May 30, 2014

REVIEW: Fall From India Place (On Dublin Street #4)

Fall From India Place (On Dublin Street #4), by Samantha Young
To Be Published June 3, 2014
Publisher: Berkley Romance
Format: e-ARC, obtained from the publisher
adult contemporary romance
To Buy: Amazon * Barnes & Noble

Rating: 4 STARS

(From Goodreads)  The New York Times bestselling author of On Dublin Street and Down London Road returns with a story about letting go of the past and learning to trust in the future…

When Hannah Nichols last saw Marco D’Alessandro, five long years ago, he broke her heart. The bad boy with a hidden sweet side was the only guy Hannah ever loved—and the only man she’s ever been with. After one intense night of giving into temptation, Marco took off, leaving Scotland and Hannah behind. Shattered by the consequences of their night together, Hannah has never truly moved on.

Leaving Hannah was the biggest mistake of Marco’s life, something he has deeply regretted for years. So when fate reunites them, he refuses to let her go without a fight. Determined to make her his, Marco pursues Hannah, reminding her of all the reasons they’re meant to be together.…

But just when Marco thinks they’re committed to a future together, Hannah makes a discovery that unearths the secret pain she’s been hiding from him, a secret that could tear them apart before they have a real chance to start over again….

I've been jonesing for Hannah and Marco's story ever since it was introduced waaaaay back in On Dublin Street. Samantha Young delivers just what I wanted in this emotionally-charged addition to the Dublin Street series.

Hannah and Marco were best friends for years, even though she always wanted more, and he didn't. One fateful night, her deepest wish was granted, and they finally got together in every sense. But, the aftermath was anything but what Hannah expected. Marco immediately left her, not only in that bedroom on India Place, but he left the entire country to get away from her. Five years later, Hannah is a different person because of that humiliating and devestating event. So, when she runs into Marco unexpectedly, she's surprised to find out that Marco changed too. The question is, is it too little, too late?

Fall From India Place was full of twists and turns and secrets. It soon became obvious that Marco leaving Hannah five years earlier was not the end of Hannah's story. It wasn't the only bad thing that happened to her. It was fairly easy to guess what else was going on, but when the story finally comes out of Hannah's lips (way too late, I might add), it didn't matter that I had pretty much figured it out already. The telling of the story was powerful and emotional. And, really sad too.

Fate dealt both Marco and Hannah a craptastic hand, and where Marco had made the decision to try and do something good with it, Hannah withdrew and closed herself off from the world. In the previous books, she had always seemed bubbly and vibrant, and it was obvious right away that 22-year-old Hannah was very different from 17-year-old Hannah.

The result of Marco leaving Hannah when she wanted and needed him the most was a bitter, distrustful woman who pissed this reader off again and again with her actions. Marco was an absolute dream, and his efforts to woo her and win her back were admirable and sweet and totally above and beyond. But, Hannah's intense fears of rejection continued to thwart both of their attempts at happiness. It resulted in that kind of bookish frustration that makes you want to scream at fictional characters and look like a crazy person because of it.

Marco has secrets of his own that take way too long to come out. He comes clean about where he has been the past five years and why he left in the first place. But, there's another bomb just waiting in the wings to be dropped, and when it does, my heart broke a little for both Hannah and Marco.

I do like books where mistakes are made, groveling occurs, and lessons are learned. What I do not like is going to extremes in any of those areas. Marco well exhausted my limit of groveling. He put up with Hannah running away from him, telling him it was over and ignoring his calls FAR longer than I thought he should have. Definitely far longer than any guy in real life would have. It was irritating. I was mad at Hannah for treating him like crap for so long, and I was mad at Marco for putting up with it.

One of the really delightful parts of Fall From India Place was the glimpse into the lives of the four couples already known and loved from the series. Catching up with Braden and Joss, Jo and Cam, Ellie and Adam, and Liv and Nate was awesome. Of course there are children running all over the place, and it's so fun to see the relationship dynamics of these couples haven't changed.

One character that has changed A LOT was Cole, Jo's younger brother. He's now a strapping, gorgeous, tatted man and Hannah's best friend. We see a lot of him in Fall From India Place, and I am so so hopeful that the next book Samantha Young writes in this series will be about him. Cole is such an amazing character. I need to know more!

I also liked how Samantha Young turned the spotlight on the problem of adult literacy in the UK. Hannah volunteers as a teacher for an adult literacy class, and the scenes with her in that class were poignant and thought-provoking.

Fall From India Place might not be my most favorite in this series (that's still reserved for Down London Road), but it was a good addition, nonetheless. Marco was incredible, and once Hannah got her head on straight, so was she. The ending was happy and satisfying. I can't wait for the next book in this series!

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