They say lightning only strikes once, but nobody has told Samantha Young that. Her latest, Play On is every bit as delicious a story as every book she’s delivered before.
I really cannot get enough of talking about how wonderful this woman’s books are. From On Dublin Street to The Impossible Vastness of Us, this woman can do no wrong. If you’ve never had the pleasure of reading this author’s incredible work, we cannot recommend highly enough that you grab yourself a copy of Play On and hold on tight. You are in for an indescribably heartfelt tale of love, grief, guilt, moving on, and loving life for all the twists and turns it throws you.
About ‘Play On’
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.
‘Play On’ book review
I love this book. I love it for every moment of heartbreak, every moment of pure joy, every moment of gasp-inducing panic. This story is intense and wonderful and I want everyone to read it and soak up the tears of every emotional beat. Play On nearly ruined me, and then had me happy sobbing with a beautiful ending and the promise of more books to come.
I am so glad to be back with Samantha Young in Scotland, surrounded by sexy Scottish men, and lovely Scottish people. I fell in love with the On Dublin Street series mostly because the setting was so fresh, charming, and different from your run of the mill American small town or big city love story. (Not to mention my love for audiobooks and I can’t wait to add Play On to my collection.)
This book does a fantastic job of introducing a host of new characters, and I’m already making a wish list of future books for this series (which you better believe includes Seonaid and Roddy at the top) based on the kaleidoscope of characters that we met while getting to know Nora and Aiden. We already know Aiden has a squad of rugby pals from university, Nora has all her new theater friends, and don’t get us started on Jan, the nurse from the hospital who was lovely to all involved as Nora spent time with the kids. I’ll be anxiously twiddling my thumbs over here waiting to find out who else will be getting a story in this new series.
This story wouldn’t be what it was without its leading lady, Nora O’Brien. She is an absolutely fabulous main character, full of quirks and shortcomings that make her an incredible person to get to know. It isn’t until we see her interactions with Sylvie that we get to the heart of who Nora is. Her soul-deep desire to absolve herself for things she needn’t have blamed herself for in the first place lays Nora’s most defining characteristics out on full display.
Then she meets Aiden, an intimidating force of nature who is trying to overcome his own demons. Aiden is everything you want in a hero. He’s stubborn, exploding with love to give, but a bit guarded as well. He treats his niece like the precious soul she is, and is putty in Nora’s hands thanks to her love and adoration for the tiny humans she is happy to serve.
I was torn apart by this story. I ached for Nora and Aiden separately and together. I cried when everything fell apart, and cried harder when things started to come back together. I cried hardest of all when the epilogue delivered a final reunion that will melt even the hardest of hearts.
Samantha Young has struck gold yet again, and I am now equally invested in the worlds of Play On and Hart’s Boardwalk. Her penchant for rich, complicated characters and carefully constructed backstories weaves vivid, distinct worlds for her characters to inhabit. I am beyond ready to read any and everything that this woman writes and this year has been a treasure trove of goodies so far with Every Little Thing, Stars Over Castle Hill, The Impossible Vastness of Us, and now Play On. I can’t wait to see what she has for us next.