Friends to Lovers

Before Jamaica Lane (On Dublin Street, #3)Before Jamaica Lane by Samantha Young
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This audiobook has been sitting on my shelf for at least a year. After being disappointed by the second book in this series, I figured that this series had lost it’s luster for me. If it weren’t for the fact that I’ve made it a personal mission to listen to all the books sitting on my Audible shelf, I probably would have continued to ignore this one. Lucky for me, I didn’t. This story was fantastic!

‘Before Jamaica Lane’ tells the story of Olivia and Nate. Close friends, they never explored their attraction to one another. Their friendship was too valuable to risk.

When Olivia finds herself crushing on a hot guy that frequents the library she works at, she is immediately overwhelmed by her own insecurities. With the exception of the disastrous night that she lost her virginity, she hasn’t had sex with a man. In fact, she hasn’t done much of anything sexual with other guys. Her youth was consumed by her mother’s illness and grief over her death, not leaving time for normal teenage pursuits.

Nate has spent the years since the loss of his first love sleeping with random women. He was the quintessential manwhore. With superstar looks, he didn’t have to try hard to land a different woman in his bed anytime the mood struck. He kept it simple. Just sex. No emotions.

Olivia approaches Nate with a proposal. She want to “practice”, so that she can gain skills and confidence. Olivia wants to feel secure in her sexual prowess before she pursues her crush. If anyone can keep it “strictly sexual”, she figures it’s Nate.

As I’m sure you can imagine, things between Nate and Olivia won’t stay that simple. It isn’t easy to keep emotions out of the sex, especially when the two have such a close relationship already. It doesn’t take long for jealousy and love to become big factors.

I loved the way Olivia and Nate’s relationship evolved. This was a great friends to lovers storyline, with plenty of humor, drama and passion. It was a great story from start to finish.

I also appreciated the fact that Nate had to do some significant groveling after he screwed up. I hate it when an author lets the hero off with minimal effort or remorse after they seriously wrong the heroine. Maybe I’m bloodthirsty, but I expect them to pay!

Overall, this was an excellent audiobook. The story was great, as was the narration. It wasn’t overly complex, but had plenty going on to hold my interest. It was definitely better than the last book in this series, in my opinion. If you’re looking for a friends to lovers story, this is a great choice.

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