Thursday, September 21, 2017

Play On by Samantha Young Blog Tour

The New York Times Bestselling author of the On Dublin Street series and Hero returns to Scotland in this passionate and evocative romance about love, loss, and surviving both.

Nora O’Brien chased a dream from Indiana to Scotland, so sure it was the right thing to do. Three years later she was left in her adopted country with nothing to her name but guilt and regret.

Until Aidan Lennox entered her life.

Older, worldlier, a music producer and composer, the sexy Scot should never have made sense for Nora. But somehow in each other they found the light they were looking for, the laughter and the passion—the strength to play on despite their past losses.

But when life dealt Aidan another unlucky hand, instead of reaching for her he disappeared. The agonizing loss of him inspired something within Nora. It fired her spirit— the anger and hurt pushing her forward to take control and reach for her dreams.

Finally pursuing a career on stage while she put herself through college, everything is how Nora wants it. She’s avoiding heartbreak and concentrating on her goals.
Sounds easy but it’s not. Because Aidan is back. And for some reason he hates Nora.

He’s determined to be at war with her.

And she has absolutely no idea why.

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Book 1
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The searing glance Aidan had given me before he drove off killed the smile as anticipation enveloped me.

Not long later, I got a text with his address and a time. I texted back a simple “I’ll be there” response.

And now here I was.

With my palms sweating.

I pressed the buzzer to his apartment and some seconds later heard his delicious voice, “Hello?”

“It’s me.”

The door buzzed and I smiled as I stepped inside, thinking that sometimes he was a man of few words.

Aidan lived on the second from the top floor and when the elevator binged open, it was facing his apartment door—he was standing in it, his arms crossed over his chest as he leaned against the doorjamb.

My breath caught as I took him in. He was pure masculine, rugged perfection. Every time I saw him, he grew more attractive. His soulful eyes were focused on me as mine took in the fact that he was wearing a different T-shirt from earlier and ragged jeans. His hair was still wet so I knew, like me, he’d just had a shower.

Shivers tickled down my spine at the reason why. I stepped out of the elevator before the doors closed on me and approached him slowly, still drinking him in, disbelieving really that this kind, funny, smart and unbelievably sexy man was gazing at me like he thought I was all those things too. His eyes drifted down my body slowly and then rose, lingering over every detail, until they came back to my face.

“I like this dress,” he said.

I smiled softly. “You’re easily pleased.”

Aidan took my hand and led me inside his apartment, but I didn’t have a chance to look at it because he was speaking again, distracting me. “No, I didn’t used to be.” He closed the door, locking it behind us. “I used to be an arsehole.” His expression was almost one of wonder as he looked down at me. “A picky, womanizing arsehole.”

I tensed, not really enjoying the idea of him and other women. And picky? I remember Sylvie telling me her uncle dated the most beautiful women she’d ever seen.


I tugged on my cardigan, wondering what possessed me to wear it.

“Don’t.” It was as if he sensed my sudden insecurity, sliding an arm around my waist and drawing me to him. My hands fluttered down on his hard, warm chest, and I tilted my head back to keep eye contact. “You’re perfect.”

“My hair is too short.” I touched the strands at my nape. “It used to be long.”

“I remember.”

“I cut it because of Jim,” I told him sadly…

Aidan squeezed my waist in reassurance.

“But I loved my hair too,” I said, feeling stupid about the whole thing. “I know it’s only hair … but I’m mad I cut it.”

He studied me so long, I was almost afraid to ask what he was thinking, but I shouldn’t have been. Aidan released my waist with one hand to brush his fingers through the bangs that had grown out past my ears. His fingers curled around my ear, his thumb stroking my cheekbone, and his eyes caught mine with a fierceness that made my belly squeeze. “You could shave it all off, Pixie, and still be so bloody beautiful, I can’t concentrate on anything else when you’re in the room.”

Wow. I exhaled slowly on his name, “Aidan.”

His eyes closed as if he was in pain and he dropped his forehead to mine. His cologne washed over me, the heat of him prickling my skin like I’d stepped out of an air-conditioned room into the hot sun. “I want to hear you say my name like that when I’m inside you,” he murmured against my lips.

Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

Avid Reader☆☆☆☆☆
4.5 stars
M/F Romance
Triggers: Death, somewhat bad parenting

I really love how Young is able to bring the best and worst out of their characters.

