Six full length novels, six couples I loved from the get-go, six unforgettable love stories that will forever remain some of my favourite books of all time, and we now say goodbye to the wonderful world of the On Dublin Street series with this unputdownable finale—a touching friends-to-lovers tale that had me either squirming in my seat from the unrelenting chemistry between the characters, or clenching my chest from all the angsty emotions it stirred in me page after page. I loved this book, loved it so much I couldn’t help but re-read parts of it right after I first finished it, leaving me with a bittersweet smile on my face knowing I was saying farewell to a ‘reality’ I learned to depend on whenever I was in need of a true romance to warm my heart.
“I’d worked hard to become my own person and not a shadow of the girl lost in the manipulations, cruelty, and neglect of her family.”
Grace Farquhar is a young woman who left her privileged past and the person she once was behind to embrace the woman she always hoped to become. Having grown up in an disparaging environment that left her with serious self-esteem issues—raised by parents who either ignored her or belittled her continually with demeaning comments and self-serving expectations—she was forced to sever all contact with her family in order to heal and become her own person. But years of feeling inadequate and never speaking out her mind have left her fearful of confrontation, constantly craving the approval of others. So when a very loud new neighbour moves into the apartment next door, his late night sex antics keeping her awake night after night and leaving her too tired to work during the day, she reacts uncharacteristically, having no qualms about expressing her distress and frustration at his behaviour. Even when her words seem to fall on deaf ears and her new neighbour’s mocking stance only serves to aggravate her even more.
“Logan MacLeod is the least likely candidate for boyfriendhood of any man in the entire world.”
Logan MacLeod is not the man the world believes him to be. One mistake in his life, one act of fierce protectiveness towards a beloved sister, has cost him two years of his life and a lifetime of shame, but behind the bad boy façade hides a man looking for forgiveness, self-fulfilment, and a fresh start in life. When the cute spitfire next door confronts him about his late night shenanigans, he is instantly drawn to her, but the more life pulls them closer to one another, and the more he gets to know her, the more he believes that she deserves someone better than him, someone worthier, someone whose past is not weighing heavily on his shoulders, making him wish he were a better man for her. Even though in Grace’s eyes he is all she’s ever dreamed of finding in life.
“Although I was actively looking for the man I wanted to spend my life with, I wasn’t looking for a fantasy man. I was looking for someone understanding, protective, and funny. I didn’t expect perfection. I just wanted to like the person I was dating, and I wanted him to be kind.”
When Logan’s past comes unexpectedly knocking at his door, changing his future forever, Grace becomes the person he learns to lean on the most in life, her kindness and generosity helping him face a reality he never believed possible. But as their lives become more and more intertwined, their attraction grows as well, leading to a climax of epic proportions. One which only one of them doesn’t regret in the end.
“I’d fallen in love for the first time. And he didn’t love me back.”
This is a very emotional but also downright scorching tale of a love born suddenly, unexpectedly, a love free from judgement and prejudice, whose sheer magnitude heals both young lovers from the ugly scars from their respective pasts. It’s also a story that shows the true definition of a family, of the incomparable power of friendships, and how much the two can sometimes become one in life. Grace and Logan break the cycle they were born into by becoming the kind of people they always wished their parents would have been—two people who love selflessly and unconditionally, and whose love and devotion to those closest to them becomes the one thing they are most proud of in life.
It is with a heavy heart that I let these characters and all the wonderful couples who came before them go, certain of many a re-read in the future. Ms Young has given us the perfect kind of closure for all six storylines, and even though there will never be another Jocelyn and Braden, Johanna and Cameron, Olivia and Nate, Hannah and Marco, Shannon and Cole, or Grace and Logan, I am certain the best is yet to come from this truly extraordinary author whose words never fail to blow my mind.
“I never thought you’d light up for the likes of me… I’m going to f*ck you until you see stars.”
“I’m right here.” I slowed to a stop in front of the blue door to my building. “Thank you for dinner.”
John did a little skip back to me. “I could come up for coffee.” He grinned down at me hopefully.
I gave him an apologetic smile. “I’ve got work to do.”
“Oh, come on.” He edged closer to me, and I stumbled back against the wall. “Ask me up, Grace. You know you want to.” He fingered the collar of my light coat, and I instinctively slapped his hand away.
“I’m going inside. You should leave.”
He held his hands up in a surrender gesture but took another step toward me.
My stomach flipped, and I glanced right and then left. The dark street was empty. “Really, John. I’d just like to go inside. Good night.”
“You’re nervous,” he said softly. “I get it. I had to have a few glasses of wine to loosen up tonight I was so nervous about meeting you, but we don’t have to be nervous, Grace.” He brushed his fingers across my cheek, and I flinched away. “We’re two adults just looking for company.”
“No. You’re drunk, and I want you to leave. Now, please step back.”
The door to the building opened before John could react. A large figure stepped outside, and when he shut the door behind him and turned his face, the moonlight revealed Logan. He stopped a moment at the sight of me and gave me a nod before turning his back. He was dressed for work. And he was leaving.
Fear forced my mouth open, and I was just about to call out Logan’s name when he halted and turned around. He looked at me, expressionless, and then he looked at John. Despite the blank look on his face, I knew right away he’d deduced the situation when, without a word, Logan pulled his keys out and opened the door. He pushed the door open and stepped toward me. “Grace,” he said.
Relief flooded me, and I knew I couldn’t hide it just as I hadn’t been able to keep the panic from my face when I thought he was leaving. I darted past him and inside, glancing over my shoulder to see John take a step toward the door. Logan blocked the doorway, and I watched, fascinated, as he intimidated John into retreating without saying one bloody word.
John ran a shaky hand through his hair, suddenly looking anywhere but at Logan, and then he spun on his heel and started striding a little unsteadily down our street.
Logan entered the building and closed the door. We just stared at each other for a second before he gestured for me to move.
I started down the hall, hearing him fall into step behind me. He followed me all the way up the stairs until we reached my flat, and he watched as I fumbled for my keys in my purse. When I managed to get ahold of them, they rattled in my trembling hands.
Logan’s warm hand curled around mine, and he gently eased the keys from my grip. He opened my door for me. “You all right?”
“Yes, thanks.” I gave him a small, grateful smile. “I just feel like I’ve been stuck in episodes of Sex and the City on my last few dates. There are some bizarre men out there.” He didn’t reply, and I shifted uncomfortably. “Well, thanks again.” I moved to go inside, and he said my name. “Yes?”
Logan was no longer expressionless. There was a tautness to his features and a shadow of dark purple in his eyes. I recognized that look. He was angry. “Never let a drunk man walk you home again.”
Flummoxed that his anger seemed to be born from concern, I could only nod, tongue-tied.
He stared at me pointedly, and I stared dumbly back at him.
Logan sighed impatiently. “Close your door, Grace. I’m not leaving for work until I hear the sound of your lock turning.”
“Oh.” I flushed at my silliness and eased the door shut. I turned my lock and put the chain in place. “Good night!” I called through the door.
“Good night, Miss Farquhar,” he returned, and I heard the rumble of dry amusement in his voice before the sounds of his footsteps faded into the distance.
Excerpt posted by arrangement with New American Library, a member of Penguin Group (USA) LLC, A Penguin Random House Company.
Copyright © Samantha Young, 2015.