Book Review: Before Jamaica Lane by Samantha Young

31 May 2015

Book Title: Before Jamaica Lane
Author: Samantha Young
Series: On Dublin Street #3
Release Date: January 7th, 2014
Genres: Contemporary Romance
One simple lesson in seduction between two friends can turn into so much more…

Despite her outgoing demeanor, Olivia is painfully insecure around the opposite sex—usually, she can’t get up the nerve to approach guys she’s interested in. But moving to Edinburgh has given her a new start, and, after she develops a crush on a sexy postgrad, she decides it’s time to push past her fears and go after what she wants.

Nate Sawyer is a gorgeous player who never commits, but to his close friends, he’s as loyal as they come. So when Olivia turns to him with her relationship woes, he offers to instruct her in the art of flirting and to help her become more sexually confident.

The friendly education in seduction soon grows into an intense and hot romance. But then Nate’s past and commitment issues rear their ugly heads, and Olivia is left broken-hearted. When Nate realizes he’s made the biggest mistake of his life, he will have to work harder than he ever has before to entice his best friend into falling back in love with him—or he may lose her forever…




  “It occurred to me that more than loss, it was the longing that hurt the most.” 

 I can't remember the last time a book has made me feel the way I did after this one. It involves a) asking myself where has this book been all my life b) kicking myself very hard for not reading this sooner c) wanting to stay in this fictional world forever d) wishing that I could have this kind of all-consuming love in my life. 

 I've read On Dublin Street a year ago and while it still remains as one of my all-time favorite reads, I admit I've put off the series after reading mixed reviews for the 2nd book. But after all my lovely buddies insisted that I MUST read the 3rd instalment here and it could be read as a standalone, I finally caved in. 

 Let me just say that it was undoubtedly the best reading decision I've made in a while. Samantha Young puts out a story that not only transports her readers to the streets of Edinburgh but breathes life into this story by creating these completely endearing characters that you'll fall hard for.


 Each book in the ODS series revolves around a couple and Before Jamaica Lane is Nate & Olivia's story. Olivia moved to Scotland with her father after her mother's death while they were living in the States. During her stay here, she meets Nate who is Cam's best friend and they easily bonded sharing similar interests. Both of them are polar opposites with Olivia being the shy and inexperienced one at dating while Nate is the walking playboy of the city who can have any lady he wants. 

 When Olivia develops a crush on one of the guys in the library she works at, her lack of experience in the dating department had her pushing her luck by asking Nate for some advice. What started out as flirty lessons turned out to be something much more when the lines started to blur between friendship, lust and love.


 There were just SO MANY things I loved about this read, honestly I'm flustered on even where to begin! 

 I can easily say that Olivia is one of the best heroines I've met and she's one of those women I can easily relate to, especially when it came down to her insecurities. She has a brilliant sense of humor with a touch of geek and above all, she has some major backbone. Her character growth was done so well that I swear she had me tearing up in a number of scenes, it made me feel so proud watching her firmly stand her ground. I was internally yelling "In your face, Nate!" when she didn't put up with Nate's bullshit anymore. In other words, she really owned her choices.


 Nate Sawyer. Oh yes adding him to my precious list of book boyfriends this instant. Although he was being portrayed as a walking manwhore in the beginning, the author did an amazing job by slowly peeling back the layers and revealed a much deeper and emotional side to this sexy man. There's a reason for his commitment-phobe issues and you can't even stay mad at him for long because you know deep down, he really cares for Olivia. He just needed time to work out his issues and it was easy for me to empathize with him after hearing his past. 

 Another thing I really loved about this book is Nate & Olivia's connection right from the beginning. Their platonic relationship was fun to watch and had me chuckling at their geeky banters. Gradually it grew into something more when all the flirtatious and seduction lessons started and holy sex on a stick, the sexual tension was enough to burn down my reading device! Nate was absolutely divine in these scenes and if I was Olivia, I sure as hell wouldn't turn him down either. I need some Nate lovin' in my life!! 

 And then let's talk about that angst, I ABSOLUTELY LOVED IT. Nothing spells out angst better than the amount of grovelling done on Nate's part to get Olivia back in his life. Pretty sure my heart went through some massive workout during these scenes followed by me being in a blubbering mess of emotions that had me tearing up multiple times as both of them ripped apart their defenses and bear their hearts out. By the last stretch, I may have even cried harder because of how it was all tied up beautifully for this couple.



 Samantha Young surely knows how to capture her readers' heart with her writing as I found myself consumed with Nate & Olivia's love story from start till the end. Perfect balance of romance, steam, angst and humor; the author delivers a read that will sweep you off your feet with her storytelling. Fans of the friends to lovers trope will highly enjoy this one and definitely one of the best reads of this trope I've come across so far!


Before Jamaica Lane is the 3rd book in the On Dublin Street series and can be read as a standalone


Samantha Young

Samantha Young is a New York Times, USA Today and Wall Street Journal bestselling author from Stirlingshire, Scotland. She's been nominated for the Goodreads Choice Award 2012 for Best Author and Best Romance for her international bestseller ON DUBLIN STREET and Best Romance 2014 for BEFORE JAMAICA LANE. ON DUBLIN STREET is Samantha's first adult contemporary romance series and has sold in twenty-eight countries.

Visit for more information.

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