Play On by Samantha Young
Series: Play On #1
Publication Date: September 12th 2017
The New York Times Bestselling author of the On Dublin Street series and Hero returns to Scotland in this passionate and evocative romance about love, loss, and surviving both.
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.
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I’ve been a big fan of Samantha Young’s ever since reading On Dublin Street, so when I heard she’d be writing a new book, I couldn’t wait to get my hands on it. Play On is a deeply emotional standalone that deals with love, life, and loss. It wasn’t quite the read I was expecting, but I enjoyed it overall. I love getting to travel the world through books, and Samantha Young sweeps us away to beautiful Scotland where our heroine Nora deals with her struggles.
Nora is eighteen and stuck in a rut – working at a fast food restaurant, unable to afford going to college, and no opportunities looking her way. That is, until she meets the sweet, Scottish Jim McAlister who steals her heart and brings her back with him to Scotland. But three years later, she’s alone and barely making ends meet. The only light in her life is her days volunteering at a hospital where she entertains children with her Peter Pan persona. One of her favorite kids has an uncle who is gorgeous, older, more sophisticated… and he wants Nora. How does she resist the man Aidan Lennox is?
“You’re everything to me, Nora. Every bloody thing. I never knew happiness like it until I met you.”
Play On is essentially broken up into three parts – Nora at eighteen and meeting Jim, three years later with Nora first meeting Aidan, and two years after that with Nora reuniting with Aidan. I loved the concept of this, but the execution of it wasn’t my cup of tea. My biggest concern was how the blurb set the story up to be mainly about Nora and her career on stage after losing Aidan. That turned out to be the third part at the very end of the novel and took up the shortest time in the story. I wish we could’ve seen more of their time apart and how Nora grew into her acting career, and I wish Aidan’s love of music and Nora’s acting had played bigger roles in this book.
Despite these grievances, I really did enjoy this book overall. Samantha Young didn’t disappoint with the chemistry and sexual tension between Nora and Aidan. The way they dealt with loss was moving and beautiful. I’m excited to see what else Samantha Young has in store for us with this series of standalones!
Quotes are taken from the arc and are subject to change in the final version.
Now here’s an excerpt from Play On! ❤
The Wednesday after my Sunday drinks with Roddy and Seonaid, I found myself in the untenable position of wanting to say no to Sylvie and not being able to. Somehow, she’d gotten her hands on a Twister game board and had talked the kids into playing.
I hadn’t thought it was a great idea, and Jan wasn’t too sure, either, but Sylvie won by announcing only she and I would play, and the kids would take turns spinning the wheel. It actually turned out to be a pretty good idea because we ended up in such awkward positions, in fits of giggles, that we had all the kids laughing and trying to cheat by placing us in even more ungainly positions!
I was in the middle of begging Poppy not to cheat with the Twister spinner when a deep, masculine voice sounded from behind me at the door.
“What is going on here?”
Unable to turn to see who it was, I heard Jan’s voice. “The children’s entertain—”
“Uncle Aidan!” Sylvie squealed in my ear, making me flinch. “I’m moving but you can’t move!” She unwound her leg from mine and was gone.
“How is that fair?” I asked. I wanted to move. I had my ass in the air and the mysterious Uncle Aidan was right behind it.
I bowed my head trying to see through my legs but all I saw were his and Jan’s feet and then Sylvie’s as she rushed him.
“Come play, Uncle Aidan,” Sylvie begged excitedly.
“I think I’ll just watch.” His voice rumbled, sounding amused. He had a great voice. A beautiful lilting, cultured Scottish accent. And my ass was in his face. In green Peter Pan leggings that did nothing to hide the shape of my body, I might add.
I looked super professional right now.
“Oh, please,” Sylvie begged. “Please.”
“No, sweetheart. You go back into the game. I’ll be here when you’re done.”
“But I want you to play with Nora—I mean, Peter Pan.”
I almost choked. It was time to get up before Peter Pan was made to play Twister with a strange man. The thought sounded so perverted, I had to swallow a giggle.
“Please, please!” the other kids suddenly started begging.
Sylvie began instructing him on the position she’d been in.
“Guys, leave Sylvie’s uncle—” The squeak of the plastic mat halted me midsentence.
And then I felt his heat, followed by the smell of expensive cologne. It was earthy but fresh. Like wood, and amber, mint leaves and apple.
Oh, dear God.
Slowly, I lifted my head and found myself staring into green eyes that were bright with amusement. Familiar green eyes with flecks of yellow gold.
“You must be Peter Pan,” he said, laughter trembling on his lips.
Lips I remembered well.
In fact, I remembered those broad shoulders too, that square, unshaven, strong jawline and expressive mouth. I remembered the sexy laugh lines around his eyes. It all belonged on a very tall, well-built guy who had once picked me up off the floor of a pub and then flirted with me the following day in a supermarket on what would turn out to be one of the worst days of my life.
Uncle Aidan was the stranger from the bar.
Small goddamn world.
Realizing I hadn’t spoken, I managed a croaky, “Hey.”
Our faces were too close together, and his long leg was currently entangled with my short one.
“Right hand green, Peter Pan!” Sylvie announced.
I wrenched my gaze from his to the mat. The nearest green spot would mean climbing her uncle like a monkey. Part of me wondered if she’d cheated. I shot her a suspicious look and watched her shake with giggles.
“Oh, crap,” I muttered under my breath.
I heard the rumble of laughter and my eyes flew back to his. There was a challenge in his, but not recognition. He didn’t remember me. Why would he? I was just a girl he briefly met once.
“I’m not doing it.”
His eyes grew round with mock innocence. “But that would be cheating.”
“Cheating?” Sylvie heard. “No cheating.”
“No cheating, Peter Pan!” Poppy cried out from her chair.
Soon all the kids were buzzing with laughter and conversation as I stared at the man who was already too close for comfort.
There was no way I was doing it. It wouldn’t be appropriate. I moved toward him as if I was going to do it and I let my left hand and foot slip. I flipped at the last minute, crashing down on the mat on my back.
“Oh no, I fell! I lose!” I threw my hands up in the air.
I heard his laughter before his face appeared upside down above mine. My breath caught as he smiled down at me. “Liar.”
“It’s called pretending.” I grinned up at him. “There’s a difference.”
Instead of smiling back at me, he suddenly frowned. “Have we met?”
Samantha Young is the New York Times, USA Today and Wall Street Journal bestselling author of adult contemporary romances, including the On Dublin Street series and Hero, as well as the New Adult duology Into the Deep and Out of the Shallows. Every Little Thing, the second book in her new Hart’s Boardwalk series, will be published by Berkley in March 2017. Before turning to contemporary fiction, she wrote several young adult paranormal and fantasy series, including the amazon bestselling Tale of Lunarmorte trilogy. Samantha’s debut YA contemporary novel The Impossible Vastness of Us was published by Harlequin TEEN in ebook & hardback June 2017. Play On is an adult contemporary romance and the first in a brand new series set in Scotland.
Samantha has been nominated for the Goodreads Choice Award 2012 for Best Author and Best Romance for On Dublin Street, Best Romance 2014 for Before Jamaica Lane, and Best Romance 2015 for Hero. On Dublin Street, a #1 bestseller in Germany, was the Bronze Award Winner in the LeserPreis German Readers Choice Awards for Best Romance 2013, Before Jamaica Lane the Gold Medal Winner for the LeserPreis German Readers Choice Awards for Best Romance 2014 and Echoes of Scotland Street the Bronze Medal Winner for the LeserPreis German Readers Choice Awards for Best Romance 2015.
Samantha is currently published in 30 countries and is a #1 international bestselling author.
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