Aidan is a great uncle. He loved his sister with all that he was and he loves his niece just as fiercely. When he sees Nora for the second time, he can finally act on those instant feelings. He sees her as someone who is great with people and gives her the nickname, Pixie. He can't help but fall for this very real woman who tugs at his heart and is simply there for him.

Pixie – aka Nora – is living a life of regret and guilt. Despite being married, she is skeptical on whether or not she truly loves her husband and she lives with the guilt of that every day. She has always wanted to act on a stage and after some fairly horrible events in her life all line up to give her a big screw you, she puts her nose down and searches for that dream.

I felt a deep-seated hatred for the "bad guy" in this book and felt that they, the friend of this horrible person, should have seen it coming. However, it gave the book a lot of tension and it made me even more angry with the good friend when the time came.

I can't wait for book #2 – it's going to be awesome!

3.5 stars

OMG – So much drama and so much angst! I’m still not sure whether Nora is running away or chasing her dreams when she leaves small town USA for Edinburgh as a teenager. Her new life in Scotland proves just as difficult as the one she left – her dreams are just as unreachable and she finds herself overwhelmed by guilt and grief and loss.

Nora is an intense and emotional character. She keeps all of her thoughts and emotions bottled up inside. She doesn’t allow anyone to help her, and for most of the book she is unable to let the past go and move forward. After a while, it felt like she was deliberately keeping herself miserable and I have to admit that I ran out of empathy for her.

Aidan is a more likeable character. He is older, he is successful, and while he struggles with his grief, it doesn’t control him. I loved him as a parent and as a brother. He is wonderfully wary of Nora and protective of his niece at the start. Together, these two are sweet. The age gap fades against Nora’s life experiences. However. The second part (third part, fourth?) of this story relies on a completely implausible and exaggerated misunderstanding between Nora and Aidan that just didn’t work with what we knew about these two characters. It adds even more drama but made me think less of them both.

I have reservations about the structure of the plot and the passage of time in this story. It felt like we lurched from scene to scene, skipping years at some points before zooming back in to sometimes inconsequential details. I found Nora’s return to her family odd – it really didn’t fit with her experiences when she lived at home – but it did provide a convenient segue to the next part of the story. So much happens in this story that important details are ‘recounted’ in a way that left me feeling detached from the characters and their experiences. Parts of this story felt like a never-ending recitation of all the horrible experiences the author could dream up to throw at a single character. For me, the result was numbing. Ultimately, the angst felt contrived and I felt like the author was desperately trying to force me to care about a character I couldn’t quite connect to.

This is another fabulous book from Samantha Young.

Play On is Nora's story of self-discovery, the poor girl goes through so much in her life that she needs to figure out just who she is.

Aidan Lennox threatens to turn Nora's life on its head and it's something she feels the need to run away from.

I'm trying to be vague because I want everyone to experience every awesome moment of this book.

I like to call books like this a fated romance and when you read the book you will know why.

Samantha Young is the New York Times, USA Today and Wall Street Journal bestselling author of adult contemporary romances, including the On Dublin Street series and Hero, as well as the New Adult duology Into the Deep and Out of the Shallows. Every Little Thing, the second book in her new Hart’s Boardwalk series, will be published by Berkley in March 2017. Before turning to contemporary fiction, she wrote several young adult paranormal and fantasy series, including the Amazon bestselling Tale of Lunarmorte trilogy. Samantha’s debut YA contemporary novel The Impossible Vastness of Us was published by Harlequin TEEN in ebook & hardback June 2017. Play On is an adult contemporary romance and the first in a brand new series set in Scotland.

Samantha has been nominated for the Goodreads Choice Award 2012 for Best Author and Best Romance for On Dublin Street, Best Romance 2014 for Before Jamaica Lane, and Best Romance 2015 for Hero. On Dublin Street, a #1 bestseller in Germany, was the Bronze Award Winner in the LeserPreis German Readers Choice Awards for Best Romance 2013, Before Jamaica Lane the Gold Medal Winner for the LeserPreis German Readers Choice Awards for Best Romance 2014 and Echoes of Scotland Street the Bronze Medal Winner for the LeserPreis German Readers Choice Awards for Best Romance 2015.

Samantha is currently published in 30 countries and is a #1 international bestselling author.

Connect with Samantha

Facebook  ~  Twitter  ~  Website  ~  Goodreads

Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of Play On (Play On #1) by Samantha Young to read and review for this tour.

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