Title: Down London Road
Author: Samantha Young
Narrator: Elle Newlands
Format: Paperback, eBook, AudioBook
Publisher: NAL Trade
Audio Producer: Penguin Audio
Length: 11 Hours: 28 minutes
Source: Penguin Audio via Audiobook Jukebox
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: Sequel to On Dublin Street
Best Read in Order: Not Required
Stars: Overall: Narration: 5 Story:
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About the Book:
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 defences piece by piece.
I had read On Dublin Street when it first came out: borrowed from the library, and completely adored the story. Edinburgh is one of my favorite cities, and the city as part character, part background was a beautiful interaction. I was not a fan of Johanna in the first book, her character felt very cold and calculating.
In Down London Road, we get to see Jo, her good, her bad and her insecurities, all told from her perspective. While I didn’t always agree with her choices, having her reasons clearly stated, and getting a sense of her own struggles showed a young woman who is doing her best to overcome huge obstacles, when she isn’t quite sure of her own path. At the heart though, this is a romance, with Johanna being the one who is struck by lightning and falls into a love that she wholly did not expect, or think was for her.
Cam is interesting and opinionated, and a bit of an arrogant ass when first we meet him. Far more secure than Jo, what often appears to be thoughtless behavior often felt like he was confused and unsure about Jo’s reactions, or what she needed or wanted. What emerged, even after a few pretty odd stumbles, was a man who was supportive, encouraging, and truly in love with Jo, determined to help her see herself as something worthwhile and valued. That being said – his intentions are far better than his ability to consider ramifications.
This is a more ‘adult’ themed story, with steamy sensual and sexual scenes, neither broad enough or frequent enough to be gratuitous: both fit story and characters, and was well described to give the reader a sense of Jo’s thoughts, emotions and feelings. Language is also broader and geared for adults; also without a gratuitous feeling of being ‘added for shock’.
As the story progressed, the smooth narration provided by Elle Newlands becomes a near hypnotic experience: her Scottish accent can be adjusted at will to fit characters, a neat trick that distinguished the Scots from the American (that accent is brilliant as well – btw) and even encompassed a bit of Geordie in there with Jo’s former employer. With little to no difficulty in understanding her speech, combined with minor tonal and accent distinctions to delineate characters, she is a good fit to voice and narrate this story that brought a sense of Scotland and the characters to the audiobook version.
I received an mp3 download version of the audiobook from Penguin Audio via the Audiobook Jukebox reviews program for purpose of honest review for the Heard Word. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.