Series: On Dublin Street #2
Published by Penguin on May 7, 2013
Genres: Contemporary Romance
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Johanna Walker is used to taking charge. But she’s about to meet someone who will make her lose control....
It has always been up to Johanna to care for her family, particularly her younger brother, Cole. With an absent father and a useless mother, she’s been making decisions based on what’s best for Cole for as long as she can remember. She even determines what men to date by how much they can provide for her brother and her, not on whatever sparks may—or may not—fly.
But with Cameron MacCabe, the attraction is undeniable. The sexy new bartender at work gives her butterflies every time she looks at him. And for once, Jo is tempted to put her needs first. Cam is just as obsessed with getting to know Jo, but her walls are too solid to let him get close enough to even try.
Then Cam moves into the flat below Jo’s, and their blistering connection becomes impossible to ignore. Especially since Cam is determined to uncover all of Jo’s secrets even if it means taking apart her defenses piece by piece.
“You’ll never work me out from under your skin. Never.”
Jo has been through hell and back. Because of her abusive father and alcoholic mother, she was forced to mature way before her time. At an early age, she had to take full financial responsibility for her brother and their mother. She took on multiple jobs to do this therefore never having the time to pursue an education. She believed that she had no skills or talents whatsoever. To say the least – her confidence in herself was totally non-existent.
The only thing she thought she had was her beauty and attractiveness. And because of her financial struggles, she always sought out men who were handsome and wealthy. She never really loved any of them. She did care but she never felt true. In all of her relationships, she was forcing herself to become someone she really wasn’t just to make her current partner happy. Not a single one of them ever came close to getting to know the real her until she meets Cameron.
Jo was out at an art showing with her current “sugar daddy” Malcolm. Malcolm invested money in the artist being launched who just so happened to be his ex – Becca. Cameron was Becca’s current boyfriend. As soon as Cameron sees Jo, there was an immediate attraction on both their parts. Cameron hated that feeling – of wanting someone he knew couldn’t have. So to deal with it, he immediately pegs her as a gold digging whore and he says just that to her face. He thought why else would this beautiful woman she with a man fifteen years her senior?
Surprisingly even when Cam was rude to her that night she volunteers to help him find a job where she bartends at. At work, they avoid each other but the chemistry between them is so intense. And when he moves into the same apartment complex he gets to know the real her and realizes that all his presumptions were wrong. And of course the inevitable happens…
“I knew that I would never meet anyone as beautiful or as compassionate or as determined. I’ve known for a while that I was in love with you, Jo. I’ve known and I should have told you.”
Jo’s character just rubbed me the wrong way. First I thought she was well … OK. She had to sacrifice a lot to keep her family together but then I thought she could have done so much more for her mother. Like, get her some professional help maybe? If you think about it, she was enabling her mother. I get that she was trying to protect her brother Cole but there just had to be some other way to fix those issues.
Her dating history also irked me. Joss really gave it to her straight and she deserved those hateful words. Her dating all those rich men that she felt nothing for just cheapened her so badly. Her friends have volunteered to help her but she refused and stayed in these meaningless relationships instead?
The chemistry between Cam and Jo was always intense, the way she thought of Cameron while being with her current boyfriend, though… to me, that was just plain disgusting. The build up was fantastic but ended up together that first time was just distasteful. Breaking up with someone then immediately hopping into another man’s arms was just so…ugh.
I thought the story was well written otherwise. I did love how Cameron and Jo developed a friendship and was happy that he and Cole got along extremely well. Cole never had a father (or manly) figure in his life so him developing a strong relationship was necessary. I also loved the supporting characters. Hearing about Joss and Braden and the rest of the family was terrific. The extended family Sunday dinner’s were remarkable. Loved it!
I also loved that Jo was able to reunite with Mick and how their relationship evolved into almost like a father-daughter relationship. She really needed that! I love that Mick decided to permanently move to Edinburgh and accepted Jo as in apprentice.
What I want to read in the next book?
I’m hoping that Mick can help resolve Fiona’s issues. Maybe rekindle whatever they had going on? That would be a wonderful reunion if it happened! I mean how much love can one woman possess for a man where it drove her to drink when he left her for the US? I say a lot of love! Don’t know if Mick felt the same way though. I foresee a novella in their future!
I want to know why Nate is so heartbroken. I’m predicting he lost his last girlfriend perhaps by a tragic accident or worst a horrible illness…say maybe cancer? Olivia lost her mother to cancer so it will be something that they both could relate to. I really can not wait to read their story! I predict the next one is going to be a tear-jerker!
My Casting Picks:
Jamie Dornan, a Northern Irish actor/model/musician as Cameron MacGabe. Damn fine man!
As for Johanna Walker …I thought of Lauren Conrad.