Recently I read and reread and reread the ‘On Dublin Street’ series by Samantha Young, a series that follows a group of friends as they find love, get married, and live happily ever after. The group based in Edinburgh, Scotland is a tightly knit group of friends who are there to support each other whenever they need it. Each character has an interesting back story that made them complex and compelling. At times, each were frustrating but that’s part of liking a character.
After rereading the series for the third or fourth time (who’s counting), I started to pick up on certain quirks that each character had that were frustrating but that’s what made them even more enjoyable to read.
And I say almost definitive because I didn’t read One King’s Way, which in my defense, I just found out was part of the series. Each character in this list had flaws and stand out traits but here’s my definitive ranking
(Note: Feel free to disagree with me!)
1. On Dublin Street– Jocelyn Butler and Braden Carmichael
Joss Butler and Braden Carmichael kick off the series and remain my favorite pairing out of each. They start off the tribe and everyone follows them into it. Joss Butler moves to Scotland when she’s 22 to reconnect with her mother’s roots. Sadly when Joss was 14 she lost her parents and baby sister in a car accident so she goes to Scotland broken as ever to try to write her parents’ love story. She meets Braden at first in a taxi then a couple days later in her apartment that she shares with Braden’s younger sister, Ellie Carmichael. Braden is a force and was the perfect match for Joss. He pushed her to overcome. I also like this book because Joss suffers through anxiety and has several panic attacks. The way they are written is realistic; not over dramatic scenes that need a big audience to be addressed. Also the fact that she was in therapy and we got to see how that helped her was amazing for those of us who have been there too.
2. Before Jamaica Lane– Olivia Holloway and Nate Sawyer
*swoons* Nate. Sawyer. Some say they hate him, others say they loved him. I fall into the latter. Nate was just more lighthearted and fun. I related to Olivia hardcore. The best friends to lovers story will always be a favorite but it really depends on how it’s constructed. Young did a really good job of tying both characters together. My only problem with this book is that a lot of the plot was used to set up Hannah’s story. And while I understand the need to provide context, I think it took a lot away from Olivia’s story. It did however make me excited for Cole’s story (more on that later).
3. Moonlight on Nightingale Way– Grace Farquhar and Logan MacLeod
The end of a series and era. This book was exquisite.
Besides the fact that Logan was a butt head for a bit, I think that this book end the whole series perfectly. Both Grace and Shannon weren’t part of the initial tribe so reading an outside view of meeting the group was refreshing. And Maia played a huge role in why I liked this book so much. It was fitting to have someone like Grace step into the mom role for her and Logan took it all in stride. Their love wasn’t necessarily my favorite part but it’s okay because each character in the series played a role in it.
Side note-why did she change her last name to that?
4. Until Fountain Bridge– Ellie Carmichael and Adam Sutherland
Adam, Adam, Adam, it was very hard to root for you. I liked Ellie a lot but I really don’t like the whole “I love you but I can’t be in love with you” plot which made me really glad that this book was a novella and not as long as the others. It also was a nice change in pace to read it formatted as Ellie’s diary entries as opposed to reading the whole story. And I don’t know if it’s just me, but the age gap was strange…
5. Fall from India Place– Hannah Nichols and Marco D’Alessandro
I liked Hannah in Down London Road, but I couldn’t get attached to her in this book because she seemed a bit bland to me. And Marco…well I still don’t get the reason why he didn’t contact her after moving back to Scotland. It just seemed like a cop out, but I really wanted to like this couple, I just couldn’t get there.
6. Down London Road– Johanna Walker and Cameron MacCabe
It was hard to relate to Jo, but the way she took care of her brother was honestly one of the most admirable situations I’ve read about. I liked how Young didn’t turn her into a martyr who was miserable of taking care of Cole. Instead she tacked it on as a part of who Jo is and we see that revelation in the epilogue of Moonlight on Nightingale Way. Getting used to Cam was initially difficult because I don’t like the ‘let me treat this girl poorly because I secretly like her’ trope, but eventually he won me over. And when I say eventually, I mean the very end.
7. Echoes of Scotland Street– Shannon MacLeod and Cole Walker
Oh I so wanted to like this book. Now, I’m not saying this book was bad or not worth the read because I’ve read it so many times but this story was just off compared to the rest. She shot Cole down in a very harsh way in the beginning but then she saw the obvious error in her ways then Cole was resistant to her. She was very much a…ugh.. I hate describing women this way and I hate to say it but damsel in distress. It was also a little weird to go from reading about Jo’s shy 14 year old brother, Cole Walker to then reading about Cole Walker the man.