Series: On Dublin Street #5
Published by Berkley
Published on October 7th, 2014
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Shannon MacLeod has always gone for the wrong type of man. After she drifted from one toxic relationship to the next, her last boyfriend gave her a wakeup call in the worst possible way. With her world shattered, she’s sworn off men—especially those of the bad-boy variety.
Cole Walker is exactly the sort that Shannon wants to avoid—gorgeous, tattooed, charming, and cocky. But his rough exterior hides a good man who’s ready to find “the one.” He’s determined to pull Shannon from her self-imposed solitude and win her heart.
As Shannon opens up in the face of Cole’s steady devotion, the passion between them ignites to blazing levels. But when Shannon’s past comes back to haunt her, her fears may destroy the trust Cole has built between them—and tear them apart for good…
4.5 “Are you a hero, Cole Walker?” stars!
I love this series! Samantha Young has sucked me in over and over again with her emotion-filled love stories, and her absolutely sensational and swoon-worthy leading men. This woman has written some of my all-time favourite book boyfriends, and she’s done a wonderful job with Cole.
The younger brother of Jo, we first met Cole as a lonely 14 year old in DLR. Well, he is now all grown up and he is tall, built, tattooed and gorgeously sexy. He is also charming, cocky and charismatic and a magnet to women. He looks like a bad boy, and with the way women flock to him, he could easily be a manwhore. But he’s not. He’s a genuinely nice guy with a heart of gold who “doesn’t do casual”.
Shannon has recently moved to Edinburgh. Having left her family and shattered life behind, she is looking for a fresh start and takes a job as the receptionist at a tattoo parlour. Petite and delicate with piles of strawberry blonde curls down her back, she is dubbed the “wee fairy” by her colleagues, but she is fierce, and can more than handle the mix of full-on personalities that she will be working with. And then she meets the Manager, Cole, and from the moment they lay eyes on each other, the chemistry is zinging.
He continued to stare at me in an assessing way and I began to squirm uncomfortably. The more he stared, the more I stared, and the more I stared, the more I noticed how deliciously lickable he was.
Having met once briefly as teenagers , their connection is even more intense but Shannon has had too many bad experiences with bad boys. We don’t know the exact cause of her pain, but snippets of her past are revealed in flashbacks. When she identifies Nathan as a bad boy, her hackles are immediately up and she wants nothing to do with him, perceiving him as yet another in the long line of men that have hurt her badly. So despite their immediate attraction, and while Cole flirts outrageously (he even calls her ‘Shortcake’ – so cute! ), Shannon retreats behind her “anti-badboy force field” and does her best to ignore him.
They have a lot of ups and downs as they battle it out against each other, and while it’s highly entertaining, some of it is harsh and quite emotional. Samantha Young always does a fantastic job at building the tension between a couple, and the UST between Shannon and Cole is sizzling – the tension and animosity between them is delicious!
“There’s more to you than cute. People call you cute because you’re petite…but you’re sexy too…Mostly you’re beautiful in a way that stops a man in his tracks.”
His lips were at my ear again. “Do you want me, Shannon?”
My legs began to tremble. “Yes.”
OMG Cole is absolutely amazing! Totally freaking sexy, of course, some of his moves had me fanning myself at the hotness, but his devotion to Shannon, his patience and his determination to help her move on from her past and create a future for the two of them together had me swooning madly. And when Shannon opens up to him in a way she hasn’t with anybody else, he is sensitive and gentle and absolutely there for her, and it’s gorgeous.
“I need to know.” He brushed his knuckles across my cheekbones as he stared deep into my eyes. “I need to know so I can try to reverse all the damage they’ve done.”
“I want to protect you while at the same time I want to shatter you,” he murmured against my lips, “but only in the best way possible.”
But it’s not all sweet and gentle. Cole is hot as all hell, and is a bit of a dirty talker and there is a whole lot of sexy time, and it’s tied in beautifully with the emotion between them. Their relationship develops fantastically and we get lots of time with them as a couple as they have fun together, share their pasts and get to know each other.
“Are you saying you want to be my girlfriend?” His voice was gruff, almost teasing.
I leaned into him and whispered against his lips. “Are you saying you want me to be your girlfriend?”
“Fuck yeah,” he whispered back, and pressed his mouth to mine.
But as Shannon tries to deal with her past, it brings up all sorts of issues, and with both of them still carrying a lot of pain from their pasts, they have a lot that they still need to overcome before they can claim their HEA.
I was so happy to be back with the Dublin Street crowd. The characters of previous books all make an appearance, and are all still deeply fabulous. And even though over 15 years has passed (in book-time) since Braden and Joss first rocked my world, every little moment with them, and Nate… Adam… Cam… Marco… (you get where I’m going with this) is gold. They totally have Cole’s back in this one, and I love that their family is still so incredibly close.
We also get introduced to Cole’s circle of friends, and I need to give a shout out to Rae. A fellow tattooist, and friend to both Cole and Shannon, she is abrupt and in your face but she has a huge heart. I loved her!
“Shit pours out of my mouth before I can stop it, and I need to be around people that can hack the fucking awesomeness that is me.”
“Don’t push me.” She stopped and glared at me over her shoulder. “You’re my friend, Shannon. I care about you, but if I have to choose, I choose Cole. So back the fuck off before I slap the fucking stupidity out of you.”
And yeah, about the stupid…. the thing about Samantha Young – her characters may have their moment of stupid, but they always, ALWAYS make up for it, and it’s so worth the wait! There is more than one moment of stupid in this one, and although I was annoyed at the miscommunication and at one point felt like smacking heads together, it’s resolved quickly, and all of the drama makes the inevitable grovel and reconnection so much more epic.
This is a fantastic addition to the Dublin Street series. There was no doubt I was going to love it, and I was hooked from start to finish. And as a bonus, we are introduced to Logan, hero of the next book. He has a great set up and I can’t wait for his story.
This remains one of my favourite series. Each book is exciting, funny, romantic and sexy with lots of feels and unforgettable characters. I love it!
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