pleasure to hit me in the chest. My blood heated, my fingers curling into little fists. He was making me fall for him. That wasn't supposed to be part of the deal." There was a point in the story when I didn't understand Liv's actions, seemingly Nate came to his senses and confessed what she was longing to hear, yet Liv was wanting more. I really wanted to shake her and say 'Girl, are you crazy!' but the more Liv shared her feelings I knew she was right. Words are easy to say, with Nate still very much stuck in his past, Liv needed actions, not words. And can I just say the results were swoon worthy and down right womb clenching!
"I deserved to be loved. All or nothing."
"But I do need you to know that I'm going to fight for you. I'm not making the mistake of walking away from you again. The only man in your future is me, Liv. The only kids in your future are mine."
Before Jamaica Lane is another fantastic story from Samantha Young. I adore her writing and story telling. I now feel like the Edinburgh gang are old acquaintances and I want to jump into their world at any chance I get. The stage is set for Hannah and Marco's story next and it will be interesting to see Hannah take centre stage. After reading the sweet, sweet epilogue I do wonder if a story for Cole will ever arise. All I know is, I just need more! I want to read about these characters until both them and I are grey haired!
If you are a fan of the series, you will absolutely fall in love with Liv and Nate and if you are new to it all then I say don't even hesitate and jump in today!
"It just meant squashing the fluttering in my stomach whenever I gazed at Nate. And by squashing, I meant I'd have to crush those little fuckers into nonexistence."
"Thank you," I managed to force out. For making me feel beautiful."
"It rushed out in a burst of geek. "It's size is a little problematic because despite my tendency to ramble, my mouth is pretty small and it won't all fit in and I have a gag reflex that might be a problem so I don't know how-" "Liv-" Nate was choking on laughter. Take a deep breath."
"Heaven. Hell" I panted, my fingers raking the wall. "Who cares as long as I ride there on an orgasm."
"I shrugged, acquiescing to the truth. "Fine. But we're trying to cram years of experience into a few weeks here." Nate grinned and suddenly grabbed my ankles, pulling me down the couch before crawling over me. "I know, it's so exhausting he teased. "I'm utterly sick of it."
"But I know it's time to move forward, it's time to start living in the after. You're that for me, Liv. You're the love of my life."
"You make me feel beautiful, Nate. All the way through. No one else has ever given me that. No one." "I'm glad," he murmured against my mouth. "Not just because you deserve to feel that way . . . but because it makes you mine."
"This is not where I expected to be." "Me neither," I whispered. "But I'm so fucking glad that someone out there thought this is where I deserved to be."
Purchase and Pre-order the full series.
New York Times bestselling author Samantha Young is a 27 year old book addict who graduated from the University of Edinburgh. She lives in Scotland. Connect with her online: