Play On by Samantha Young – ARC Review

Play On Book Cover Play On
Samantha Young
12 September 2017

e 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.

Aiden and Nora, Nora and Aiden!

What a beautiful love story. A tale weaved through time, an honest representation of falling in love and the world conspiring against you, of being trapped in a world you want to escape from.

Nora is consumed with guilt. For decades she has let guilt rule her heart and her head. Making choices based not on what she wants to do but what she feels she deserves to have.

Both characters have experienced death in different ways and their grief and guilt binds them together. Tragedy and loss is the common thread between them but beneath this their desire and want for each other burns through.

They meet throughout different parts of the story but just as in life, circumstances and situations get in the way. However due to the back and forth narration of the book you’re not left silently waiting. You know their worlds collide you’re just very cleverly waiting for how and when! This a stunning and heartbreaking tale of love, life and fate. Here is a very special excerpt of Play On, just for you!

Silence fell over the car and I could tell he was lost in his thoughts about it. Wanting to leave him to muse, I watched traffic. And then I realized we were driving out of the city center. “So … where are we eating?”
“There’s a pub right on the promenade at Portobello Beach. It’s a nice day. I thought we should enjoy it while it’s here.”
That was something people said a lot around here. Scottish summers were mercurial beasts, with more rain than anything else, so when the sun came out, we appreciated and made the most of it.
“Sounds good.”
With Jim, I’d been comfortable with him from the start. Silence fell between us and I’d never felt the need to fill it. Similarly with Aidan, the silence between us didn’t bother me. But the atmosphere between us wasn’t comfortable. I was too aware of his every movement, watching him out of the corner of my eye as he drove us east to Portobello.
“Sylvie cares about you,” Aidan said suddenly.
Warmth filled me at the thought. “I care about her. I won’t hurt her, Aidan.”
He glanced at me, his expression sincere. “I know that now, Nora.”
Relief moved through me. “Thank you.”
“I just want her to be okay.”
“It would be expected if she wasn’t,” I told him. “She lost her mom. You can protect her from everything, but you can’t protect her from that loss, and thinking that you can is only going to make you feel like you’ve failed somehow. And you’re not failing.”
He was quiet so long, I thought maybe my presumption had pissed him off. But he said, “How did you get so wise?”
When it comes to loss, I know what I’m talking about. I didn’t say it out loud. “Born that way, I guess.”
Not too long later, Aidan parked on a street facing the water. The sun glinted off the waves in the distance and I could see the promenade was busy with people eating lunch, walking their dogs, or just hanging out. The salty sea air immediately put me and everyone else in a good mood. It was a little past one o’clock so people were on lunch breaks, but with how busy the beach was, you’d think it was a weekend day.
“Do you think we’ll get a table?” I said. He insisted on opening my door and taking my hand to help me down.
Warm, calloused skin slid over mine and I drew in a breath at the sparks of electricity that danced up my arm. My eyes flew to his. Our eyes locked.
Did he feel it too?
As if I’d asked the question aloud, he squeezed my hand and closed the door once I was out of the car. To my shock, he kept holding my hand, leading me down the street toward the promenade.
“I called ahead,” he said. “I know a guy who works at the pub.”
I hurried to match his long strides, my heart banging hard against my chest as I stared up at him. Feeling my gaze, he looked down and gave me a quizzical smile.
“What is it, Pixie?”
I decided to be honest. “You’re holding my hand.”
His smile transformed into that sexy one that cut me off at the knees every single time. “So I am.”
He didn’t let go.
I bit my lip to stop the girlish giggle that wanted to escape. “Is there a reason for that?”
“So you don’t fly off to Neverland, of course.” He winked.
I laughed. “Cute. Very cute.”
Aidan stopped to push open the door to the pub, his beautiful eyes filled with laughter.
I let him lead me inside. There was an area, a few steps up from the bar on our right, with tables at bay windows overlooking the water. The place was packed, no tables free at all.
“Uh …” A young woman with bright blue eyes and short, white-blond hair glanced at the seating and then back at us. “It’s about a thirty-minute wait right now.”
“Where’s Giggsy?” Aidan asked.
“Right here, mate.” We turned to watch a guy walking down a passageway by the bar. When he reached us, his eyes flicked to Aidan’s hand in mine and he shook his head laughing. “They get younger every time.”
“Fuck off, Giggsy.”
“Nice. And here I’ve been enduring bleeding ears from these buggers,” he thumbed behind him to the bar staff, “to reserve you a table last minute on the promenade.” Without saying another word, he strolled away and Aidan followed. He led us up the platform to a set of French doors that opened out onto the promenade and to my delight, to one of only four tables set out there, looking over the water.
A sweet breeze blew up off North Sea offering a light relief from the rare hot September sun. Gulls cried out as they flew high in the sky above us.
“There you go.” Giggsy gestured to our table and Aidan held out a chair for me. “What a gentleman.” His friend clapped him on the shoulder. Aidan rolled his eyes and Giggsy mock frowned at me. “Please tell me you’re legal.”
While I was mortified by the idea that I looked that young next to him, Aidan sighed heavily. “Have you got a death wish?”

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