on January 1st 1970
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.
“At least you’re jealous of the living, Nora.” He said. “I’m fucking jealous of a dead man.”
2017 is the year for Samantha Young! This woman is on fire with the level of books that she has been putting out. She blew me away at her first attempt at YA with The Impossible Vastness of Us, and I’m falling hard for the residents of Hartwell with the Hart’s Boardwalk series. It should be no surprise that she stunned me once again with Play On, but I am, because this is not my typical read.
I am an emotional reader, and by that I mean that I take on the heroine’s emotions for my own. When it comes to major loss and heartbreak, I usually shy away. But here’s the thing about a book written by Sam Young: I will follow wherever she takes me. Even if that is down a path that I don’t wish to go, I will follow, because I know that she will never leave me astray. And I was right.
Nora O’Brien had everything, but in a blink of an eye she lost it all. Once an adored only child of two loving parents, she finds herself drudging through life trying to make ends meet with no one to show her the love that she craves. That is until fate steps in and brings her Jim. Jim can offer her everything that she thought that she wanted. A home, a loving family, and a future that can be all her own. At 18 years old, she thought Jim was the answer to all her prayers, but at 18, we don’t always make the best decisions.
Now in Scotland, Nora realizes that she was only infatuated with Jim and never in love with him. She owed him everything for getting her out of her crappy life in the states, but her guilt from holding him back from his own true love gnawed at her soul. But her timing was too late to let him go, because before she could, he was gone.
A year down the road Nora is still trudging through her day to day like she was when she was in the States. She’s right back where she started, only with more guilt on her shoulders. But there is more light in her life than before.
She has Jim’s loving family and friends, but the light that shines the brightest are the children that she volunteer’s for at the local children’s hospital. It’s here that she meets Sylvie. And Sylvie changes everything for Nora.
Nora quickly finds that destiny has its own timing, and rarely does it coincides with what we want. Nora isn’t ready to open herself up to someone else, especially someone like Aiden Lennox. What she soon realizes is that Aiden has his own regrets, burden’s and heft of guilt. He craves her trust, her friendship and more.
Aiden and Nora’s relationship is beyond complicated. But what truly pulled me in was their unconditional love for Sylvie! Oh my goodness, it was incredibly sweet. I love when a child can bring a couple together like this. But Aiden and Nora will have their own hardships, and it nearly BROKE me. Remember how I said that I’m an emotional reader? Yeah. I was dead inside for a little while.
But like only Sam Young can do, she revived me. She brought me back, because that’s how she creates her heroines: full or resilience. I ADORED THIS BOOK! It was so hard, but so worthy. If you were a fan of On Dublin Street and Hero, you HAVE to read this book! It will challenge you, it will break you, and it will put you back together.
It was unwise to sweep the pieces of my past behind me simply because some of those pieces were jagged and painful. Each was a piece of a jigsaw, and I was the puzzle. I wasn’t complete without them.
**ARC provided in exchange for an honest review
The Wednesday after my Sunday drinks with Roddy and Seonaid, I found myself
in the untenable position of wanting to say no to Sylvie and not being able
to. Somehow, she’d gotten her hands on a Twister game board and had talked
the kids into playing.
I hadn’t thought it was a great idea, and Jan wasn’t too sure, either, but
Sylvie won by announcing only she and I would play, and the kids would take
turns spinning the wheel. It actually turned out to be a pretty good idea
because we ended up in such awkward positions, in fits of giggles, that we
had all the kids laughing and trying to cheat by placing us in even more
I was in the middle of begging Poppy not to cheat with the Twister spinner
when a deep, masculine voice sounded from behind me at the door.
“What is going on here?”
Unable to turn to see who it was, I heard Jan’s voice. “The children’s
“Uncle Aidan!” Sylvie squealed in my ear, making me flinch. “I’m moving but
you can’t move!” She unwound her leg from mine and was gone.
“How is that fair?” I asked. I wanted to move. I had my ass in the air and
the mysterious Uncle Aidan was right behind it.
I bowed my head trying to see through my legs but all I saw were his and
Jan’s feet and then Sylvie’s as she rushed him.
“Come play, Uncle Aidan,” Sylvie begged excitedly.
“I think I’ll just watch.” His voice rumbled, sounding amused. He had a
great voice. A beautiful lilting, cultured Scottish accent. And my ass was
in his face. In green Peter Pan leggings that did nothing to hide the shape
of my body, I might add.
I looked super professional right now.
“Oh, please,” Sylvie begged. “Please.”
“No, sweetheart. You go back into the game. I’ll be here when you’re done.”
“But I want you to play with Nora—I mean, Peter Pan.”
I almost choked. It was time to get up before Peter Pan was made to play
Twister with a strange man. The thought sounded so perverted, I had to
swallow a giggle.
“Please, please!” the other kids suddenly started begging.
Sylvie began instructing him on the position she’d been in.
“Guys, leave Sylvie’s uncle—” The squeak of the plastic mat halted me
And then I felt his heat, followed by the smell of expensive cologne. It
was earthy but fresh. Like wood, and amber, mint leaves and apple.
Oh, dear God.
Slowly, I lifted my head and found myself staring into green eyes that were
bright with amusement. Familiar green eyes with flecks of yellow
“You must be Peter Pan,” he said, laughter trembling on his lips.
Lips I remembered well.
In fact, I remembered those broad shoulders too, that square, unshaven,
strong jawline and expressive mouth. I remembered the sexy laugh lines
around his eyes. It all belonged on a very tall, well-built guy who had
once picked me up off the floor of a pub and then flirted with me the
following day in a supermarket on what would turn out to be one of the
worst days of my life.
Uncle Aidan was the stranger from the bar.
Small goddamn world.
Realizing I hadn’t spoken, I managed a croaky, “Hey.”
Our faces were too close together, and his long leg was currently entangled
with my short one.
“Right hand green, Peter Pan!” Sylvie announced.
I wrenched my gaze from his to the mat. The nearest green spot would mean
climbing her uncle like a monkey. Part of me wondered if she’d cheated. I
shot her a suspicious look and watched her shake with giggles.
“Oh, crap,” I muttered under my breath.
I heard the rumble of laughter and my eyes flew back to his. There was a
challenge in his, but not recognition. He didn’t remember me. Why would he?
I was just a girl he briefly met once.
“I’m not doing it.”
His eyes grew round with mock innocence. “But that would be cheating.”
“Cheating?” Sylvie heard. “No cheating.”
“No cheating, Peter Pan!” Poppy cried out from her chair.
Soon all the kids were buzzing with laughter and conversation as I stared
at the man who was already too close for comfort.
There was no way I was doing it. It wouldn’t be appropriate. I moved toward
him as if I was going to do it and I let my left hand and foot slip. I
flipped at the last minute, crashing down on the mat on my back.
“Oh no, I fell! I lose!” I threw my hands up in the air.
I heard his laughter before his face appeared upside down above mine. My
breath caught as he smiled down at me. “Liar.”
“It’s called pretending.” I grinned up at him. “There’s a difference.”
Instead of smiling back at me, he suddenly frowned. “Have we met?”