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…
I LOVED this book! It reconciled me with Samantha Young’s books actually. After reading On Dublin Street, I was really looking forward to Down London Road. There was really nothing in my mind that this author could’ve done wrong. But unfortunately and probably because it wasn’t done in the best conditions, when I read Down London Road, I couldn’t get myself into the story. It never really grabbed me like the first book did, and I ended up feeling a little wary about reading the next books in this series.
But then I read the blurb to Before Jamaica Lane, and since I’m a complete sucker for friends falling for each other, I decided to woman up a little and put on my big girl panties and read this book. And I’m so glad I did because it was one hell of a book!
“You taught me to be brave again, Nate.’
I swiped at the tears, my heart catching painfully as his eyes seared into mine.
‘How can such a coward teach someone to be brave?”
Now, you’re probably going to tell me that the plot isn’t that original, and you’d be right. But that’s where you see which authors are writing geniuses. Because Samantha Young took a very non-original plot for her third book and turned it into a really moving, fun and sweet love story.
“If you were just some woman in a bar, I’d pick you out from all the others, take you home, and fuck you so hard you wouldn’t be able to walk straight in the morning.”
In fact, I think I might have had a little mini-orgasm.”
Nate and Olivia are great characters. They were really well-rounded, complex characters. I loved the mounting tension between them and considering the first part of the book is about Olivia’s will to overcome her shyness toward men while she is completely unaware of how attractive she is and Nate, being such a good friend, deciding to help her, you can understand why I was such a happy girl. I loved every second of it, especially when they started having more “hands-on” (pun intended) lesson together. That lesson on kissing still makes me giddy just thinking about it.
“I miss our Would You Rather conversations and your hilarious answers. I miss your laugh. I miss the way I feel when I make you laugh. Like I just won something really important. I miss just sitting with you in perfect, silent understanding. I miss the way you never judge anyone. It’s such a rare find, Liv. And I miss watching how kind you are with everyone. I miss being able to call you and talk to you about random shit and important shit. I miss my best friend. I miss you. I love you.”
The fact that even though they were already hot for each other, this story started out as Olivia and Nate truly being just friends, gave this book a little plus. Most of the time, one or both character secretly lust after each other, but settle for being friends with them, even though it hurts them more than anything. Not in this case. Yes Olivia clearly is hot for her best friend, but that’s the big difference here, they are real, honest to God, besties. And they slowly grow to be more when Olivia comes to Nate for help in the seduction department.
“I never meant to fall in love with you. But I did. I felt it the first night I made love to you. I tried to walk away then because I’ve never felt so lost and yet so fucking found as I felt that night looking into your eyes as I moved inside you.”
And of course, even though it’s a recipe for disaster when it comes to their friendship, that’s also when things really get interesting. So let’s talk about the sex. Boy, was it ever hot. Like I said, the first part of the book basically was foreplay. Very long and intense foreplay. And even though we’re waiting for things to eventually go wrong at some point, you can’t help but enjoy every minute of Nate and Olivia’s time together. The best advice I can give you at this point is to just go ahead and get your Bob ready now. Seriously, the sex in this book is just so….well, it definitely gets you in the mood. And it pretty much keeps you in the mood the entire time. And since Nate has a mouth on himself, I was in dirty-talker heaven thanks to him. He has a very talented mouth. And not just for dirty-talk. Anyway,that man had me going back and forth between loving him and wanting to slap some sense into him. But then I settled on the loving him part. The groveling had a lot to do with that. Let me tell you, the man grovels very well too. But I digress.
“You’re not ready to hear this yet,” he concluded. “But I do need you to know that I’m going to fight for you. I’m not making the mistake of walking away from you again. The only man in you future is me, Liv. The only kids in your future are mine.”
I really enjoyed seeing the “old” characters of the series in this book and being able to follow their stories through this book, even though we only get glimpses of it. I’m thinking Braden and Joss particularly. Miss Young actually had me worried for them at some point there. If you want to know this part of their story “from this inside”, here’s the link to the novella – Castle Hill – on Goodreads. I hadn’t read the novella before I started BJL, and it didn’t bother me much while reading, but some readers could be, so it’s your call to read it before starting BJL or not. I also really enjoyed getting to know Cole and Hannah a little better with this book and I am looking forward to reading their stories.
‘You left me,’ I growled. ‘You treated me no better than one of your random hookups, and suddenly because you’ve decided that no, wait, you do love me, I’m to come running back?’ I stood up, my chair clattering behind me with the force of the movement. ‘Your words are nice in the moment. But at the end of the day it means fuck all. I don’t trust you with your own feelings, Nate. Why the hell would I trust you with mine?”
I have to say, it wasn’t all easy and stuff. When the shit hit the fan, I took turns being….worried with both Nate and Olivia. At first, I was totally annoyed with Nate and figured it was just this frustrating part of the book where you just have to wait for the character to get their head out of their ass and start owning up to the person they love, but then when Nate actually manned up and went after Olivia, she started complicating things. I get why she did it in the beginning, I mean, she had to have her walls up after what Nate did. I know I would have. So yeah, I got it, but it drove me nuts anyway. She really had me worried about how things would play out for them both.
“I didn’t just want Nate to love me. I wanted him to love me the way I loved him. The kind of love that’s so big it would last beyond a lifetime.”
I truly loved this book. It is full of emotion. I laughed a lot, I swooned even more and I also agonized over them being stupid for a moment. It’s a book that will make you go through the whole specter of emotions and it’s done very well. Samantha Young is a great writer and if you haven’t read the other books in this series, I highly recommend you do, because you’d be in for a treat.
“Upstairs in my bed, where it had all started, I slowly made love to Nate, promising him with every inch of me, that the ‘after’ we’d found together … well … it was forever.”