Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Review: Play On by Samantha Young

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.

4.5 Incredible Stars!
Review by Jen Hagen

Nora is consumed with anger and hatred that her once successful father is now an invalid, and she and her mother are forced to cross paths in the doorway as they come and go to their own respective jobs to support this new lifestyle. They were once an affluent family and now are living on pennies and dimes. This is not a happy life for a vibrant 18-year-old who had hopes and dreams of being an actress. 

 I mourned my future…But mostly, I mourned my dad. I grieved for my hero who’d kissed away my tears, hugged away my fears, and treated me like I was everything that was important to him.

Granted, her father is still alive, but it’s not the same father. He is now an angry, belligerent drunk who relies upon his wife and daughter for his well being. But, one day Nora finds an escape…just a little something to tide her over until she can maybe make it to community college. This little burst of happiness and sunshine in her life comes in the form of Jim. Jim and his buddy are from Scotland travelling through the United States on a vacation. Jim and Nora take the impulsive fast train that suddenly finds Nora in Scotland. 

 And three years have flown by. Nora still hasn’t taken the acting classes that she so desperately wants. Nora keeps herself entertained by reading to the children’s ward and acting out the stories. This is her comfort and solace. But is everything the way she thought life would work out for her and Jim? Did she run away from her problems in the United States only to find a new set of problems in a foreign land? 

 I knew we were heading for a collision but the thought scared me almost as much as the idea of this being my life forever. 

 On an unexpected day, Nora finds herself being handed the expected. Her and Jim have fallen from the path that brought them together and they are now looking at a forged road…one being to stay, the other to leave. Jim throws out an ultimatum.

 “Stay with me. Choose me. Choose me. Choose us as a family…including kids.”

Jim throwing the fact that he wanted a family so soon was not expected. Nora had plans to pursue acting. She is only 21-years-old and not ready to give up her dreams and education. She has a difficult decision to make. Sometimes as we take time to ponder our decisions, time makes a fortuitous decision for us…one that will haunt us forever. 

 Aidan is a 34-year-old music producer who just screams out control and power. He keeps himself closed off, but that’s only because he himself is hurting and doesn’t want anybody to use that against him. He is very guarded with his emotions, but he sees something in Nora that makes him want to release the demons that pull him down. He wants to see Nora soar in her wings as the fictional character Peter Pan. He supports her. 

 Before meeting him, I felt like I’d lived more years than I had. I was weary and tired and life had felt too much like a fight. Then Aiden came along and he made feel like I hadn’t see anything of the world at all. 

Aiden is so strong and even though he himself is hurting, he treats Nora like a peach that may bruise is handled too roughly. He is a man I instantly fell in love with and I am never wrong in my character analyzations! He is the man for Nora…she just doesn’t realize it yet and she will never admit it. Aiden has his work cut out for him, and there may be several bumps in the road, but hopefully these two will find the voids in their life too difficult to handle without the other. Rough terrain may actually bring out the best om them as it may help knock some sense into the brains. 

 Aidan loved me. Loved me. Loved me. Just me. Not the ghosts between us or all those reasons we were drawn together in the first place. Just me. Like I loved him. 

 Ahhh! Yes! The knowledge has finally seeped in. Go get your man, Nora! Good luck!! The writing throughout this book was incredible. It wasn’t a slow read, but a great moderate-paced read to keep my interest constantly piqued. It had everything I liked in a book…the angst being number one, the emotions were well portrayed and had me wiping a tear or two onto my pajama sleeve. Well done Ms. Young

From the angle I was sitting, I could only see Aidan’s profile. A rush of feeling flooded over me as I studied his familiar face. Memories flooded me. Smiles. Laughter. Kisses. Soft touches. Tears. Him falling to his knees. Not meeting my eyes and telling me to leave and get rest. The last thing he ever said to me.
I’d never felt such a confusing mix of fury and longing in my entire life. I at once wanted to go to him, make him look at me, hold me, and I also wanted to march up to him, grab his sweater in my fist, and shake him, even though he’d barely budge under my assault.
I remember you, Pixie.
I closed my eyes, in pain at the memory. If he called me by his nickname for me again, I didn’t know whether I’d burst into tears or smack him across the face.
Probably both.
“Viola!” Quentin spun on his heel to look at me. “On stage.”
Nerves hit me in a massive wave and I took a moment to exhale slowly before I stood and walked toward the stage. I hoped I appeared calm and ready to do this because inside, I was under attack.
I joined Eddie up on stage; he gave me a bolstering smile.
In my entrance on performance nights, I would be accompanied by Eddie as Captain and we’d have extras with us as our sailors. “‘What country, friends, is this?’” I said in a faux upper-crust English accent, slowly walking across the stage, looking awed.
“‘This is Illyria, lady,’” Eddie said, following me.
I swiftly turned to look at him. “‘And what should I do in Illyria? My brother he is in Elysium …’”
We fell into the scene and I was feeling pretty good about it when it came to an end, until I looked over at Quentin and Aidan. Finally, I had Aidan’s attention. But I’d take him ignoring me over the scowl he wore.
As my director opened his mouth to speak, Aidan called up to me, “You need to work on that accent.”
I flushed, turning expectantly to Quentin. He looked a little taken aback by Aidan’s input but he nodded at me. “If one person thinks it’s not great, others might. Practice it. It’s not a huge concern yet.”
“The way she’s wandering around the stage like a bewildered child is,” Aidan said, like he hadn’t insulted the hell out of me. “Viola is bold enough to dress as a man in order to find her brother. She wouldn’t be wild-eyed and frightened.”
Wild-eyed and frightened?
I hadn’t been acting wild-eyed and frightened!
Quentin quirked an brow at his friend and then smirked up at me. “Play it a little less vulnerable in your next scene.”
Seething, I could only nod. Completely unable to look at Aidan, I turned to Eddie. He gave me a sympathetic smile and we left the stage together. The actors playing Maria, Sir Toby, and Sir Andrew took the stage.
Ignoring Aidan, I strode farther down the aisle to get away from him, and Amanda gave me a smug smile from her seat next to Hamish. “You’ll get better with practice,” she said.
I returned her smile with a tight one of my own and flopped down on a seat near the back.
It wasn’t long later, however, that Quentin was calling me up to stage again with Will and Jack. After Aidan’s criticism—something he did not dole out to anyone else—I was on edge but fighting the feeling because I didn’t want it to affect my performance.
We were halfway through the scene when Quentin called up for us to stop. Dread filled me as we looked down at him.
But it was Aidan who spoke. “You’re doing it again. All doe-eyed while he’s talking.” He gestured to Jack.
Anger flared out of me. “I’m supposed to be in love with him,” I argued.
“And you’re masquerading as a man. You’re good at deception,” he bit out, and I couldn’t miss the hiss of anger in his words. Were we still talking about the play? “At this point in the play, you can control your feelings for this man.”
Reeling from his words, I couldn’t argue this time. In fact, the whole atmosphere in the theater had changed, as if everyone else had heard the underlying fury in his words and were confused by them.
As confused as I was.
Why the hell was Aidan mad at me?

About Samantha Young:

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 HeroOn 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.

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